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Identity Of Samael

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Guest gaminette

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Guest gaminette

Has anyone else been watching "Revelations"? Yes, I admit that I've been watching it - mostly because its snark quotient is exceedingly high. ^_~

If you haven't seen it, don't worry. If you have or if you have an interest in seeing it, here is your spoiler warning:


On last night's show, a boy was kidnapped by Satanists - the same people who kidnapped and murdered/sacrified Bill Paxton's daughter (apologies for the lack of details; I was only half paying attention.) Here's what caught my ear:

The Satanist Dudes kept calling the boy "Samael." And the boy was all like, "That's not my name!" The Satanist Dude said, "That's what your sister said before we cut out her heart! mwahahahahahaha!!" I said, "bzuh?" And my friend who was with me said, "Samael is a devil." And I said, "No, I do believe Sammael is an angel - that is, if I remember my Millennium correctly."

So, we watched "Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions" and voilà! There was Samael disposing of the Al Pepper, Esq. at both the alpha and the omega of the episode.

According to my (admittedly limited) research, Samael is the Angel of Death; sometimes he equated with Satan; sometimes he is the serpent who tempted Eve; sometimes he is God's severity.

If Samael is more devil than angel, what's with the Satanists addressing their victim thus? It would make more sense if he were an angel, wouldn't it? Or maybe I have to keep watching that horrid show to find out.


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Guest Father Karras


For what its worth here are my $.02. This is one of those questions to which there may be no correct or incorrect answer. See The following:

Samael (Sammael), Ruler of the Fifth Heaven, has been regarded as one of the greatest and one of the most dreaded Angels operating in Heaven. Samael represents the severity of God, but also the power to achieve Victory over Adversity and Adversaries through Virtue with great Power. Hence, this Angel should be a Patron to all those who do battle on the battlefield, in the courtroom, and in all occupations of Law, Politics, Government and the Military. Samael was regarded as the serpent who tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, drawing to himself the position and distinction as Chief of Satans.

Now, see this:

Samael in the History of Mankind.

In the Cabala.

Prince of the demons, and an important figure both in Talmudic and in post-Talmudic literature, where he appears as accuser, seducer, and destroyer. His name is etymologized as = "the venom of God," since he is identical with the angel of death (Targ. Yer. to Gen. iii. 6; see also Death, Angel of), who slays men with a drop of poison ('Ab. Zarah 20b; Kohut, "Angelologie und Dämonologie," pp. 69, 71). It is possible, however, that the name is derived from that of the Syrian god Shemal (Bousset, "Religion," p. 242).

Samael is the "chief of Satans" (Deut. R. xi. 9; Jellinek, "B. H." i. 125), quite in the sense of "the prince of the devils" mentioned in Matt. ix. 34; but, on the other hand, he is "the great prince in heaven." (Pirḳe R. El. xiii., beginning), who rules over angels and powers (ib.; Martyrdom of Isaiah, ii. 2). As the incarnation of evil he is the celestial patron of the sinful empire of Rome, with which Edom and Esau are identified (Tan. on Gen. xxxii. 35; Jellinek, l.c. vi. 31, 109, etc.). He flies through the air like a bird (Targ. to Job xxviii. 7), and, while the ḥayyot and ofannim have only six wings, he has twelve, and commands a whole army of demons (Pirḳe R. El. xiii.). In so far as he is identified with the serpent ("J. Q. R." vi. 12), with carnal desire (Yeẓer ha-Ra'), and with the angel of death, all legends associated with Satan refer equally to him, while as a miscreant he is compared to Belial ( = "worthless"; see collection of material in Bousset, "Antichrist," pp. 99-101).

All these descriptions of Samael show that he was regarded simply as the principle of evil that brought upon Israel and Judah every misfortune that befell them. Even at the creation of the world he was Lucifer, who ever sought evil and who began his malignant activity with Adam. His opponent is Michael, who represents the beneficent principle, and who frequently comes into conflict with him (comp. Jew. Encyc. viii. 536 et seq.; Lucken, "Michael," pp. 22 et seq.).

Samael in the History of Mankind.

The evil nature of Samael may be illustrated by a number of examples. He and his demonic host descended from heaven to seduce the first human pair (Pirḳe R. El. xiii., beginning; Yalḳ. Gen. i. 25), and for this purpose he planted the vine, the forbidden tree of paradise (Greek Apocalypse of Baruch, iv.). He was himself the serpent, whose form he merely assumed (ib. ix.; "J. Q. R." vi. 328), and was one of the leaders of the angels who married the daughters of men (Gen. vi. 1-4), thus being partially responsible for the fall of the angels (Enoch vi., in Kautzsch, "Apokryphen," ii. 238 et seq.; Lucken, l.c. p. 29). His former wife was Lilith (Jellinek, l.c. vi. 109). He endeavored to persuade Abraham not to offer up Isaac, and, failing in his purpose, he caused the death of Sarah by carrying the news of the sacrifice to her (Gen. R. lvi. 4; Sanh. 89a et passim; Pirḳe R. El. xxxii.). He wrestled with Jacob (Gen. R. lxxvii. and parallels), and also took part in the affair of Tamar (Soṭah 10b). He brought accusations against the Israelites when God was about to lead them out of Egypt (Ex. R. xxi. 7; Bacher, "Ag. Pal. Amor." i. 25, 473), and was jubilant at the death of Moses because the latter had brought the Torah (Deut. R. xi. 9; Jellinek, l.c. i. 12 et passim). Entering into King Manasseh, Samael caused the martyrdom of the prophet Isaiah (Martyrdom of Isaiah, i., in Kautzsch, l.c. ii. 124); and he considered himself victorious over Michael when God decided that the ten pious scholars during the reign of Hadrian must suffer death (Jellinek, l.c. ii. 66, iii. 87, vi. 31). On the Day of Atonement, however, Israel has no fear of him (Lev. R. xxi. 4).

In the Cabala.

In the quotations from the Slavonic Book of Enoch (vi.) Samael is represented as a prince of the demons and a magician. He is, therefore, frequently mentioned in the cabalistic writings of the Middle Ages, from which Eisenmenger compiled a rich collection of passages ("Entdecktes Judenthum," i. 826 et seq.), to which must be added those in Schwab's "Vocabulaire de l'Angélologie" (p. 199). As lord of the demons, Samael is regarded as a magic being, and must be considered in the preparation of amulets, although there is no agreement as to his power and activity. He presides over the second "teḳufah" (solstice) and the west wind of the fourth teḳufah, as well as the third day of the week ("Sefer Raziel," 6a, 40b, 41b; see also Schwab, l.c.). In Hebrew amulets Samael is represented as the angel of death ("Revue de Numismatique," 1892, pp. 246, 251). Eve is supposed to have become pregnant by him (Targ. Yer. to Gen. iv. 1); and the cabalists add many details to this legend (Eisenmenger, l.c. i. 832 et seq.). The spot in the moon is supposed to have been caused by the filth of Samael (Menahem of Recanati, p. 140, c. 2).

So, in answer to your question, there is evidence to support the idea of Samael being both angel and or demon. It is however somewhat common in ancient text to depict the angels as in competition with one another and often taking opposite sides in many issues and interpretations of God's will. Additionally, "satan" can translate to "enemy" or "enemy of man", which many of the angels were. The carried God's messages, and did God's will, but many did not care for mankind or were openly antagonistic.

I hope this helps.


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