The Torah does not make any reference to the Devil, though it speaks of an angel named HaSatan (Satan). HaSatan, whose name means, The Adversary, was created by God to do adversarial work. The angel HaSatan is found only in the Book of Zechariah (Zechariah 3:1) and in the Book of Job (Job 2:1). The Hebrew word HaSatan does appear several other times in the Hebrew Bible though grammar shows us that the word is not being used as a proper name, but as a descriptive noun. Mistranslation and lack of Torah study has caused Old Testament translations to reveal the creature Satan in scripture where he had never actually been…
Torah teaches that the action of going against God, or being an adversary to God, is the concept of yetzer hara, where as taking God’s path is called yetzer hatov. Many in Biblical history who have gone against God’s path have been called a HaSatan in the Bible, though they themselves where not the Devil, and were simply acting on yetzer hara. Quick translations can lead to false religious beliefs such as the words “an adversary” (HaSatan) being mistaken for Satan, or the belief that Satan was the snake in Genesis’ Eden.
Genesis 3:1 says, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Nowhere here, or in the rest of the garden account does a reference to HaSatan take place. The snake, however, was acting as an adversary (HaSatan) by choosing yetzer hara; the path against God. It must have been this concept that influenced and changed over the centuries to the idea that the snake is Satan. The only Biblical tie of the Devil to Genesis lies in Revelation 12:19, “The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” While some Christians use this verse to prove that the Devil was in Eden because of the nickname “Ancient Serpent”, they must realize that when Genesis was written, thousands of years before the Book of Revelation, the Devil did not exist in ancient scripture and belief.
According to the Hebrew Bible, Satan is not the snake of Eden whose wickedness tempts the gullible Eve. The snake was simply a snake who acted as an adversary to God. Many scholars, however, claim the snake was actually acting out of yetzer hatov; the path of God. If Adam and Eve had never been tempted and eaten from the tree, we would still be naked, ignorant, and living in a world without knowledge of good and evil. Without said knowledge, the passion people have today for following yetzer hatov and God would never have been achieved. Many say the snake was doing the work of God by persuing Adam and Eve to fulfill what would eventually come to be scripture.