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Satanic Cameos in the Bible
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Pukon_the_Treen
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:17 pm    Post subject: Satanic Cameos in the Bible  Reply with quote

I've been told today that Ezekiel 28 is a reference to Satan; it was presented to me as evidence that Satan is a fallen rebel angel, adversary to God (as the Christians see him), rather than an angel working under God's will and authority to test and accuse the faithful (as the Jews see him).

Is this chapter generally considered to be about Satan? Personally I can't see any reference to him at all.
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Powwow
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pukon,
In my opinion verses 1-19 is about the king of Tyre. Some of the language does fit Satan. But most likely it is describing the human king who is being used by Satan. Sort of like when Christ said to Peter, get behind me Satan in Matt. 16:23
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Pukon_the_Treen
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My favourite picture of this enigmatic and fascinating character (from Paradise Lost):


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Pukon_the_Treen
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pow wow,

Quote:
In my opinion verses 1-19 is about the king of Tyre. Some of the language does fit Satan. But most likely it is describing the human king who is being used by Satan. Sort of like when Christ said to Peter, get behind me Satan in Matt. 16:23


Yes, that's how I read it. Ezekiel slags off this king (his name was Ithobaal III by the way, and he was deported and effectively deposed by the Babylonians, though the city itself continued to prosper under a variety of different rulers), saying that he was the most blessed, he had it all, but due to his pride, greed and arrogance he is going to be reduced and thrown down. Trade is mentioned a few times in the prophet's diatribe; the Phoenicians were despised by many ancient cultures for being merchants, a profession generally considered to be lowly and dishonourable.

Ezekiel says that Ithobaal III was 'in Eden', presumably a reference to the the idea of being in a paradise, which was then squandered and lost through personal pride and folly, then he calls him a 'guardian cherub', which I see as being separate to the Eden reference; I think the prophet was making another analogy to an exalted and trusted position which was then abused and lost.

There is no actual reference to Satan here at all, but you can see how some of the imagery and language used in the passage became incorporated into the Book of Revelation, and eventually became instrumental in the formation of the character of Satan that the Christians would make part of their faith.
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BevIsHopeful
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting thread, Pukon.  It has me thinking what this reference means regarding Eden too.  Something you said has me wondering then if Eden is a metaphorical reference to a state of innocence rather than a physical place.
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Powwow
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pukon,
Actually he was Itto-baal II. I agree with the reference to Eden. Most likely it is about the beautiful surroundings the king had. Every precious stone, just as Solomon had. 1Kings 10:10
As far as the formation of the Satan character. All the way back to Genesis we discover Satan is a liar and deceiver.
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Pukon_the_Treen
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pow wow,

Quote:
Actually he was Itto-baal II.


Thanks, I must have misread that.

Quote:
As far as the formation of the Satan character. All the way back to Genesis we discover Satan is a liar and deceiver.


Except of course, it is only when we get to the New Testament that you start to find the serpent in the garden equated with Satan. As far as I can tell, the Jews (whose creation myth it is let's not forget) think it is a story about the serpent deceiving man, and man loosing the nurturing paradise of his origins; it's not about Satan deceiving man.

Genesis is a bit like one of Kipling's Just so Stories; 'How the Serpent Lost His Legs' or similar; no matter how you twist Genesis, there is absolutely nothing in the story to indicate that the serpent is actually Satan in disguise; that connection was made much later. Take this passage:

“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”

The author of the story obviously intended this to be God cursing the serpent and turning it into the feared and despised legless crawling viper that we know today; there is no reason at all to suppose that God is actually addressing his rebellious angel Satan who is currently disguised as a serpent, as I said, that idea came much later.

Compare the serpent in the garden and God's attitude and words to him, and the character of Satan in the Book of Job, and God's attitude and words to him; totally dissimilar and unrelated.
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Pukon_the_Treen
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BevIsHopeful,

Quote:
It has me thinking what this reference means regarding Eden too.  Something you said has me wondering then if Eden is a metaphorical reference to a state of innocence rather than a physical place.


The Jews seem to have a very different view of Genesis from the Christians. For a start they almost all consider it to be a myth rather than a record of an actual historical event, but also they don't accept original sin or the whole idea of 'The Fall'.

I've even heard a Jew describing Genesis and the expulsion from Eden as a metaphor for that point in pre-histoy when humanity 'came of age' and achieved autonomy and self-awareness. With that interpretation, the expulsion from Eden becomes  good and necessary step in our development, from childlike ignorant creatures little better than the other animals, to humankind, having too confront and deal with the knowledge of our mortality, all of which was entirely in accordance with God's plan for us.

I love this idea, because it makes the Eden story an inspiring and exciting myth about human development, rather than a story about human guilt and failure as the Christians apparently prefer to read it.
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Lexilogio
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pukon_the_Treen wrote:


The Jews seem to have a very different view of Genesis from the Christians. For a start they almost all consider it to be a myth rather than a record of an actual historical event, but also they don't accept original sin or the whole idea of 'The Fall'.

I've even heard a Jew describing Genesis and the expulsion from Eden as a metaphor for that point in pre-histoy when humanity 'came of age' and achieved autonomy and self-awareness. With that interpretation, the expulsion from Eden becomes  good and necessary step in our development, from childlike ignorant creatures little better than the other animals, to humankind, having too confront and deal with the knowledge of our mortality, all of which was entirely in accordance with God's plan for us.

I love this idea, because it makes the Eden story an inspiring and exciting myth about human development, rather than a story about human guilt and failure


My understanding of Genesis is the same as the Jewish version.
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BevIsHopeful
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pukon_the_Treen wrote:


The Jews seem to have a very different view of Genesis from the Christians. For a start they almost all consider it to be a myth rather than a record of an actual historical event, but also they don't accept original sin or the whole idea of 'The Fall'.

I've even heard a Jew describing Genesis and the expulsion from Eden as a metaphor for that point in pre-histoy when humanity 'came of age' and achieved autonomy and self-awareness. With that interpretation, the expulsion from Eden becomes  good and necessary step in our development, from childlike ignorant creatures little better than the other animals, to humankind, having too confront and deal with the knowledge of our mortality, all of which was entirely in accordance with God's plan for us.

I love this idea, because it makes the Eden story an inspiring and exciting myth about human development, rather than a story about human guilt and failure as the Christians apparently prefer to read it.


The only thing is, when you read the actual story, Adam and Eve experience shame, and they are cast out of Eden forever.  Because of this, I have a hard time seeing the story as inspiring or exciting.  Especially knowing how they suffer after the expulsion.  

Having said this, I'm still not convinced it is a literal story, but I believe it symbolizes man's imperfect state in contrast to God's perfect will.  One might even see this as a metaphorical story that conveys a repeating scenario in the Bible, that is, the difference between walking right with God or falling out is based on ones invulnerability or vulnerability to temptation.  In the NT, Jesus' temptation in the desert is very similar, only he does not succumb to it.

So, I can see easily how the snake in Eden is likened to Satan elsewhere.

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