Satan is the Mal’akh [Angel/Messenger] of YHWH

I laugh sometimes when I speak to the Christians; they hold that Satan is the antithesis and antagonist against YHWH. However, careful study of Tanakh will reveal to the reader that YHWH, the Mal’akh [messenger] of YHWH and Satan are all equated, meaning they are interchangeable in authority. The Mal’akh YHWH is Satan and the Holy Spirit and is the Angel with His Name.

The first time Mal’akh YHWH is used in Tenakh is in the narrative of Hagar fleeing Sarah, Gen 16. Notice what Mosheh records in verse 13:

וַתִּקְרָא שֵׁם-יְהוָה הַדֹּבֵר אֵלֶיהָ, אַתָּה אֵל רֳאִי

And she called the Name of YHWH, the one speaking to her, You are the Deity Seeing me.
So in the first appearance of Mal’akh YHWH, he is equated with YHWH by Mosheh, who wrote the account.

The first time satan appears in Tenakh is in the narrative of Balaam, Num 22:22

וַיִּחַר-אַף אֱלֹהִים, כִּי-הוֹלֵךְ הוּא, וַיִּתְיַצֵּב מַלְאַךְ יְהוָה בַּדֶּרֶךְ, לְשָׂטָן לוֹ; וְהוּא רֹכֵב עַל-אֲתֹנוֹ, וּשְׁנֵי נְעָרָיו עִמּוֹ

So Elohim’s anger was heated because he went, so the Mal’akh YHWH set himself up in the way as his satan, while he was riding upon his ass, and his two young men were with him.

Mosheh equates Mal’akh YHWH as satan in the first appearance of the word satan in Tenakh. Many translators and commentators try to force the meaning as “to withstand/oppose him”, however, the word satan is a noun in the verse. If the translation were indeed what the commentators and translators wish, the form would have been in the infinitive and pointed as לִשְׂטֹן liston, and not as לְשָׂטָן lesatan.

Even the writers of 2 Sam and 1 Chron equated YHWH and Satan:

וַיֹּסֶף, אַף-יְהוָה, לַחֲרוֹת, בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל; וַיָּסֶת אֶת-דָּוִד בָּהֶם לֵאמֹר, לֵךְ מְנֵה אֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֶת-יְהוּדָה.
Again, YHWH’s anger was heated against Israel, so He provoked (yasit) David against them saying, Go, number Israel and Judah 2 Sam 24:1

וַיַּעֲמֹד שָׂטָן, עַל-יִשְׂרָאֵל; וַיָּסֶת, אֶת-דָּוִיד, לִמְנוֹת, אֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל.
So satan stood against Israel and he provoked (yasit) David to number Israel.

In Tenakh there is only one angel who is called Mal’akh YHWH, who is also called His Presence (Ex 23:20,23; 33:14), and his Holy Spirit (Isaiah 63:10), and this is the same angel who is the first and only identified as satan (Num 22:22, 32).

There is not one single place which records satan as being disobedient to YHWH, nor does Tenakh record any disobedient or fallen angels as the Christians suppose.

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Jakob Ivri

I am simply a man with questions and trying to figure out the answers; my greatest joys are found in the study of Torah: its language and exegesis.

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