Genesis 1-2 Deleted Scenes #5: The Fall of Satan and his angels

deleted scenes fire

SCALA_ARCHIVES_1039488604

You had the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
You were in Eden, the garden of God…
…You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there.
You were blameless in your ways

From the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.
By the abundance of your trade You were internally filled with violence, and you sinned.
Therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God…
…Therefore I have brought fire from the midst of you;
it has consumed you.

Lucifer's fall from Heaven in John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost, illustrated by Gustave Doré (1866)

—Ezekiel 28:11-19

How you have fallen from heaven,
O star of the morning, son of the dawn!
You have been cut down to the earth,
You who have weakened the nations!
But you said in your heart,
“I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
And I will sit on the mount of assembly
In the recesses of the north.”

—Isaiah 14:12-13

While the above verses tell of God’s judgement against foreign Kings who oppose Israel (i.e. the King of Tyre in Ezekiel and the King of Babylon in Isaiah), later Jews and Christians interpreted them as referring to Satan (2 Cor. 11:14Luke 10:17-20; Rev. 12:9). The tradition of Satan as the cosmic enemy of God and his fall first appear relatively late in Judaism (post-exile), explaining the figure’s large absence in the Bible. Thus, later writers felt the need to embellish his story.

I plan on writing a more comprehensive article dedicated to the historical origin and evolution of Satan in the near future, but for now I would like to share some fascinating Jewish and Christian myths that expanded upon Satan in relation to Genesis. Here we’ll deal with those relevant to Creation and the Fall of Adam and Eve.

Satan’s fall on the second day of Creation in the Book of 2 Enoch (late first century CE)

In the Jewish apocalyptic book of 2 Enoch we are given a brief account of how on the second day of Creation – after God created his angelic armies out of fire from a rock – one of them attempted to rise himself higher than God, only to be hurled down from the heavens with his angels:

SCALA_ARCHIVES_1039489175But one from the order of the archangels deviated, together with the division that was under his authority. He thought up the impossible idea, that he might place his throne higher than the clouds which are above the earth, and that he might become equal to my power.

And I hurled him out from the height, together with his angels. And he was flying around in the air, ceaselessly above the Bottomless.

And thus I created the entire heavens. and the third day came.

— 2 Enoch 29 [1]

Satan’s refusal to worship Adam and subsequent expulsion in The Life of Adam and Eve (late first century CE)

In the fascinating Jewish pseudepigraphical tale called The Life of Adam and Eve (a.k.a. The Apocalypse of Moses in its Greek version and Vita Adami et Evae in its Latin version), we are given a detailed account of what happened to Adam and Eve immediately following their expulsion from the Garden of Eden, up until their death. While I’ll be discussing most of its content in the Deleted Scenes of Genesis 3-4, one part stands out for our purposes here.

BODLEIAN_103108003772After seven days of living outside of the plentiful paradise, Adam and Eve become very hungry. In an attempt to be granted forgiveness and entry back into the Garden, Adam decides that he will fast in the Jordan river for forty days and Even will fast in the Tigris for thirty-seven. Shortly after they begin, Satan disguises himself as a bright angel and deceives Eve a second time, persuading her to step out of the Tigris river and break her penance. When Adam discovered Satan’s true identity he again rebukes Eve for her foolishness, who in turn cries out to the devil – demanding to know why he continually pursues their downfall. Satan explains by giving his account of his expulsion from heaven:

And the devil sighed and said, “O Adam, all my enmity and envy and sorrow concern you, since because of you I am expelled and deprived of my glory which I had in the heavens in the midst of angels, and because of you I was cast out onto the earth.” Adam answered, “What have I done to you, and what is my blame with you? Since you are neither harmed nor hurt by us, why do you pursue us?”

The devil replied, “Adam, what are you telling me? It is because of you that I have been thrown out of here. When you were created, I was cast out from the presence of God and was sent out from the fellowship of the angels. When God blew into you the breath of life and your countenance and likeness were made in the image of God, Michael brought you and made (us) worship you in the sight of God, and the LORD God said, ‘Behold Adam! I have made you in our image and likeness.’

And Michael went out and called all the angels, saying, ‘Worship the image of the LORD God [Gen. 1:26], as the LORD God has instructed.’ And Michael himself worshiped first, and called me and said, ‘Worship the image of God, Yahweh.’ And I answered, ‘I do not worship Adam.’ And when Michael kept forcing me to worship, I said to him, ‘Why do you compel me? I will not worship one inferior and subsequent to me. I am prior to him in creation; before he was made, I was already made. He ought to worship me.’

Paradise_Lost_19750b5ee128e7a6b86c9f143c7648f72aWhen they heard this, other angels who were under me refused to worship him.

And Michael asserted, ‘Worship the image of God. But if now you will not worship, the LORD God will be wrathful with you.’ And I said, ‘If he be wrathful with me, I will set my throne above the stars of heaven and will be like the Most High.

And the LORD God was angry with me and sent me with my angels out from our glory; and because of you, we were expelled into this world from our dwellings and have been cast onto the earth. And immediately we were made to grieve, since we had been deprived of so great glory. And we were pained to see you in such bliss of delights. So with deceit I assailed your wife and made you to be expelled through her from the joys of your bliss, as I have been expelled from my glory.”

—Life of Adam and Eve 12-16 [2]

Satan’s refusal to worship Adam and subsequent expulsion in The Questions of Bartholomew (Fifth century CE?)

In this late and largely unknown Christian text, Jesus takes the apostles to the abyss for a revelation. They ask about Beliar (Satan) and Jesus brings him up from Hell, bound in chains and held by 660 angels. Jesus allows Bartholomew to step on Beliar’s neck and question him, leading him to reveal his account of the creation of the angels, his expulsion from heaven, and is interaction with Adam and Eve from his point of view:BODLEIAN_103103701412

And straightway when the apostles saw him [Satan], they fell to the earth on their faces and became as dead.

But Jesus came near and raised the apostles and gave them a spirit of power, and he saith unto Bartholomew: Come near, Bartholomew, and trample with thy feet on his neck, and he will tell thee his work, what it is, and how he deceiveth men.

…And he said unto him: I swear unto thee by the power of the glory of God that even if I would hide aught I cannot, for he is near that would convict me. For if I were able I would have destroyed you like one of them that were before you.

For, indeed, I was formed the first angel: for when God made the heavens, he took a handful of fire and formed me first, Michael second [Vienna MS. here has these sentences: for he had his Son before the heavens and the earth and we were formed (for when he took thought to create all things, his Son spake a word), so that we also were created by the will of the Son and the consent of the Father.

Satan in his Original Glory: 'Thou wast Perfect till Iniquity was Found in Thee' circa 1805 by William Blake 1757-1827

Satan in his Original Glory by William Blake (c. 1805)

He formed, I say, first me, next Michael the chief captain of the hosts that are above], Gabriel third, Uriel fourth, Raphael fifth, Nathanael sixth, and other angels of whom I cannot tell the names. [Jerusalem MS., Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Xathanael, and other 6,000 angels. Lat. I, Michael the honour of power, third Raphael, fourth Gabriel, and other seven. Lat. 2, Raphael third, Gabriel fourth, Uriel fifth, Zathael sixth, and other six.] For they are the rod-bearers (lictors) of God, and they smite me with their rods and pursue me seven times in the night and seven times in the day, and leave me not at all and break in pieces all my power. These are the (twelve, lat. 2) angels of vengeance which stand before the throne of God: these are the angels that were first formed.

…But the devil said: Suffer me, and I will tell thee how I was cast down into this place and how the Lord did make man.

I was going to and fro in the world, and God said unto Michael: Bring me a clod from the four corners of the earth, and water out of the four rivers of paradise. And when Michael brought them God formed Adam in the regions of the east, and shaped the clod which was shapeless, and stretched sinews and veins upon it and established it with Joints; and he worshipped him, himself for his own sake first, because he was the image of God, therefore he worshipped him.

And when I came from the ends of the earth Michael said: Worship thou the image of God, which he hath made according to his likeness. But I said: I am fire of fire, I was the first angel formed, and shall worship clay and matter?

rebel_anAnd Michael saith to me: Worship, lest God be wroth with thee. But I said to him: God will not be wroth with me; but I will set my throne over against his throne, and I will be as he is. Then was God wroth with me and cast me down, having commanded the windows of heaven to be opened.

And when I was cast down, he asked also the six hundred that were under me, if they would worship: but they said: Like as we have seen the first angel do, neither will we worship him that is less than ourselves. Then were the six hundred also cast down by him with me.

And when we were cast down upon the earth we were senseless for forty years, and when the sun shone forth seven times brighter than fire, suddenly I awaked; and I looked about and saw the six hundred that were under me senseless.

And I awaked my son Salpsan and took him to counsel how I might deceive the man on whose account I was cast out of the heavens.

Lucifer3And thus did I contrive it. I took a vial in mine hand and scraped the sweat from off my breast and the hair of mine armpits, and washed myself (Lat. 2, I took fig leaves in my hands and wiped the sweat from my bosom and below mine arms and cast it down beside the streams of waters. 69 is greatly prolonged in this text) in the springs of the waters whence the four rivers flow out, and Eve drank of it and desire came upon her: for if she had not drunk of that water I should not have been able to deceive her.

—Questions of Bartholomew IV [3]

There are some quite interesting things revealed in this text that make it stand out from the others: (1) Michael gathered clay and water from the earth for God to make Adam, (2) Satan and his angels are cast upon the earth for forty years, (3) Satan has a son named Salpsan, and (4) in order to later deceive Eve in the Garden Satan must first pollute the river – her drinking water – with the sweat off his less attractive body parts. As an added bonus, click here to view the cosmology of the text.

The Fall of Satan is also mentioned in the Quran, where Satan (here named Iblees) here too refuses to prostrate before Adam since he as created first – from fire rather than clay.

In the Interrogatio Iohannis (The Questions of John), a gnostic text from an extinct group of Christians known as the Cathars, Satan is depicted as the evil creator and ruler of the physical world, whereas the true, righteous god is that of the New Testament.

Sources and Further Reading:


[1] 2 Enoch as translated by F. I. Andersen, found in  The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Volume I by James H. Charlesworth, p. 143-144.

[2] Life of Adam and Eve as translated by M.D. Johnson from the Vita manuscript, found in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Volume II by James H. Charlesworth, p. 262

[3] Questions of Bartholomew taken from here.

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