Satan. An important figure mentioned throughout the Bible, but also a figure that we know surprisingly little about. We get bits and pieces of his story but no full-on narrative (although John Milton imagines what might have happened in his epic Paradise Lost). We get only three conversations with Satan in the entire Bible, but each one is memorable enough that scholars have written detailed studies of what Satan says.
Let’s look at where Satan is quoted in the Bible, alongside God’s responses to Satan’s claims.
Further Reading: Who Is Satan?
Satan Quotes in the Old Testament
In Genesis, a serpent (traditionally believed to be Satan in disguise) talks to Eve, tempting her to eat the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden”?’
The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, “You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.”’
‘You will not certainly die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” (Genesis 3:1-6)
God’s Response: After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, God had harsh words for them, and also for the serpent.
“So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:14-15)
Satan makes an appearance in the Book of Job, challenging God about a faithful servant’s devotion.
“One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan[b] also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, ‘Where have you come from?’
Satan answered the Lord, ‘From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.’
‘Does Job fear God for nothing?’ Satan replied. ‘Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.’
The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.’ Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.” (Job 1:6-12)
“And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Where have you come from?’ Satan answered the Lord, ‘From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.’
Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.’
‘Skin for skin!’ Satan replied. ‘A man will give all he has for his own life. But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.’
The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” (Job 2:2-6)
God’s Response: After these two exchanges, Job suffered, but eventually, his trials ended.
“After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part.” (Job 42:10-12)
Isaiah 14 details the rise and fall of an “oppressor” (Isaiah 14:4) who is also called the “morning star, son of the dawn” (Isaiah 14:12). Many Bible scholars identify this figure (and also “the Prince of Tyre” in Ezekiel 28:11-19) as Satan. Based on these two passages and the war in heaven described in Revelation 12:1-9, they conjecture that Satan was an angel before rebelling against God.
“How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’” (Isaiah 14:13-14)
God’s Response: “But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:15)
Further Reading: Why Are Both Jesus and Satan Referred to as the Morning Star?
Satan Quotes from the New Testament
There are several references in the New Testament to Satan talking to God, as when Jesus tells Peter has requested to sift Peter (Luke 22:31). However, there is only one New Testament scene where we see Satan’s words quoted. After Jesus has wandered in the desert without food and water for 40 days, Satan appears and tempts him. Here is what Satan said and Jesus’ response.
“The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’” (Matthew 4:3)
Jesus’ Response: “Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’” (Matthew 4:4)
“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.”’” (Matthew 4:5-6)
Jesus’ Response: “Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ (Matthew 4:7)
“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.’” (Matthew 4:8-9)
Jesus’ Response: “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 4:10-11)
5 Bible Quotes about Satan
Along with Satan’s quotes in the Bible, there are many places where it describes his actions or qualities. Here are some of the clearest Bible references to Satan.
“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.” (Matthew 13:19)
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” (John 10:10)
“Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:31-32)
“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
“Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)
Further Reading: Is Satan Real?
Useful Christian Quotes about Satan
The question of how Satan affects our lives and what we should think about him has generated many reflections and studies. Here are some thought-provoking reflections from great Christian authors about Satan’s methods.
“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleasured by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.” — C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
“It is because the devil is an angel that his evil power is so poisonous. It is because the inquisitors had a crucial element of truth mixed up with their dismal self-deceptions that the perversions they represented were so diabolical.” — Harry Blamires, The Christian Mind
“One ‘settles down’ into a sort of selfish seriousness, but one has to rise to a gay self-forgetfulness… Seriousness is not a virtue. It would be a heresy, but a much more sensible heresy, to say that seriousness is a vice. It really is a natural trend or lapse into taking one’s self gravely, because it is the easiest thing to do…. For solemnity flows out of man naturally, but laughter is a leap. It is easy to be heavy; it is hard to be light. Satan fell by the force of gravity.” — G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
“Readers are advised to remember that the devil is a liar.” — C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
“Affliction raised his sword to cut off the head of Paul’s faith. But instead the hand of faith snatched the arm of affliction and forced it to cut off part of Paul’s worldliness. Affliction is made the servant of godliness and humility and love. Satan meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. The enemy became Paul’s slave and worked for him an even greater weight of glory than he would ever had without the fight. In that way Paul—and every follower of Christ—is more than a conqueror.”—John Piper, Risk is Right
“Many people ask and wonder if various events and circumstances have a ‘spiritual’ or supernatural connection. Two questions might help think this through: Is there anything that you do or that happens to you that God is not interested in? Is there anything that you do or that happens to you that the devil is not interested in? We are connected with the supernatural part of reality 24/7. Prayer is always indicated. We don’t need to be in vague confusion or worry. We are always in a battle and should always include God in our situation. Pray constantly.” — Ellis Potter, Pastor Potter’s Point Volume II
For Further Reading: Where Did Satan Come From?
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G. Connor Salter is a writer and editor, with a Bachelor of Science in Professional Writing from Taylor University. In 2020, he won First Prize for Best Feature Story in a regional contest by the Colorado Press Association Network. He has contributed over 1,200 articles to various publications, including interviews for Christian Communicator and book reviews for The Evangelical Church Library Association. Find out more about his work here.
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