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Answered 2008-05-07 23:24:15

Prior to the sixth century BCE Babylonian Exile, Jews did not believe in Satan, nor in heaven and hell as destinations for the departed - all souls simply went to sheol, a joyless state similar to spiritual semiconsciousness. Even now, modern Judaism sees Satan as an assistant to God and in no way an adversary. In Christian belief, Satan is the ruler of hell, although this is not directly supported by The Bible and many practising Christians do not literally believe this position. The name Lucifer really means the morning star, and actually refers to the king of Babylon (Isaiah 14:4-22). This passage was misunderstood by Christian translators, resulting in the widespread Christian view that Lucifer and Satan are one. Whether or not hell is real is, of course, a matter of faith. Even if the early Hebrews did not believe in heaven and hell, we could say that this concept was not revealed to them until the Persian defeat of the Babylonians, who had brought the Jews into captivity.

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