Satan (hebrew Insight)

shutterstock_94222492In both Jewish and Christian religious imagination, the person of Satan played a significant role. But what does the word Satan actually means in Hebrew?

The word (שָּׂטָן) simply means adversary or and is connected with the verb (לְשָׂטָ֖ן) which simply means to oppose. We see this clearly when Balaam the sorcerer was contracted for his services to curse Israel’s armies by the leaders of Moab and Midian. (You may recall his famous talking donkey incident described for us in Numbers 22).

When it became clear that Balaam and not the donkey, as Balam first thought, was blind and stubborn, the Angel of the Lord said to Balaam: “I have come here to oppose (לְשָׂטָ֔ן) you because your path is a reckless one before me.”

אָנֹכִי֙ יָצָ֣אתִי לְשָׂטָ֔ן כִּֽי־יָרַ֥ט הַדֶּ֖רֶךְ לְנֶגְדִּֽי׃

However, the personal name for Satan in the Hebrew Bible is signified by adding the prefix “the” (ה), therefore, forming “the Satan” as in Job 1:6 when we are told that together with others “Satan also came among them”:

וַיָּב֥וֹא גַֽם־הַשָּׂטָ֖ן בְּתוֹכָֽם׃

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  1. JesusBranch

    Dear Leif Trollbani,

    Benedicta Nazereth is as close to the mark as you will find.

    Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

    May we rebuke the devil as our Lord Jesus did in his temptation.

  2. Leif Trollbani

    Benedicta, it would be useful if you would quote the source of your information. I enjoy a theological discussion as much as the next person, BUT, it is very hard to discuss something where someone is using dubious quotes from unstated sources. Did your statement come from your own imaginings? or did it derive from a reputable source?

  3. BENEDICTA NAZARETH

    HE IS A FALEN CHERUB WHO SAID IN HIS HEART: I WILL ASCEND ABOVE THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN AND SET MY MY THRONE ON FARTHEST NORTH OF HEAVEN. GOD’S THRONE IS ESTABLISHED ON HIS AUTHORITY AND SATAN REBELLED AGAINST GOD’S AUTHORITY. HE LEAD A REBELLION IN HEAVEN AND 1/3RD OF THE HOST FOLLOWED HIM. SATAN IS NOT AN IMAGINATION NOR A ENTITY. HE IS AN ANGEL. PERHAPS A HIGH RANKING ANGEL. JESUS HAS CALLED HIM PRINCE OF THIS WORLD.HE HAS DEMONS UNDER HIM. GABRIEL SAID TO DANIEL THAT THE PRINCE OF PERSIA DELAYED HIM FROM COMING TO DANIEL WITH THE ANWER TO HIS PRAYER. THERE IS AMPLE EVIDENCE IN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT TO THIS ANGEL OF DARKNESS. PAUL SAID THAT SATAN APPEARS AS ANGEL OF LIGHT.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      For the person, who does not like theology :-), you do a lot of it here. Perhaps, you don’t realize you are doing it 🙂

    2. Robert

      Satan is a spirit that moves from person to person, he/she rules the darkness and very very crafty but over confident and relies on trickery.
      Don’t like you laughing at him, or out witting him.
      Just because people don’t know what they are looking for don’t mean they haven’t seen him.
      Paul was right he tries to appear as an angel of light but his eyes give him away, as in the eye is the lamp of the body etc.

      1. Leif Trollbani

        Robert this sounds more like opinion rather than substantive fact. In fact I find no evidence in either the old or new testament for your assertion. There is non evidence at all that Shaitan does not have a SOH. Indeed in most instances there is not evidence that he is fundamentally Evil, as many modern Christians would like to portray him. He is certainly Lucifer the opposer, the adversery, the one who presents the contrary and balancing perspective. there are times when YHWH negotiates with Satan to achieve a certain outcome cf Job. I believe that Job got the “rough end of the pineapple”, and even Satan felt guilty about the arrangement. YHWH gets very negative press about Job!

    3. JimSpace

      A scholarly and objective analysis of Isaiah 14:12 and Ezekiel 28:13-18 shows that they are not immediately about Satan. Isaiah 14:12 is about the king of Babylon and Ezekiel 28:13-18 may be seen as comparing the King of Tyre to Adam in the presence of the cherub that expelled Adam from the Garden of Eden.
      See: Is Satan Lucifer? http://jimspace3000.blogspot.com/2010/10/is-satan-lucifer-how-can-this-be-since.html and The Dirge Against the King of Tyre http://jimspace3000.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-dirge-against-king-of-tyre.html

    4. JesusBranch

      Bless you Benadicta. Satan will never stand against the word of God.

  4. Gladys Armenta Palacio

    Satan en cualquier idioma es un adversario y no sólo nominalmente sino en realidad