#10: In Search of Satan – “Sātān” and Adversaries in the Hebrew Bible

With this episode we begin a new “chapter” in our series. We’ve looked at how the Watchers story developed into the idea that demons cause sin. But what about the “big guy” himself – where do we find The Devil (capital t, capital d) or, as we’re fond of calling him, “Satan,” in the Hebrew Bible and in Second Temple literature?

In this episode we trace where Satan appears in the Hebrew Bible — both as simply the word “sātān” (adversary) and as an actual divine/demonic figure. The biblical sources are sparse, but we can still see the development of the concept of the sātān from general adversary to demonic enemy.

Spoiler: The sātān starts appearing as an actual character in those works composed during the Return to Zion — that is, the beginning of the Second Temple period.

And so we end with the question: why did the idea of a central evil, demonic being (whether Satan, Belial, or Mastema) become so popular in the Second Temple period? Listen to find out, and write me your comments and questions below!

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