Since the beginning of all time, there has been an enemy who has been seeking to kill, destroy, and steal from God’s beloved creation. We know him today as Satan. People are the only creation of God made in His likeness- in His image. Therefore, if the enemy really wanted to hurt God he would know to go after this creature. But Satan is not just a name. It has more of a meaning in the original languages. Therefore, let’s take a look at what the word satan means in Hebrew and Greek.
All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.
What Does The Word ‘Satan’ Mean In Hebrew?
The word satan means an adversary or plotter. It’s one who devises means for opposition (Psalms 38:20; 109:6; 109:29)
“Let them be confounded and consumed
Who are adversaries of my life;
Let them be covered with reproach and dishonor
Who seek my hurt.“
– Psalms 71:13
God can also be considered an adversary of some.
“Then God’s anger was aroused because he went, and the Angel of the Lord took His stand in the way as an adversary against him. And he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him.”
– Numbers 22:22
God was greatly displeased with Solomon when he added more pagan wives to his harem. However, when he built pagan shrines for them, God raised up adversaries against him (1 Kings 11:14). This action caused the Syrians and Edomites to revolt against Israel.
Also, God tests those who believe Him to help them make the correct choices and not to depend on their own strength.
“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?“
– Zechariah 3:1-2
According to the above scripture, Satan is not all-powerful.
What Does The Word ‘Satan’ Mean In Greek?
satanas- accuser; the devil.
“And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.”
– Mark 1:13
Derived from the Hebrew word satan, this word is only used in the New Testament to speak about our spiritual enemy, the devil. He is the adversary of:
- God and Jesus Christ (Matthew 4:10; Mark 1:13; Luke 4:8)
- God’s people (Luke 22:31; Acts 5:3; Romans 16:20)
- mankind (Luke 13:16; Acts 26:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelations 12:9)
“And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.”
– Romans 16:20
According to the above scripture, the believers in Christ will have victory over this adversary.
As you can see, in the Hebrew language the word satan was used for any kind of adversary. Yet, we know that there is no adversary that wants us to fall from God’s grace more than His old friend, Lucifer.
That’s what the word satan means in Hebrew and Greek. I pray you found this article helpful. If so, please share this content. Also, feel free to share any thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading!