“The book of Job is perhaps the Bible’s most bizarre masterpiece. Readers both ancient and modern cannot help being moved to ask the eternal question, “Is God fair?” a question that brings us right back to the question of theodicy. Job, a faithful and pious man, is tested beyond human endurance. Despite his faithfulness to the LORD, Job suffers unimaginable losses. First, Job is divested of his wealth and livelihood; next, his ten children all die in a freak storm; and finally, he suffers serious health problems that render him incapacitated. Job, a man who is described as “blameless and upright, one who feared the LORD and turned away from evil” ( Job 1:1), is a good, just man and certainly does not deserve such suffering. Perhaps that is why centuries of devout Christians and Jews have turned to Job in times of personal crisis. Not so much for answers (for the reasons for Job’s suffering – or, indeed, suffering in general — is never fully explained in the story) but for comfort. Job’s undeserved pain speaks to the heart of all those who have loved and lost—to the countless souls who have cast questioning eyes to the heavens for answers as to why the just must suffer—and to those who want to hold onto their faith when reason tells them it is all a sham.
Assuming that the book of Job was written after the Exile, somewhere between 530 and 400 B.C.E., it represented a way for a Hebrew dissident to wrestle with the question of whether God had treated Israel justly. Such a question could not be addressed directly — or if someone did, that story did not get by the scribal sentries guarding the contents of the canon. In- stead, the author of Job gave us a hypothetical, a fairy-tale-like story about a legendary character who suffered unjustly. But although the Job of the story was from the land of Uz, and its main character was a kind of Jordanian Abraham, we cannot help but think of him as the Hebrew Every-man, grappling with the question of God’s fairness.
Why are we so preoccupied with the book of Job in a book about Satan? Because the most developed and sustained appearance of the cosmic troublemaker, hassatan (Satan’s direct biblical ancestor) is found in the book of Job.11 And here, hassatan’s role is to test the integrity of a righteous man, to find out what this model of patriarchal piety is really made of.
The action in the story shifts between the earthly realm and God’s heavenly abode; causing misery and creating mayhem, hassatan moves with ease between both spheres. We first meet hassatan at a gathering of the heavenly council: “One day the heavenly beings came to present themselves before the LORD and Satan [hassatan] also came among them” ( Job 1:6). At first glance, hassatan appears to be simply one more member of the heavenly court, one of “the sons of God,” the divine courtiers assembled in the throne room of the cosmic monarch.
“Where have you come from?” ( Job 1:7), God asks hassatan. Hassatan replies: “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it” ( Job 1:7). Hassatan, it appears, has a special function in the divine government: to audit human virtue. Hassatan does not seem to be stirring up trouble on earth—at least not yet—but merely reporting in to his supervisor.
God’s next question, however, changes the dynamic and launches the subsequent tragedy.
“Have you considered my servant, Job? There is no one like him on earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil.” ( Job 1:8)
Remember: This is God talking. God invites the Adversary, the cosmic attorney general, to open a file on Job. And God cannot resist bragging about his favored one, his apparent “pet.”
As in many scripts, the villain’s lines are the most memorable: “Does Job fear God for nothing?” hassatan asks God ( Job 1:9). The “fear of God” in the Hebrew sense does not mean that Job is afraid of God; rather, it denotes awe, loyalty, and respect for God. Hassatan assumes Job’s piety is less than heroic. After all, it is easy to love and worship God if one has a charmed life, one abundantly blessed by good fortune. Hassatan’s subsequent rhetorical question goes straight to the heart of the matter: “Does Job fear God for naught,” for nothing, for free? As far as hassatan is concerned, the answer is obviously no. Job fears God because virtue and piety have proved profitable for him. Job’s lavish abundance has not escaped the Trouble- maker’s notice, and so hassatan addresses the LORD:
“Have you not put a fence around him and his house and all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.” ( Job 1:10)
The term “fence” in the above mentioned text reminds us that Job is the recipient of God’s special protection. Metaphorical “fences” include Job’s family, estate, and social standing, all of which have made him impregnable, protecting his serene patriarchal life from chaos. His life of humane generosity means that he has plenty of capital in the social “favor bank” on which to draw should the need arise. As for Job’s credit with God, consider what Job 1:5 suggests:
[H]e would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of . . . all [his children]; for Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This is what Job always did.
Every morning Job rises before dawn and performs ritual on behalf of his children. With cultic mortar and pestle, Job mixes good medicine for his children each morning to inoculate them against divine punishment. Job’s credit with the Almighty is so good that his children could draw on it.
Job’s world is safe and protected, his “fences” secure — that is, until the Troublemaker, hassatan, offers a challenge to God to remove those fences, to see what Job is made of behind all that insulation. “But stretch out your hand now and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face” ( Job 1:11), hassatan volleys back to God. And so the great game begins. God allows hassatan to remove Job’s fences. But hassatan is prohibited, in the first round at least, from one move: Hassatan is not permitted to harm Job him- self (Job 1:12).
One by one the fences fall: Job’s livestock are stolen by raiders, his herds and field hands are incinerated in a brushfire, his camels and stablehands are lost to a marauding band; finally, unspeakably, Job’s ten children, as- sembled for a family occasion, die in a tornado (Job 1:13–19).
Job’s reaction to the complete ruination of his life reflects the grief customs of his day: He tears his garment, shaves his head, falls to the ground, and affirms God’s sovereignty (Job 1:20–21)19:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” ( Job 1:22)
Job, it seems, had been preparing for this crisis every day of his life. He was truly righteous, he was like a tree planted by the waters and he would not be moved (cf. Ps 1:1–3), not by any loss, no matter how tragic. Job could put it all in perspective, somehow, and stay on the path of righteousness. Hence, Job passed the first test and God won round one of the contest.
There is an interesting connection between Job’s first test and the 2005 film, Constantine. The film, based on the comic book, Hellblazer, features the adventures of a supernatural detective, John Constantine, played by the actor Keanu Reeves. John Constantine acts as a sort of superhero exorcist, ridding the world of nefarious demons who possess unsuspecting humans and threaten world security. Although there are other connections between Satan’s story and Constantine (we explore these in later chapters) one particular connection deserves brief mention. In the film, God and Satan make a wager for the souls of humans and each agree that these souls may be won through influence, rather than through physical contact.
Such a wager is reminiscent of the first agreement between God and hassatan in first round of Job’s testing: “The Lord said to hassatan, ‘Very well, all that he [Job] has is in your power; only do not stretch out your hand against him!’”(Job 1:12). In Job’s case, the initial agreement proves to be temporary.
Round two follows the same pattern, but this time hassatan will not be content to leave Job with any fences. God once again boasts, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns ways from evil” (Job 2:3; 1:8). The repetition serves to heighten the tension between God and the Adversary, and the reader cannot help but wince at the fact that God’s victory is at Job’s expense.
God apparently blames hassatan for Job’s reversal of fortune: “He [Job] still persists in his integrity, although you [hassatan] incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason” (Job 2:3c), but careful readers should not buy these goods. It was God who provoked hassatan to consider Job in the first place, and it was God who granted hassatan permission to dismantle the structures of this righteous man’s life.
Unhappy with the loss of the first round, hassatan seeks to score with a knockout in round two:
Then Satan answered the LORD,
“Skin for skin! All that people have they will give to save their lives.
But stretch out your hand now and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” (Job 2:4–5)
This is the final fence around Job’s soul: his physical flesh, his bones, his skin. And God agrees to these terms, with one important proviso: Hassatan may not take Job’s life (Job 2:6). Reminiscent of the first challenge, the Troublemaker once again departs the heavenly realm and returns to Job’s earthly home (cf. Job 1:12 and 2:2).
Hassatan wastes no time in adding to Job’s misery, inflicting “loathsome sores on Job from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head” ( Job 2:7). There is little Job can do to ease his suffering. He sits in an ash pit, scrap- ing his boils with a potsherd (Job 2:8).24 Job, his skin peeling, flayed by hassatan, heroically passes this second test too. The text of Job 2:10 offers the official report: “In all this Job did not sin with his lips,” although the wording of the final phrase (“with his lips”) leaves this doorway into the re- mainder of the book of Job ajar. The rest of the book includes over thirty chapters of anguished conversation in which Job’s three “friends,” Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, assert that, despite Job’s protests of innocence, his suf- fering must be the result of sin. The normally patient and pious Job soon rages against the prevailing wisdom that we somehow get what we deserve, and he challenges God to offer an explanation. In response to Job’s challenge, God makes a dramatic appearance in the whirlwind. God spends three chapters (Job 38–40) reminding Job of the wonders and mysteries of creation, effectively giving a nonanswer to the question Why? on the lips of countless suffering Jobs from the beginning of time.
Most germane for our purposes, however, is that the catalyst for all the early action, hassatan, the prosecutor who went off the deep end and enjoyed his job too much, disappears entirely after the initial scenes. The Adversary does not even return for a curtain call in the final chapter, Job 42, where a new crop of Job’s children, last seen in Job 1 buried under a collapsed house, appear so that easily beguiled readers can go home with a smile.
Although Job 1:1–2:10 reveals the most complete portrait of Satan in the Hebrew Bible, it is clear that this figure is far from the demonic tempter who would later appear in the desert to test the spiritual mettle of Jesus in the Gospels. Hassatan’s function in the Prologue of Job seems merely to administer the tests, to aid the LORD by finding out if mortal virtue is more than skin deep. Hassatan does not act without the LORD’s permission, and must play by the Almighty’s rules. Maybe, maybe there is something more in the perverse energy and brilliance of hassatan’s machinations. This ancestor of Lucifer, the Adversary of Job 1–2, may have only limited powers, may have only a little light, but he is going to let it shine, shine, shine on the innermost depths of a good man. Who could stand up to such scrutiny? Job cannot. Hassatan may disappear from Job early on, but the image of the gleeful zeal with which he has prosecuted will live on in the imaginations of readers, like the grin of the Cheshire Cat.
Of course, the notion of being “tested” or “punished” by God is not an alien concept in the Bible. But what is wholly different in this story of testing and misfortune is that God employs a lieutenant to carry it out. This marks a significant turning point in our exploration of Satan. We now have evidence of the satan figure acting on behalf of the deity, but just one step away from acting alone. For although hassatan in Job is still featured as a member of the heavenly court, he also appears to be a somewhat independent figure, roving the earth, wreaking havoc and disrupting the life of a good and pious man, and daring to make wagers with the Almighty him- self. There is even a certain arrogance and audacity associated with this character — and if God is testing Job, one could just as easily argue that hassatan is testing God.”
– T. J. Wray and Gregory Mobley, The Birth of Satan: Tracing the Devil’s Biblical Roots
“How great is this mystery of darkness! Who shall be able to open the depths of it? Who shall declare it fully to the sons of men, to bring these ‘hidden things to light?’ Especially seeing these hellish secrets which are yet undiscovered, are double to those that have been observed, by any that have escaped from its power. He only whose prerogative it is ‘to search the hearts of men’ (Rev. ii 23) can know, and make known, what is in the heart of Satan; he views all his goings, even those paths which the ‘vulture’s eye hath not seen,’ (Job xxviii. 7), and can trace those footsteps of his, which leave no more print or track behind them than ‘a ship in the sea, or a bird in the air, or a serpent on a stone’ (Prov. xxx. 19).
These are found in him whatsoever may render an adversary dreadful.
1. As, first, malice and enmity. … it particularly hints that when he hath in malice tempted a poor wretch to sin, he spares not to accuse him for it, and to load him with all things that may aggravate his guilt or misery, accusing him for more than he hath really done, and for a worse estate than he is really in.
2. Secondly, His power. Under the metaphor of a ‘lion,’ a beast of prey, whose innate property is to destroy, and is accordingly fitted with strength, with tearing paws and a devouring mouth; that as a lion would rend a kid with ease and without resistance, so are men swallowed up by him as with open mouth …
3. Thirdly, His cruelty; a ‘roaring lion’ implying not only his innate property to destroy, which must be a strange fierceness, but also that this innate principle is heightened and whetted on, as hunger in a lion sharpens and enrages that disposition till he gets his prey, so that he becomes raving and roaring, putting an awful majesty upon cruelty, and frighting them out of endeavors or hopes of resistance, and increasing their misery with affrightments and tremblings. Thus Satan shews a fierce and truculent temper, whose power being put forth from such an implacable malice, must needs become rage and fierceness.
4. Fourthly, His diligence; which, together with his cruelty, are consequences of his malice and power; he ‘goes about and seeks.’ He is restless in his pursuit, and diligent, as one that promiseth himself a satisfaction or joyful contentment in his conquests.”
– Richard Gilpin, M.D., Daemonologia Sacra; A Treatise of Satan’s Temptations
“Mary Magdalen’s long hair is apparently derived from Luke’s unnamed sinner who evidently had hair long enough to wipe Christ’s feet. By the fifteenth century, the vanity of Mary Magdalen before her conversion was seen to focus on her hair. In a sermon given in the early fifteenth century, St. Bernardino of Siena (1380-1444) declared that Mary Magdalen’s “third sin was through her hair” which, he adds, “she did everything to make herself more blond” through a practice of “staying in the sun to dry her hair.”
Such sermons were aimed at contemporary women. At this time and into the sixteenth century, it was frequently the practice of courtesans to dye their hair blond. The technique of dyeing hair blond was called arte biondeggiante. Mary Magdalen’s hair is frequently shown blond and is one of her principal attributes.” – Christopher Witcombe, Mary Magdalen in Renaissance and Later Art
This association between hair and evil was used in prior depictions of Mary Magdalene in the 14th and 15th centuries, but less deference was paid to her sensuality. Examine Donatello’s Penitent Mary, a woodcutting made between 1453-1455; it was both reviled and beloved in its day for its realism.
“Though the “Penitent Magdalen” was the usual depiction for the many single figures of Mary Magdalene in art, Donatello’s gaunt, emaciated figure differs greatly from most depictions, which show a beautiful young woman in perfect health. Medieval hagiography in the Western church had conflated the figure of Mary Magdalene, already conflated with Mary of Bethany and the unnamed sinner in the Anointing of Jesus, with that of Saint Mary of Egypt. She was a popular figure in the Eastern church, who had been a prostitute before spending thirty years repenting in the desert. Donatello’s depiction is similar to, and very probably influenced by, Eastern Orthodox icons of Mary of Egypt, which show a similar emaciated figure. He thus ignored the Western legends by which Mary was daily fed by angels in the desert.” – Wikipedia
Beginning in the 16th century, European depictions of Mary Magdalene in art drew increasing attention to her eroticism based on her (alleged) prostitution prior to following Jesus. The manner by which this eroticism was expressed has fascinating implications for the Christian understanding of female sexuality and a woman’s “proper” upkeep, particularly with relation to their hair, bodily and crown.
“… Hairiness of body denoted both sexuality and evil. Animal hairiness, such as in satyrs in ancient mythology, embodied lust, an attribute transferred to the Devil in the Middle Ages. Mary Magdalen’s hairiness made her akin to the “wild man” and “wild woman” of the Middle Ages.
In the sixteenth century, Johann Geiler von Kaysersberg established five categories of wild men: solitarii, sacchani, hyspani, piginini, and diaboli. Mary Magdalen was placed among the solitarii, together with Saints Mary of Egypt, Aegidius, and Onuphrius.” – Christopher Witcombe, Mary Magdalen in Renaissance and Later Art
Some depictions of Mary Magdalen, like Farino’s La Maddalena, portrayed her hair so long that she wore a cinch beneath her breasts to fashion it into a makeshift dress. Some other artists chose to depict her with an entire body of fur.
Thus, feminine hirsutism became an allegory for promiscuity, evil, sexuality, paganism, sin, and ultimately, the Devil.
By the 15th century, it was popular for women to remove all or some of their body hair.
“Many books cite small tweezers made from copper alloy or silver as part of medieval toiletry sets. The tweezers at left are dated from the 15th century and feature brass tweezers, an earscoop and a nail pick, all hinged to fold away when not in use.
Contemporary artworks, when they show the female private parts at all, show it clear from any growth of hair. Since the general practice of tweezing the face and hairline to achieve a fashionable look was popular, it is not hard to imagine that women may have also removed the unwanted hair from the pubic region. Trotula de Ruggiero’s 11th century treatice, De Ornatu Mulierum (About Women’s Cosmetics) advises a hair removal remedy for women:
‘In order permanently to remove hair: Take ants’ eggs, red orpiment, and gum of ivy, mix with vinegar, and rub the areas.'” – Rosalie Gilbert, Trends With Medieval Women’s Body Hair
Due to the Christian emphasis on feminine virtue, chastity and virginity, the quintessential virginal female would remove her pubic hair so as to render it aesthetically reminiscent of her youth, when she was in a state of “innocence.” Body hair, particularly pubic, represents maturity, experience and lack of inhibition, which were relegated to the pagan “wild women” of the time. Forms of hair dyeing, as well as many other forms of hair modification (save for its total removal), were widely frowned upon by church authorities, who cited it as an expression of the sins of lust and vanity.
Thus, the in-vogue woman would keep the hair on her crown long, but remove all other body hair, as represented by Mary Magdalene in this painting, circa 1876, by Jules Josef Lefevre. This would achieve the perfect mix of innocence and eroticism.
These concepts have residual implications today concerning how women maintain their body hair. Women who retain their body hair also retain their associations with paganism/nature-worship, promiscuity, and dissent to social convention.
The Old Testament
Although Christian scholars have retroactively inferred the presence of Satan in Old Testament passages, it is generally understood that Satan appears only once – in His predecessor, Hassatan, from the Book of Job. Nowhere in the original passages is it inferred that the serpent in the Garden of Eden is the Devil (or working for Him).
“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.
And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.”
– Job 1:6-12
The Synoptic Gospels
The Devil’s first encounter in the New Testament is with Jesus in the wilderness – an encounter not catalogued in the Gospel of John.
“And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts, and the angels waited on him.”
– Mark 1:12-13
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.”
– Matthew 4:1-11
“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.”
– Luke 4:1-13
After this point, Satan has no direct influence on the life of Jesus. Only in the Gospel of Luke is it mentioned that Satan entered Judas Iscariot prior to his betrayal.
“Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.”
– Luke 22:3
Jesus encounters many “devils” (alternatively interpreted as “unclean spirits”), whom he exorcises, during his travels. Interestingly, his dissenters accuse him of being capable of such exorcisms due to fealty to “Beelzebub, prince of demons:”
“And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.
And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?
And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.”
– Mark 3:22-26
“But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.”
– Matthew 12:24-27
“But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.
And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven.
But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.
If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.
And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.”
– Luke 11:15-19
Jesus also refers to Satan, aka “the evil one,” several times during his preaching:
“Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”
– Matthew 5:37
“When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path.”
– Matthew 13:19
“The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one …”
– Matthew 13:38
“And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”
– Luke 10:18
“Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
– Luke 13:16
“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat …”
– Luke 22:31
“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.”
– John 17:15
Beyond this point, Satan is referred to in passing, generally in a cautionary manner — until Revelations, which is (by far) the most Satan-saturated book of the Bible.
Acts of the Apostles
“Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself so me of the money you received for the land?”
– Acts 5:3
“… how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”
– Acts 10:38
“You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?”
– Acts 13:10
“I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”
– Acts 26:17-18
Epistle to the Romans
“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”
– Romans 16:20
First Epistle to the Corinthians
“When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.”
– 1 Corinthians 5:4-5
“Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
– 1 Corinthians 7:5
Second Epistle to the Corinthians
“If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven–if there was anything to forgive–I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake,
in order that Satan might not out wit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”
– 2 Corinthians 2:10-11
“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”
– 2 Corinthians 11:14
“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.”
– 2 Corinthians 12:7
First Epistle to the Thessalonians
“For we wanted to come to you–certainly I, Paul, did, again and again–but Satan stopped us.”
– 1 Thessalonians 2:18
Second Epistle to the Thessalonians
“The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders,”
– 2 Thessalonians 2:9
First Epistle to Timothy
“Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.”
– 1 Timothy 1:20
“He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.”
– 1 Timothy 3:6
“Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.”
– 1 Timothy 5:15
Second Epistle to Timothy
“… and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”
– 2 Timothy 2:26
Epistle to the Hebrews
“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil-”
– Hebrews 2:14
Epistle of James
“Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.”
– James 3:15
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
– James 4:7
First Epistle of Peter
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
– 1 Peter 5:8
First Epistle of John
“I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, dear children, because you have known the Father.
I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.”
– 1 John 2:13-14
“He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”
– 1 John 3:8
“This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.”
– 1 John 3:10
“Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.”
– 1 John 3:12
“We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him.
We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.”
– 1 John 5:18-19
Epistle of Jude
“But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!””
– Jude 1:9
“I know your afflictions and your poverty–yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
– Revelation 2:9-10
“I know where you live–where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city–where Satan lives.”
– Revelation 2:13
“I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars–I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.”
– Revelation 3:9
“The great dragon was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.”
– Revelation 12:9
“Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”
– Revelation 12:12
“He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.”
– Revelation 20:2
“When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison …”
– Revelation 20:7
“And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
– Revelation 20:10
Cain was the son of Adam and Eve, and brother of Abel. An account of his life is given in Genesis.
“Adam knew his wife Eve intimately, and she conceived and bore Cain. She said, “I have had a male child with the LORD’s help.”
Then she also gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel became a shepherd of a flock, but Cain cultivated the land.
In the course of time Cain presented some of the land’s produce as an offering to the LORD.
And Abel also presented [an offering] — some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions. The Lord had regard for Abel and his offering,
but He did not have regard for Cain and his offering. Cain was furious, and he was downcast.
Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you furious? And why are you downcast?
If you do right, won’t you be accepted? But if thou do not do right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”
And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.”
—Genesis 4:1-8 (HCSB)
The Septuagint, an early Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, offers an alternate version of the seventh verse:
“If you offer properly, but divide improperly, have you not sinned? Be still; to you shall he submit, and you shall rule over him.”
Later in the narrative, God asks Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?” Cain replies, “I do not know: Am I my brother’s keeper?”
After this, God said to Cain, “What hast you done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth out to Me from the ground! So now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand. When thou farm the ground, it shall not yield good crops to you! Thou shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth! (Genesis 4:10-4:12)”
As we can see from this account, not only is Cain a pioneer in evil, but also in sarcasm.
The Qur’an also provides an account of the children of Adam and Eve, although it does not give them names.
“Recite to them the truth of the story of the two sons of Adam. Behold! they each presented a sacrifice (to Allah): It was accepted from one, but not from the other. Said the latter: “Be sure I will slay thee.” “Surely,” said the former, “Allah doth accept of the sacrifice of those who are righteous.
“If thou dost stretch thy hand against me, to slay me, it is not for me to stretch my hand against thee to slay thee: for I do fear Allah, the cherisher of the worlds.
“For me, I intend to let thee draw on thyself my sin as well as thine, for thou wilt be among the companions of the fire, and that is the reward of those who do wrong.”
The (selfish) soul of the other led him to the murder of his brother: he murdered him, and became (himself) one of the lost ones.
Then Allah sent a raven, who scratched the ground, to show him how to hide the shame of his brother. “Woe is me!” said he; “Was I not even able to be as this raven, and to hide the shame of my brother?” then he became full of regrets-
On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.”
– The Holy Qur’an, 5:27-32
According to the Book of Jubilees, an Apocryphal text, Cain had a wife – Awan, his sister and daughter of Adam and Eve.
To adherents of Islam, the account of Adam and Eve’s sons is a parable intended to warn people about the consequences of murder – that to kill one person is considered just as grievous as consigning the entire human race to death. “As to those who deny the Signs of God and in defiance of right, slay the prophets, and slay those who teach just dealing with mankind, announce to them a grievous penalty.” – Qur’an, 3:21
However, Christians have observed that the Bible does not provide a motivation for Cain’s crime. It is generally understood that it was performed out of jealousy and anger over Cain’s offering having been overlooked, while his brother Abel’s was accepted. However, some have gone a step further and asserted Cain was capable of murder because he was not one of God’s children, but rather, the illegitimate offspring of the Devil.
“In the Apocryphon of John, Eve is said to have been seduced by the supreme archon Yaldaboth who then fathered two sons named Eloim and Yave.
‘And the chief archon seduced her and he begot in her two sons; the first and the second (are) Eloim and Yave. Eloim has a bear-face and Yave has a cat-face. The one is righteous, but the other is unrighteous. (Yave is righteous, but Eloim is unrighteous.) Yave he set over the fire and the wind, and Eloim he set over the water and the earth. And these he called with the names Cain and Abel with a view to deceive.’ (Ap. John II, 24, 16-25 [Wisse])
In the Apocryphon of John Yalbadoth is the evil creator-god who creates angels to rule the world and aid in the creation of human beings. In a passage preceding this one both Cain and Abel are listed among the twelve authorities birthed by Sophia. The identification of Cain and Abel with Eloim and Yave with the Hebrew ‘Yahweh’ and ‘Elohim’ is easily deduced and, coupled with the seduction of Eve, demonstrates the author’s intention of describing Eve’s sons as being the result of a sexual encounter with a divine being. … The important difference, however, lies in their essential character traits; Cain is unrighteous while Abel is righteous. While Genesis provides no such explicit description of the brothers, these epithets became part of Jewish and Christian tradition …
… Cain’s birth in [Genesis] 4:1 is not described in the same way as that of Seth. In Gen 5:3 we read that ‘Adam begot a son in his own likeness, his own image, and called him Seth.’ But no similar statement is attached to the description of Cain and his birth (or to Abel). The difference in the descriptions led interpreters to conclude that there must have been something qualitatively different about the circumstances surrounding Cain’s birth. This observation lead the Aramaic translator of Targum Pseudo-Jonathon to add the following to the biblical text of Gen 5:3.
‘When Adam had lived a hundred and thirty years, he begot Seth, who resembled his image and likeness. For before that, eve had borne Cain, who was not from him and who did not resemble him. Abel was killed by Cain, and Cain was banished, and his descendants are not recorded in the book of the genealogy of Adam. But afterwards he begot one who resembled him and he called his name Seth.’ (Tg. Ps.-J. Gen 5:3 [Maher])
The question some ancient interpreters asked, then: who was the father of Cain? Somewhat surprisingly, it is the devil that was often identified as the father of the man who would become the world’s first murderer even though the devil does not appear in the Cain and Abel narrative. Such an interpretation seems to stem from yet another ambiguity contained in Eve’s cryptic statement.
One would expect Eve to designate Cain as [the Hebrew word for] “son” or another Hebrew word for a male child. But the use of [the Hebrew word for] “man” to describe the birth of a child is once again unusual and without parallel.
… the combination of this strange description of the child as a “man” along with the equally strange description of his birth “with the Lord” led some to conclude that Cain was the resulting offspring of an encounter between Eve and some type of angel of the Lord, more than likely a fallen angel in light of Cain’s later actions. This is related to a reevaluation of what Genesis means when it says that ‘Adam knew his wife.’ Rather than interpret it in the euphemistic sense of sexual intercourse, some exegetes interpreted the phrase to mean that ‘Adam knew something about Eve,’ that is, she had intercourse with someone other than Adam. The result is a well attested tradition among Jewish and Christian interpreters that depicted Cain as the son of either the devil or some other fallen being.”
“Having been made pregnant by the seed of the devil … she brought forth a son.” (Tertullian, Patience 5:15)
“First adultery came into being, afterward murder. And he [Cain] was begotten in adultery, for he was the child of the serpent.” (Gos. Phil. 61:5-10 [Isenberg])
“And Adam knew about his wife Eve that she had conceived from Sammael, the angel of the Lord, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. And she said, ‘I have acquired a man, indeed an angel of the Lord.'” (Tg. Ps.-J. Gen. 4:1)
“(Sammael) riding on the serpent came to her and she conceived [Cain]; afterwards Adam came to her, and she conceived Abel, as it is said, ‘And the Adam knew his wife Eve.’ What is the meaning of ‘knew’? He knew that she had (already) conceived.” (Pirque R. El. 21 [Friedlander])”
– John Byron, Cain and Abel in Text and Tradition
Some Luciferians believe that Cain was the son of Samael and Lilith, forming an Unholy Trinity.
“When I came across this website in a search on the Great Whore of Babylon, I was astounded by Professor John Steczynski’s gorgeous drawings covering the entirety of the Apocalypse, 42 in all, and his imaginative rendition of Babylon’s Beast and the Great Red Dragon and sought permission to reproduce two of them at high resolution in KAOS. The intricacy of the style of fine-line hatching and also the intensity of the colour, particularly the red of the dragon in otherwise monochrome images, comes out more than it does in the low resolution scans on the website. Prof. Steczynski, of Boston College, has for the past twenty years made pen and ink drawings and painted liturgical hangings. He states that his work comes out of the modernist rejection of explicit religious imagery that has occurred since the 1950s, that has, as he puts it, “begun to give way to a post-modernist absorption of ethnic traditions strongly imbued with religious themes”. His choice to focus on the Apocalypse of St John during his sabbatical leave in 1997–1998 was inspired by the forthcoming millennium, given that many people associate “millennium” with the Apocalypse. He expands on this:
‘There was a more pressing impetus, however. The extreme right might try to find ways to manipulate the appeal that the Apocalypse already has for Christians of a more fundamentalist orientation to promote its own political agendas for the millennium. I wanted my Apocalypse to remain true to John’s vision, manifesting its full intensity. At the same time I wanted to embody a broader, more humanitarian understanding than others might, avoiding vindictive divisions into black/white, good/evil, us/them. I wished to affirm a God of love.’
I was curious whether there was any reason he had decided not to draw the dragon or beast with horns, wondering whether it was to represent a more serpentine creature, something that looked like it may actually have existed:
‘The question about the horns: the main reason was seeing the awkwardness which Dürer and others had in dealing with the unequal number of heads and horns and crowns. John probably had specific symbolic significance to each of these, but he was writing and not creating images. I guess I simply felt I wasn’t able to find a satisfactory solution. I think I included horns in my earliest sketches. Probably if I decided it mattered enough, I could refocus on the problem and see what I come up with.’
Steczynski’s Apocalypse images are crying out to be published in a fine-art rendition of the Book of Revelation.”
– Joel Biroco, KAOS
King James the Fifth departed for Copenhagen to marry Princess Anne, the sister of the King of Denmark, in the late 1500’s. The journey back to Scotland was wrought with terrible storms, forcing them to seek shelter in Norway. Their return was thus delayed a matter of weeks. The admiral of the Danish fleet escorting the King implicated the wife of an official in Copenhagen, which resulted in the implication of other nobles in the Scottish court. Witchcraft trials were subsequently held in both countries. This event became the catalyst for thousands of witchcraft accusations to follow, resulting in three to four thousand deaths between the years of 1560-1707.
Later dubbed the North Berwick witch trials, this event was also the inspiration for King James to write Daemonologie, a three-book compendium on witchcraft, necromancy, and communication with the Devil. In the third book, he focuses on demonic spirits – their behavior, appearance, and means of exorcism.
The diuision of spirites in foure principall kindes. The description of the first kinde of them, called Spectra & vmbræ mortuorum. What is the best way to be free of their trouble.
Philomathes. I pray you now then go forward in telling what ye thinke fabulous, or may be trowed in that case.
Epi. That kinde of the Deuils conuersing in the earth, may be diuided in foure different kindes, whereby he affrayeth and troubleth the bodies of men: For of the abusing of the soule, [pg 057] I haue spoken alreadie. The first is, where spirites troubles some houses or solitarie places: The second, where spirites followes vpon certaine persones, and at diuers houres troubles them: The thirde, when they enter within them and possesse them: The fourth is these kinde of spirites that are called vulgarlie the Fayrie. Of the three former kindes, ye harde alreadie, how they may artificiallie be made by Witch-craft to trouble folke: Now it restes to speake of their naturall comming as it were, and not raysed by Witch-craft. But generally I must for-warne you of one thing before I enter in this purpose: that is, that although in my discourseing of them, I deuyde them in diuers kindes, yee must notwithstanding there of note my Phrase of speaking in that: For doubtleslie they are in effect, but all one kinde of spirites, who for abusing the more of mankinde, takes on these sundrie shapes, and vses diuerse formes of out-ward actiones, as if some were of nature better then other. Nowe I returne to my purpose: As to the first kinde of these spirites, that were called by the auncients by diuers names, according as their actions were. For if they were spirites that haunted some houses, by appearing in diuers and horrible formes, and making greate dinne: they were called Lemures or Spectra. If they appeared in likenesse of anie defunct to some friends of his, they wer called vmbræ mortuorum: And so innumerable stiles they got, according to their actiones, as I haue said alreadie. As we see by experience, how manie stiles they haue given [pg 058] them in our language in the like maner: Of the appearing of these spirites, wee are certified by the Scriptures, where the Prophet Esay 13. Esay. 13. Iere. 50. and 34. cap. threatning the destruction of Babell and Edom: declares, that it shal not onlie be wracked, but shall become so greate a solitude, as it shall be the habitackle of Howlettes, and of Ziim and Iim, which are the proper Hebrewe names for these Spirites. The cause whie they haunte solitarie places, it is by reason, that they may affraie and brangle the more the faith of suche as them alone hauntes such places. For our nature is such, as in companies wee are not so soone mooued to anie such kinde of feare, as being solitare, which the Deuill knowing well inough, hee will not therefore assaile vs but when we are weake: And besides that, GOD will not permit him so to dishonour the societies and companies of Christians, as in publicke times and places to walke visiblie amongst them. On the other parte, when he troubles certaine houses that are dwelt in, it is a sure token either of grosse ignorance, or of some grosse and slanderous sinnes amongst the inhabitantes thereof: which God by that extraordinarie rod punishes.
Phi. But by what way or passage can these Spirites enter in these houses, seeing they alledge that they will enter, Doore and Window being steiked?
Epi. They will choose the passage for their entresse, according to the forme that they are in at [pg 059] that time. For if they haue assumed a deade bodie, whereinto they lodge themselues, they can easely inough open without dinne anie Doore or Window, and enter in thereat. And if they enter as a spirite onelie, anie place where the aire may come in at, is large inough an entrie for them: For as I said before, a spirite can occupie no quantitie.
Phi. And will God then permit these wicked spirites to trouble the reste of a dead bodie, before the resurrection thereof? Or if he will so, I thinke it should be of the reprobate onely.
Epi. What more is the reste troubled of a dead bodie, when the Deuill carryes it out of the Graue to serue his turne for a space, nor when the Witches takes it vp and joyntes it, or when as Swine wortes vppe the graues? The rest of them that the Scripture speakes of, is not meaned by a locall remaining continuallie in one place, but by their resting from their trauelles and miseries of this worlde, while their latter conjunction againe with the soule at that time to receaue full glorie in both. And that the Deuill may vse aswell the ministrie of the bodies of the faithfull in these cases, as of the vn-faithfull, there is no inconvenient; for his haunting with their bodies after they are deade, can no-waies defyle them: In respect of the soules absence. And for anie dishonour it can be vnto them, by what reason can it be greater, then the hanging, heading, or many such shameful deaths, that good men will suffer? [pg 060] for there is nothing in the bodies of the faithfull, more worthie of honour, or freer from corruption by nature, nor in these of the vnfaithful, while time they be purged and glorified in the latter daie, as is dailie seene by the vilde diseases and corruptions, that the bodies of the faythfull are subject vnto, as yee will see clearelie proued, when I speake of the possessed and Dæmoniacques.
Phi. Yet there are sundrie that affirmes to haue haunted such places, where these spirites are alleaged to be: And coulde neuer heare nor see anie thing.
Epi. I thinke well: For that is onelie reserued to the secreete knowledge of God, whom he wil permit to see such thinges, and whome not.
Phi. But where these spirites hauntes and troubles anie houses, what is the best waie to banishe them?
Epi. By two meanes may onelie the remeid of such things be procured: The one is ardent prayer to God, both of these persones that are troubled with them, and of that Church whereof they are. The other is the purging of themselues by amendement of life from such sinnes, as haue procured that extraordinarie plague.
Phi. And what meanes then these kindes of spirites, when they appeare in the shaddow of a person newlie dead, or to die, to his friendes?
Epi. When they appeare vpon that occasion, they are called Wraithes in our language. Amongst the Gentiles the Deuill vsed that much, to make [pg 061] them beleeue that it was some good spirite that appeared to them then, ether to forewarne them of the death of their friend; or else to discouer vnto them, the will of the defunct, or what was the way of his slauchter, as is written in the booke of the histories Prodigious. And this way hee easelie deceiued the Gentiles, because they knew not God: And to that same effect is it, that he now appeares in that maner to some ignorant Christians. For he dare not so illude anie that knoweth that, neither can the spirite of the defunct returne to his friend, or yet an Angell vse such formes.
Phi. And are not our war-woolfes one sorte of these spirits also, that hauntes and troubles some houses or dwelling places?
Epi. There hath indeede bene an old opinion of such like thinges; For by the Greekes they were called λυκανθρωποι which signifieth men-woolfes. But to tell you simplie my opinion in this, if anie such thing hath bene, I take it to haue proceeded but of a naturall super-abundance of Melancholie, which as wee reade, that it hath made some thinke themselues Pitchers, and some horses, and some one kinde of beast or other: So suppose I that it hath so viciat the imagination and memorie of some, as per lucida interualla, it hath so highlie occupyed them, that they haue thought themselues verrie Woolfes indeede at these times: and so haue counterfeited their actiones in goeing on their handes and feete, preassing to deuoure women and barnes, fighting and snatching with all the towne [pg 062] dogges, and in vsing such like other bruitish actiones, and so to become beastes by a strong apprehension, Dan. 4. as Nebucad-netzar was seuen yeares: but as to their hauing and hyding of their hard & schellie sloughes, I take that to be but eiked, by vncertaine report, the author of all lyes.
The description of the next two kindes of Spirites, whereof the one followes outwardlie, the other possesses inwardlie the persones that they trouble. That since all Prophecies and visiones are nowe ceased, all spirites that appeares in these formes are euill.
Philomathes. Come forward now to the reste of these kindes of spirites.
Epi. As to the next two kindes, that is, either these that outwardlie troubles and followes some persones, or else inwardlie possesses them: I will conjoyne them in one, because aswel the causes ar alike in the persons that they are permitted to trouble: as also the waies whereby they may be remedied and cured.
Phi. What kinde of persones are they that vses to be so troubled?
Epi. Two kindes in speciall: Either such as being guiltie of greeuous offences, God punishes [pg 063] by that horrible kinde of scourdge, or else being persones of the beste nature peraduenture, that yee shall finde in all the Countrie about them, GOD permittes them to be troubled in that sort, for the tryall of their patience, and wakening vp of their zeale, for admonishing of the beholders, not to truste ouer much in themselues, since they are made of no better stuffe, and peraduenture blotted with no smaller sinnes (as Christ saide, Luc. 13. speaking of them vppon whome the Towre in Siloam fell:) And for giuing likewise to the spectators, matter to prayse GOD, that they meriting no better, are yet spared from being corrected in that fearefull forme.
Phi. These are good reasones for the parte of GOD, which apparantlie mooues him so to permit the Deuill to trouble such persones. But since the Deuil hath euer a contrarie respecte in all the actiones that GOD employes him in: which is I pray you the end and mark he shoots at in this turne?
Epi. It is to obtaine one of two thinges thereby, if he may: The one is the tinsell of their life, by inducing them to such perrilous places at such time as he either followes or possesses them, which may procure the same: And such like, so farre as GOD will permit him, by tormenting them to weaken their bodie, and caste them in incurable diseases. The other thinge that hee preases to obteine by troubling of them, is the tinsell of their soule, by intising them to mistruste [pg 064] and blaspheme God: Either for the intollerablenesse of their tormentes, as he assayed to haue done with Iob; Iob. i. or else for his promising vnto them to leaue the troubling of them, incase they would so do, as is knowen by experience at this same time by the confession of a young one that was so troubled.
Phi. Since ye haue spoken now of both these kindes of spirites comprehending them in one: I must nowe goe backe againe in speering some questions of euerie one of these kindes in speciall. And first for these that followes certaine persones, yee know that there are two sortes of them: One sorte that troubles and tormentes the persones that they haunt with: An other sort that are seruiceable vnto them in all kinde of their necessaries, and omittes neuer to forwarne them of anie suddaine perrell that they are to be in. And so in this case, I would vnderstande whither both these sortes be but wicked and damned spirites: Or if the last sorte be rather Angells, (as should appeare by their actiones) sent by God to assist such as he speciallie fauoures. For it is written in the Scriptures, Gen. 32. 1. Kin. 6. Psal. 34. that God sendes Legions of Angels to guarde and watch ouer his elect.
Epi. I know well inough where fra that errour which ye alleage hath proceeded: For it was the ignorant Gentiles that were the fountaine thereof. Who for that they knew not God, they forged in their owne imaginationes, euery man to be still accompanied with two spirites, whereof they called [pg 065] the one genius bonus, the other genius malus: the Greekes called them ευδαιμονα & κακοδαιμονα: wherof the former they saide, perswaded him to all the good he did: the other entised him to all the euill. But praised be God we that are christians, & walks not amongst the Cymmerian conjectures of man, knowes well inough, that it is the good spirite of God onely, who is the fountain of all goodnes, that perswads vs to the thinking or doing of any good: and that it is our corrupted fleshe and Sathan, that intiseth vs to the contrarie. And yet the Deuill for confirming in the heades of ignoraunt Christians, that errour first mainteined among the Gentiles, he whiles among the first kinde of spirits that I speak of, appeared in time of Papistrie and blindnesse, and haunted diuers houses, without doing any euill, but doing as it were necessarie turnes vp and down the house: and this spirit they called Brownie in our language, who appeared like a rough-man: yea, some were so blinded, as to beleeue that their house was all the sonsier, as they called it, that such spirites resorted there.
Phi. But since the Deuils intention in all his actions, is euer to do euill, what euill was there in that forme of doing, since their actions outwardly were good.
Epi. Was it not euill inough to deceiue simple ignorantes, in making them to take him for an Angell of light, and so to account of Gods enemie, as of their particular friend: where by the contrarie, all we that are Christians, ought assuredly to know [pg 066] that since the comming of Christ in the flesh, and establishing of his Church by the Apostles, all miracles, visions, prophecies, & appearances of Angels or good spirites are ceased. Which serued onely for the first sowing of faith, & planting of the Church. Where now the Church being established, and the white Horse whereof I spake before, hauing made his conqueste, the Lawe and Prophets are thought sufficient to serue vs, or make vs inexcusable, Luk. 16. as Christ saith in his parable of Lazarus and the riche man.
The description of a particular sort of that kind of following spirites, called Incubi and Succubi: And what is the reason wherefore these kindes of spirites hauntes most the Northeme and barbarous partes of the world.
Philomathes. The next question that I would speere, is likewise concerning this first of these two kindes of spirites that ye haue conjoyned: and it is this; ye knowe how it is commonly written and reported, that amongst the rest of the sortes of spirites that followes certaine persons, there is one more monstrous nor al the rest: in respect as it is alleaged, they converse naturally with them whom they trouble and hauntes with: and therefore I would knowe in two thinges your opinion herein: First if suche a thing can be: and next if it be: whether there be a difference of sexes amongst these spirites or not.
Epi. That abhominable kinde of the Deuils [pg 067] abusing of men or women, was called of old, Incubi and Succubi, according to the difference of the sexes that they conuersed with. By two meanes this great kinde of abuse might possibly be performed: The one, when the Deuill onelie as a spirite, and stealing out the sperme of a dead bodie, abuses them that way, they not graithlie seeing anie shape or feeling anie thing, but that which he so conuayes in that part: As we reade of a Monasterie of Nunnes which were burnt for their being that way abused. The other meane is when he borrowes a dead bodie and so visiblie, and as it seemes vnto them naturallie as a man converses with them. But it is to be noted, that in whatsoeuer way he vseth it, that sperme seemes intollerably cold to the person abused. For if he steale out the nature of a quick person, it cannot be so quicklie carryed, but it will both tine the strength and heate by the way, which it could neuer haue had for lacke of agitation, which in the time of procreation is the procurer & wakener vp of these two natural qualities. And if he occupying the dead bodie as his lodging expell the same out thereof in the dewe time, it must likewise be colde by the participation with the qualities of the dead bodie whereout of it comes. And whereas yee inquire if these spirites be diuided in sexes or not, I thinke the rules of Philosophie may easelie resolue a man of the contrarie: For it is a sure principle of that arte, that nothing can be diuided in sexes, except such liuing bodies as must haue a naturall seede to genere [pg 068] by. But we know spirites hath no seede proper to themselues, nor yet can they gender one with an other.
Phi. How is it then that they say sundrie monsters haue bene gotten by that way.
Epi. These tales are nothing but Aniles fabulæ. For that they haue no nature of their owne, I haue shewed you alreadie. And that the cold nature of a dead bodie, can woorke nothing in generation, it is more nor plaine, as being already dead of it selfe as well as the rest of the bodie is, wanting the naturall heate, and such other naturall operation, as is necessarie for woorking that effect, and incase such a thing were possible (which were all utterly against all the rules of nature) it would breed no monster, but onely such a naturall of-spring, as would haue cummed betuixt that man or woman and that other abused person, in-case they both being aliue had had a doe with other. For the Deuilles parte therein, is but the naked carrying or expelling of that substance: And so it coulde not participate with no qualitie of the same. Indeede, it is possible to the craft of the Deuill to make a womans bellie to swel after he hath that way abused her, which he may do, either by steiring vp her own humor, or by herbes, as we see beggars daily doe. And when the time of her deliuery should come to make her thoil great doloures, like vnto that naturall course, and then subtillie to slippe in the Mid-wiues handes, stockes, stones, or some monstruous barne brought from some other place, but this is more reported [pg 069] and gessed at by others, nor beleeued by me.
Phi. But what is the cause that this kinde of abuse is thought to be most common in such wild partes of the worlde, as Lap-land, and Fin-land, or in our North Iles of Orknay and Schet-land.
Epi. Because where the Deuill findes greatest ignorance and barbaritie, there assayles he grosseliest, as I gaue you the reason wherefore there was moe Witches of women kinde nor men.
Phi. Can anie be so vnhappie as to giue their willing consent to the Deuilles vilde abusing them in this forme.
Epi. Yea, some of the Witches haue confessed, that he hath perswaded them to giue their willing consent thereunto, that he may thereby haue them feltred the sikarer in his snares; But as the other compelled sorte is to be pittied and prayed for, so is this most highlie to be punished and detested.
Phi. It is not the thing which we cal the Mare, which takes folkes sleeping in their bedds, a kinde of these spirites, whereof ye are speaking?
Epi. No, that is but a naturall sicknes, which the Mediciners hath giuen that name of Incubus vnto ab incubando, because it being a thicke fleume, falling into our breast vpon the harte, while we are sleeping, intercludes so our vitall spirites, and takes all power from vs, as maks vs think that there were some vnnaturall burden or spirite, lying vpon vs and holding vs downe.