The Jewish View of Satan

Let's Find out

What is the Jewish view of Satan? Was he a fallen angel? Let us find out in this post. 

Christian View

In Christian belief, Satan is a fallen angel that has freedom of choice and rebels against God. Christians conveniently use the “Satan, to explain any evil or irrational behavior (such as non belief in Jesus as messiah or god). The New Testament is fertile ground for this outlook. It is only here that Satan becomes a wicked, rebellious angel, which quite likely evolved the character called Satan into an evil angel and enemy of God based on theological Persian dualism where such a construct is present.

Jewish View

He (Satan) is clearly subordinate to God, a member of His suite (Heb. Bene ha-elokim), who is unable to act without his permission. Nowhere is he in any sense a rival of God.

The Encyclopedia Judaica

The Christian claim that it was Satan who created evil is utterly fraudulent according to our Tanach:

I (God) form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Isaiah 45:7

God creates all things, not simply good things.

There isn’t a single verse in the entire Tanach that states that Satan ever created evil or ever disobeyed a command from God. Satan is an obedient servant of God in the Tanach who serves the role of man’s accuser in God’s court.

Creation of Temptation

God created the temptation to do evil partially to test our loyalty, and partially to improve us. That is why the word (Satan- שטן) in Hebrew literally means an adversary (Numbers 22:22) that comes to challenge us. We find this notion throughout the Book of Job, where God gives permission to the Satan to challenge the righteous Job.

In fact, one of the most dramatic and powerful expressions of man’s struggle with God and his conscience involves Job and Satan. God had given Satan permission to afflict Job with all manner of hardships and misfortune. In turn, Job loses his family and possessions, and is stricken with boils and disease. As he sits in sheer agony, his close colleagues remark, “Your piety is your foolishness.” Even his wife chews him out, saying, “Are you still holding fast to your integrity? Curse God, and die.” But Job tells them, “You speak as one who is despicable. Should we accept only the good from God and not also accept the evil?”(Job 2:9‑10)

Conclusion

It is the mission of every conscientious person to overcome temptations and do what is correct. The Torah itself (Genesis 4:7) teaches that is a mission within our grasp to fulfill. There is nothing to fear from the temptations of the Satan when one is focused on Godliness and self-improvement.