Did the Devil lead worship in heaven, complete with a Taylor acoustic guitar with Fishman electronics? Was he there in the first place? Did he get thrown like a skydiver with no parachute?
I want to avoid a whole discussion on the history of this figure, but it is worth noting, even taking into account the developed tradition in the New Testament, that every reference source I have looked at stresses the ambiguity of the figure and his “personhood,” role and actions in the whole Biblical narrative.
My primary point in my recent post was that the passages in the prophetic books of the OT, primarily Isaiah and Ezekiel, did not and do not intend to speak about “The Satan, The Accuser, The Serpent, etc….” I base this off of the reality that the passages in question are dealing with real kings of real kingdoms. The Satan is nowhere mentioned, and the texts do not at all even hint at a “satan” figure. I would venture to argue that the passages loose any significance and meaning when they are taken metaphorically to speak of another “supernatural” figure other than the king in question or in addition to the king in question.
Picture if you will, a people dispossessed of their land which they were promised by divine right by YHWH the one God is Israel. The prophets had been telling them that the King in question was gonna do some damage if they did not repent of their sins. But, even though doing YHWH’s bidding, in the end these kings too would be judged for their arrogance and pride, as they were putting themselves in the position of god (a well known and well documented Ancient Near Eastern practice). So in the end Israel, and more importantly YHWH would be vindicated by judgement on the prideful kings.
Now try in that social and religious climate to suggest that the prophet actually meant (or God meant?) another malevolent spiritual figure unconnected to the narrative and I will say that one is reading between the lines in a big way. If authority lies primarily in authorial intent, then I would venture to assert again that the OT prophetic passages are not at all referring to “The Accuser” and that any subsequent interpretation of them in such a manner is using a different hermeneutic than I would deem reliable.
Perhaps Jeremy, we will have to agree to disagree 🙂 Or, make your case, iron sharpens iron right?