Satan - adversary. In the Bible the term satan has been left untranslated from the Hebrew and signifies adversary. It is derived from a verb meaning to oppose, to resist, to hinder.
Bible usage of the word satan shows that it is used of both good and evil adversaries, though the translators have only rendered it as satan where the adversary is obviously a wicked one.
For example, the word appears in Numbers 22:22,32 in relation to the angel sent to rebuke the wicked prophet Balaam, but there it is rendered "adversary" and "withstand." In 1 Samuel 29:4 and 2 Samuel 19:22 it is translated adversaries. In 1 Kings 5:4, it occurs in the statement: "There is neither adversary (Hebrew: satan) nor evil occurrent."
The Hebrew word satan should be rendered consistently as adversary wherever it occurs; in no instance does it relate to a fallen angel.
Even God appeared in the role of satan, or adversary. The incident is described in two places: 2 Sam. 24:1 and 1 Chronicles 21:1. The former place states: "The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah."
However, the parallel account in the latter place ( 1 Chron. 21:1) records: "Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel."
In the first quotation, the action is attributed to God; in the second, to the satan!
After the return from the Babylonian captivity, the Rabbis began to use the word in a manner so as to personify the word. The Jews made this word more personal, by associating it with the greatest adversary known to man - i.e., man himself! In mainstream Judaism, rabbis talk and write of Satanas the evil impulse, the lower passions which are a hindrance to man's pursuit of the nobler things in life.
The Rabbis taught that Satan, the Angel of Death, and Evil Impulse, are one. (Baba Batra, 16a).
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