entity in the Abrahamic religions that tells others to do sinful actions

Ha-Satan (meaning "the enemy" or "the trouble-maker" in Hebrew), sometimes called the Devil, is a figure found in the writings of the Abrahamic religions. Muslims, Christians and Jews believe that he tempts people to do bad things. His role is to question and tempt people's faith. Christians also say that he was once an angel named Lucifer. Some Muslims on the other hand believe, he was once an angel called Azazel.

"Satan before the Lord"

In Satanism, Satan is thought to be just a metaphor for what humans want. In Theistic Satanism, Satan is considered to be a good force.

Book of Enoch


The Book of Enoch, is not part of the Bible, but seems to have been popular among many early Christians and Jews during the life-time of Jesus. The fallen angels according to this book did not try to become equal to God, but wanted to live among humans. They revealed the secrets of heaven, which leads people to war and sin. Satan, however, is not one of the fallen angels in this Book, but punishes the fallen angels (and wicked humans) for their sins.[1]

This might be the reason why many Christians think that Satan will also punish the sinners in hell, even if this book is not part of the Bible. Not in the Quran either, but known in Muslim legends, Satan is said to have been sent by God (Allah) to punish the djinns.



In the Bible, which consists of both Hebrew scriptures from Judaism (Old Testament) and the New Testament about Jesus and his followers, Satan is often mentioned. In the Old Testament, there is the Book of Job, in which Satan makes a bet with God, whether he can make Job turn against God or not. In the New Testament, he is the main opponent of Jesus.

According to Christianity, Satan tried to become God himself, and was banished from heaven for his attempt. This derives from parts of the Bible, in which a star is said to try to make himself equal to God. This star is called Lucifer and interpreted as Satan. Some Christians make a distinction between Satan and Lucifer. In this case, Satan is Lucifers' general. Satan would serve Lucifer on earth, because Lucifer is chained in the underworld.

In the Bible

Baphomet is often used as a symbol of Satan, especially in Satanism

Many people believe that Satan was first an angel called Lucifer that left Heaven and took many other angels with him. He did this because he thought he was as powerful as God.[8]

In the Quran


In Islam, a shayṭān is any sort of evil creature. The person, Christians call Satan, is named Iblis. The Qu'ran describes Satan as arrogant. The story about him begins in surah Baqarah. It states that Satan views himself as a greater entity than God's other creations because he was created from fire. After this, the Qu'ran states:

(Allah) said: "What prevented thee from prostrating when I commanded thee?" He said: "I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire, and him from clay.

In the Bahá'í Faith


In the Bahá'í Faith, Satan is not regarded as an independent evil power as he is in some faiths and religions, but rather signifies the lower nature of humans. `Abdu'l-Bahá explains: "This lower nature in man is symbolized as Satan — the evil ego within us, not an evil personality outside." All other evil spirits described in various faith traditions—such as fallen angels, demons, and jinns—are also metaphors for the base character traits a human being may acquire and manifest when he turns away from God. Actions, that are described as "satanic" in some Bahá'í writings, denote humans deeds caused by selfish desires.

  • Washington Irving wrote "The Devil and Talk walker" About a man who sells his soul to the devil for trasure
  • Stephen Vincent Benet wrote "The Devil and Daniel WEbster" about Daniel WEbster trying to save the soul of a fellow New ahampshireman from a pact with the devil
  • In Treehouse of Horror IV of The Simpsons in "The Devil and Homer Simpson", Homer Simpson announces he would sell his soul for a doughnut, and the devil, who resembles Ned Flanders, appears to make a deal with Homer. Homer tries to outsmart the devil by not finishing the doughnut, but eventually eats it and is sent to Hell; there he is "tormented" by being forced to eat thousands of doughnuts, an ironic punishment that backfires when he gleefully eats them without any sign of pain. A trial is held between Homer and the devil to determine the rightful owner of Homer's soul. (The Jury consists of Blackbeard the Pirate; John Dillinger the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team and Richard Nixon; Homer is defended by the incompent Lionel Hutz); Marge Simpson saves Homer's soul when she reveals that Homer gave her ownership of it (After he had to go to the hospital because he ate their entire wedding cake), meaning that it was not in his possession when the deal was made. However the Devil turns Homers head into a "Live" doughnut; while outside the Springfield Police force is waiting for Homer to come outside with cups of coffe! (Two outakes from this epsiode show Homer's head used as a bowling ball in hell while the Devil temps Bart Simpson to sell his own soul in return for a Ferrari Racing car)[9]
  • In an episode of the 1960s TV series The Monkees, this story was also presented in "The Devil and Peter Tork", wherein Peter finds a beautiful harp in a pawn shop run by Mr. Zero and says that he would give anything for it. Mr. Zero then has Peter sign a contract which condemns him by promising his soul to Mr. Zero. The boys become an overnight success after adding the harp to their act. They learn what has happened when Mr. Zero comes to collect Peter's soul and Mike argues that they will take it to court to fight the contract. The jury consists of 12 condemned men from Devil's Island and Judge Roy Bean, the hanging judge, presides over the trial. After Atilla the Hun, Billy the Kid, and Blackbeard all testify to what Mr. Zero has done for their careers, Mike calls Mr. Zero to the stand and tells him that he did not give Peter the ability to play the harp and that it was within Peter the whole time due to his love for the harp. He then convinces Peter to prove it to Mr. Zero and everyone in the courtroom by playing the harp after Mr. Zero takes away the power. Peter then plays a rendition of the Monkees' song "I Wanna Be Free"; he is found not guilty and the case is dismissed. Peter is set free and Mr. Zero snaps his fingers and returns to Hell.
  • Canadian studio Nelvana created an animated TV special called The Devil and Daniel Mouse based on the story. In the program, Daniel Mouse is a musician whose partner, Jan, sells her soul to the devil in exchange for fame.
  • Actor Ted Wass starred as Bobby Shelton (who trades his soul — and his family — to become an ill-fated rock star "Billy Wayne") in the black comedy film Oh, God! You Devil (1984)
  • Two Chick Publications tracts, The Contract![10] and It's A Deal,[11] borrow heavily from the story. The Contract! follows the original plot more closely (telling of a bankrupt farmer facing eviction), while It's a Deal features a young basketball player. In both stories, the soul-seller is saved not through a legal trial, but by accepting Christ as his saviour, since Christ has the power to redeem any soul regardless of a contract.
  • In his court order rejecting plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis in the lawsuit United States ex rel. Gerald Mayo v. Satan and His Staff, 54 F.R.D. 282 (1971), Judge Gerald J. Weber cited this story as the sole, though "unofficial", precedent touching on the jurisdiction of U.S. courts over Satan.


  1. Caldwell, William (1913). "The Doctrine of Satan: II. Satan in Extra-Biblical Apocalyptical Literature". The Biblical World. pp. 98–102.
  2. Genesis 3:1–8
  3. Job 1
  4. 1 Chronicles 21:1–8
  5. Zechariah 3:1–2
  6. Matthew 4:1–11
  7. Revelation 20
  8. Isaiah 14:12–15
  9. "Simpsons scripts: Treehouse of Horror IV (1F04) – Simpsons Crazy". Archived from the original on 19 June 2021. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  10. Chick, J.T. (2004). The Contract!,
  11. Chick, J.T. (2009). It's a Deal,