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Is there any reason why Satan as the accuser of the brethren would be said to present himself before the Lord in Job 2:1? I see he is not explicitly stated as doing this in Job 1:6 but I am assuming that since 2:1 says it so clearly:

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. Job 1:6

Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord. Job 2:1

Why would a fallen angel come and present himself before the Lord?

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  • In Greek LXX Septuagint version this is not “Satan” but “devil”. biblehub.com/sepd/job/1.htm . In some LXX versions also not “sons” but “angels” (those who were sent), so it’s only logical that they also return.
    – grammaplow
    Dec 17, 2023 at 10:30

6 Answers 6

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At the time Job was written, Jews did not consider Satan to be a fallen angel. The word used is not a proper name, it is "the satan," with the connotation of an adversary or prosecutor. Here, he is portrayed as a member of the council of the "ben-elohim" [sons of God] often translated as "angels." See the article "Satan" in the Jewish Encyclopedia.

Satan [is] that member of the divine council who watches over human activity, but with the evil purpose of searching out men's sins and appearing as their accuser. He is, therefore, the celestial prosecutor, who sees only iniquity.

I do not agree with those who think Job was written before Isaiah, but even if Job was indeed written first, Satan as a fallen angel is only there if one anachronistically imposes later "angelology" on the time. The idea that "Day Star, son of Dawn" refers to Lucifer is a Christian idea, not a Jewish one. In context, this is a reference to the King of Babylon, not the archangel.

Isaiah 14

4 ...You will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon...
11 All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps; maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you.
12 How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn!...
16 ... Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: “Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble,
17 the man who made the world a wilderness, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?”

The Christian idea may be correct, but as Jews of Isaiah's time read it, there can be little doubt that they understood it as referring to Babylon's king, a man who would be eaten by worms like any other man, not an angel.

So the answer to the question is that in the Book of Job [as distinct from Christian doctrine] a "fallen archangel" did not present himself before God, but a member of the council of "sons of God" did. Only later did people begin to think of Satan as the fallen angel formerly known as Lucifer.

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  • thanks for your edits, agarza Aug 12, 2022 at 2:15
  • No problem. If you would like to see the different ways to edit your posts, visit the Editing Help page.
    – agarza
    Aug 12, 2022 at 4:40
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    The fallen angel mythology is not a Christian idea either. It stems from pagan Greek and Roman mythology, mostly Greek, & was picked up by Jews under the Hellenistic pressure of the intertestamental period, 3rd cent. BC - 1st cent. AD. Most Christians have been beguiled to believe it tho.
    – Gina
    Aug 12, 2022 at 9:40
  • Agreed that it may have originated outside of Christianity, Gina. But we also have possible fallen angels [sons of god] in Gen 6. Jews may not have understood them as such until the Hellenistic period though so perhaps you are right. I wouldn't say "beguiled" though. Many concepts that were first expressed in other cultures were later accepted by both Judaism and Christianity. Or to put it in religious terms, the Lord works in strange and mysterious ways. Aug 12, 2022 at 15:11
  • @Gina there are still seeds of truth planted in other cultures. Whilst the NT may seem to have hellenistic influences, that is natural for the whole bible - Genesis 1 mirrors ancient cosmology, Proverbs mirrors Egyptian poetry etc... Greeks taught about demons, but Christians did not necessarily copy from hellenism in a strict sense. There are a lot of aspects of the Greco-Roman religion (ie dualism, polytheism) that the bible strictly condemns. It may well be that some NT concepts of the supernatural mirror hellenism, but that is natural given the context of the biblical authors.
    – ellied
    Aug 19, 2022 at 14:39
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Before any king reigned over Israel, any Adversary to the Edomites of Uz (Noachide descendants of Esau) was known as The-Satan ("Ha-Satan", הַשָּׂטָן) as documented by מֹשֶׁה Moshe in the scroll אִיּוֹב "Iyov".

Job ("Iyov", אִיּוֹב) was an ancient Edomite whose religious persecution for maintaining Noachide laws was documented in the region of עוּץ Uz or Land belonging to Dishan's son, Genesis 36:28.

See [Baba Batra 15.a:11] for source of authorship regarding "Iyov":

Job lived in the time of Moses. It is written here with regard to Job: “Oh, that my words were written now [eifo]” (Job 19:23), and it is written there in Moses’ words to God: “For in what shall it be known here [eifo]” (Exodus 33:16).

"אִיּוֹב בִּימֵי מֹשֶׁה הָיָה כְּתִיב הָכָא מִי יִתֵּן אֵפוֹא וְיִכָּתְבוּן מִלָּי וּכְתִיב הָתָם וּבַמֶּה יִוָּדַע אֵפוֹא"

-- The unusual use of the word eifo in these two places indicates that Job and Moses lived in the same generation.

https://www.sefaria.org/Bava_Batra.15a.11?ven=William_Davidson_Edition_-_English&vhe=William_Davidson_Edition_-_Vocalized_Aramaic&with=all&lang=bi


Based on the event in Job ("Iyov", אִיּוֹב) chapter 2.1 - we read : "Now the day came about that the angels of God came to stand beside YHVH, and the Adversary too came among them to stand beside YHVH." (וַיְהִי הַיּ֔וֹם וַיָּבֹ֙אוּ בְּנֵי הָֽאֱלֹהִ֔ים לְהִתְיַצֵּ֖ב עַל־יְהֹוָ֑ה וַיָּבֹ֚א גַם־הַשָּׂטָן֙ בְּתֹכָ֔ם לְהִתְיַצֵּ֖ב עַל־יְהֹוָֽה)

Later in [Job 2:3], Moshe records angels & YHVH discussing the righteousness of Edomite Noachides (specifically Iyov) living in Uz as having greater faith in YHVH than any Israelites.

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  • This answer contradicts the Bible. Job 1:1, "...Job...hath been perfect and upright -- both fearing God, and turning aside from evil.". The Bava Batra tractate is part of the Talmud written by "rabbis" & is not scripture. It is their imaginative deductions.
    – Gina
    Aug 12, 2022 at 9:46
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The word in the original Hebrew text is "satan", meaning adversary.

"And the day is, that sons of God come in to station themselves by Jehovah, and there doth come also the Adversary in their midst." (Job 1:6, YLT)

Strong's Heb. 7853, of uncertain derivation, an adversary, or opponent; one who withstands or stands against another; late Hebrew to "be remote, especially from the truth, and from the mercy of God;" (Source: Biblehub)

The Bible does not directly state the reason for the adversary's appearance at this meeting. But we know that the adversary was always intent upon causing man (adam) to stumble and turn away from God. This was his purpose against Job, to try to cause Job to turn from God.

God asked the adversary two questions that are telling.

"And Jehovah saith unto the Adversary, Whence comest thou?'... And Jehovah saith unto the Adversary, Hast thou set thy heart against My servant Job because there is none like him in the land, a man perfect and upright, fearing God, and turning aside from evil?'" (Job 1: 7-8, YLT)

The adversary was not an "angel". The word transliterated as "angel" in the scriptures was from the Gr. "aggelos" and simply means a messenger, or envoy; one who was sent. (Source: Biblehub) The translators determined when to use the word "angel" or when to actually translate it as "messenger". They should have been consistent in using "messenger", but they read their belief systems into their translations.

Further, there is a misunderstanding being taught that the "sons of God" in Job 1:6, and Job 38:7 are "angels". Neither verse uses the word for "angel". These are not messengers. The "sons of God" used in these verses are something else. We know this from Hebrews.

"For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son,..." (Heb. 1:5, KJV)

"For to which of the messengers said He ever, 'My Son thou art..." (Heb. 1:5, YLT)

We also must consider Paul's statement in Romans.

"13 for if according to the flesh ye do live, ye are about to die; and if, by the Spirit, the deeds of the body ye put to death, ye shall live; 14 for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God;" (Rom. 8:13-14, YLT)

The "sons of God" are those led by the Spirit of God. God's does not change (Mal. 3:6; Num. 23:19; Psa. 102:25-27; Heb. 13:8). Therefor, the use of the phrase "sons of God" in Job is not "angels". While most translations say "sons of God', a better sense is given as "heavenly beings" in the GNT, and the NRSVA. Not all of the heavenly host are "angels" / messengers.

Further, the pagan mythology of fallen angels is slandering the heavenly, celestial messengers who always brought the truth of God's word to men.

"20 Bless Jehovah, ye His messengers, Mighty in power -- doing His word, To hearken to the voice of His Word." (Psa. 103:20, YLT)

It is better to broaden our thinking about these heavenly beings spoken of in Job.

See more at ShreddingTheVeil.org:

Testing the Spirits - Part IV (a): Slandering Angels here

Testng the Spirits - Part IV (b): here

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In Job 2:1, why would a fallen angel come and present himself before the Lord? Because they were still allowed in heaven. In the OT there was barely any mention of demon-possessed humans. So these fallen angels were still hanging in heaven, so to speak. Jesus said in Luke 10:18 that he saw Satan fall from heaven. Isaiah 14:12 also mentions the morning star has fallen on Earth. That must have been the time they were exiled to Earth. Job was written way before Isaiah.

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  • Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics and thank you for your contribution. While what you mention is true, it doesn't answer the original question of "Why does Satan come to present himself..." Also, when you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others.
    – agarza
    Aug 12, 2022 at 1:14
  • @agarza, why does satan come to present himself? Because he was still allowed to be present in heaven at that time to convince as many heavenly beings that he was right and God was wrong or unfair.
    – mylordgpc
    Aug 13, 2022 at 2:57
  • @dan, of course, one would expect that not all heavenly beings belong to this council of the sons of God. If Satan was in this council but still purposely sabotaging human affairs, then God would not have asked where he was.
    – mylordgpc
    Aug 13, 2022 at 3:14
  • @Gina, Jesus himself mentioned that he saw Satan fall from heaven. I doubt he was influenced by pagan Greek and Roman mythology. Of course not all heavenly beings are angels but all angels are heavenly beings. Even the lying spirit sent to King Ahab in 1 Kings 22 belonged to this council. So at least one celestial messenger didn't bring the truth of God's word to men. Don't forget the serpent in Eden who may have spoken partial truths to Eve and Adam.
    – mylordgpc
    Aug 13, 2022 at 3:25
  • Thanks for your comment @mylordgpc. Maybe I should not have called it a council. The text describes a meeting or meetings. I'm glad you mention 1 Kings 22. I'd add the "evil spirit from the Lord" sent to torment King Saul in the books of Samuel. If someone hasn't already asked about these, maybe I will Aug 14, 2022 at 18:26
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I don't know much... but was just thinking about "courts of heaven" and courts, legalities, etc. and there's always a prosecuting attorney in a court of law. One who knows the law well like the defense attorney. Idk where the courts of heaven are... anyone? Also noticing it's "courts" plural. Can someone with way more Bible knowledge explain further please? Apologies...I came for answers to that first question but now have more questions. Lol.

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Why would a fallen angel come and
present himself before the Lord?

Wait, what?
"... a fallen angel ..."
Fell from where exactly?
Human or divine?

If Job did refer to "angels" or elohim - messengers - they would have to be human messengers for them to fall.
Right?

To suggest that celestial messengers are anything other than perfect is an affront to the bible and the creator.

If they are busy tripping over or falling off cliffs then certainly, we are all doomed :

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

Hebrews 1:14 NIV

And of course, they are far removed from clumsiness :

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

Psalm 91:11-12 NIV

Not much chop if they themselves don't know their right hand from their left.
And of course the promise of the bible is to be like them, perfect doers of the father's wishes :

Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?
When the dead rise ... they will be like the angels in heaven.

Mark 12:25 NIV

That promise is of perfection in harmony with the father and his creation.
To suggest otherwise is a nonsense.
A straight out lie.

Regardless, the human actors in the opening narrative do not stumble in any way, other than the obvious flawed reasoning exhibited by the adversary.
But to refer to that "messenger" as an angel when the narrative doesn't is adding obfuscation to mis-characterisation.
To what end would you do that?

I see he is not explicitly stated
as doing this in Job 1:6 ...

Really?

Now there came a certain day, when the sons of God entered in to present themselves unto Yahweh,––so the accuser also entered, in their midst.

Job 1:6 Rotherham

How is there any doubt that the adversary or accuser was before the Lord?
Is it the order in the narrative?

Other than the obvious issues with some translators leaving the hebrew "satan" in hebrew, instead of you know, god forbid, translating it, and a failure to deal faithfully with ben-elohim, for some unknown reason, I'm not sure how that can be misconstrued.

Is there any reason why Satan as the
accuser of the brethren would be said
to present himself before the Lord ...

How else do you propose that the adversary would enter into the dialogue whereby the father brought misery upon Job?
Prayer?

Regardless of the capacity of the father to hear the thoughts and intents of the accuser, there is a dis-inclination on his part to do so :

The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

Proverbs 15:29 NIV

Further :

We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.

John 9:31 NIV

Something more is happening other than a jealous man "praying" for god to inflict suffering on the righteous.
The adversary forces god's hand by dialogue in the presence of the faithful.
The purpose being the edification of all, Job, his friends, the just and the unjust.
God is vindicated in his blessing Job, in other words his authority, through Job's persistence in trust.
God participates in this for the benefit of all involved including the accuser.

The result being the destruction, by god, of his family, his possessions, his health :

And the accuser answered Yahweh, and said ...

... in very deed, put forth, I pray thee, thy hand, and smite all that he hath,––verily, unto thy face, will he curse thee.

Job 1:9,11 Rotherham

Then the accuser answered Yahweh, and said ...

In very deed, put forth, I pray thee thy hand, and smite unto his bone, and unto his flesh,––verily, unto thy face, will he curse thee.

Job 2:4,6 Rotherham

Then Job arose ...

... and said––Naked came I forth from the womb of my mother, and naked must I return thither, Yahweh, gave, and, Yahweh, hath taken away,––The name of Yahweh be blessed!

In all this, Job sinned not, nor imputed folly unto God.

Job 1:20,21-22 Rotherham

Then said his wife unto him, Art thou still holding fast thine integrity? Curse God, and die!

And he said unto her, As one of the base women speaketh, speakest thou? Blessing, shall we accept from God, and, misfortune, shall we not accept? In all this, Job sinned not with his lips.

Job 2:9,10 Rotherham

Couple of obvious points.
While Job may have been ignorant as to the purpose of the buffeting, he at least (and his wife also it seems) was informed as to it's source, god.

When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it?

Amos 3:6 NIV

I form the light and create darkness,
I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the Lord, do all these things.

Isaiah 45:7 NIV

This of course why the necessity of the dialogue in the first place, the adversary obviously having no power to directly affect Job for better or worse.

Job is a timeless reminder that while some faithful may seem to have blessed existences, this is not guaranteed.

... if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.

1 Peter 2:20 NIV

And the judgement of the wicked is forged in the suffering of the just :

By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.

Hebrews 11:7 NIV

The patience of faith being recompensed in the instigators.

You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.

Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged.

You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

James 5:5-6,9,11 NIV

Lessons for all, perhaps also repentance for the wicked.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9 NIV

Etcetera.

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