appeared in the earlier portions of the Bible." In the Talmud and other Rabbinic sources The Talmud mentions the Satan in many places. In all of these places, the Satan is merely an agent of God, and has no independent existence. Sometimes the Satan is conflated with various demons, such as Asmodai. At times there is even some sympathy for him. Commenting on the Book of Job, the rabbis express sympathy that his job was to "break the barrel but not spill any wine." In Kabbalistic literature and its derivative, Hasidic literature, the Satan is seen as an agent of God whose job is to tempt one into sin, and then turn around and accuse the sinner on high. An additional understanding of Satan is from a parable to a prostitute who is hired by the King (God) to tempt his son (a Jew). The prostitute has to do the best she can to tempt the son; but deep down she hopes the son will pass the test. Similarly, Kabbalistic/Hasidic thought sees the Satan in the same situation. His job is to tempt us as best he can; turn around and accuse us; but deep down his wish is that we would resist his blandishments. In Christianity
Main article: Christian teaching about the Devil See also: War in Heaven In Christianity, terms that are synonymous with 'Satan' include: The most common English synonym for 'Satan' is 'Devil', which descends from Middle English devel, from Old English dēofol, that in turn represents an early Germanic borrowing of Latin diabolus (also the source of 'diabolical'). This in turn was borrowed from Greek diabolos "slanderer," from diaballein "to slander": dia- "across, through" + ballein "to hurl." In the New Testament, 'Satan' occurs more than thirty times in passages alongside Diabolos (Greek for "the devil"), referring to the same person or thing as Satan. Lucifer is sometimes used in Christian theology to refer to Satan, as a result of identifying the fallen "son of the dawn" of Isaiah 14:12 with the "accuser" of other passages in the Old Testament. Beelzebub is originally the name of a Philistine god (more specifically a certain type of Baal, from Ba'al Zebûb, lit. "Lord of Flies") but is also used in the New Testament as a synonym for Satan. A corrupted version, "Belzeboub," appears in The Divine Comedy. Satan is identified as the serpent who convinced Eve to eat the forbidden fruit; thus, Satan has often been depicted as a serpent. This interpretation goes back at least as far as the time of the writing of the book of Revelation, which specifically identifies Satan as being the serpent (Rev. 20:2). "The dragon" and "the old serpent" in the Book of Revelation 12:9, 20:2 have also been identified with Satan, as have "the prince of this world" in the Book of John 12:31, 14:30; "the prince of the power of the air" also called Meririm, and "the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" in the Book of Ephesians 2:2; and "the god of this world" in 2 Corinthians 4:4. Leviathan is described as "that crooked serpent," which is also used to describe Satan in Revelation 12:9. 'Sar ha Olam,' a possible name for Metatron, is described as Satan by Michael, Jehoel and St. Paul.
Satan as depicted in the Ninth Circle of Hell in Dante Alighieri's Inferno, illustrated by Gustave Doré. In mainstream Christianity's understanding of the holy Hebrew scriptures, the Torah, Satan is a synonym for the Devil. For most Christians, he is believed to be an angel who rebelled against God— and also the one who spoke through the serpent and seduced Eve into disobeying God's command. His ultimate goal is to lead people away from the love of God — to lead them to fallacies which God opposes. Satan is also identified as the accuser of Job, the tempter in the Gospels, the secret power of lawlessness in 2 Thessalonians 2:7, and the dragon in the Book of Revelation. Before his insurrection, Satan was among the highest of all angels and the "brightest in the sky." His pride is considered a reason why he would not bow to God as all other angels did, but sought to rule heaven himself. The popularly held beliefs that Satan was once a prideful angel who eventually rebels against God, however, are barely portrayed explicitly in the Bible and are mostly based on inference. Moreover, in mainstream Christianity he is called "the ruler of the demons" (Matt. 12:24), "the ruler of the world" and even "the god of this world." (2 Cor. 4:4). The Book of Revelation describes how Satan will be cast out of Heaven, down to the earth, having "great anger" and waging war against "those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus". Ultimately, Satan is thrown into the "lake of fire" (Revelation 20:10), not as ruler, but as one among many, being tormented day and night for all eternity. In other, non-mainstream, Christian beliefs (e.g. the beliefs of the Christadelphians) the word "satan" in the Bible is not regarded as referring to a supernatural, personal being but to any 'adversary' and figuratively refe