New Defender's Study Bible Notes
2:11 Elijah went up. This was a unique event in history, and was altogether miraculous. Enoch, who had also served as God’s prophet in a time of deep apostasy, had likewise been taken into heaven (that is, the “third heaven,” where God’s throne is located) without dying, but evidently no one had actually observed his translation (Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5), as did Elisha at the translation of Elijah. Enoch’s ministry had been to the whole world, essentially at the mid-point of the period from Adam to Abraham. Elijah’s ministry had been to Israel, essentially at the midpoint of the period from Abraham to Christ. Elijah was taken up in a fiery tornado that seemed to surround a fiery horse-drawn chariot as he went up until he was out of Elisha’s sight. It has been assumed that Elijah and Enoch have both been supernaturally preserved alive in heaven ever since that time in their natural bodies.
When the Lord Jesus returns, both dead and living believers will be translated into His presence, their bodies being supernaturally changed into immortal bodies (I Thessalonians 4:16-17; I Corinthians 15:51-54; Philippians 3:20-21). If Elijah and Enoch are presently in natural bodies, it is possible that they will also return at this time to serve as His “two witnesses” on the earth during the 1260 days of great plagues on the earth that will quickly follow Jesus’ return (see notes on Revelation 11:2-12). They will continue to be preserved alive to finish their unfinished testimony to both Israel and the Gentile world during that period. Finally, they will be slain and then they also will be raptured into heaven with immortalized bodies.