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of a fallen angel to the word satan, which always suggests the idea of such a being. But not so with the word adversary, which is its rendering in many passages. Accordingly it is in the texts where the term satan is left untranslated, that people have built their faith about a fallen angel. This idea, has been associated with this word in their minds from childhood, and it is next to impossible to effect a separation. The term satan will suggest it, and the meaning of the word, its Scripture usage, and the context of the places where it occurs, are not sufficient to destroy it. Commencing the study of the Bible with this false idea, all must see, how many texts may be perverted, not from design, but from the influence of this false association. We know of no better way to correct it than to recur to the original sense of the term satan, and examine all the places where it occurs, with their respective contexts.

Should it be asked-why did not the translators of our English version either render this word always adversary or uniformly leave the term satan untranslated? I answer; had they always rendered it adversary, they would not so easily have infused into their version the idea of a fallen angel. Had they always retained the original word, its application to the angel of Jehovah, human beings and things, would have led people to conclude that it did not designate such an evil being. King James, under whose patronage the version was made, not only believed that satan was a fallen angel, but he wrote in defence of the doctrine of witchcraft.

1 Sam. xxix. 4. "And the princes of the Philistines said unto him, make this fellow return, that he may go again to his place which thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: for wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master? Should

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it not be with the heads of these men ?" Here again the term satan is rendered adversary, and it is evident from the context, that David, not a fallen angel is meant. Nor, need this surprise us, seeing the angel of Jehovah was called so in the preceding passage. Many people do not know this, but it would have been evident, had our translators as in other places, left the term satan untranslated. This is the first place in the Bible where the word satan is applied to a human being, and it is applied to a man who feared God. It need not then surprise us, that our Lord called Peter satan, and Judas a devil. It is very obvious, that the idea of a fallen angel attached to the word satan, is calculated to mislead us, for it is notorious, that this term is used to designate the very best of created beings.

2 Sam. xix. 22. "And David said, what have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah, that ye should this day be adversaries unto me." Here the term satan is used in the plural, and is rendered adversaries. The satans referred to, are expressly called the sons of Zeruiah. Wicked men they might be, but no one supposes that they were fallen angels. Besides, it is commonly believed, that there is but one being in the universe which goes by this name, yet here we find the term used in the plural and applied to men. In the New Testament we read of demons, and of a person possessed with a legion of them. But David does not say the sons of Zeruiah were demons, or possessed with demons or satans, but that they were satans to him. This shows clearly, that the term simply means an adversary, and that this was the sense David attached to it. We seldom if ever use it in the plural, for the unity of satan is the common belief just as much as the unity of God.

1 Kings v. 4. "But now the Lord my God hath given me rest on every side, so that there is neither

adversary nor evil occurrent." Here the term satan is used in the singular, and is again rendered adversary. Solomon does not name, as in the preceding text, any person referred to, but the scope of the context evidently shows, that he had in view human beings, who were accustomed to be satans or adversaries to Israel. His father David had many such satans to contend with during his reign, but now Solomon had none of them to disturb the peace of his kingdom. He therefore determined to build an house to the Lord, which his father was prevented from doing by his frequent wars with them. We shall soon see that Solomon was not altogether free from his troubles from such satans or adversaries.

1 Kings, xi. 14, 23, 25. “And the Lord stirred up an adversary unto Solomon; Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king's seed in Edom.-And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer, king of Zobah.-And he was an adversary to Israel, all the days of Solomon, beside the mischief that Hadad did: and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria." In these verses the word satan is used three times, and is uniformly rendered adversary. The term is applied to human beings, who are distinctly named, Hadad the Edomite, and Rezon the son of Eliadah. The last was a satan to Solomon all his days. It would be ridiculous to suppose that satan here had any reference to a fallen angel; for in the first case it would be to make him an Edomite, and in the second the son of Eliadah, and that he was called Hadad and Rezon as well as satan. It is of more importance to observe, that it is said God stirred up those satans against Solomon. Had only one satan been mentioned, and no name given to show who was particularly meant, it is likely some would have concluded, that God stirred up a fallen angel against him. This conclusion would

have been as correct as that drawn from the next passage, where it is supposed satan means a fallen angel, because it is said, satan provoked David to number Israel, and in the parallel place that God moved him to do it. But here, it is put beyond all controversy, that satan has no reference to a fallen angel. We would then ask, ought not such texts, where the circumstances mentioned so clearly decide that this term designates no such being, to teach us caution in concluding that this is its meaning in any passage. When the word satan is introduced, and no circumstances are mentioned clearly to decide who or what is meant, is it rational or scriptural to say that a fallen angel or wicked spirit must be meant? We should think not; and until it is satisfactorily proved, that such a being does exist, no rational man would ever think of such a conclusion.

1 Chron. xxi. 1. "And satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel." Here for the first time the word satan is left untranslated; but I can perceive no good reason why it was not rendered adversary, as it is in other places. No evidence appears from the text or context, that a fallen angel or wicked spirit provoked David to number Israel. If the rule in other cases, be allowed here, plain passages ought to interpret doubtful and obscure ones, and common scripture usage of a word, ought to determine in particular cases in what sense the sacred writers used it. It is then determined here, for no previous Scripture writer has said any thing about a fallen angel, or used the word satan in reference to such a being. Supposing they had done this, it would not be safe to conclude he was spoken of, for it is evident that the term satan is applied to human beings and to the angel of Jehovah in preceding passages, which might be the case here. In every text the question ought to be, what satan or adversary is in

tended? As the word is not translated, and the idea of an evil being is associated with it in people's minds, and nothing directly being said to the contrary, it is concluded that this being provoked David to number Israel. Though the labor of proving this belongs to them, yet I shall offer the following remarks in proof of its falsehood.

1st. If the term satan designates in this passage a fallen angel, it is the first time we hear any thing concerning such a being in the Bible under this or any other name. But it is evident satan is not here introduced as a new and extraordinary being, nor, is there any evidence that the word is used in a different sense from what it is in the passages already considered. To believe his existence from this text, is not only implicit faith, but in face of evidence to the contrary, arising from scripture usage of the word satan, and the silence of all preceding writers about such a being.

2d. Had the word satan been rendered adversary as in other places, previous scripture usage would have led us to conclude, that one of David's enemies had menaced him with a new war, and thus provoked him to number Israel. It should be remembered, that the strength of Israel did not consist in the multitude of their armies, but their confidence in Jehovah and obedience to his laws. In thus numbering Israel, David sinned greatly, as it intimated a removal of his trust from God to that of the number and strength of his forces. It has been thought by some, that David's sin consisted in his wishing to establish a military government for conquest, and hence gave orders to enrol all Israel for this purpose.

3d. But what in this passage is ascribed to satan, is in 2 Sam. xxiv. 1. ascribed to God. "And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, go number

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