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and is rendered adversaries. It is generally contended, that this psalm relates to Christ and his adversaries, or satans. It is certain, that verse 8. is quoted Acts 1. and is applied to Judas. This term occurs in seyeral other parts of the psalm which we shall briefly notice. In verse 6. it is said “set thou a wicked man over him: and let satan stand at his right hand.” Here, the word satan is left untranslated, but is rendered adversary in the margin.' In the Jewish mode of parallelism, a wicked man in the first part of the verse, is the same as satan in the second. For an illustration of what is said about satan, or a wicked man standing at his right hand when he shall be judged as in verse 7. see on Zach. iii. 1, 2. below. In verse 20. it is said "let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the Lord, and of them that speak evil against my soul.” The word satan, is here again used in the plural, and rendered adversaries. li is rendered in the same way verse 29. 6 Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.” On the whole of this psalm, and the use of the term satan in it, we would merely remark, that no person who reads it, can suppose that there is the least reference to a fallen angel in it. It is evident, that if the psalm refers to the Messiah, Judas and the persecuting Jews are designated by the term satan; and shows us, the propriety of the terms devil and satan being applied to them in the New Testament, as we shall afterwards
Zach. iii. 1, 2. is the last place where the term satan occurs in the Old Testament. 6 And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto satan, the Lord rebuke thee, O satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked
out of the fire.” Here the word satan is again left untranslated, except in verse 1. where it is rendered "to resist him.” In the margin it is to " be his adversary.” In the Seventy's version, the word satan is throughout this passage rendered diabolos. On the whole of it I remark,
1st. Let the word satan be only rendered adversary throughout these verses, and the idea of a fallen angel vanishes. The reader can easily put this remark to the trial, by substituting the term adversary for satan, in reading the passage. From our habit of associating the idea of a fallen angel with the term satan, and not with the word adversary, this and some other texts are supposed to teach such a doctrine. But can this false association establish it?
2d. If it were necessary, it could be shown, what satan or adversary was meant. Let any one read Ezra, chaps. 3. and 4. and notice particularly what is said concerning Tatnai, and Shethar-boznai inchap. 5. and little doubt can remain, that they were the satan or adversary referred to. It is allowed, that Zachariah prophesied about the time the events in the book of Ezra took place. Compare with this what is said on Ezra iv. 6. above. If people will interpret this passage literally of a fallen angel, why not also interpret the following chapters in the same book literally. See chaps. 1, 2, 5, 6.
3d. In this passage and in Psal. cix. 6. above, Jahn thinks there is an allusion to the forms of judicial trials in ancient times. He thus writes : “ The ceremonies which were observed in conducting a judicial trial, were as follows:
1. The accuser and the accused both made their appearance before the judge or judges, Deut. xxv. 1. who sat with legs crossed upon the floor, which was furnished for their accommodation with carpet and cushions. A secretary was present, at least in more
modern times, who wrote down the sentence, and indeed everything in relation to the trial; for instance, the articles of agreement, that might be entered into, previous to the commencement of the judicial proceedings, Isai. x. 1, 2. Jer. xxxii. 1-14. The Jews assert that there were two secretaries, the one being seated to the right of the judge, who wrote the sentence of not guilty, the other to the left, who wrote the sentence of condemnation. Comp. Matth. xxv. 33—46. That an apparitor or beadle was present, is apparent from other sources.
62. The accuser was denominated in Hebrew SATAN, or the adversary, Zach. iii. 1-3. Psalm cix. 6. The judge or judges were seated, but both of the parties implicated stood up, the accuser standing to the right hand of the accused. The latter, at least after the captivity, when the cause was one of great consequence, appeared with hair dishevelled, and in a garment of mourning.”
Such are all the texts in the Old Testament, where the term satan occurs.
The reader can now judge for himself, if it is ever used by the writers as the name of a fallen angel, who ruined our first parents and all their posterity.
THE OPINION, THAT THE DEVIL OR SATAN IS A REAL BEING,
WITH OTHER CONNECTED OPINIONS, SHOWN TO HAVE THEIR, ORIGIN IN HEATHENISM.
It has been shown in the two preceding Sections, that the Old Testament gives no countenance to the
common doctrine of a fallen angel, under the name serpent, satan, or any other. Indeed, we think it has been established, that the account of satan in the two first chapters of Job, was introduced for the express purpose of refuting such opinions. A very important inquiry arises, How came such opinions to be imbibed by Christians, become so current in the world, and even seem to derive countenance from the New Testament. To account for these and other things shall be our business in the present Section.
1st. In the early stages of the Jewish history, we read of witches and witchcraft. Injunctions are given against these, before we hear any thing about satan or the devil. But notice, that nothing is said to them about witchcraft until they were about to enter Canaan. Many of the injunctions delivered to the Jewish nation, were for the purpose of fortifying them against such heathen notions, and preserving them in the fear and service of the one living and true God. See the following among other passages concerning this. Levit. xix. 26, 31: xx. 6, 27. Deut. xviii. 9 12. Exod. xxii. 18. comp. Isai. xlvii. 12, 13. 1 Sam. chap. 28. The inhabitants of Canaan were given to idolany, and witchcraft with similar superstitions were its effects on the minds of the people. But such a being as Christians call the devil, was neither wor. shipped, feared, nor known among them. They had abundance of idols, but no devil or satan, nor are the Jews cautioned to beware of imbibing from them such an opinion. It is then a very great mistake, which many good people have made, in calling witchcraft the devil's art, and in thinking witches and wizzards were in league with him. Concerning this, Michaelis, on the laws of Moses, thus writes, vol. iv. page 89. “We must however entertain very different sentiments on this point, in reference to the time of Moses. For in the Biblical writings prior to the Babylonish cap
tivity, we meet with very little notice of the devil, and it would seem, that the effects which he could produce on the material world, were considered as but very triling. The wizzards of those days rather ascribed the efficacy of their conjurations to other gods; and therefore, in the Israelitish polity, witchcraft was commonly accounted a species of idolatry, and of course, most severely punishable. Hence orthodox theology, in the time of Moses, could look upon it in no other light, than an imposture: for no one could maintain, that it operated preternaturally, without admitting the existence of other gods, and their power over the material world.”—The Jews before they entered Canaan knew nothing about the devil. Nor did its idolatrous inhabitants, for he was not known in that part of the world. If then, as now, he walked about seeking whom he might devour, it is very unaccountable he should not be familiarly known in Canaan, a land full of idols, and witches, and all manner of wickedness. It seems.all these could exist in those days without any devil to produce them. Nor is Moses, or rather God, under any apprehension, that he would visit that country. We shall see that the Jews were obliged to go to a foreign land to find the devil.
2d. The Jews were carried to Babylon, and spent seventy years in captivity. Here, the Magian religion, revived and improved by Zoroaster, prevailed, and here we shall find that they became acquainted with the doctrine of the devil, and with other religious opinions not found in their Scriptures. To this point I shall now turn the attention of the reader. Prideaux, vol. i. p. 219-240. gives us an account of Zoroaster, his religion, and its success, a few brief extracts from which I shall only make. He says"In the time of bis (Darius Hystaspis) reign first appeared in Persia the famous prophet of the Magians,