DEVIL, or SATAN (Gr. diabolos, accuser;" Heb. satan, desig nates in the Old and New Testament a mighty spirit of evil who has, during unknown ages, ruled over a kingdom of evil spirits, and is in constant and restlessly active opposition to God. This belief, however, was very gradually developed in the Jewish mind; and it is beyond all question, that it acquired clearness and prominence through littra-national influences. In England, the "doctrine of Satau" has hardly received any treatment at the hand's of scholars; but in Germany, the subject has been most learnedly investigated. The conclusions at which some of the profoundest Biblical scholars of the continent have arrived, and the principles on'whieh they proceed, may be rejected by us, but a brief account of their method of historical analysis may be neither uninteresting nor uninstructive. The older Hebrews, it is said, who lived before the period of the Babylonish captivity—judging from the silence of Scripture—knew nothing, and certainly taught nothing, of evil spirits in the later sense—i.e., of beings separated from God, who were evil in the essence of their nature, and worked evil only. _Moral evil was rather looked upon as properly the act of man; physical evil, or adversity, on the other hand, as punishment merited through sin, and inflicted by a just and holy God, who was thus necessarily conceived as the true source of all calamity. The angels who foretold God's purposes, and executed his will, however great might be the physi cal evil they occasioned, are never accused of moral evil. Even in the Mosaic account of the seduction of Eve, there is nothing to induce us to believe that the author regarded the serpent other than as "the most subtle of all the beasts of the field," or that he meant to conceal under so plain a statement an allusion to Satan. It is probable, how ever, that at some early period in their history, the popular faith of the Jews, partly divorcing itself from its grand religious conceptions of the " one living and true God," end lapsing—as has everywhere been the case with the popular faith—into petty super stitions, had become familiar with the idea of certain fearful unearthly beings haunting wildernesses, similar to the fauns and satyrs of Greece, who might form the connecting link in the later development of an actual demonism. Traces of this are clearly visible in the Pentateuch. The Hebrew word seirim, occurring in Leviticus xvii. 7, which our translators have rendered "devils," means only "hairy ones." Now, the Egyptians worshiped the he-goat, and the Hebrews partook, as we know, of their idolatry. There fore Moses in this verse, forbidding them to commit this sin in future, says: "They shall no more offer their sacrifices to seirim--i. e., to the Egyptian he-goats. The develop ment of demonism was materially furthered during and after the Babylonish captivity by 3ledo-Persian influences. In those canonical books of the Old Testament which
belong, in their present form, to the post-exilian period—i.e., the period subsequent to the exile—the Jewish conceptions of angels become more definite. They possess differ ent ranks, names, and specific offices. They are the tutelary guardians and helpers of particular lands and peoples, but are everywhere in absolute dependence on God. And now we meet also, for the first time, with an angel called Satan, who, however, still figures as a minister of God, and along with the others appears in heaven before the throne of Jehovah, but with the function assigned to him of accuser and seducer. It is he who-1 Citron. xxi. 1 (Chronicles, it should be mentioned, is considered by most critics, both orthodox and heterodox, to he the composition of Ezra, and therefore post exilian)—stirs up David to number the people; while in the older Hebrew version (2 Sam. xxiv. 1) the same act is attributed to an angry God, the conception of Satan not then having clearly, if at all, presented itself to the Hebrew mind. It is Satan also who throws suspicion on the piety of Job, and with the permission of Jehovah, causes a series of misfortunes to befall him; while in Zechariah iii. 1, he is represented as " resisting" the angel of God, and as a false accuser of the high-priest Joshua. As yet, however, an evil nature is not expressly ascribed to him, but, what is much the same, it Is assumed that he takes a pleasure in active evil. It is a purely arbitrary and untextual interpretation of Isaiah xiv. 12 (" How art thou fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, son of the morningi") that would force these words to refer to the fall of the D. or determine from them his name. In the Apocrypha, of which only a small part is Palestinian, the rest being either Chaldaico-Persian (as, for example, Tobias and Baruch) or 2Egypto Alexandrian (as, for example, Wisdom) in its origin, the older Hebrew doctrine of mis fortune coming from the angel of Jehovah is, so to speak, dismembered, and demons or evil spirits, in the New Testament sense of the term (pneumata ponera), are for the first time mentioned (and in Tobias and Baruch frequently) as the authors of calamities. According to the representations of these writings, the evil spirits dwell, like the older Hebrew hobgoblins, in waste places, but associate themselves for the injury or destruc tion of men, enter into them as tormentors, and can be expelled only by magical of mysterious means. To this class of beings the heathen deities were reckoned to belong. But even here there is no mention of an organization or kingdom or prince of demons. The first trace. of a Diabolos or D. proper (and one in all probability springing from a foreign source) shows itself in the Book of Wisdom (ii. 24), in relation to the seduction of Eve, where it is said that through the D. the necessity of death has come into the world.