Rav Richard 'Aharon' Chaimberlin

HaSatan - the
AdversaryTHE term "Genesis" is Greek in origin, coming from the word geneseos. Depending on context, it can mean birth, genealogy, or history of origin. In Hebrew, it is called B'reisheet, which is the very first word in the Torah: "B'reisheet bara Elohim et hashamayim v'et ha'aretz," or, as the English translations say, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."  B'reisheet means "in the beginning."

     The beginning of verse 2 generally reads, "And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep." There is a theory called the Gap Theory, which I personally subscribe to. Christians are generally credited with the idea of the Gap Theory. However, many of the Rabbis of old also believed in what might be called the Gap Theory. They of course believed that "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." However, they believed in a gap between verses 1 and 2, during which time there were other creations.

     In English, Genesis 1:2 reads, "And the earth was without form and void." In the Hebrew, we read, "V'ha'aretz haitah tohu v'vohu." The verb haitah can indeed mean was, and indeed usually does mean "was." However, in Genesis 19:26, using the same shoresh (root word), it is translated "and she (Lot's wife) became a pillar of salt." Therefore, Genesis 1:2 can also be translated, "And the earth became formless and void." The terms for "formless and void" in Hebrew are, "tohu v'vohu."

     Some may hold to the traditional translation, which reads, "And the earth was formless and void." However, we would then have a contradiction with Isaiah 45:18, which reads, "For thus saith the LORD (YHWH) that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He has established it, He created it not in vain. He formed it to be inhabited. 'I am YHWH, and there is none else." The Hebrew words that are translated "in vain" are the Hebrew words "lo tohu," which literally means "not empty" or "without form." ("Lo" means no or not.)

     More accurately, Genesis 1:2 reads, "And the earth became without form (lo tohu) and void." I also believe Isaiah 45:18, where God says that He "created the earth lo tohu (not formless and void)" Both verses are correct, because there is a gap of time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. We have no idea of knowing how big this gap of time is. It could be thousands of years. According to many rabbis, the earlier creation of Genesis 1:1  was destroyed. Then beginning in Genesis 1:3, we are reading of a new creation. The Bible does not teach evolution. There might be micro-evolution within species. You can take a pair of dogs, and through selective breeding bring about many of the dog breeds that we have today. However, the result is always a dog. You cannot continue selective breeding with dogs and end up with a cat. Likewise, monkeys and apes will always be monkeys and apes. They will never become humans. 

     In Genesis 1:28, God gives mankind his first command, which in the KJV reads, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish[1] the earth." My Random House Dictionary defines "replenish" to mean, "to make full or complete again." In other words, the world was full, and now mankind is ordered to make it full again! We can only guess about what the earlier creation(s) might have been like. It is interesting that the very first commandment is procreation, which was done the old-fashioned way, without test tubes, artificial insemination, etc. The second commandment is in Genesis 2:9, in which God commanded Adam not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. There are many who believe that God doesn't care about what we eat. Yet in this verse, about 2500 years before Moses, we find that the second commandment given to mankind is a dietary restriction!

     As an additional evidence of a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, we find that HaSatan, the devil, the Adversary, was already a fallen being in Genesis chapter 3, when mankind was at most only a few years old. To be fair, the Rabbis of old do not all agree that this being in Genesis chapter 3 is Satan. Some allegorize this passage to mean the yetser hara (the "evil impulse") came into existence at this time, as a counterbalance to the yetser hatov (the "good impulse"). However, later books of the Bible make it clear that there is a demonic creature commonly called "the devil" or HaSatan (the Adversary). I don't begin to understand all that is taking place in Genesis chapter 3. However, I believe it can be dangerous to "allegorize" something simply because we don't fully understand it. This evil being communicated with Chava[2] (called "Eve"[3] in most English translations). The end result was that Chava ate of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. We have no idea what this fruit looked like, despite the many artistic drawings in which Chava ("Eve") eats of an apple and then gives it to Adam. This results in certain curses being placed upon both the man and woman, and also upon this evil being that caused the temptation, which you can read about in Genesis 3:14-20. They could have had an eternity in Gan Eden ("Paradise"). However, because of their transgression, they were exiled, never to return.

     There are various hints to the existence of HaSatan in some of the earlier books of the Bible. However, it isn't until we reach 1 Chronicles 21:1 that this evil creature is mentioned by name, when "Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel." Israel suffered horrendously from this unfortunate blunder on the part of King David, which resulted in 70,000 men dying in Israel.[4] For the sake of comparison, this resulted in more men getting killed than what the United States lost in the entire Vietnam War. However, Israel's population was only a tiny fraction of the U.S. population, so it was a much larger disaster for Israel.

JOB - A Man of Righteousness

The Book of Job gives more clues about this character that Scripture calls "Satan." This book was written by an Israelite. We know that because the covenant name of God (YHWH) is used 26 times in this book.[5] However, Job was not Jewish. He was one of the righteous from among the nations.

     In Job 1:6, we read, "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before YHWH, and Satan came also among them." These "sons of God" were not mere humans. These were what we would call angels. And not all angels were "good." There were the heavenly angels, as well as the fallen angels. You can read about them in the next paragraph. In the Book of Job, you can see these sons of God presenting themselves before God.

     In Genesis 6:2, we read that "the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful, and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose." The result of these unions were the Nephilim (lit., "fallen ones"), called giants in the KJV, Genesis 6:4. The Nephilim may be the origin of the ancient Asian and European mythologies, which are all very similar, talking about "gods" coming to earth and cohabiting with earthly women. The end result of this was that mankind was corrupted both morally and genetically. God decided to destroy the world with a Great Flood, and used Noah and his family to preserve a remnant of humans and animals aboard a giant ark, described as 300 cubits in length (Gen. 6:15), about 150 meters in length, at least 460 feet long. It was also 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. It would be the equivalent of taking a 45 story building and tipping it on its side. HUGE!

     You know the story. YHWH brags about Job, this righteous man who is serving God. Satan is the accuser, and claims that Job is serving God for selfish reasons, only because Job is being blessed by God. Satan is permitted to test Job, in order to prove whether or not Job is genuine in his devotion to God. In a series of rapid fire disasters, Job's servants, animals, and children are all killed, and his house is destroyed (Job 1:13-19). "Then Job arose, and tore his robe, and shaved his head, and fell to the ground and worshipped. And he said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return hither. YHWH gave, and YHWH has taken away. Blessed be the name of YHWH.' Through all this, Job did not sin nor did he blame God." Job was a very amazing fellow! I doubt that many today would pass the test as well as Job did!

     We learn more about the sons of God in Job chapter 38. In this chapter, it sounds like God is a little bit peeved at some of Job's comments. He answers Job, saying, "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Declare, if you have understanding. Who has laid the measurements, since you know. Who stretched the line on it? On what were the foundations sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"                                  (Job 38:4-7)

     We know, of course, that "morning stars" (in the literal sense) don't sing. However, it is interesting to note that these were angelic beings who were here before the creation of man. Also, music was "invented" before the creation of man. These angelic beings (the morning stars and the sons of God) were joyful as they witnessed Creation.

     We also read a somewhat troubling passage in Revelation 12:4, in which Satan swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Today we know that most stars are massive objects a few hundred thousand miles in diameter, often even millions of miles in diameter. And there are many trillions of stars in the universe. Obviously, it would be impossible to have trillions of stars smashing into our tiny planet less than 8000 miles in diameter. The stars being referenced are the same "stars" being talked about in Job chapter 38. HaSatan led a rebellion in the heavenlies, in which a third of the angels joined him in this rebellion. The prophets of the Tanakh (O.T.) give us more clues as to what took place thousands of years ago, even before the Creation account beginning in Genesis 1:3.

Satanic Verses

Isaiah (chapter 14) writes about the Lord's taunt against the "king of Babylon." However, as you read through this chapter, you will see that this "king of Babylon" is no ordinary human. Scripture talks about spiritual "powers" and "principalities" in such places as Matthew 24:29; Romans 8:38; Ephesians 3:10, 6:12; Colossians 1:16, 2:15; Hebrews 6:5; and 1 Peter 3:22. There are also "powers" and "principalities" over various nations, both heavenly and satanic. In the case of Isaiah 14, we are reading about HaSatan himself. It is a sort of mini-biography of this evil creature. Beginning in verse 11, we read:

      11Your pomp is brought down to the grave, and the music of your harps. The worm is spread under you, and the maggots cover you. 12How you have fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! 13For you have said in your heart, "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars (angels) of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north. 14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High." 15Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol ("hell"), to the recesses of the pit.

Obviously, this is no ordinary king being discussed. This is an incredibly evil being who sought to be greater than God Himself. And as we saw in Job chapter 38, this rebellion in the heavenlies apparently occurred before the Creation account beginning in Genesis chapter 1. In Luke 10:18, Yeshua said, "I beheld Satan as lightening fall from Heaven."

     We see a similar account in Ezekiel chapter 28, in which the principality behind the king of Tyre is described, none other than HaSatan:

11Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyre, and say to him, "Thus saith the Lord GOD; you had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 13You had been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of your settings and sockets was prepared in you in the day in which you were created. 14You were the anointed cherub who covers; and I placed you there; you were upon the holy mountain of God; you walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, until iniquity was found in you. 16By the multitude of your merchandise they have filled the midst of you with violence, and you have sinned. Therefore I have cast you as profane out of the mountain of God, and I will destroy you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness. I will cast you to the ground, I will lay you before kings, that they may behold you."

This was no earthly king in Gan Eden, as we see in verse 13. And no earthly king was a cherub as we see in the next verse. HaSatan was created in perfection. However, in verse 17, we find that pride entered into Satan because of his beauty. This is why chametz (leavening) is symbolic of sin, as we see in 1 Cor. 5:6-8. The leavening "puffs up," as we see proud people are prone to do. And from pride came all the other sins, as HaSatan led his rebellion against the Most High.

     HaSatan knows that his days are numbered. Revelation 20:7-10 tells us that the day will come when he will be cast into the Lake of Fire, a very real place, where Satan and his followers will be "tormented day and night forever and ever."

[1] In Hebrew, milu.

[2] From the shoresh (root word) chai for "life," because she was the "mother of all living (Genesis 3:20)."

[3] "Eve" or "Eva" was a Babylonian goddess, not the spouse of Adam. This is a major error in most Bibles.

[4] 1 Chronicle 21:14.

[5] Romans 3:2 said that the Jews "were entrusted with the oracles of God." Therefore, it is my humble opinion that all the writers of Scripture (both the Tanakh and the NT) were Jewish, including "Doctor Luke"!