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Please explain who Job's Satan is.

Is Job's Satan a fallen angel tempter? a good angel sent to try the righteous? a symbol of Job's friends?

Thanks for your question.

The first few verses of chapter one describe Job as living in the land of Uz, a God-fearing man who had many possessions. Then, verse 6: "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them."

The phrase ‘sons of God’ occurs again in Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? The ‘sons of God’ here are clearly angels and so it is reasonable to conclude that the ‘sons of God’ in Job 1:6 is also referring to angels. [Let scripture interpret itself. If we have a problem understanding a word or phrase, look to see how it is used elsewhere in the same book. If it is not used again in the same book, expand the search to the rest of scripture.]

Is ‘Satan’ the angel’s name? Here the English translators have not really played fair with us, for all the Hebrew says is "the adversary". The capital S in Satan is the translators' own invention. Hebrew makes no distinction between capital letters and others. Even in the margin the Authorized and Revised Version translators have printed "the Adversary", suggesting by their capital A (for which they have no evidence) that this is that special Adversary, Satan. All that the Hebrew justifies us in saying is "the adversary came among them".

The angel is an adversary to Job but not to God.

9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?

12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand.
So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

The angel suggests that Job only serves God because he receives material benefits from Him. This is a valid piece of reasoning. It is not in itself ‘evil’. God says effectively, go and bring trouble upon him but don’t touch Job himself. The angel does what God has given him the power to do. All power is of God and the angel cannot go beyond what God allows. God knows the end from the beginning and so has control over what the angel does.

Job understands that everything is under God’s control so when the angel brings the evil upon him, we read:

21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

The next time the sons of God come together, God says that He (God) is responsible for what the angel did. This confirms that the evil done to Job was under God’s control.

Job 2:3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

The angel now suggests that Job still holds fast to his integrity because God hasn’t allowed Job himself to be touched. Again it is a valid piece of reasoning that is not in itself ‘evil’.

5 But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. 6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.

Again it is clear that the angel is an adversary to Job and not to God, because God now gives him permission to afflict Job, with the provision that Job is to be kept alive. Again Job accepts that his suffering comes from God.

10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

If Job ‘did not sin with his lips’ he must be speaking the truth. The evil that he suffered was from the hand of God. The evil that he suffered was not ‘sin’ because the angel obeyed God. Everything that God does with men, whether good or evil is done via his angels who all obey Him perfectly.

Everything that was done to Job was by the hand of God. Far from opposing God, Job’s angelic adversary did the will of God.

This explanation is taken from the booklet "Do You Believe in a Devil?" available on the www.thisisyourbible.com website. Here is a link to the entire booklet.

Do You Believe in a Devil? www.thisisyourbible.com/index.php?page=library&task=show&mediaid=162

I hope you have found this helpful.

Mike
 
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