Description Of The Ninth Circle
Dante’s Hell is divided into nine circles, the ninth circle being divided further into four rings, their boundaries only marked by the depth of their sinners’ immersion in the ice Satan sits in the last ring, Judecca. It is in the fourth ring of the ninth circle, where the worst sinners, the betrayers to their benefactors, are punished. Here, these condemned souls, frozen into the ice, are completely unable to move or speak and are contorted into all sorts of fantastical shapes as a part of their punishment.
Unlike many other circles of Dante’s Hell, these sinners remain unnamed. Even Dante is afraid to enter this last circle, as he nervously proclaimed, “I drew behind my leaders back again.”
Uncharacteristically of Dante, he remains silent in Satan’s presence. Dante examines the sinners who are “covered wholly by ice, / showing like straw in glass some lying prone, / and some erect, some with the head towards us, / the others with the bottoms of the feet another like a bow bent feet to face.”This circle of Hell is a complete separation from any life and, for Dante, “the deepest isolation is to suffer separation from the source of all light and life and warmth.”
What Does Satan Mean
The Hebrew word for Satan means to oppose, obstruct, or accuse. In Greek, the word for Satan means adversary. This is a perfect definition of him because this is what he does to believers and to unbelievers. In all honesty, he is not a friend of anyone but an adversary to everyone because his ultimate desire is destruction. To help this all make sense, let me show you two areas in Scripture where his character and name match up.
Be sober-minded be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. Revelation 12:10
As you can see here, Satan is described as an adversary and accuser. It is not a coincidence that these two descriptions match his name because that is who he is. Of all the different names for Satan, you discover in the Bible that this one speaks most plainly to his real agenda. He seeks to oppose you because he is your opponent. This points to who he really is. One of his greatest deceptions is to present himself as something that he is not. You will see this as we look at some of the different names for Satan and tie them back to the character of the one who is your opponent.
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 former 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.
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Gods Sovereign Sway Over Satan
In the end, Satan serves to magnify the power, wisdom, love, grace, mercy, patience, and wrath of Jesus Christ.
1. Though Satan is called the ruler of this world , Daniel 4:17 says, The Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whom he wishes. And Psalm 33:10 says, The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart from generation to generation. Yes, Satan is the ruler of this world, but the ultimate one God holds final sway.
2. Though unclean spirits are everywhere doing deceptive and murderous things, Jesus Christ has all authority over them, and Mark 1:27 says, He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him. When Christ commands the devil, the devil obeys.
3. Satan is a roaring lion, prowling and seeking to devour. Peter says, Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world . In other words, suffering is the way Satan is trying to devour the saints. But Peter says in 1 Peter 3:17, It is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. If God should will it so. This suffering, these jaws of the prowling lion, are opened and closed only according to Gods will.
The Devil In The Bible
Although the Devil is present in some form in many religions and can be compared to some mythological gods, hes arguably best known for his role in Christianity. In modern biblical translations, the Devil is the adversary of God and Gods people.
Its commonly thought that the Devil first showed up in the Bible in the book of Genesis as the serpent who convinced Evewho then convinced Adamto eat forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. As the story goes, after Eve fell for the Devils conniving ways, she and Adam were banished from the Garden of Eden and doomed to mortality.
Many Christians believe the Devil was once a beautiful angel named Lucifer who defied God and fell from grace. This assumption that he is a fallen angel is often based the book of Isaiah in the Bible, which says, How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations.
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Satan The Accuser The Devil: Who Is This Biblical Character
The Lord said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil. He still persists in his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason.And the Lord said to Satan, The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you!And no wonder! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.The coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders, and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false, so that all who have not believed the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned.Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. – The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version: Michael Coogan, Marc Brettler, Carol Newsom, Pheme PerkinsThe New Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible
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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The Devil In Modern Times
Religious translations are often controversial. Theres usually some degree of dissent on how to interpret early texts, and texts about the Devil are no exception.
Even so, throughout history, the Devils reputation as an evildoer hasnt changed much. Most Christians still believe hes literally transformed the world and is responsible for much of the worlds corruption and chaos.
Not all religions shun the Devil, though. People of the Church of Satan, known as Satanists, dont worship the Devil, but embrace him as a symbol of atheism, pride and liberty, among other things. Another type of Satanists, theistic Satanists, worship the Devil as a deity. They may practice Satanic rituals or even make Satanic pacts.
Theres no shortage of Hollywood films featuring the Devil. Hes been played by some of Hollywoods elite such as Jack Nicholson, Vincent Price and Al Pacino. And after Mia Farrows character gave birth to Satans offspring in the horror-flick Rosemarys Baby, expectant mothers who saw the film wished they hadnt.
Given the immense draw of the classic battle between good and evil, its likely that the Devils influence is here to stay, and he will continue to influence religion, literature and pop culture worldwide.
Ultimate Authority And Power
My approach to answering the question of how to think about the origin of Satans sin is to read the whole Bible with the question: How does God relate to Satans will? Is God helpless before the will of evil powers? Is there a power outside himself that limits his rule over them? Or is God presented throughout the Bible as having the right and the power to restrain Satan anytime he pleases? And if so why doesnt he just destroy him?
So when I read the Bible, here is what I find just the tip of the iceberg of Gods authority and power.
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For The Fullness Of Christs Glory
The glory of Christ reaches its apex in the obedient sacrifice of the cross where Jesus triumphed over the devil . Jesus said, Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him . Paul said, We preach Christ crucified . . . the power of God and the wisdom of God . Jesus said to Paul about Satans thorn in Pauls side, My power is made perfect in weakness .
In the end, Satan and all his pain serves to magnify the power, wisdom, love, grace, mercy, patience, and wrath of Jesus Christ. We would not know him in the fullness of his glory if he had not defeated Satan in the way he did.
The Bible Doesnt Say He Rules All The Demons
Scripture doesnt give us a cut-and-dry picture of the divine hierarchy, good or evil. So while we can assume Satan is the most prominent of Gods adversaries, we shouldnt necessarily assume that all Gods divine opponents are under Satans control.
Heres how Heiser puts it: It is clear that Satan is leader of at least some of the powers of darkness. As the original rebel, he likely ranked first in terms of example in the minds of ancient readers. The fact that he is the one who confronted Jesus in the desert and offered Jesus the kingdoms of the world suggests as much. The lack of a clearly delineated hierarchy leaves the possibility that there are competing agendas in the unseen world, even where there exists the common goal of opposition to Yahweh and his people.
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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.
How Is Satan Described In Paradise Lost
In John Miltons Paradise Lost Satan is portrayed as proud, manipulative, and vengeful against God, whom he sees as a powerful oppressor. Some Romantic poets saw Satan as the real hero of the poem and applauded his rebellion against God.
Satan, in the three major Abrahamic religions , the prince of evil spirits and adversary of God. Satan is traditionally understood as an angel who rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven with other fallen angels before the creation of humankind. Ezekiel 28:1418 and Isaiah 14:1217 are the key Scripture passages that support this understanding, and, in the New Testament, in Luke 10:18 Jesus states that he saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. In all three major Abrahamic religions, Satan is identified as the entity that tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden and was thus the catalyst for the fall of humankind.
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Discord Gives Satan An Advantage
While Satans power is broken, hes not powerless yet. In fact, some New Testament passages tell us that there are certain ways for the devil to gain a tactical advantage against us.
The apostle Paul indicates that anger, unforgiveness, and resentment between Christians give Satan a particular edge.
We have several examples in Scripture of this:
- Paul encourages the church at Corinth to forgive and reassure any repentant believer who may have caused the rest of the church grief. The apostle urges the church to make such a person feel welcome and loved. Why? Because Paul particularly does not want Satan to outwit them .
- Paul tells married couples not to deprive one another sexually, otherwise Satan will capitalize on the deprived spouses lack of self-control .
- Paul tells the Ephesians not to let the sun go down on their anger, so as not to give the devil a foothold .
Satan can be resisted, and we need to be vigilant against giving him any opportunities to get the better of us .
The 20th Century Devil
During the 20th century, the devil continued to be re-invented by writers and filmmakers, placing him in the guise of mysterious strangers, smart businessmen and even children, as in the 1976 horror movie “The Omen”.
In Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel “The Master and Margarita ” , the devil appears as a smart but secretive stranger, who is accompanied by a talking cat. Similarly, in the 1987 film “Angel Heart” Robert de Niro plays Louis Cyphre , a well-dressed but cryptic businessman.
In 1936, the American writer Stephen Vincent Benet wrote “The Devil and Daniel Webster ” in which the character Mr. Scratch fights for his right to a man’s soul in a court of law. In a similar vein, the 1997 film “Devil’s Advocate” sees Al Pacino play Lucifer as the head of a shady New York City law firm.
But even these modern depictions of Lucifer as a lawyer have their origins in the Middle Ages. In an article from the journal la Revue de l’histoire des religions, Karl Shoemaker, a historian at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, described a medieval court drama in which “the devil and his hellish council selected a demon learned in the law and sent him to the court of heaven in order to sue for a legal title to the human race.”
This article was adapted from a previous version published in All About History magazine, a Future Ltd. publication. To learn more about some of history’s most incredible stories, subscribe to All About History magazine.
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God Did Not Create The Devil As We Know Him
When God created the world, we are told that God examined it and declared that it was good . This means that even the angelic world did not have evil angels or demons in it at that time. But by the time of Genesis chapter three, we find that Satan, in the form of a serpent, was tempting Eve to sin. Therefore, sometime between the events of Genesis chapter one and Genesis chapter three, there must have been a rebellion in the angelic world, with many angels turning against God and becoming evil. This rebellion was led by Satan himself.