« VorigeDoorgaan »
satan means here a false teacher, in opposition to a true apostle called the messenger of God, Gal. iv. 14." See on the last passage for the satan here meant.
1 Thess. ii. 18. “Wherefore we would have come unto you (even I Paul) once and again; but satan hindered us.” Acts 17. 1 Thess. iii. 1-9. with many other passages show, that the satan who hindered Paul from going to the Thessalonians, were the persecuting Jews, whom we have seen are frequently called satan. Nothing in Paul's history shows that a fallen angel ever troubled him. Only render the term satan, adversary here, and in other places, and such a being disappears.
2 Thess. ii. 9. “Even him, whose coming is after the working of satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders.” The apostle simply says here, “whose coming is after the working of the adversary:
as we have seen that the term satan signifies. If this is understood of the persecuting Jews, who are called satan in other texts, it is agreeable to the fact, for many came in Christ's name before the destruction of Jerusalem, pretending to work miracles, so that if it had been possible they would have deceived the very elect. See Matth. 24. and Whitby on 2 Thess. chap. 2.
1 Tim. v. 15. “For some are already turned aside after satan.” What satan had they turned aside after? The words which immediately precede show this : "I will therefore that the
younger women marгу, ,
bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” The satan, after whom they had turned aside, was evidently the adversary who spoke reproachfully. It is beyond all doubt the Jews are referred to, for they are called both satan and adversary in other texts, and they did speak reproachfully of Christians. It is not easily perceived, how persons could turn aside after
á fallen angel, but to apostatise from the faith, or go over to its adversaries, is easily understood.
Rev. ii. 9. " I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of satan.” Who a true Jew was, Paul informs us, Rom. ii. 28, 29. The persons spoken of, said they were Jews, but were not. They were of the synagogue of satan, or adversary: or they belonged to the synagogue of the unbelieving persecuting Jews. Who ever supposed that a fallen angel had a syna. gogue, and, that the persons John speaks of belonged to it? Nor can it be believed that any number of men had a synagogue in those days, and that it was called “the synagogue of satan," or of a fallen angel. But the synagogue of the adversary occasions no difficulty.
Rev. iii. 9. “Behold I will make them of the synagogue of satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee." See on the last passage a sufficient illustration of this text. I would only add, that it has been thought by some, there is an allusion here to the subjection of Jews to the Christians in the flourishing state of Christianity.
Rev. ii. 13. “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where satan's seat is : and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr who was slain among you, where satan dwelleth.” If satan here means a fallen angel, it must be admitted, that his seat was at Pergamus in the days of John. But if satan is only rendered adversary, all difficulty is at once removed. Pergamus was a noted place for opposition to Christianity, for here Antipas suffered death, and Christ's disciples are highly com
mended for holding fast his name in such a place of persecution. It will not be easy to show how a wicked spirit had his seat or throne at Pergamus, and at the same time was walking about seeking whom he might devour.
Rev. ii. 24. “But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, (as many as have not this doctrine, and who have not known the depths of satan, as they speak) I will put upon you none other burden." Here again it is only necessary to translate the word satan adversary, and all idea of a fallen angel disappears. The deep things, or depths of satan, are the depths of the adversary. It is said that the Gnostics called their mysteries the deep things of God and the deep things of Bythus. And Lowman calls it the deep arts of deceit and error. Paul says, we are not ignorant of his devices, 2 Cor. ii. 11.' And the whole conduct of the persecuting Jews is a comment on this passage and others above considered.
Such are all the places in the New Testament where the word satan occurs, and it is evident, that the Old and New Testament usage
similar, or rather the same. In neither does it desig. nate a fallen angel, whom Christians call the devil and satan.
of it are very
ALL THE PASSAGES WHERE THE ORIGINAL TERM DIABOLOS,
OR DEVIL, IS USED, CONSIDERED.
We have seen that the term satan means an adversary, and have noticed its various applications by the
sacred writers. We are now to pay some attention to the meaning and application of the term (diabolos) devil, and shall introduce the various texts where it occurs in the New Testament, by taking some notice of the word devil, as used in our English version of the Old.
Let it be then observed, that the term devils, is used in the following places in the Old Testament. “ And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. And Jeroboam ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils.” Lev. xvii. 7. Deut. xxxii. 17. 2 Chron. xi. 15. Psalm cvi. 37. The word rendered devils in this last text is daimonion in the Seventy's version, and also in the following places: Psalm xcvi. 5. and xci. 6. Isai. Ixv. 10. xxxiv. 14. and xiii. 21. It is evident that these devils were only heathen idols, or Pagan deities, which could neither do good nor evil to any man. They were made, and some of them are styled new gods, or devils which had come newly up, and which were not formerly known or feared by the Jews or their fathers. To these devils or gods, the Jews sacrificed their sons and daughters. But those Pagan idols or devils, were altogether different from what is meant by the devil or satan; for as Dr. Campbell observes--" They could, therefore, no more be said to have worshipped the devil, as we Christians understand the term, than they could be said to have worshipped the cannibals of New Zealand ; because they had no more conception of the one than of the other." Dissert. 6. He adds, a little further on"As to the worship of the devil tou diabolou, nothing
can be clearer than that in Scripture, no Pagans are charged with it." The fact is the Jews knew nothing about the devil until they went to Babylon. The words, daimon and daimonion in the New Testament, are also rendered by the term devil, and in the plural devils, and we find them spoken of as numerous. One man was possessed with a legion of them. These were demons, not devils as Christians commonly understand the term. Concerning this distinction Dr. Campbell says—“What the precise idea of the demons, to whom possessions were ascribed, then was, it would perhaps be impossible for us with any certainty to affirm; but as it is evident that the two words diabolos and daimonion, are not once confounded, though the first occurs in the New Testament upwards of thirty times, and the second above sixty; they can, by no just rule of interpretation, be rendered by the same term. Possessions are never attributed to the being termed o diabolos.” Dissert. 6. Dr. Campbell says —“The word diabolos in its ordinary acceptation sig. nifies calumniator, traducer, false accuser, from the verb diaballein, to calumniate.” This is also its meaning as given by Parkhurst and other lexicographers, which need not be quoted. Its extraordinary acceptation, with them and others is, that it designates a fallen angel, who is the implacable enemy of God and man.
But the three first passages which I shall quote, show, that our translators understood the word diabolos in the way Dr. Campbell explains it, which he says, is its ordinary acceptation. The first is,
1 Tim. iii. 11. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers (diabolous,) sober, faithful in all things.” Here pious women are exhorted not to be slanderers; literally, “not to be devils." The very same word is used verses 6, 7. in the singular number and is rendered devil. Again, it is said verses 2, 3. “ The aged women likewise, that they be in be