Serafina, origin of and angels

Gili Bar-Hillel abhillel at hotmail.com
Sun Jan 28 17:57:38 EST 2001


>From: "Dorian E. Gray" <israfel at eircom.net>
>Yeah, I know he's the Lightbringer (and the Morning Star).  But if Lucifer
>is Bringer of Light in Latin, what would his name be in Hebrew?  Does he
>exist in the old Hebrew texts, or is he a later invention?

Both. That is, the character of the devil exists and stars in the book of 
Job, for instance. Devil in Hebrew is, unsurprisingly, "satan", pronounced 
sah-TAHN. But the concept of THE Devil as an evil power directly opposed to 
God is a later development. In Job he's more like an angel playing devil's 
advocate (pun intended), deliberately challenging and baiting God. I saw a 
fascinating documentary about "the life and times" of Satan, or rather the 
development of the concept of satan across history and different religions, 
I wish I remembered it better than I do.

And this satan concept later acquired early names for various deities 
reviled by Judaism: Ba'al was one of them, "ba'al" meaning owner or master 
(or husband), "ba'al zvul" an honorific meaning "lord of the sacrifices", 
"ba'al zvuv" a derogatory parody of this, meaning "lord of the flies", hence 
Beelzebub. But Ba'al was by no means the only hated deity around, there were 
Ashthoret or Ashera (from whence the name Esther), Mordoch (from whence the 
name Mordechai) and many many others.

Maybe Lucifer is an attempt to translate Melchior/Malkior: "king of light"; 
but I can't think off the top of my head where this name appears in the 
Bible.



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