Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Satan in Job and elsewhere in the Bible

Wikipedia has a fairly detailed article on Satan.

In the book of Job (Iyov), ha-satan is the title of an angel submitted to God. In Judaism ha-satan does not make evil, rather points out to God the evil inclinations and actions of humankind. In essence ha-satan has no power unless humans do evil things. After God points out Job's piety, ha-satan asks for permission to test the faith of Job. The righteous man is afflicted with loss of family, property, and later, health, but he still stays faithful to God. At the conclusion of this book God appears as a whirlwind, explaining to all that divine justice is inscrutable. In the epilogue Job's possessions are restored and he has a second family to replace the one that died.
שָׂטָן ‎ śâṭân
From 7853 an opponent; especially (with the article prefixed) Satan, the arch enemy of good: - adversary, Satan, withstand.

Here's the first entrance of Satan in Job 1:7 ff:

[6] Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

[7] And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

[8] And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

[9] Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?

[10] Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

[11] But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

[12] And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

For a list of other appearances of the name Satan in the Old and New Testaments, click here.

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