I was studying out heaven and hell, and also the question of where one will go when he dies. I was wondering about the case of Elijah in 2 Kings 2, where he was taken up to heaven. But John 3 says no one is in heaven. So can we really be sure about where Elijah is? Enoch is another example. To the best of my knowledge, all the other examples I am aware of in the Bible are of people died and went to Paradise (Hades). Elijah and Enoch seem to be the exceptions. -- John Cawray (Freetown, Sierra Leone)

Elijah and Enoch went up. Please note that the word sky and the word heaven are the same in Hebrew. So you could say, "They went up into the sky." The Hebrew word shamayim can mean the place the birds fly, the place the stars appear, and even the place of the presence of God.

Where exactly they ended up, I do not know. Enoch: it just says he was taken. The text does not say he was taken to heaven. Elijah: Here the word shamayim is used. But we still have to interpret it.

John 3: Was Jesus speaking generally, or saying that no one ever went up to heaven? I think he is not generalizing, though one must consider this as a possibility. But I think it makes more sense biblically if no humans are in heaven or hell before the judgment day. (For more about this, see the audio series What Happens After We Die?)

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