On Satan’s Envy, Pride, and Fall (Outline)


Lucifer by Guillaume Geefs (Cathedral of St. Paul, Belgium). Source: Wikipedia


Source Material


  • While not specific, a couple passages and their interpretations by Second Temple Jews and early Christians will help us see the matter as they would have.
  • These particular views of the relevant passages were prevalent during the first centuries BC and AD, and up until about the fifth century AD.


  • “Hidden” writings dating from 300 BC to 100 AD.
  • They were included in the earliest codices we have of the OT (4th–5th centuries).
  • New Testament writers, Jews, and Christians were familiar with these writings. They were vital to philosophical and theological life around the first centuries BC and AD.


  • Writings falsely attributed to someone.
  • Not intended to deceive the reader. It was given the name of a well-known person to honor them or show who had inspired the author.
  • Jude 1:14–15 is a quotation from 1 Enoch, and when Jude wrote about Michael and Satan fighting over Satan’s body, that material derived from The Assumption of Moses.

The Bible

Isaiah 14:12–15

  • Addressing the king of Babylon (Isaiah 14:4)
  • Origen (third century theologian) stated that no human being is ever said to have fallen from heaven (cf. Isaiah 14:12). Satan’s fall from heaven was linked with Luke 10:18).
  • “Lucifer” means “Day Star” (cf. Job 38:7; Rev. 12:3–4). Origen believed Satan was once a good angel who’d rebelled. Irenaeus (2nd century) advocated the same before Origen.
  • Origen linked this passage to another from Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 28:11–15

  • Addresses the King of Tyre in verse 12.
  • The earliest citation of a Christian linking this passage to Satan was Tertullian around AD 200.
  • Cyril of Jerusalem (mid-fourth century) suggested that Satan was once an archangel based on the description Ezekiel gave in verses 13–14. Gregory the Great (6th century) believed the angel under discussion in this passage was an archangel. He thus became an “adversary”—the meaning of the term Satan in Hebrew.
  • Ambrose of Milan (close of the fourth century) believed this passage taught that Satan was in Eden and that the King of Tyre was a “type” of satan.
  • Jerome and Augustine (first quarter of the fifth century) saw Satan in this passage too. The latter was a disciple of Ambrose.

Ancient Christians concluded that Satan was:

  • Once an archangel.
  • Once without sin.
  • In Eden from creation.
  • Eventually rebelled.

Non-Canonical Sources 

Wisdom of Solomon 2:23–24

  • Satan envied man having been made in God’s image.
  • What caused him to envy man, though?

Life of Adam and Eve

  • Michael the archangel, seeing that man was made in God’s image, beckoned all angels to fall down and worship the image of God within humanity. Satan refused since he was older and an angel, and believed humanity should worship him.
  • Satan said that he’d set his seat above the stars of heaven and be like God—language reminiscent of Isaiah’s passage.
  • God banished Satan and his followers, other rebellious angels.
  • The contention mentioned in Revelation 12:7–9 fits in at this point.
  • Because Satan was cast out, he set his sights on entrapping Eve, which we read about in Genesis 3.
%d bloggers like this: