Satan is a Hebrew word. In the original, it is pronounced Shut-ân. It means adversary. Many times, where we find adversary in the Bible, in the Hebrew, the word is Satan. For example, in 1 Kings 11 we read the story of Solomon’s corruption and fall, and in verses 14 and 23 the word used is adversary, whereas in the Hebrew it is Satan. As it was Jehovah who raised two Satans up against Solomon, and it is not proper for God to be serviced by Satan, the translators wrote adversary. The truth is that Jehovah raised two Satans up to torment Solomon, as we read in 1 Kings 11:25.
Every time Satan acts without being told by Jehovah, the translators write Satan, because their intention is to cause people to believe that the evil does not proceed from Jehovah, but from Satan. In Amos 3:6 we read that evil comes from Jehovah, not from Satan. The scheming of all of the projects that ravaged Israel came from the mind of Jehovah. “Behold, I am fashioning calamity against you and devising a plan against you” (Jer. 18:11). Every time that Jehovah sends Satan to do something evil, the translators render adversary. The king of the Moabites, Balak, asked the prophet Balaham to curse Israel. The prophet consulted Jehovah about it, and obeyed him, and did not curse Israel. Balak tried to bribe him with many presents. Again, Balaham consulted Jehovah, who told him to go with Balaham’s emissaries, but to continue submissive to God’s orders. Balaham went on with them, and while they were on their way, an angel of Jehovah took his stand on the way as an adversary — in the Hebrew,Satan (Num. 22:22). It is very strange that the angel of Jehovah may be also Satan. Balaham’s donkey was the one to see Satan. After Jehovah opened Balaham’s eyes, he, too, saw the angel of Jehovah, who said to him: “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as a Satan, because your way was contrary” (Num. 22:32). Satan is the angel of Jehovah. If the translators would leave the word Satan there, Christians would have a chance to see that Satan is at the service of Jehovah.
In the Old Testament, the works of Satan are equal to the works of Jehovah. Let us go on. In 2 Sam. 24:1 we read that Jehovah incited David to evil. In 1 Chr. 21:1 the episode is repeated, but it is Satanwho incites David. In the end, was it Satan or Jehovah? It was Jehovah, sent by Satan, or was it Satan, sent by Jehovah? Was it, maybe, the two that incited David together? To incite is to compel, provoke, entice; something that is not a proper thing for Jehovah to do, the great God of the Old Testament. Let us analyze the works of Satan and of Jehovah to see what may be the relationship between them:
- Satan is a tempter – Matt. 4:1; Cor. 7:5
- Satan throws fiery darts against man – Eph. 6:16
- Satan torments people – Acts 5:16; Matt. 25:41
- Satan causes malignant diseases – Luke 13:11-16; Job 2:7
- Satan is the father of the evil spirits – Mark 1:23-26; Luke 11:24-26
- Satan is the devourer of souls, like a lion – 1 Pe. 5:8
- Satan does evil – Luke 4:1-8; Luke 22:31; 1 John 5:19
- Satan is a destroyer – 1 Cor. 10:10
- Satan is the father of lies – John 8:44
- Satan is the prince of darkness – Acts 26:18; Eph. 6:12
Let us go through the Old Testament and see if these ten characteristics of Satan are also present in the great God Jehovah. If they are, it will be difficult to maintain that the two of them do not have anything in common. Let us see:
- Jehovah tempted Abraham in Gen. 22:1. He also tempted his people in the desert: “And you shall remember all the way which Jehovah your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not” (Deut. 8:2) – Jehovah tempts.
- Jehovah also throws fiery darts. “If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword; He has bent His bow and made it ready. He has also prepared for Himself deadly weapons; He makes His arrows FIERY SHAFTS” (Ps. 7: 12,13).
- It is unbelievable, but Jehovah also torments. “I, in turn, will do this to you: I will appoint over you a sudden terror, consumption and fever that shall waste away the eyes and cause the soul to pine away” (Lev. 26:16).
- Jehovah wounds with malignant diseases. “Jehovah will smite you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors and with scab and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed” (Deut. 28:27). “Also every sickness and every plague which, not written in the book of this law, Jehovah will bring on you until you are destroyed” (Deut. 28:61).
- Jehovah sends evil spirits. “Now the Spirit of Jehovah departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Jehovah terrorized him” (1 Sam. 16:14; 18:10; 19:9,10).
- In the same way that the devil is the devouring Lion revealed by Peter, Jehovah calls himself a devouring Lion: “So I will be like a lion to them; like a leopard I will lie in wait by the wayside. I will encounter them like a bear robbed of their cubs, and I will tear open their chests; THERE I WILL ALSO DEVOUR THEM LIKE A LIONESS” (Hos. 13:7-8). If Jehovah were the devouring Lion, wouldn’t be Peter revealing his identity in 1 Pe. 5:8?
- Jehovah says of himself that he is the author of all evil. “If a calamity occurs in a city has not Jehovah done it?” (Amos 3:6).
- Jehovah, just like Satan, is a destroyer. “And Jehovah said, ‘I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals…” (Gen. 6:7; Deut. 28:48,61).
- Jehovah lies. He declares that he devises evil, not good (Jer. 18:11; 21:10). Then he declares that he devises good, not evil (Jer. 29:11). Jehovah, in the Law, said that the children would not die for their parents (Deut. 24:16). In Is. 14:21 he says just the opposite. Jehovah lies.
- Jehovah manifested himself in darkness (Heb. 12:18-21). Jehovah hides himself in the darkness of Satan (Ps. 18:11).
Would Jehovah God be so lacking in creativity as to imitate Satan’s works?
Jesus performed works that were different from those of the devil and of Jehovah. He revealed the love of the Father for all men (Rom. 5:8).Jesus brought grace to all (Titus 2:11). And He brought salvation to all (1 Tim. 4:10).
This is the reason why Jesus said: “…the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me” (John 14:30).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira