Who is the satan in the Bible?

Posted by on May 12, 2021

Question: Who is the satan in the Bible?

Answer: First, we need to understand what “satan” means. The first time the Hebrew word שָׂטָן satan (sah-tahn) appears in the Scripture is in Numbers referring to an angel of the Highest.

But the displeasure of Elohim burned because he went, and the Messenger of Yehovah placed himself in the way as an adversary against him. (Num 22:22)

Then “satan” appears in the Book of Job referring to an angel who tested Job to the degree of breaking.

And the day came to be that the sons of Elohim came to present themselves before Yehovah, and the satan also came among them. (Job 1:6)

The word satan appears only twice in the Torah in Num 22:22 and Num 22:32, wherein it does not express any notion of a fallen angel appearing before Bila’am. On the contrary, in Numbers the satan appears to be an angel, i.e., messenger of Elohim, who was sent to oppose the evil prophet; hence, satan — one who opposes or stand against (see Num 22:32).

How come there two diametrically opposing application of the word satan?

The confusion comes from the way the word satan appears in the Christian sources. It always appears capitalized suggesting a personal name of an angel.

But in the Hebrew Scripture satan always appears with the definite article ha, “the”, defining this word as a noun rather than a personal name.

Hence, satan is not a personal name of a fallen angel, but a title which simply means “adversary” or “opponent”: in Numbers, the angel sent by Elohim to oppose the evil mastermind Bila’am who was hired to curse Israel (The Lesson of the Prophet for Profit – Time of Reckoning Ministry), and in Job: the one who stood against Job to test him (see Misunderstanding of Job’s Trial Few Could Bear – Time of Reckoning Ministry).

According to the Book of Enoch, the fallen angel, who led the other angels in rebellion against Elohim was the first satan, opponent,

And it came to pass, when the sons of men had increased, that in those days there were born to them fair and beautiful daughters. And the Angels, the sons of Heaven, saw them and desired them. And they said to one another: “Come, let us choose for ourselves wives, from the children of men, and let us beget, for ourselves, children.” And Semyaza, who was their leader, said to them: “I fear that you may not wish this deed to be done and that I alone will pay for this great sin.” And they all answered him and said: “Let us all swear an oath, and bind one another with curses, so not to alter this plan, but to carry out this plan effectively.” Then they all swore together, and all bound one another with curses to it. And they were, in all, two hundred and they came down on Ardis, which is the summit of Mount Hermon. And they called the mountain Hermon because on it they swore and bound one another with curses. And these are the names of their leaders: Semyaza, who was their leader, Urakiba (Araqiel), Rameel, Kokabiel, Tamiel, Ramiel, Daniel, Ezeqiel, Baraqiel, Asael, Armaros, Batariel, Ananel, Zaqiel, Samsiel, Satariel, Turiel, Yomiel, Sariel. THE BOOK OF ENOCH 6:1-7, translation by M. Knibb of the Ethiopian text in the S.O.A.S. Library at the University of London.

Perhaps, this satan (adversary) was the one who deceived Adam and Chavah to eat from the Tree. After the rebellion, he and his companions were bound until the day of their judgment and of their consummation.

However, the satan in Job must have been another adversary and the one who tested Yeshua for forty days in the desert, and probably he is the one who will appear on the scene in the times of Revelation.

Again, satan means “adversary”, not a name—everyone who stands against the will of the Highest is a satan to Him. Suggested series of articles is in The Revelation from YHVH – Time of Reckoning Ministry.

“Satan” appears also in the Gospel where Yeshua called Peter by that word: read more in Peter Called “Satan” or “adversary” – Time of Reckoning Ministry.