A MORE COMPLETE EXPLANATION...
For Jews, anything that even remotely conflicts with the idea
that Gd is One and Indivisible will be rejected out of hand because it
precludes true pure monotheism. The idea that there is a Gd in heaven
above who fights against a god of the underworld, or of hell, or a Good
Gd who is in eternal opposition to an Evil Gd, is not monotheism. Other
faiths had this same duality:
Zoroastrian: Ahura Mazda/Angra Mainyu
This duality is expressed in the Christians' New Testament in two places. In Luke it states,
And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. [Luke 10:18]
And this is also found in Revelation:
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. [Revelation 12:9]
Gd in heaven, according to Christian theology, cast out the devil,
where he became the master and tempter of human beings, fighting
against Gd over human souls. Christians will refer to a passage which
they misunderstand, claiming it shows this idea to be in the Jewish
Scriptures, too. In Isaiah it states:
That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon,
and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! The
Etrnl hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the
rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he
that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth. The
whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing.
Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying,
Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us. Sheol from
beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up
the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised
up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall
speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou
become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the
noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover
thee. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!
how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will
exalt my throne above the stars of Gd: I will sit also upon the mount
of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the
heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. [Isaiah 14:4-14]
Please note that the biblical text itself states that this is all about
the King of Babylon, who had raised himself up to be like Gd -- another
example of the pagan confusion between Gd and man. (Please see Essay
#8, 'Gd does not become Human, and Humans do not become Gd.'
The text also compares the King of Babylon to Lucifer, who fell from
the sky. 'Lucifer' is Latin for 'light-bearer,' and is the name given
to Venus, the Morning Star. This term, 'light-bearer,' is used exactly
in this way in 2 Peter 1:19, without any association of it to the
devil. The biblical text above from Isaiah is saying that the King of
Babylon had achieved greatness as a ruler, but just like a falling
star, he was brought low by Gd for his arrogance.
Now, of course, the Hebrew Scriptures tell of a character
called The Satan. Every time the term is used in the Hebrew Scriptures,
it reads, HaSaTaN, which means THE Satan. When the definite article,
'the,' is in front of a word it indicates a title, like 'the rabbi,' or
'the reverend.' So, in the Bible, the term 'HaSatan,' which means, 'The
Satan,' is a title. The one with that title has a specific job, the
same way it is used in speaking of 'the rabbi,' or of 'the reverend.'
The concept of The Satan, or the job description, is radically
different from that of the devil. For Christians, who erroneously use
the two terms as if they are synonymous, the devil has power and
authority in and of himself. However, in the Bible, The Satan only has
power granted by Gd, and has no authority in and of himself. For the
devil to have power and authority is to have more than one Gd, as we
saw above concerning the Greeks and the Romans.
The Satan is described in only a few places in the Hebrew
Scriptures. In every instance, he is an angel who works FOR Gd, not
against Gd, and must get permission from Gd for everything that he
does. Chronicles, Job, Psalms, and Zechariah are the only places where
The Satan is mentioned. In each instance, the job description of The
Satan is to act like what we now call a Prosecuting Attorney, or
District Attorney, and accuse and show evidence against the defendant.
Furthermore, like a D.A., The Satan must obtain permission from Gd, the
Judge, to begin a sting operation.
In the following quotation from the Book of Job, please take
note of who is doing the talking, as The Satan asks Gd for permission
to conduct a 'sting operation' against Job:
And the Etrnl 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 Gd, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his
integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without
cause. And Satan answered the Etrnl, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all
that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand
now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy
face. And the Etrnl said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but
save his life. [Job 2:3-6]
In the above verses, The Satan must get permission from Gd to perform
this sting operation on Job. The Satan has no power or authority of his
own, just like a District Attorney who must also obtain permission from
The Judge for anything he does.
Furthermore, the biblical text paints this same picture of The
Satan, when it uses the character of The Satan in what appears to be
the end of a court scene. In the following two quotations, The Satan is
standing near the accused like the D.A. stands at the end of a court
drama on television. In the verses from Zechariah, Gd is siding with
the defense against The Satan, on behalf of Joshua the high priest.
Joshua had been sent into exile where he paid for his sins, and now
purified like a brand plucked out of a fire, Gd allowed him to return
to Jerusalem against the wishes of The Satan:
And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of
the Etrnl, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the
Etrnl said unto Satan, 'The Etrnl rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Etrnl
that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out
of the fire?' [Zechariah 3:1-2]
Set thou a wicked man over him, and let Satan stand at his right hand.
When he shall be judged, let him be condemned, and let his prayer
become sin. [Psalm 109:6-7]
As we see from Psalm 109 above, the Satan again is like the District Attorney who prosecutes the wicked man.
In the Bible there is also a verse which show that it is Gd, the
Creator and Ruler of the whole universe, who is responsible for both
the Good and the Bad, and not a devil or Gd of the underworld:
I am the Etrnl, and there is none else, there is no Gd beside me: I
girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the
rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I
am the Etrnl, and there is none else. I form the light, and create
darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Etrnl do all these
things. [Isaiah 45:5-7]
For Gd, the Bible, and for Judaism, to have an entity that competes
with Gd, that has power and authority of his own in opposition to Gd,
is to violate the basic biblical idea of monotheism. Gd is One.