Satan in the Dead Sea Scrolls

As a term, śātān means “accuser” or “one who brings charges against.” In the Dead Sea Scrolls and related literature, it occurs five times. In three, perhaps four of these instances, the word is preceded by a term such as “all,” “any” (after a negative), or “no” (1QHa XXII [frag. 4], 6; XXIV [frag. 45], 3; 1 Q28b I, 8; 4Q50 41-2 IV, 12) and therefore simply refers to someone—anyone, whether angelic or human—who engages in destructive activity. The word also occurs twice in the Jubilees, found among fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls and composed during the middle of the second century BCE. Jubilees states that at the end of days “there will be neither satan nor any evil who [or better: “which”] will destroy” (23:29). Here Satan refers to someone—anyone—who destroys by cutting a human being’s life short. In Jubilees 10:11, however, the word “satan” describes the activity of a figure called Mastema, whose power over a host of evil spirits is considered the cause of human suffering and idolatry afrer the time of the flood.

One passage in which Satan becomes a proper noun and is of significance for the Gospels is from a “Plea for Deliverance” (11Q5 XIX, 13-16). The text reads:

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Author: Loren T. Stuckenbruck

Keywords: Satanology, Satanas, Demonology, Adversary, Christ tempted, Christ's temptation, Christ's temptation in the wilderness, Diabolos, Devil, Devil and Jesus, Devil tempts Jesus, Evil angel, Evil Inclination, Evil nature, Evil one, Evil urge, Evil desire, Fallen angel, Good angel, Good nature, Hara Yetser, Ha-ra Yetser, Hara Yetzer, Ha-ra Yetzer, Hara Yezer, Ha-ra Yezer, Heavenly rebellion, Jesus and the devil, Jesus and Satan, Jesus' temptation, Jesus' temptation in the wilderness, Jesus tempted, Jesus tempted by Satan, Jesus tempted by the devil, Jesus tempted in the wilderness, Jesus's temptation, Man's sinful nature, Personification of evil, Rebel angel, Rebellion in heaven, Satan, Satan and Jesus, Satan tempts Christ, Satan tempts Jesus, Seducer, Sin in the flesh, Sin within, Temptation, Temptation from within, Temptation in the wilderness, Tempted in the wilderness, Tempted of Satan, Tempted of the devil, Tempted sexually, Tempted to do evil, Tempts Christ, Tempts Jesus, The devil tempts Christ, The devil tempts Jesus, The Evil Inclination, The Evil One, Wicked one, Wilderness temptation, Yatsar, Yetsarim, Yetser ha ra, Yetser ha tov, Yetser ra, Yetser tov, Yetzer, Yetzer ha ra, Yetzer ha tov, Yetzer Hara, Yetzer ra, Yetzer tov, Yezer ha ra, Yezer ha tov, Yezer Hara, Yezer tov, Two inclinations, Tempter, Dead Sea Scrolls, Qumran, Mastema

Bible reference(s): 1 Chronicles 21:1, Job 1:6, Job 1:7, Job 1:8, Job 1:9, Job 1:12, Job 2:1, Job 2:2, Job 2:3, Job 2:4, Job 2:6, Job 2:7, Psalms 109:6, Zechariah 3:1, Zechariah 3:2, Matthew 4:1, Matthew 4:5, Matthew 4:8, Matthew 4:10, Matthew 4:11, Matthew 9:33, Matthew 12:26, Matthew 13:39, Matthew 16:23, Matthew 17:18, Matthew 25:41, Mark 1:13, Mark 3:23, Mark 3:26, Mark 4:15, Mark 5:15, Mark 5:16, Mark 5:18, Mark 7:26, Mark 7:29, Mark 7:30, Mark 8:33, Luke 4:2, Luke 4:3, Luke 4:5, Luke 4:6, Luke 4:8, Luke 4:13, Luke 4:35, Luke 8:12, Luke 8:29, Luke 9:42, Luke 10:18, Luke 11:14, Luke 11:18, Luke 13:16, Luke 22:3, Luke 22:31, John 8:44, John 13:2, John 13:27, Acts 5:3, Acts 10:38, Acts 13:10, Acts 26:18, Romans 16:20, 1 Corinthians 5:5, 1 Corinthians 7:5, 2 Corinthians 2:11, 2 Corinthians 11:14, 2 Corinthians 12:7, Ephesians 4:27, Ephesians 6:11, 1 Thessalonians 2:18, 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 1 Timothy 1:20, 1 Timothy 3:6, 1 Timothy 3:7, 1 Timothy 5:15, 2 Timothy 2:26, Hebrews 2:14, James 4:7, 1 Peter 5:8, 1 John 3:8, 1 John 3:10, Jude 1:9, Revelation 2:9, Revelation 2:10, Revelation 2:13, Revelation 2:24, Revelation 3:9, Revelation 12:9, Revelation 12:12, Revelation 20:2, Revelation 20:7, Revelation 20:10, Tobit 6:17, Wisdom of Solomon 2:24, Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 21:27

Source: Jesus Among Friends and Enemies (Grand Rapids: Baker Academics, 2011), p. 177.

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