Satan, also known as the Devil, is the king of demons and in Abrahamic religions. In ancient Hebrew scriptures "Satan" is not a name, but a title, meaning either "The Accuser" or "The Adversary." In some Hebrew scriptures "The Satan" is an angel of God who's purpose is to test humanity. In other's he's a fallen angel who is no longer working within God's divine plan.
Satan in the Hebrew Bible
With the prevalence that Satan has within Judaism, Christianity, and Western Culture as a whole, it is surprising how little Satan is featured in the Hebrew Bible, which is referred to by Christians as the Old Testament. The figure "The Satan" is primarily featured in the first two chapters of the Book of Job. Within the story, Satan is a member of God's divine council, whose job is to test humanity.
- "The Book of Job, Chapter One:
- Job and His Family
- 1 There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. 2 There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. 3 He had seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred donkeys, and very many servants; so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. 4 His sons used to go and hold feasts in one another’s houses in turn; and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 And when the feast days had run their course, Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” This is what Job always did.
- Attack on Job’s Character
- 6 One day the heavenly beings came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 8 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.” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have you not put a fence around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, all that he has is in your power; only do not stretch out your hand against him!” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
- Job Loses Property and Children
- 13 One day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the eldest brother’s house, 14 a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans fell on them and carried them off, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was still speaking, another came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was still speaking, another came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three columns, made a raid on the camels and carried them off, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was still speaking, another came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house, 19 and suddenly a great wind came across the desert, struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; I alone have escaped to tell you.”
- 20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
- 22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrongdoing.
- The Book of Job, Chapter Two:
- Attack on Job’s Health
- 2 One day the heavenly beings came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. 2 The Lord said to Satan,“Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 3 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.” 4 Then Satan answered the Lord, “Skin for skin! All that people have they will give to save their lives.5 But stretch out your hand now and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” 6 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, he is in your power; only spare his life.”
- 7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and inflicted loathsome sores on Job from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8 Job took a potsherd with which to scrape himself, and sat among the ashes.
- 9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still persist in your integrity? Curse God, and die.” 10 But he said to her, “You speak as any foolish woman would speak. Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips."
- -The Book Of Job, Hebrew Bible (NRSV Translation)
Satan In Christianity
Satan as a Fallen Angel:
According to Christian belief, Satan is considered to be a fallen angel that was once the highest of all angels. Satan's actual name is not given in Christian scriptures, but it is often interpreted that Satan's name was "Lucifer," which translates to English as "Light Bearer." Satan, or Lucifer, is considered to have lead a revolt in Heaven along with one third of the angels. According to the "Book of Revelation," the last book in the Christian New Testament, Satan took the form of a great dragon in the battle, but was defeated by another angel, Saint Michael, and then cast down out of Heaven. Many Christians believe that all the demons that exist are Satan and his angels that followed him in his failed revolt, though throughout history and between denominations there have been other explanations for some of the demons.
Satan as the Serpent in the Garden:
It is also widely believed in Christianity that the serpent that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden is Satan himself, though the texts in the Book of Genesis never state who the serpent actually is. It is thought that Satan wished to cause Adam and Eve to sin as revenge for being cast out of Heaven. He may have also wished for them to sin due to jealousy, because he thought that as an angel, even a fallen one, he was superior to the humans that were God's favorite creation.
Satan as the Exemplar of the Sin of Pride:
In Christianity Satan's chief sin is considered to be pride, because he though he was better than humans, and better than even God, that he would try to overthrow God in Heaven.
Satan in Islam:
Satan is known as Iblis (Arabic word means Devil, Satan), there is two people known as Iblis (First one is Al-Harith, Azazel or Abu-Murra, who refused to prostration for Adam, Second one Samael who whispering to Adam and his wife in the Jannah)
Influences on the Belief in Satan
In Zoroastrainism it is believed that a god of darkness named Angra Maniyu or Ahriman is in eternal struggle with the god of good and light, Ahura Mazda. It is widely believed by scholars that belief in Angra Maniyu influenced Jewish thought concerning Satan after the Jewish people were released from captivity in Babylon by the Zoroastrian Persian Empire.
Titles and Epithets
Satan, being such an important character three of the world's great religions, has accumulated a large list of names and titles.
- Abaddon in Hebrew or Apollyon in Greek: Meaning "The Destroyer" or "The Doom." This term is a reference to Sheol, the Hebrew realm of the dead. Over time Abaddon and Apollyon became known as a demon ruling over Sheol, which at times can be considered Satan or some other high ranking demon.
- Abu al-Harith: title of al-Harith means "Father of the Ploughman". It possible because Iblīs is not al-Harith rather his son Azazil or his father Marra; In Arabic default kunya is based off father's name or oldest child.
- Abu-Marra(h): as status of al-Harith being son of Marra
- Abu-Murra(h) or Murra(h): An Arabic term used in Islam meaning "Father of the Bitter" or "the Bitter" or "the Bitterness."
- Al-Abyad: an Arabic term in Islam meaning "the White."
- Al-Shaitan: an Arabic term used in Islam meaning "Burned by Anger" or "Rebellious and Corrupter."
- Baal, Bael, Beel, or Bel: meaning "The Lord." This term originated as a title for a multitude of Canaanite deities, must notably Baal-Ḥaddu.
- The Arch-Devil: an English phrase means "the Cheif Devil"
- The Archfiend: an English term means "the Cheif Enemy"
- The Beast: a reference to the first of two beasts described in the Christian Book of Revelation. The first beast is said to have emerged from the abyss. The second beast directs the people of the world to worship the first beast, and is associated with the false prophet, or Anti-Christ.
- Beelzebub or Baal-Zebub: Meaning "The Lord of the Flies." The term is found in 2 Kings in the Hebrew bible as the name of a patron deity for a Philistine city. Over time the deity became known as a demon, which is sometimes identified as Satan.
- Belial: Meaning "The Worthless." This term is found in the Hebrew bible as part of the phrase "Sons of Belial." a term used to describe worthless people. Over time the term became associated with Satan.
- The Devil: A term in Christianity meaning "The Slanderer" or "The Scatterer."
- The Dragon: A reference to the dragon defeated by the Archangel Michael in the Christian Book of Revelation.
- The Father A reference for Satan that his being the main demon in Unholy Trinity. Should be noted that Unholy Trinty is a literary work and not related to canon scriptures, even though that heavily affected to religions.
- The Fiend: A term in English meaning "The Enemy."
- Iblīs: An Arabic term meaning "the Dispairer." This term is used in Islam to describe Azazel (Satan) after his fall from grace. Best translations are "the One Whom Covers the Truth and Mix it with the Injustice," or "Satan." For more see etymology section in Iblīs page.
- Lucifer: Meaning "the Light Bearer" or "the Morning Star." This is a reference to the planet Venus, which appears in the east before sunrise. Although the Satan's name never mentioned in canon sources but in some Christian traditions Lucifer was the name of Satan before his fall from grace, his name was Satanael in other accounts.
- Prince of Darkness: Title used by Mandaeans.
- Rex Mundi: a term used by Cathars, a dualist medieval religious sect of Southern France that flourished in the 12th century CE and challenged the authority of the Catholic Church. Cathars believed the purpose of humanity was to fight against the Rex Mundi, meaning "the King of the World."
- The Warlock: a term in English meaning "the Oath-Breaker," although Satan actually magical demon but this title not given to him for that reason; But because he made many people broke their oaths for God.
- The people who considered Satan and Lucifer same made Satan Prince of Pride and Aamon prince of wrath instead.
- Despite of being called by masculine and feminine names, epithets, or pronouns but actually Satan either male, hermaphrodite, or sexless.
- Marra (مَرَّة) is a masculine given name means time, but murra (مُرّة) is feminine adjective means bitter.
- Although literally meaning of abu is father but also used for honorification.
- Satan - Britannica.
|Celestial Beings||Angel • Peri • Houri • Ascended demon|
|Demons||Šayṭān • Siʿlāh • Qarīnah • Ḥinn|
|Archangels||Ǧibrīl • Mīkāl • Malak al-Mawt • ʾIsrafīl • Mālik • Riẓ́wān|
|Other Characters||Allah • Iblīs/Satan • Death • Al-Mahdiyy/Messiah|
|Other Creatures||Jinn • Qarīn|