Parent Category: Bible
Category: Biblical People
Satan. [Heb. satan, "adversary," from satan, "to cherish animosity"; Gr. Satan, Satanas, transliterations of the Hebrew and Aramaic.] The great adversary of God and of man (Rev 12:7-12), otherwise commonly called the devil (Mt 4:10, 11; Rev 12:9), Beelzebub (Mt 12:24), Belial (2 Cor 6:15), the tempter (Mt 4:3), the enemy (ch 13:39), the evil one (cf. ch 13:25), the adversary (1 Pe 5:8), and the deceiver (cf. Rev 12:9). The translators of the LXX generally rendered satan as diabolos, "slanderer," "accuser," "devil." Satan's first recorded act on earth was, in the guise of a serpent, to persuade Eve to distrust the goodness of God, to doubt His word, and to reject His authority, and through her, to cause the fall of Adam (Gen 3:1-6; cf. 1 Ti 2:14). He thus enlisted the human race on his side of the great struggle against the divine government, and ever since has occupied himself in snaring, deceiving, beguiling, and seducing mankind (Rom 8:7; 2 Cor 11:3; 2 Ti 2:26; Rev 12:9; etc.). After inciting men to sin (cf. Jn 13:2), he accuses them before God as unworthy of divine mercy (Zec 3:1-4; Rev 12:10). In his role as deceiver, he first misrepresents God before man, and then man before God, with the purpose of bringing about eternal estrangement between God and man, and then accuses God before the universe as being to blame for this situation. When he cannot subvert man's loyalty to God, he accuses God of unfairness and seeks to destroy man (see Job 1:6-12, 21, 22; Job 2:1-9).
Our Lord met Satan in the wilderness, triumphed over him (Mt 4:10, 11), and indicted him as the one actually responsible for human woes (see Lk 13:16; Jn 8:44). Jesus said that He "beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven" (Lk 10:18; cf. Rev 12:7-12). The Jewish leaders accused Jesus of casting out demons by satanic power, but our Lord showed this reasoning to be fallacious (Mt 12:24-29). Upon one occasion, when Simon Peter sought to divert the Saviour from His appointed mission, our Lord, recognising Satan's influence on Peter, addressed the latter as if he were Satan (ch 16:21-23). Upon another occasion He warned Peter that Satan desired to gain control of him (Lk 22:31). It was Satan who prompted Judas to sell his Master for 30 pieces of silver (Jn 13:26, 27).
Paul warned his converts against letting Satan get any advantage over them (2 Cor 2:11; cf. 1 Cor 7:5). He also warned that the great Antichrist, the lawless one who was to come, would be carrying out the work of Satan (2 Th 2:3, 4, 9), and cautioned that the great adversary of God and man is able to transform himself into an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14). Satan did all that he could to hinder the great apostle in the work of the ministry (1 Th 2:18, RSV), and was permitted by God to afflict him, in measure (2 Cor 12:7) -- Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary.