Satan in Genesis versus in Job

I’m dangerously close to 40 years of age and I cannot believe this is the first time I’ve had this thought.

If Satan was doing God’s work in Job and if Job (the man) came after Adam in Genesis, then Satan in Genesis must have been doing God’s work by giving the temptation that led to original sin, right?

That’s the Jewish belief but most probably not the Catholic one. In Judaism, Satan does the “dirty work” but in the service of G-d, tempting our free will and accusing us. He is not regarded as a fallen angel, has no free will of his own, and did not precipitate the fall of man, known as original sin.

OK Catholic posters, it’s all yours…

I find you posts on Judaism fascinating. I had no idea our views of the OT differed so much.

To the OP,

I Dont really agree that Satan was working for God in Job. Satan made a request of God, a sort of wager, and God allowed it. Why this is we do not know. But read Job 38 on and you can see God’s response to Job asking that question.

The question can also be asked why would an omniscient God make a world that can fall to sin?

For the answer refer to Job 38.

Basically who are we with our finite minds and mortality to question and analyze the intent of the creator of the universe. We cannot understand these questions in our microcosm of the Cosmos.

Ultimately, I would say God created men and Angels with free will and Satan chose to rebel. He tempted man and corrupted God’s creation, but he doesn’t win in the end!

Seriously read the end of Job at least it gives great perspective!

Doing God’s work is not the idea, its more like God permitting Satan to tempt, big difference. Satan was permitted to sift Peter like wheat (Lk. 22:31).

If I tell my boss I will be doing something unless otherwise directed and give him ample time to respond, a lack of response indicates approval of the proposed action. Also, Job 42:11 refers to “the evil God visited upon Job” and throughout the book Satan continually seeks permission to visit more and more woes upon Job, culminating in receiving permission from God to directly effect Job’s health. How then, is “God permitting Satan to tempt” not an indication that God wanted the temptation to occur, thus God’s work?

Given that the majority of my limited scholarly study of Scripture happened while I was at a Wesleyan college, Job is a very old book, predating most of Genesis if I recall correctly (in terms of when it was written by man, not when it happened, though the currency in Job is referred to only in Genesis 33 or by reference - meaning when a different Book recounts part of Job). The Hebrew word for Satan is also rarely used, and is prefixed by an indicator of official title, similar to an agent of a royal court. I’m not an expert on Jewish theology, but my understanding is that the way the Hebrew words for Satan changes throughout the Tanakh may be interpreted as Satan transitioning from an agent of God towards the fallen creature as per current Christian understanding. If the Catholic understanding of when Satan’s fall occurred is definitively pre-Jobian, please let me know - a source for this is greatly appreciated.

The OP said Satan was doing God’s work. That is the incorrect statement. God is goodness by definition and cannot participate in evil. He can allow evil to occur by not intervening and as Job 38 makes clear, this is a mystery that is for God to know not us. Also Job 42:11 does not mean that God produced the evil, especially in the context as it was describing what Job’s family was celebrating in light of, not necessarily a fact, but a human opinion.



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