Satan and the Devil are not the same entity, and technically come from two separate religions. In the Hebrew Bible, the Devil does not exist; an angel named Satan (HaSatan), however, does. HaSatan is a Hebrew word, which means “the adversary”. According to the Hebrew Bible, God creates angels to do his bidding. He names the angels after the task he has created for them; thus how The Adversary got his name. Angels in Torah have no free will. They are solely spiritual creatures under direct control of God.
The idea of Satan as the “fallen angel” would not come into being until after the first century A.D. when Christianity began its rise. Early Christians claimed Pagan faiths as satanic worship, and the idea of the Devil grew more powerful. The concept of a fallen angel in Torah is impossible as God himself has control over all angels, and is the one who is in total control of all creation. In Judaism, God is the creator of good and of evil. “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil,” (Deut. 30:15).God created both in order to allow humanity to have free will. Creating an angel to be God’s adversary gave mankind a choice to choose for themselves between the righteous path, and the path of evil.
HaSatan’s major role in the Hebrew Bible is seen in the Book of Job as a participate in The Divine Counsel. According to scripture, God has a meeting with HaSatan and the two agree to test Job’s faith. HaSatan does his best, yet despite death of loved ones, destruction of property, and boils, Job holds strong to his faith in God. While the story is powerful, and is the basis for the Christian idea of the Devil tempting and influencing our lives, the Book of Job is nothing more than fiction. Scholars of the Hebrew Bible (regardless of faith) agree that Job is a fictional genre of poetic drama. Proof for this comes from the Hebrew itself. The style of language used, and the structure of the grammar gives clues to its true identity as a story vs. a historical documentation. Just as we are able to read a passage and know whether we are reading a newspaper article or a novel, so can Hebrew Bible scholars do the same in scripture. Even Spark Notes tries to pass on this information by explaining that, “One of the chief virtues of the poetry in Job is its rhetoric. The book’s rhetorical language seeks to produce an effect in the listener rather than communicate a literal idea.” This type of story telling is seen nowhere else in Torah and gives the reader a sense of moral, not fact.
As Christianity grew, the idea of HaSatan became more powerful and the Jewish beliefs regarding angels became subdued. Angels soon had free will, the Devil became a powerful entity against God, and the fear of being tempted by evil soon spread. Always remember that when looking back into the Hebrew Bible, you must also look back to the old beliefs of the Jews who wrote it. HaSatan was not the Devil, and God is the perpetual giver of good, and of evil.