The Fall of Satan
Here, we explore the link of Satan to the events surrounding the Genesis. And in order to investigate this, we need to explore Satan's persona, and in books outside of the Genesis, and perhaps even to look at for him in other Jewish and Christian legends or non-canonical literature.
There is one very question is do Satan have a role in the Fall of Man? Or was this a later interpretation?
But before we do so, we'll need to look at who is Satan.
The name Satan means "adversary". Whether he was adversary to God or to man, it was never made clear in the Bible, until the New Testament.
Before the New Testament, there are most scant reference to him, and seemed to play very little roles, until the Book of Job. The Satan in Job seemed different to the Christian Satan.
In the Genesis, particularly in regarding to the creation and Adam, Jews and Christians have made certain assumptions to the event.
There are several events that I would like to highlight, around the Garden of Eden in the Genesis.
God created the world in 6 days and rest on the seventh. He created man on the 6th day and placed in the Garden of Eden. He created other animals, which He ask Adam to name all the different kinds of animal. He created Eve. He prohibited Adam and Eve from eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. The serpent tricked Eve, and then Adam, into eating the fruit. Adam and Eve could distinguish right and wrong after eating the fruit, and they became ashamed at their nakedness. God punished man, woman and snake for their disobedience. Adam and Eve was then expulsed from the Garden of Eden.
In no place in the Genesis was Satan ever mentioned, even by his other names or title, such as Lucifer and the Devil. And yet everyone assumed that the snake in the Garden of Eden was him in disguise. So I have wondered where did equation of Satan and the snake began.
There are no mention of the name Satan being used in the Old Testament, until the Book of Job, the 2nd Chronicles and the book of Zechariah. And not once was he mention as a fallen angel in the Old Testament. Satan was also known as the Devil and Beelzebul, but these references can only be found in the New Testament.
Several things puzzle me about the Fall of Satan, particularly of his existence in the Old Testament and when did he exist.
As to the Genesis not giving us the Fall of Satan, we have to search elsewhere. His name is not even given in the Genesis, except that many believed that the serpent that talked with Eve, as Satan. This is not conclusive evidence of the linkage Satan-serpent. If the serpent was really Satan, why would God just punished the snake and not Satan himself.
Since we know that Satan has been identified with the name Lucifer, a Greek name for the Son of Dawn or the Son of the Morning Star, perhaps the earliest reference to Satan, via Lucifer, can be found in Isaiah.
There are several versions of this story about the Fall of Satan, other than the Genesis.
Or from the King James' version:
However, this verse in very unsatisfactory. It may look right, if you were just take verse 12 on its own, but if you read the surrounding passages, you will realise that "Lucifer" or the "son of Dawn" is actually a metaphor for the King of Babylon. The early verse (14:4), clearly indicate the following verses are about the King of Babylon.
So by reading the early part of chapter 14, you will see that from verses 4 to 23, God is actually talking about the King of Babylon. So if you were to interpret verse 12 properly, about Lucifer is that the king of Babylon and his empire would eventually fall. The son of Morning is nothing more than a metaphor for the King of Babylon.
So we can't really rely on Isaiah about the fall of Satan. We can't rely on the Book of Job, because it seemed that Satan is working for God, whom He used to test man faith on Him.
The only account that indicated that Satan had fallen, is given in the New Testament's Book of Revelation 12, in regarding to the revelation of Woman and the Dragon.
And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
As found in the Haggada, and not in the Genesis, Satan's Fall came about his refusal to bow to Adam, after Adam's creation. The only other source of this event between Adam and Satan comes from the Islamic Qur'an.Here, the Quran called Satan by the name (or title) Iblis
And We created you, then fashioned you, then told the angels: Fall ye prostrate before Adam! And they fell prostrate, all save Iblis, who was not of those who make prostration.
He said: What hindered thee that thou didst not fall prostrate when I bade thee ? (Iblis) said: I am better than him. Thou createdst me of fire while him Thou didst create of mud.
He said: Then go down hence! It is not for thee to show pride here, so go forth! Lo! thou art of those degraded.
Internet Sacred Text Archive
Good News Bible: Today English Version
United Bible Societies
1976; reprinted 1986
The Legends of the Jews (Haggada)
trans. Louis Ginzberg, 1909
Internet Sacred Text Archive
This text is known in Hebrew as the Haggada. The Haggada is part of the Talmudic literature containing the narrative from the Creation to the time of Esther. Most of it is parallel to the narrative of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament Bible. The Haggada followed closely to the Genesis, but it contained a lot of interpretation that can be used to supplement details or extra legend that are lacking in the Genesis. It is in the Haggada that we can find the legend of Lilith.
The Meaning of the Glorious Quran
trans. Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall
Internet Sacred Text Archive