I know Jesus is risen and that whole story, but when I was much younger I remember hearing about some people who never actually died in the Bible. Who are these people and how did they leave this world?

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    Enoch and Elijah, Elijah was taken on fiery chariots! Nov 24, 2011 at 7:52
  • I wonder what immortality is supposed to mean in the Bible. Hmmm...
    – Double U
    Aug 21, 2013 at 23:36

3 Answers 3


Enoch and Elijah are the two that fit this category.

When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. Genesis 5:21-24 ESV

And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 2 Kings 2:11 ESV

Some have speculated that Moses also fits into this category, but that doesn't fit with this verse:

Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated. Deuteronomy 34:7 ESV

The idea that Moses could have been in that category probably comes from the record that Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration.

And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Matthew 17:2-3 ESV

So, Enoch and Elijah are the two that meet this criterion.

As an aside, Lazarus and a few others died twice, so the death rate of all people who have ever lived is actually slightly greater than 100%. :)

It should also be noted that according to 1 Thessalonians, there are still some people who will not experience physical death, but will enter eternity prior to death. This is yet future, though. (Asleep is thought to be a euphemism for physical death)

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord,[d] that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ESV

  • I remembered Elijah soon after I posted the question, but thanks a lot for all the references and scripture to back up Enoch. Very interesting, and to speculate who else may experience this sort or end to physical life on our earth... Nov 23, 2011 at 21:52
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    Moses was thought to potentially not have died even before the Transfiguration because his body could not be found: "So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD, and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows the place of his burial to this day." (Deuteronomy 34:5-6 ESV) (Of course the text does say he was dead an buried, so it's an odd interpretation.) Nov 23, 2011 at 22:38
  • Jude also quotes some rather obscure extra-biblical event concerning St. Michael the Archangel and Satan battling over Moses's, presumably dead, body.
    – Peter Turner
    Nov 28, 2011 at 3:40
  • The death rate of all people who have ever lived and died is slightly above 100%. The 7 billion people who are currently alive certainly outnumber the few who died twice.
    – outXast
    Aug 21, 2013 at 23:41

Another person who never died in the Bible, and whose lack of death may have made some waves in the early Christian community was the Apostle John (the disciple whom Jesus loved).

Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved, the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper and had said, “Master, who is the one who will betray you?”

When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?”

Jesus said to him, “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me.”

So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die. But Jesus had not told him that he would not die, just “What if I want him to remain until I come? [What concern is it of yours?]”

John 21:20-23 (NABRE)

By itself it seems kind of mundane, of course John died and tradition holds that he was the only disciple to manage to not die a martyrs death, in exile on the island of Patmos.

But the footnotes of the NAB say:

This whole scene takes on more significance if the disciple is already dead. The death of the apostolic generation caused problems in the church because of a belief that Jesus was to have returned first. Loss of faith sometimes resulted

Which sort of begs the question. Is John really, very truly dead?

  • This is actually a Mormon belief Jul 24, 2014 at 15:18

There maybe one more that I have found and that is Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:3) There is no record of his father or mother or any of his ancestors-no beginning or end to his life. He remains a priest forever, resembling the Son of God.

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    Do you have support for this? I'm not aware of any indication that he was anything more than a priest of God. What's the evidence that he never died?
    – wax eagle
    Jan 4, 2013 at 18:40
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    I believe this would be based off of Hebres 7:3 "Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually." If you take this literally, as some do (myself included), then he clearly did not die
    – SSumner
    Apr 2, 2013 at 14:25

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