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Satan

by Micha F. Lindemans
In medieval Judeo-Christian theology, Satan ("adversary") is the personified concept of evil, and the jealous enemy of mankind. He is the chief of the angels who rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven.

The belief that Satan is in Hell is a likely product of cartoons and movies rather than what is portrayed in the Bible. The Bible states that he still roams heaven and earth. Job 1:6 states that Satan appeared with other angels "before the Lord." Presumably in heaven. When God asked Satan where he had been, Satan replied, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it." 1 Peter 5:8 declares, "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

Satan will be cast into the lake of burning sulfur (Hell), but it is only after the battle involving Gog and Magog (which means the nations of the earth). When the enemies of God are defeated, "the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were thrown." Rev 20:7-10 (New International Version).

In the Apocrypha, Satan represents the forces of evil. The rabbis taught that he was responsible for all the sins recorded in the Bible and, according to legend, the shofar is blown on Rosh Hashanah in order to confuse him.

The name comes from Satanas, the Greek form of the Aramic satana.


Article details:

  • Pronunciation:
    say'-tuhn
  • Etymology:
    Adversary

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