2Sam 24:1 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.
1Chr 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
As I was going through my chronological reading plan this morning, I came across these two passages that are seemingly contradictive. This isn’t the first time that I have compared these two passages, but allow me to expound upon some thoughts that I have in regards to this and all of the other usages of one term in particular – Satan.
H7854 שָׂטָן satan (saw-tawn’) n-m.
1. an opponent
2. especially (with the article prefixed) Satan, the arch-enemy of good
H7853 שָׂטַן satan (saw-tan’) v.
1. to attack, (figuratively) accuse
1Chr 21:1; Job 1:6; Job 1:7(2); Job 1:8; Job 1:9; Job 1:12(2); Job 2:1; Job 2:2(2); Job 2:3; Job 2:4; Job 2:6; Ps 109:6; Zech 3:1; Zech 3:2
While the above listing of verses shows where the translators chose to use the name “Satan,” there are a number of other locations where they chose to use some other word to represent the Hebrew text. Below, you will see how the 27 times the word is used in the Hebrew.
Many of my thoughts on this topic are captured and expressed better than I am capable of by the Truth2U interviews of Yoel ben Shlomo and Ira Michaelson and is also addressed by Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson.
I believe the best and easiest way to summarize these interviews is to use the quote from Jono Vandor: “The adversary, haSatan, is a righteous servant of YHVH in every example we have in the TaNaK.”
Now if that doesn’t strike you as a different perspective, then don’t bother listening to the interviews I’ve linked above, but if it is significantly different than what you have been led to believe, then please take the time to listen to the interviews as they do a wonderful job of laying out that specific statement and putting things into a more Hebraic and appropriate perspective.
Perhaps now we can move past the idea that “The Devil made me do it” to a more appropriate perspective of being accountable for our own actions – after all, even though, as the verses in 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21 point out, it was not Satan that was punished, but the man who made the decision and carried it out.
The Scriptures in the Apostolic Writings also support the idea that there is a tempter, but that this tempter can come in a number of different forms, but none of them entail anyone with horns and a pitchfork.
Luke 4:6-12 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Mark 8:31-33 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.
So in the first passage, many people have no problem associating some angel or some sort of heavenly being, but in the next passage, Peter is also referred to directly as Satan.
In another instance, King David refers to a group of people as satans:
2Sam 19:21-22 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered and said, Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the LORD’S anointed? And Davidsaid, What have I to do with you, ye sonsof Zeruiah, that ye should this daybe adversaries (satans) H7854 unto me? shall there any man be put to deaththis dayin Israel? for do not I knowthat I am this daykingover Israel?
According to Messiah, there is one who is the accuser, but it is not who we normally think of:
John 5:45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
The Torah is an adversary or satan to our flesh as it is adversarial in its nature to our fleshly nature. As Paul says, “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.” (Rom 7:14) If we do not overcome our fleshly nature, than we serve our flesh and thereby are serving ourselves and not sacrificing ourselves for others.
Consider that your own desires are what are truly your Satan or adversary. For the purpose of the Torah was to show that which was in our hearts (which are evil from our youth).
Deut 8:1-6 All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers. And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.
Gen 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Gen 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
Rom 8:3-8 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Please consider this before you place the blame upon someone or something else. May we take responsibility for our actions and then learn from them, repent and turn to The Creator for his forgiveness. May we be willing to walk in the ways that He knows are contrary to our flesh but are His desire for us, knowing that a Father would not set His children up for failure but has great desires and expectations for His children.
This thought process is not to negate the spiritual world or visions or battles depicted throughout Scripture, but is to focus on the idea that our own flesh is our Satan. As we begin to walk in Torah and choose to walk in the ways of The Creator, then more of our own Satan will present itself as an adversary to us as will those around us who do not choose to walk in the same maner.
From the Gospel of The Kailedy – Yahushua said, “The rule of God is not something which will come suddenly, nor will it bring about a violent change. It is not a change of surroundings, but a change of heart. The changed conditions will be brought about by changes in the heart. No man can say, ‘It is here’ or ‘It is there.’ It is here but waiting recognition. Just as others have heralded my coming, so do I herald the coming rule of God. But its establishment does not depend on anything done by God, but on the actions of men. The kingdom of heaven is where God rules in Spirit, but there is that within each man which can extend the kingdom of heaven. When this is drawn out of men while they are on Earth and established here, then the kingdom of heaven will embrace the Earth. When the rule of God is established on Earth, then will the kingdom of heaven come down so heaven and Earth are united in one.”
This is further supported by the one place in Scripture where Israel did seek YHVH with all their heart, soul and mind:
2Chr 15:15 And all Judah rejoiced at the oath: for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and the LORD gave them rest round about.
When will we see this come together?
Isa 59:20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.