All about Satan

This is a summary of everything the Bible has to say about Satan.

Who’s Satan?

Satan is the prince of demons, and the enemy of Jesus. Also known as the devil, the evil one, the accuser, the tempter, the prince of this world, the ruler of the kingdom of the air, Beelzebul, Belial, etc.

What does he look like?

According to the one verse in the Bible that describes his appearance, the devil is red and has horns. More specifically, he’s an enormous red dragon with seven heads, ten horns, and seven crowns.

Where does he live?

He lives in the city of Pergamum. But he roams all over the earth.

What does he do?

He does bad things. And he causes others (including God!) to do bad things. The devil is the father of lies. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he holds the power of death (or at least he used to).

Does he ever do anything good?

Sometimes Satan pretends to be good, and the Bible mentions him actually doing “good” things at least twice (good according to the Bible, anyway): Paul said that Satan would destroy someone’s flesh so that person’s spirit could be saved. And he said Satan would teach people not to blaspheme.

How powerful is he?

Satan can perform all sorts of signs and wonders to display his power. The whole world belongs to him and is under his control. But he has no power over Jesus, and he can’t harm anyone born of God. With the help of God’s protection, Christians have overcome the evil one. The devil will flee from anyone who resists him.

He sounds pretty easy to beat. What’s going to happen to him?

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Was Paul under the law?

Paul told his Corinthian followers that in order to persuade people who were under the law, he would sometimes act as if he was under the law. But he said he wasn’t actually under the law.

Then he said in order to persuade people who weren’t under the law, he would sometimes act as if he was not under the law. But he said he actually was under God’s law, and not free from it. Which is just the opposite of what he just said in the previous verse.

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The Story of David and Goliath
David Risks His Life for Nothing

Goliath, a Philistine who was almost ten feet tall, challenged Israel to choose a man to fight him one-on-one. The losing nation would then become subject to the winning nation. David was told that King Saul would give great wealth and his daughter to the man who killed Goliath. So David told Saul he would fight Goliath.

Saul thought David was too young and inexperienced to do that, but David pointed out that as a shepherd, he had plenty of experience killing things. Saul let David try on his armor, but David (Saul’s armor-bearer) wasn’t used to bearing Saul’s armor. So he went to fight Goliath with no armor and no sword.

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David Risks His Life for Nothing
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Were the Jebusites driven out?

When the Israelites were about to enter the promised land, Joshua told them that God was certainly going to drive out the nations that were already living there, including the Jebusites.

But later in the book of Joshua, it says the tribe of Judah failed to make the Jebusites leave Jerusalem. Instead, they have had to live alongside them “to this day”. Later, the book of Judges says the Benjamites weren’t able to drive out the Jebusites either. And again, it says they still live there together “to this day”.

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Is anything hidden from God?


God watches everything humans do, and there’s nowhere they can hide from him. Their sin and guilt aren’t hidden from him, either. Everything you do that you think is hidden, God will bring into judgment.

People are foolish to think they can hide what they’re doing from God, no matter how hard they try. You can’t get away from God. God is everywhere, so there’s no secret place you can go where he won’t see you. God has eyes everywhere, keeping watch on both the wicked and the good. No matter where you go, God will be there. If you think you’re hidden in the dark, God will still be able to see you like it’s light.

The elders of Israel thought God wouldn’t see what they were doing in the darkness, because God had abandoned the land. But God showed them to Ezekiel in a vision, so he clearly was aware of what they were doing. In fact, nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.

Cain said his banishment would cause him to be hidden from God, but God said it was not so. Though I can’t really tell if he meant that part was not so, or just what Cain said after that…


Sometimes God intentionally lets things be hidden from him. God commanded his people to bury their poop, to make sure he would never have to see it. God also told his people to put their idols out of his sight, which would be an impossible demand if nothing could be hidden from God.

Habakkuk says God’s eyes are too pure to look at evil, so that means all evil things are hidden from God! Isaiah says God hides himself from sinful people and doesn’t hear them.1 God also told Isaiah that “the past troubles” would be hidden from his eyes.

When God decided to stop inspiring prophecies but the prophets didn’t get the memo and continued prophesying anyway, God said he would cast them out of his presence and forget about them. When Jonah was swallowed by a fish, he said he had been banished from God’s sight.

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The Story of the Rejection of Saul
Not Evil Enough to Please God

King Saul attacked his enemies, the Philistines, but the Israelite army was outnumbered and had almost no weapons, so they ran and hid. Saul tried making a burnt offering so God would help him. But then Samuel told him that was a foolish thing to do, and now God had rejected Saul and would have to find a new king for his people.

Later, Samuel told King Saul that God wanted him to break God’s law and kill all the people and animals in the city of Amalek for the sins of their ancestors. So Saul ambushed the city and killed all the people except the king of the Amalekites,1 and all the animals except the best ones, which his men were planning to sacrifice to God later. Then God realized that he had made a bad decision when he made Saul king. Because Saul had failed to kill everyone and everything immediately,2 God rejected Saul as king of his people. Again.

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Not Evil Enough to Please God
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Did everyone descend from Eve?

The Bible says Eve “would become the mother of all the living“. I take that to mean that everyone who has ever lived, or ever will live, is a descendant of Eve.

But the Bible also says there was a guy named Melchizedek who had no ancestors at all. He was “without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life”. If that’s true, he certainly didn’t descend from Eve. He didn’t descend from anybody!

Oh, and there’s also Adam. He didn’t descend from Eve either.

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The Bible repeats itself too much—Part 4: Recounting what already happened

This is the fourth in a series of posts about unnecessary repetition in the Bible. Last time, I wrote about how often it redundantly describes events that are going to happen before describing them as they happen. As if that wasn’t enough, the Bible also has to redundantly describe the same things it already described happening, after they happen.

The Bible says Job was blameless and upright, and he feared God and shunned evil. Then it says God told Satan that Job was blameless and upright, and that he feared God and shunned evil. When God spoke to Job, he asked who was obscuring his plans without knowledge. He said he would question Job, and Job would answer him. Later, he said it again. Job never did answer any of God’s questions, but he did inform God that God had asked who was obscuring his plans without knowledge, and that he had said he would question Job, and that Job would answer him.

Abraham sent a servant to find a cousin for his son Isaac to marry. The Bible tells all about how the servant managed to find one, and then it tells what he said when he told the girl’s brother all about how he managed to find her. Later, it says Isaac told his son Jacob to marry one of his cousins from Paddan Aram, rather than marrying a Canaanite, and it says Jacob went to Paddan Aram. Then it says Isaac’s other son Esau learned that Isaac had told Jacob to marry one of his cousins from Paddan Aram, rather than marrying a Canaanite, and that Jacob had gone to Paddan Aram.

Jacob had a dream where he saw that all the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled, or spotted, and then an angel pointed out to him that all the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled, or spotted. Later on, when most of Jacob’s sons were grazing his flocks near Shechem, he told his son Joseph that his brothers were grazing the flocks near Shechem.

The Bible describes two similar weird dreams that a Pharaoh had, and then it has him describe those dreams to Joseph. It tells all about Joseph’s brothers’ dilemma when he made them think their father would have to give up his favorite remaining son, and then it has them tell Joseph about it. Then it says Joseph told his brothers that God had put him in charge of Egypt, and to tell their father that he said God had put him in charge of Egypt.

The story of the exodus is told in the book of Exodus, and then recounted in Nehemiah. In Exodus, God gives Moses the Ten Commandments, and the people tell him not to have God talk to them directly. Then in Deuteronomy, Moses’s retelling of those events is longer than when the story was told in the first place.

Same when Moses retells the golden calf story. And when he recounts the time they killed all the Amorites because God had made their king “stubborn”. And the time they killed all the men, women, and children in Bashan. He retells the story of the twelve explorers, too. The Bible tells what God told Moses about the men he chose to work on the tabernacle, and then it tells it again when Moses is reporting that to the people.

It says God refused to let Balaam go with Balak’s officials, and then Balaam told Balak’s officials that God had refused to let him go with them, and then Balak’s officials told Balak that Balaam had refused to go with them. Moses told the people that they had told him not to let God talk to them, and he said God had heard them when they talked to Moses, and he said God told him that he had heard what they had said to Moses. It says five kings hid in a cave at Makkedah, and then Joshua was told that the five kings were hiding in the cave at Makkedah.

Continue reading The Bible repeats itself too much—Part 4: Recounting what already happened
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Did all the water in Egypt turn into blood?

God told Moses to tell Aaron to bring a plague on the waters of Egypt, turning all the water into blood. God said blood would be everywhere in Egypt. All the natural bodies of water would be full of blood, and any containers people had been keeping water in would also be full of blood. The Bible says Moses and Aaron did just what God had said, and all the water was changed into blood, and blood was everywhere in Egypt.

After that happened, it says the Nile smelled so bad that the Egyptians couldn’t drink its water. What water? Why would it say that if there wasn’t any water anymore? It sounds like the river was just full of stinky water, not blood.

Continue reading Did all the water in Egypt turn into blood?
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