The Devil in Judaism


#1

Do Jews, Orthodox Jews I mean, really believe that Satan acts as God’s agent? Or only some of them? I know there’s not even one version of Orthodoxy, let alone Judaism generally.

I was just reading something about Dostoevsky, and how one of his characters says that a God who would command such things is not worthy of worship. I find I must agree; which explains, of course, why Christians believe what we do about Satan.


#2

Wait, to clarify: I’ve heard that Jews believe that Satan acts knowingly and on orders as God’s agent, not unwittingly. Christians do believe, of course, that Satan actually helps God’s plan much of the time without meaning to.


#3

Hi all!

See beingjewish.com/basics/satan.html. It’s all in the chocolate.

This jewfaq.org/human.htm#Yetzer is also pretty good.

Be well!

ssv :wave:


#4

Hmm…
I found this passage in your link:

“So now we have to revise our understanding of Satan. Satan is not a fallen angel. Satan is merely an angel with a dirty job. Satan does not have a rival kingdom. Satan is not in competition with G-d, and Satan does not want followers or worshipers”

If that’s the belief, then I am curious how is Isaiah 14 interpreted in Orthodox Judaism ?

How have you fallen from the heavens, O morning star, son of the dawn! How are you cut down to the ground, you who mowed down the nations!
You said in your heart: “I will scale the heavens; Above the stars of God I will set up my throne; I will take my seat on the Mount of Assembly, in the recesses of the North.
14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will be like the Most High!”


#5

Hi ssv !
I stumbled across this article browsing the link you gave us:

beingjewish.com/soul/soul.html

What puzzled me is this:

Sometimes, a soul that has already been here on earth is returned to earth and placed into the body of a child soon to be born. This happens for several reasons. The primary reason is as follows: A person has a job to do on earth. If that job is not done, the soul might have to come down to try again.

This sounds pretty much like hinduism’s reincarnation theory… Is this belief the norm of Orthodox Judaism or is just merely a theological opinion?

Alex.


#6

There is no power outside of God according to Judaism. A christian view of satan would almost be like acknowledging two dieties from a Jewish perspective. We believe Satan does nothing that God doesn’t want him to do and that he is not opposing God. As far as evil goes, we believe we all have an evil inclination and can either choose to act on it or not.


#7

THe morning star is Venus. It is a reference to the fall of King Nebuchadnezzar, an evil king of Babylon. He is actually named in 14:14, shortly after the verse you quoted. The chapter and the chapter before it are about the rise and fall of this king. Not satan. He compares this baddie to venus == the morning star – because the morning star shines briefly in the heavens but is soon banished by with the light of the sun. Nebuchadnezzar, like the morning star, shone breifly but was shortly overshadowed by Israel.
Also you can’t really say the morning star = satan and square that with Revelation 22:16 where Jesus is called the “morning star”. Was Jesus satan??


#8

Hi all!

What Valke2 said.

Look at Isaiah 14:12-15 in context. Isaiah 14:4-21 (as 14:4 and 14:22 make clear) is a polemic against the King of Babylon that comes as part of a prophecy of consolation to us when we were exiled to Babylon (see 14:1-3). Our very great medieval commentator Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Itzhaki; see jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/rashi.html) also says that the first clause in 14:12 refers to the angel for Babylon, whose fall will match that of Nebuchadnezzar, whom Rashi says is the “you” referred to in the second clause of 14:12 and through the rest of the polemic. This jibes with God’s promise of destruction for Babylon in 14:22-23.

[quote=Alex]What puzzled me is this:

Sometimes, a soul that has already been here on earth is returned to earth and placed into the body of a child soon to be born. This happens for several reasons. The primary reason is as follows: A person has a job to do on earth. If that job is not done, the soul might have to come down to try again.

This sounds pretty much like hinduism’s reincarnation theory… Is this belief the norm of Orthodox Judaism or is just merely a theological opinion?
[/quote]

See forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=513438&highlight=reincarnation#post513438.

Be well!

ssv :wave:


#9

Thanks for the answer.

Also you can’t really say the morning star = satan and square that with Revelation 22:16 where Jesus is called the “morning star”. Was Jesus satan??

Of course not. These passages are written by different authors and the a symbolic images used by one author migth signify something different, in his context, then in the context of the second author. So this is not a big dillema :).

Alex.


#10

Thanks for responding and clearing that up.
I had thought that that was the case; I guess it just goes to show that Jews and Christians are more different than most people think. Not that that’s a bad thing; if I can respect Buddhists, who don’t even think God’s relevant, of course I can respect Judaism. They are, as John Paul II put it, our “older brothers” in faith, though I must admit I sometimes feel like Big Bro is a little weird.

But then, we believe we can eat God, so I’m sure Jews think their Little Bro is pretty weird, too.


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