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In the Book of Job, we initially read of Satan telling God:

  • Job 1:11: "But put forth Your hand now and touch all that [Job] has; he will surely curse You to Your face" (emphasis added).

This seems significant because it is echoed again in Job 2:

  • Job 2:5: "However, put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse You to Your face" (emphasis added).

We know that Job never cursed God at all. However, we also read:

  • Job 2:9: "Then [Job's] wife said to him, 'Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!'" (emphasis added).

These words seem so specific that I'm wondering if Satan may have planted the idea in the mind of Job's wife? I found it very interesting that the one thing Satan insisted to God is that Job would "curse You to Your face." The first we then hear of anyone's advice to Job is his wife saying: "Curse God [to His face] and die!" Mere coincidence?

We seem to have New Testament examples of Satan directly manipulating humans in the Gospel's of Luke and Matthew:

  • Luke 22:3-4: "And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. 4And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them" (emphasis added).

  • Matthew 16:22-23: "Peter took [Jesus] aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, 'God forbid [Your Passion], Lord! This shall never happen to You.' 23But [Christ] turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s'" (emphasis added).

Christ appears to be rebuking, not Peter, but Satan — directly by name — in this last exchange.

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    We are not told and, so, can only speculate.
    – Dottard
    Jul 24 at 23:05
  • @Dottard Perhaps. My larger question is: To what extent does Satan have the ability to influence our thoughts? We know we are tempted all the time; I've wondered just when this occurs and whether we can know anything more about it.
    – Xeno
    Jul 24 at 23:08
  • OK - so then base a question on James 1:14 & 2 Peter 2:14, 18.
    – Dottard
    Jul 24 at 23:13
  • We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. 1 John 5:18 KJV.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 25 at 1:08
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Yes, Job's wife could repeat Satan's suggestions which he had planted in her mind.

Satan tempts us in many ways. He is able to plant seeds of thought in our minds, but he is not able to cause us to choose. We are able to make our own choice as to whether or not to entertain the thoughts that Satan has given us. When we speak the thoughts he tempted us with, then it is that we become--wittingly or not--his agents.

Ever wonder why Satan spared Job's wife? God had set a hedge around Job himself, not permitting Satan to touch him. Did this include his wife? But Satan tempted Job through her in a personal way that would be most effective.

And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. (Job 1:12)

And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. (Job 2:6)

We have Biblical reason to believe that when Job's wife addressed him, she was speaking for Satan.

Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. (Job 2:9)

What mortal should ever dare to curse God? Such a statement, as Job correctly labeled it, is foolish. It would have given Satan great delight had Job succumbed to this temptation. Fortunately, Job did not follow his wife's evil counsel.

Jesus also recognized Satan's voice speaking to him through a human agent--through Peter, one of the three nearest and dearest to him.

But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Matthew 16:23)

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. (Mark 8:33)

If Jesus could recognize Satan's words spoken through Peter, it behooves each of us to mind our own words that we do not allow ourselves to likewise become agents for the Enemy.

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  • As I commented with Dave, I found it very interesting that the one thing Satan told God that Job would do is "curse You to Your face." Then, the first we hear of anyone's advice to Job is his wife saying: "Curse God [to His face?] and die!" Is that really a coincidence? Some thoughts enter my mind that simply cannot be of human agency. Once I recognize this, my silent response is "The Lord rebuke you Satan! Depart from me!" Believe it or not, I actually find that quite efficacious. +1.
    – Xeno
    Jul 25 at 14:00
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There is a Muslim joke I read in the Noble Prize winner Orhan Pamuk's "My Name is Red": a butcher gave to a customer old meat and then, repenting, said to Allah: "Forgive me, Shaitan seduced me!" But, Shaitan who invisibly stood there, outraged, cried out to Allah: "No way! I swear by both of my horns that I did not seduce him, I stood there when he sold this old meat to the customer and he cheated all alone, by himself!" So, the wisdom and moral of this joke is that when humans do deeds that please Satan, it is not always that the latter seduces humans, but more often than not it is humans who give those pleasant surprise presents to Satan's delight.

How can I abstain from another wonderful anecdotal story already from a Palestinian monastic tradition: a gluttonous monk bought eggs and butter for his stomach's secret gratification in violation of the rules of the monastery; he also secretly snatched pan from the monastic kitchen and by night, when everything was prepared for his clandestine lonely feast, when he broke eggs and put butter on the pan, to his dread he noticed that he had forgotten to take firewood for making a fire in his cell. So, his gastronomic plans were on the verge of ruin. Yet, he remembered the burning lantern that shed light on the icon of the Savior, and in throes of gluttony he put the pan with eggs and butter upon this lantern to make the secret supper for himself. A demon standing there invisibly burst out of bewildered laughter saying: "Even I would not have thought about such a trick". So, sinful men often can bewilder even demons by their ingenuity in sinning.

So, Job's wife, when she pusillanimously tried to help her husband and alleviate his heavy sufferings by death ("curse God and die") for she did not believe in eternal life, her disposition and spiritual condition was pleasing to Satan, but not at all necessary that "Satan spoke through her" unless we use a metaphor. For instance, in the Oracle of Delphi when Pythia, a 6-10 year old girl, totally dizzy by narcotics and made purposefully unconscious by Delphic priests, mumbled some words of prophesy, that was indeed demon speaking through this girl's body which the mentioned priests wrote then down in nice hexameters and gave to the Delphi customers at a price. But this is another instance, for this girl, when she then came to her senses did not even remember what she was saying, for it was not she who was speaking, but demon through her. Not so, as it seems, with Job's wife, for she spoke herself, trying to be humane and help, in her own narrow understanding, her hapless husband.

If, imagine, Lord once wakes up in a sour mood and decides to eliminate all demons and Satan from existence and makes them extinct in an eyewink; do you think that humans will stop sinning and speaking all kinds of impious stupidities after that? Not of course, they will continue to be just as stupid as before, simply they will not amuse the demonic hosts by that any more, for demonic host will not be there in existence.

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