Is Satan In The Old Testament
When did the Adversary first appear?
The existence of Satan is one of the central doctrines of Christianity. He is evil incarnate, an immortal being that exists solely to corrupt and tempt human beings into committing offenses against God. He was in the Garden of Eden and was responsible for the original fall of man. He was originally an angel, Lucifer, but rebelled against God and continues to rebel to this day.
ha.ha-satanha-satanha-satansatanha-satanha-satanha-satanHa-satanha-satanha-satanha-satanha-satan Stephanie Hertzenberg is a writer and editor at Beliefnet. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary where she majored in Religious Studies and minored in Creative Writing. She maintains an avid interest in health, history and science.
Jewish Vs Christian Conceptions Of Satan
On the whole, Satan occupies a far more prominent place in Christian theology than in traditional rabbinic sources. The Book of Revelation, in the New Testament, references an ancient serpent commonly understood as the snake that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden who is the Devil and Satan. It describes a reg dragon with seven heads and 10 horns that stands opposite a pregnant woman about to give birth in order to devour the child that is, Jesus. Revelation further describes a war in heaven in which Satan is hurled to earth, where he proceeds to lead the world astray. According to Christian prophecy, Satan will be bound by a chain for 1,000 years after the return of Jesus.
Some of these Christian ideas are echoed in Jewish tradition, but some also point to fundamental differences most notably perhaps the idea that, in the Hebrew Bible at least, Satan is ultimately subordinate to God, carrying out his purpose on earth. Or that he isnt real at all, but is merely a metaphor for sinful impulses.
Pronounced: TALL-mud, Origin: Hebrew, the set of teachings and commentaries on the Torah that form the basis for Jewish law. Comprised of the Mishnah and the Gemara, it contains the opinions of thousands of rabbis from different periods in Jewish history.
Interpreting The Morning Star References
Christian scholars have interpreted the Lucifer-Jesus connection in various ways. A common rebuttal to the conflation of the two religious figures invokes the following passage to claim that there is more than one morning star:
“Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Who laid the cornerstone thereof when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”Job 38:6
However, this contradicts the quotations given earlier. “he one”morning star is described as if there are no others. Furthermore, there is only one Venus, though when the planet overtakes Earth’s orbit, it does begin to appear at a different time in the night. The Bible is no stranger to contradiction, so we may never know which interpretation is true.
Other scholars claim the Bible verse in which the morning star is cast from heaven is not allegorical but is actually referring to the king of Babylon. This introduces the question of why Hebrew authors would want to describe this king as a divine being. Morning star is more precisely attributed to an angelnot a king they despised.
If Jesus and Lucifer are one, does that mean that Jesus is the great deceiver?
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A Devil Dressed In Red
The devils red tights actually originate in theatre productions. In 1859, composer Charles Gounod adopted the folktale Faust, which had also inspired Marlowes earlier play, Dr. Faustus, into an opera, in which the devilish character of Mephistopheles wears a Renaissance-era costume, including red tights, also known as hose.
In his book A History of Opera: Milestones and Metamorphoses , Burton Fisher wrote: Marcel Journet sang Fausts Mephistopheles over a thousand times, providing the stereotyped image of opera characters as devils in red tights. Different interpretations of this theatrical clothing have endured and remain popular Halloween costumes today.
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Dantes Inferno: The Winged Devil
The 14th-century poem Inferno, written by Dante Alighieri as part of his Divine Comedy, recounts a fictional journey through the seven circles that make up hell before the protagonist comes face to face with Satan himself. Dante describes Satan with two mighty wings, such as befitting were so great a bird sails of the sea I never saw so large. No feathers had they, but as of a bat. .
According to Montesano, Satans wings may originate in Babylonian mythology, due to the devils association with the figure of Lilith. Lilith comes from the ancient Babylonian Lilitu demons: Winged females who flew through the night, seducing men and attacking pregnant women and infants, she said.
Dante also introduces elements from Greco-Roman mythology into his traditional Christian lore. He refers to the devil as Dis, which comes from Dis Pater, the Roman god of the underworld. In Inferno Dante writes: Hence in the smallest circle, where the point is Of the Universe, upon which Dis is seated, Whoeer betrays for ever is consumed. .
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The Devil Tried To Make At Least One Deal
Making deals with the devil is a common storytelling motif. And although the Bible doesnt say anything about fiddles made of gold, Scripture does tell us of at least one attempted bargain Satan tried to make.
We looked at Satans attempts to tempt Jesus earlier in this list. Satan offered all the kingdoms of the world to Jesus.
But there was a catch: Jesus would have to bow down and worship the devil.
Lucky for us, the Son of God will not be bartered with in this way. Jesus tells the tempter, Away from me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only .
Why is Jesus refusal to bargain important?
Heiser explains that Satans offer was a clever attempt to get Jesus to pay for something Satan stole. Had Jesus given in, it would have been an acknowledgment that Satans permission was needed to possess the nations. It wasnt. Satan presumed power and ownership of something that, ultimately, was not his but Gods. The messaging behind Jesus answer is clear: Yahweh will take the nations back by his own means in his own time. He doesnt need them to be given away in a bargain. Jesus was loyal to his Father. Since reclaiming the nations was connected with salvation and redemption from the effects of the fall in Eden, accepting Satans offer would have undermined the necessity of the atonement of the cross.
Clue: Ezekiels Oracle Against The Prince Of Tyre
In the Old Testament, the prophet Ezekiel takes up an oracle against the human ruler of Tyre, an arrogant person smug enough to claim to be a god himself . God plans to bring this prince down a notch.
But while Ezekiel preaches against this ruler, he seems to make several allusions to a similar story on a cosmic scale. In fact, the prophet says a few things that point all the way back to the Garden of Eden:
You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God you were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God you walked among the fiery stones .
Later in the oracle, Ezekiel tells us that this being had a pride problem similar to the prince of Tyres: Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor .
This being is punished: hes expelled from Eden to a new domain: earth and the underworld.
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Satans Defeat Is Certain And Imminent
Even though our adversary may gain a tactical advantage here and there, his fate is sealed.
John the Revelator sees the ultimate end of Satan, the devil, the serpent of old:
And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever .
The Bible doesnt tell us exactly when this will happen. But we can trust that the war will be won. Satan will be defeated, and God will ultimately run the universe in partnership with his human image-bearers.
Lucifer Wanted To Sit On Gods Throne
Q: My neighbors grandsons name is Lucifer. The mother says she chose it because of its beautiful meaning. Isnt Satans name Lucifer?
A: Lucifer was an angel created to glorify God, but this was not the role he wanted. His hearts desire was to be the chief authority he wanted to sit on Gods throne and rule the universe.
The book of Isaiah records: How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High .
When Lucifer asserted his desire to be more than God, a great revolution took place in the universe. Many angels joined with Lucifer and became his rebel army. This evil one Satan didnt lose any of his beguiling ways when he became the fallen prince. He took his charm, his subtleties and his clever plots to use on us. When he made his decision to battle God to the death, he took his band of rebel angels with him as his combat soldiers. The battlefield is known as Earth.
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The Lucifer Of The Luciferians
It is this concept of light-bringer that Luciferians embrace. For them, Lucifer is a being that brings out enlightenment in those who truly seek it. He is not external power that hands out knowledge so much as one who assists a seeker in bringing it out of himself.
Balance is also a significant component of the concept of Lucifer. He is both spiritual and carnal, as are humans, according to Luciferians. He is moderation over extremes. He is both the light and the darkness, as you cannot have one without the other, and there are lessons to be learned from both.
Some Luciferians consider Lucifer an actual being, while others consider him entirely symbolic. Many agree that ultimately it doesnt actually matter since the focus is upon the principles of Lucifer, not submission to a supernatural intelligence.
Are Jesus And Lucifer The Same Being
Thomas Swan has a PhD in experimental psychology. He specializes in the cognitive science of religion.
Are Jesus and Lucifer one and the same?
Although it is controversial to compare Jesus to Lucifer, there are a number of mythological and linguistic consistencies that deserve our attention. As such, Christians and practitioners of other Judeo-Christian faiths should be warned that this article may not make for comfortable reading.
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Lucifer Banished From The Heavensfalls To The Earth
With a third of the angels on his side, Lucifer loads an attack on God, and a mighty war for the heavens took place. But Lucifer was not counting on the strong resistance put up by another Archangel, the one known as Michael.
Unable to defeat Michael in his current form, fast lending Lucifer to doubt his perfection at this point, Lucifer transforms into a dragon, as noted in Revelation 12:7-8, And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and the dragon, and his angels prevailed not neither was their place found any more in heaven.
While you might say Lucifer had the courage to rebel in the first placealthough many would say this was not courage, and more so blind arrogancehes ultimately defeated by Archangel Michael. By this, we understand how powerful the biblical God is, that Lucifer is defeated without God having to get involved in the battle.
You might argue that God works through Michael to overcome Lucifer, in any case, Lucifers defeat is absolute.
Revelation 12:9 goes on to state, And the Great Dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world as he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
This is also where we see Lucifer referred to by his other namesake, Satan, which he earns after he has been defeated.
Gone are his glory days of being the most splendid, perfect being of all of Gods creations and instead he takes the role of the complete opposite.
Satan Is A Liar By Nature
Jesus tells us that lying is second nature to the devil. He doesnt sugarcoat it, either:
He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies .
The apostles tell us that our enemy is a great deceiver, too. When early church member Ananias makes a shady donation, Peter asks, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit ? . And Paul later tells the Corinthian church that the serpent deceived Eve through cunning lies , and goes on to say that Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light .
But Satans deceitfulness doesnt stop with Satan. And his followers arent limited to the unseen realm, either.
Unfortunately, there are others under Satans influence.
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Satan In The Bible: 14 Sobering Facts About The Devil
Hes the universes public enemy number one, the chief opponent of God and his people, and the leader of uncounted demonic forces. Jesus says hes been a murderer from the beginning, and hes engaged in an all-out war against the forces of good in the universe.
The Bible calls him the devil, Satan, the evil one.
Paul tells the Ephesian church to put on the full armor of God, so that they can stand firm against his schemes. James tells Christians that if they resist the devil, he will flee from them. Peter tells believers to beware: he is always on the prowl.
We have an enemyand if were going to stand firm against him, we need to know whom were up against.
However, theres a lot of devil folklore out there. It can be difficult to distinguish traditions from what the Bible actually says about Satan.
So, lets take a look at some biblical facts about Satan in the Bible.
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The idea that the Devil governs hell may have come from the poem by Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, published in the early fourteenth century. In it, God created hell when he threw the Devil and his demons out of Heaven with such power that they created an enormous hole in the center of the earth.
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What Is The First Mention Of Satan Or Evil In The Bible
Prior to the Babylonian Exile, Judaism had no heaven or hell souls of the dead simply went to a place of rest, sheol, regardless of the life that had been led. There was no Satan and no angels. The notion of Satan entered Judaism during the Babylonian Exile, so no biblical Book written before that time contains any reference to Satan. Chronicles was actually written during the Exile, as a revision to the Deuteronomic History, and thus is the first book in the Bible to contain the name Satan. 1 Chronicles 21:1:
And Satan stood up against Israel and provoked David to number Israel.
Because Kings was written before the Exile, the corresponding passage contains no mention of Satan.
Another post-exilic reference to Satan is in the Book of Job, which introduces Satan, not yet as the adversary of God portrayed in later Christian belief, but as a son of God or angel, whose role was to prove the righteousness of people by tempting them to do wrong. God twice gave Satan a challenge to have Job curse God, first by destroying his family and his property , then by afflicting him with a terrible disease. If Job cursed God, he would be judged as evil.
Also: in the King James Version, Psalms 109:6 refers to Satan, but the Hebrew Masoretic text for Psalm 109:6 refers to an Adversary, rather than Satan.
Evil is mentioned much earlier in Genesis.
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Hes not the enemy of God, his name really isnt Lucifer and he isnt even evil. And as far as leading Adam and Eve astray, that was a bad rap stemming from a case of mistaken identity.
Theres little or no evidence in the Bible for most of the characteristics and deeds commonly attributed to Satan, insists a UCLA professor with four decades in what he describes as the devil business.
In Satan: A Biography , Henry Ansgar Kelly puts forth the most comprehensive case ever made for sympathy for the devil, arguing that the Bible actually provides a kinder, gentler version of the infamous antagonist than typically thought.
A strict reading of the Bible shows Satan to be less like Darth Vader and more and more like an overzealous prosecutor, said Kelly, a UCLA professor emeritus of English and the former director of the universitys Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Hes not so much the proud and angry figure who turns away from God as a Joseph McCarthy or J. Edgar Hoover. Satans basic intention is to uncover wrongdoing and treachery, however overzealous and unscrupulous the means. But hes still part of Gods administration.
The view runs in opposition to the beliefs held by many Christians and others about key religious concepts like original sin and the nature of good and evil.
It was at that time that I started my campaign to rehabilitate the devil to deliver him from evil, as it were, Kelly said.
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