Gnostic Doctrine

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Satan in the Book of Job

Prologue (chapters 1-2, prose): God invites a character termed "the Satan" to consider the piety of his servant Job. The Satan counters that God fails to realize Job is only pious because he is well blessed in riches and, were he deprived, he would curse Him. God meets the Satan's demands by Himself destroying Job's fortunes, children and ultimately health. Yet Job does not curse God; the Satan loses the barter.

In the Hebrew Bible, as in mainstream Judaism to this day,
Satan never appears as Western Christendom has come to know
him, as the leader of an “evil empire,” an army of hostile spirits
who make war on God and humankind alike.7 As he first appears
in the Hebrew Bible, Satan is not necessarily evil, much less
opposed to God. On the contrary, he appears in the book of
Numbers and in Job as one of God's obedient servants—a
messenger, or angel, a word that translates the Hebrew term for
messenger (ma’lak) into Greek (angelos). In Hebrew, the angels
were often called “sons of God” (bene ‘elohim), and were
envisioned as the hierarchical ranks of a great army, or the staff
of a royal court

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