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Satan is a Biblical figure mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments. The word comes from the Hebrew for "adversary".[1] As an Angel, a spiritual being[2] once called one of the 'sons of God',[3] it is difficult to ascribe gender, and indeed traits such as incredible beauty, for which God loved him, seem to suggest femininity, yet for purposes of this page, will be described generically as a 'he'.

By this and other names, such as the Devil, the figure is common in religion and literature. The concept of a duality between a good and an evil spirit includes the third-century Persian concept of Manichaeism, which became a Catholic heresy. The idea continues in contemporary political thought as Manichaean paranoia.

The term has been used to describe opposing religious movements since the 16th century, and there is a modern Church of Satan. Although largely discredited, there are accusations of widespread Satanic ritual abuse.


Lucifer walked in Eden, the garden of God, where every precious stone was his covering. When created, so too was the craftsmanship of his musical instruments.[4] He walked up and down among the stones of fire.[5] He was exalted among the angels in heaven, who envied him, and then rebelled against God.[6] When he fell, God mourned for him,.[7] and made nations to shake at the sound of his fall.[8]

Though he was the greatest among the angels, he was brought down to the pit.[9] Was given unusual powers. In Luke 4:6 Satan says he was given power over all the kingdoms of the world for all time, and to give it to whom he chooses, a fact Jesus does not deny. Is frequently called the "Prince of this world"[10] and at one point "the prince of the power of the air".[11] Hebrews 2:14 says he had the power of death and that Jesus came to destroy him as such. In Jude 1:9 it says Michael the Archangel dared not bring an evil accusation against Satan when they were arguing over the body of Moses, saying only that the Lord rebuked him.


The following descriptions are given of Satan:

  • Wiser than Daniel. No secret could be hidden from him.[12]
  • Linked to various musical instruments, including tambourines and pipes,[4] as well as lyres[13]
  • Wealthy. Used his wisdom and understanding to make himself rich through merchandise.[14]
  • Beautiful. Said to "seal up the sum, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty."[15]
  • Ultimately violent, through the use of unjust merchandise/trafficking.[16]
  • Temporal. Peter was called Satan for savoring the things of men and not of God.[17]
  • Dishonest. Jesus said he was a murderer from the beginning who didn't stay in the truth because there's no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own, for he's a liar and the father of it.[18]


Of Satan was said to him that "you were perfect in all your ways, until evil was found in you."[19]

  • Pride. Satan called himself a god, and set his heart as though he was God.[20] This pride stemmed from his incredible beauty and splendor.[21]
  • Because of his pride, his wisdom grew corrupt,[21][22] and he said in his heart, "I will lift my throne above the stars of God, I will sit also on the assembly's mount, in the north side. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High."[23]
  • Used his wisdom and understanding to make himself rich with unjust merchandise/trafficking,<refname=merchandise/> ultimately leading to violence and sin.[16]
  • He persecuted the nations constantly in anger,[24] shaking kingdoms, making the earth tremble and a wilderness, destroyed its cities, and refused to release his prisoners.[25] Destroyed the land and killed the people.[26]
  • Defiled his holy places with numerous evils and merchandising.[27]
  • Weakened the nations.[28]


Lucifer was cast out of heaven,[28] and Jesus said, "I beheld Satan fall as lightning from heaven."[29] As punishment of Satan, God said He would do the following:

  • Bring foreign oppressors, "swords of the mighty", from the nations to defile/spoil the beauty of his wisdom and splendor.[30] The oppressors would be uncircumcised (Gentiles).[31]
  • Cast to the ground before kings as a spectacle. Cast from the mountain of God as profane, and destroyed[32], persecuted and none prevent it.[33]
  • God brought a fire from within him, bringing him down to the earth in ashes to be watched as a spectacle.[34] Embarrassed and become terrifying.[35]
  • The aforementioned oppressors would bring him down to the pit where he would die the deaths of those killed in the sea's midst,[36] and be covered by maggots.[37]
  • Even then cast out of his grave like an abhorrent branch as a carcase trodden underfoot.[38]
  • Descendants would be slaughtered (the Pharisees for example were called children of Satan for doing the deeds of their father[39]) so they would not possess the land with cities.[40] Babylon itself would be destroyed.[41]


As a result, the chief angels, called "fir trees" and "cedars of Lebanon" (see Angels) rejoice, saying "since you are laid down, no feller has come against us."[42] The whole earth is still and at rest, and breaks into singing.[43]

Sheol quakes to encounter his coming, stirring up the dead; the leaders of the earth and kings of the nations.[44] They ask, "Have you become weak like us?"[45] Nations named include Elam, Asshur, Meshech, Tubal, Edom, and the princes of the north including Zidonians.[46] When throwing Satan out, the heaven will be covered, the stars darkened, the sun covered with a cloud, the moon not give its light, and darkness will reign over the land.[47]


Satan is given the following names or titles:

  • Lucifer, Hebrew "heylel" or 'Morningstar'.[28]
  • Son of the Morning.[28]
  • The Anointed Cherub Who Encloses.[48]
  • Prince of this World.[10]
  • Prince of the Power of the Air.[11]

Satan is represented as the following historical characters:

  • King of Babylon.[49]
  • Prince/King of Tyrus.[50]
  • Pharaoh, King of Egypt.[51]

Relation to serpents/dragons

Many times throughout the Bible, Satan appears or is referenced in relation to snakes and dragons:

  • In Genesis 3, a serpent speaks with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, causing their fall from paradise, and thus is cursed by God to crawl on its belly, and to have hatred between it and mankind.
  • In Isaiah 14:29 it is said of him, out of the snake's root will come a cockatrice, whose fruit will be a flying serpent.
  • In Ezekiel 29:3 is called "a great dragon which lies in the middle of the rivers." More detail is given in verses 4-8 about putting hooks in its jaws, causing fish to stick to its scales, and bringing it up out of the rivers to throw it in the wilderness as food for animals and birds.
  • In Ezekiel 32:2-4 called "a whale in the seas" that came forth with the rivers and fouled them, which will be cast forth in the field for the birds and animals.
  • In Revelation 12:9 and 20:2 it says the great dragon, that old serpent which is the Devil, and Satan, is to be cast out and bound a thousand years.

Relation to a great wicked city

Frequently it speaks of Satan in relation to a great, wicked city by the sea[52] that reigns over the kings of the earth,[53] a proud harlot who says evil will never come upon it and it will never be a widow.[54] Its great merchandise will be destroyed[55] and its people slaughtered.[56] Israel was given into its hand out of anger, and it rejoiced, showing them no mercy.[57] The kings of the earth and merchants will mourn it.[58] Its harps will be silenced.[59]

  • In Isaiah 23 and Ezekiel 26-27 it is called 'Tyre' or 'Tyrus', a 'mart of nations', and "land of the Chaldeans".[60] It is called a harlot.[61]
  • In Isaiah 47 it is called "Virgin daughter of Babylon" and "daughter of the Chaldeans", once called tender and delicate and 'Lady of Kingdoms.'
  • In Revelation chapters 17 and 18, likely the most detailed description, it is called 'Babylon' and pictured as a female harlot clothed in purple and scarlet, sitting on a beast in the wilderness. 17:18 specifically says "the woman which you saw is that great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth."


  1. Satan, Online Etymology Dictionary
  2. The Bible. 2 Corinthians 11:14; Ephesians 2:2.
  3. The Bible. Job 1:6.
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Bible. Ezekiel 28:13.
  5. The Bible. Ezekiel 28:14.
  6. The Bible. Judges 9:7-15; Ezekiel 31:3-14.
  7. The Bible. Ezekiel 31:15.
  8. The Bible. Ezekiel 31:16.
  9. The Bible. Ezekiel 31:18.
  10. 10.0 10.1 The Bible. John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11.
  11. 11.0 11.1 The Bible. Ephesians 2:2.
  12. The Bible. Ezekiel 28:3.
  13. The Bible. Isaiah 14:11.
  14. The Bible. Ezekiel 28:4-5.
  15. The Bible. Ezekiel 28:12.
  16. 16.0 16.1 The Bible. Ezekiel 28:16.
  17. The Bible. Mark 8:33.
  18. The Bible. John 8:44.
  19. The Bible. Ezekiel 28:15.
  20. The Bible. Ezekiel 28:2
  21. 21.0 21.1 The Bible. Ezekiel 28:17, 32:9.
  22. The Bible. Isaiah 47:10.
  23. The Bible. Isaiah 14:13-14.
  24. The Bible. Isaiah 14:6.
  25. The Bible. Isaiah 14:16-17.
  26. The Bible. Isaiah 14:20.
  27. The Bible. Ezekiel 28:18.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 The Bible. Isaiah 14:12.
  29. The Bible. Luke 10:18.
  30. The Bible. Ezekiel 28:7, 32:12.
  31. The Bible. Ezekiel 28:10, 32:9.
  32. The Bible. Ezekiel 28:16-17.
  33. The Bible. Isaiah 14:6.
  34. The Bible. Ezekiel 28:18.
  35. The Bible. Ezekiel 28:19.
  36. The Bible. Ezekiel 28:8, 32:18.
  37. The Bible. Isaiah 14:11.
  38. The Bible. Isaiah 14:19.
  39. The Bible. John 8:44.
  40. The Bible. Isaiah 14:21-22.
  41. The Bible. Isaiah 14:22-23, Revelation 17-18.
  42. The Bible. Isaiah 14:8, 16-17.
  43. The Bible. Isaiah 14:7.
  44. The Bible. Isaiah 14:9, Ezekiel 32:9-10.
  45. The Bible. Isaiah 14:10.
  46. The Bible. Ezekiel 32:22-30
  47. The Bible. Ezekiel 32:7-8.
  48. The Bible. Ezekiel 28:14.
  49. The Bible. Isaiah 14:4.
  50. The Bible. Ezekiel 28:2,6,12.
  51. The Bible. Ezekiel 29:2-3; 31:2.
  52. The Bible. Ezekiel 26:3-5,16-17.
  53. The Bible. Isaiah 23:17; Revelation 17:18; 18:3.
  54. The Bible. Isaiah 23:4; 47:7-9.
  55. The Bible. Isaiah 23:3,8; 47:15; Ezekiel 26:4-5,12; 27:3; Revelation 18:3,11-19.
  56. The Bible. Isaiah 47:14; Ezekiel 26:6; Revelation 18:8.
  57. The Bible. Isaiah 47:6; Ezekiel 26:2.
  58. The Bible. Ezekiel 26:16-18; 27:32; Revelation 18:9-10,15-19.
  59. The Bible. Isaiah 23:16; Revelation 18:22.
  60. The Bible. Isaiah 23:13.
  61. The Bible. Isaiah 23:15-16.