1. Definition of the concept of “Satan”

Meaning of the word “Satan.”

The root meaning of the word “Satan” is someone who is an antagonizer or opponent. In this sense, the concept of an “anti-Christ” is very close to being Satan, with the focus of who the “Satan” is against being against God and all His people in Satan, and against Christ in the concept of the Anti-Christ. TWOT points out that the verbal form of this word means to bear a grudge or cherish animosity. The principle concept here is a person who opposes.
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Apollyon [ISBE]

Apollyon – a-pol´i-on

(Ἀπολλύων, Apollúōn; אבדּון, ‘ăbhaddōn, “destroyer”): Present participle of the verb ἀπολλύω, “to destroy.”

I. Definition

A proper name, original with the author of the Apocalypse and used by him once (Rev 9:11) as a translation of the Hebrew word “Abaddon” (see ABADDON) to designate an angel or prince of the lower world.

II. Old Testament Background

1. Fundamental Meaning

The term Abaddon (“destruction”) appears solely in the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament and in the following narrow range of instances: Job 26:6; Job 28:22; Job 31:12; Psa 88:11; Prov 15:11. In all these passages save one (Job 31:12) the word is combined either with Sheol, “death,” or “the grave,” in such a way as to indicate a purely eschatological term based upon the advanced idea of moral distinctions in the realm of the dead. In the one exceptional passage (Esther 8:6 is incorrectly referred to – the word here is different, namely, אבדן, ‘ābhedhān) where the combination does not occur, the emphasis upon the moral element in the “destruction” mentioned is so definite as practically to preclude the possibility of interpreting the term in any general sense (as Charles, HDB, article “Abaddon”; per con., Briggs, ICC, “Psalms” in the place cited.; BDB, sub loc.). The meaning of the word, therefore, is: the place or condition of utter ruin reserved for the wicked in the realm of the dead.

2. Personification

One other feature of Old Testament usage is worthy of consideration as throwing light upon Rev 9:11. Abaddon and the accompanying terms “Death” and Sheol are personified (as in Job 28:22) and represented as living beings who speak and act (compare Rev 6:8).

III. New Testament Usage

1. The Starting-Point

The starting-point of the Apocalyptist’s use of “Apollyon” is to be found in the fundamental meaning of “Abaddon” as moral destruction in the underworld, together with the occasional personification of kindred terms in the Old Testament. The imagery was in general terms familiar while the New Testament writer felt perfectly free to vary the usage to suit his own particular purposes.

2. Apollyon Not Satan but Part of an Ideal Description

(1) Since Apollyon is a personification he is not to be identified with Satan (compare Rev 9:1 where Satan seems to be clearly indicated) or with any other being to whom historical existence and definite characteristics are ascribed. He is the central figure in an ideal picture of evil forces represented as originating in the world of lost spirits and allowed to operate destructively in human life. They are pictured as locusts, but on an enlarged scale and with the addition of many features inconsistent with the strict application of the figure (see Rev 9:7-10). The intention is, by the multiplication of images which the author does not attempt to harmonize, to convey the impression of great power and far-reaching destructiveness.

(2) This interpretation finds additional support in the writer’s significant departure from the familiar usage. In the Old Testament the place of destruction is personified – in Rev 9:11, personal forces issue from the Abyss, of which the presiding genius is Destruction in person. The seer’s picture is equally independent of the tradition represented by the Talmud (Shab f. 55) where Abaddon is personified as jointly with Death president over six destroying angels. These modifications are evidently due to the exigencies of the pictorial form. It is clearly impossible to portray forces proceeding from the place of ruin in the charge of the place itself.

3. Apollyon Necessary to the Picture

The importance of the conception of Apollyon to the completeness of the picture should not be overlooked. It is intended to represent these forces as having a certain principle of internal unity and as possessors of the power of effective leadership.

4. General Significance of the Description

As to the specific significance of the vision of the locusts as a whole it is not easy to reach a conclusion. Professor Swete suggests (Commentary on Apocalypse in the place cited.) that “the locusts of the abyss may be the memories of the past brought home at times of divine visitation; they hurt by recalling forgotten sins.” It seems to us more probable that it represents an actual historical movement, past or to come, demoniacal in origin and character, human in the mode of its operation and the sphere of its influence, used by God for a scourge upon mankind and kept in restraint by His grace and power.

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or, as it is literally in the margin of the Authorized Version of (Revelation 9:11) “a destroyer,” is the rendering of the Hebrew word ABADDON, “the angel of the bottomless pit.” From the occurrence of the word in (Psalms 88:11) the rabbins have made Abaddon the nethermost of the two regions into which they divide the lower world; but that in (Revelation 9:11) Abaddon is the angel and not the abyss is perfectly evident in the Greek.

Source: [Smith]



[destruction, ruin]

David Cox’s Topical Bible Concordance
• The angel of the bottomless pit. Rev. 9:11.

  1. Destruction, ruin (Job 31:12); the place of the dead, synonymous with the grace (Psa 88:11), Sheol (Job 26:6: Prov 15:11), and death (Job 28:22).
  2. A name of the angel of the abyss, who is called in Greek Apollyon (Rev 9:11).

Abaddon is Hebrew and the Greek equivalent is Apollyon. Both signify destroyer Rev 9:11. Both the place and the person (angel in charge of doing this) is wound up in the same concept, that of being destroyed. This is not a ceasing from existing but a ruin. ISBE comments that the Hebrew has the idea of intransitive action instead of passive, thus the idea is more of perishing, or going to ruin, or being in a ruined state rather the active being ruined or destroyed. ISBE goes on to say that the word occurs 6 times in the OT and each place it is the name of a place, Sheol. It is the world of the dead as understood by the Hebrews. Three of the six places Abaddon is parallel with Sheol (Job 26:6; Prov 15:11; Prov 27:20) and in the three remaining places, one is the death, one is the grave, and one is “root out all mine increase” (Job 28:22; Psa 88:11; Job 31:12).

“Abaddon belongs to the realm of the mysterious. Only God understands it (Job 26:6; Prov 15:11). It is the world of the dead in its utterly dismal, destructive, dreadful aspect, not in those more cheerful aspects in which activities are conceived of as in progress there. In Abaddon there are no declarations of God’s lovingkindness (Psa 88:11).”

“In a slight degree the Old Testament presentations personalize Abaddon. It is a synonym for insatiableness (Prov 27:20). It has possibilities of information mediate between those of “all living” and those of God (Job 28:22).” ISBE

“We may regard this word as a personification of the idea of destruction, or as sheol, the realm of the dead.”.

In Rev 9:11 personified as the destroyer, Greek, apolluon, “the angel of the bottomless pit,” Satan is meant; for he is described in Rev 9:1 as “a star fallen from heaven unto earth, to whom was given the key of the bottomless pit”; and Rev 12:8-9,12: “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth, for the devil is come down.” Also Isa 14:12; Luk 10:18. As king of the locusts, that had power to torment not kill (Rev 9:3-11), Satan is permitted to afflict but not to touch life; so in the case of Job (Job 1-2). “He walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1Pe 5:8). “A murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44), who abode not in the truth.

Elliott identifies the locusts with the Muslims; their turbans being the “crowns” (but how are these “like gold”?); they come from the Euphrates River; their cavalry were countless; their “breast-plates of fire” being their rich-colored attire; the fire and smoke out of the horses’ mouths being the Turkish artillery; their standard “horse tails”; the period, an hour, day, month, and year, 396 years 118 days between Thogrul Beg going forth Jan. 18, 1057 A.D., and the fall of Constantinople, May 29, 1453 A.D.; or else 391 years and 1 month, as others say, from 1281 A.D., the date of the Turks’ first conquest of Christians, and 1672 A.D., their last conquest. The serpent-like stinging tails correspond to Mohammedanism supplanting Christianity in large parts of Asia, Africa, and even Europe.

But the hosts meant seem infernal rather than human, though constrained to work out God’s will (Rev 12:1-2). The Greek article once only before all the periods requires rather the translation “for (i.e. “against”) THE hour and day and month and year,” namely, appointed by God. Not only the year, but also the month, day, and hour, are all definitively foreordained. The article “the” would have been omitted, if a total of periods had been meant. The giving of both the Hebrew and the Greek name implies that he is the destroyer of both Hebrew and Gentiles alike. Just as, in beautiful contrast, the Spirit of adoption enables both Jew and Gentile believers to call God, in both their respective tongues, Abba (Hebrew in marked alliteration with Abaddon Father (Greek, pater). Jesus who unites both in Himself (Gal 3:28; Eph 2:14) sets us the example: Mark 14:36; Gal 4:6. Jesus unites Hebrew and Gentiles in a common salvation; Satan combines both in a common “destruction.”  Fausset

“In Rev 9:11 this name is shown to be the same as Apollyon, ‘the destroyer,’ who is described as ‘the angel of the bottomless pit.’ It is perhaps not so much one of the names of Satan, as his character personified” Morrish

See Apollyon

Sources: Davis Dictionary, Amtrac Dictionary, ISBE, Easton, Morrish.

Deceiver of the World

This title for Satan is one which reveals his character as a Deceiver or a Liar. To clarify things, God is an honest person, in which what He says is the way things are. God, because of the essence of his character, i.e. Truth, does not use deception, lying, nor false things to work His will. The mark of God is truth, open, honest, and forthright truth. God works through the presentation of reality, of truth, the way things really are. Seeing the truth of God, the person has a moral decision to make of trusting God or not believing God. This is called faith or unbelief. What makes trusting God “work” is the fact that God does not lie nor deceive. Therefore all that trust what He says will be assured that He will complete what He promises.

Satan from his character is one who has rejected truth as the modus aperendi of his life. He no longer uses truth to present what is true, but he twists, turns, reinterpretes, and does other false presentations so that people do what HE WANTS THEM TO DO, when it is not in their best interests. This is how Satan works. It is an integral part of his character. Whatever Satan says is wrong. Satan will use Scripture as he did in Christ’s temptation, but he will always be putting a twist or spin on things so that they work his will through a deception.

For example, Satan promised Adam and Eve that if they ate of the forbidden fruit, that they would be as gods, knowing the difference between good and evil. The entire statement is a lie. They would not be as gods, with the power of God Almighty. By experience, they would know what sin is, but this is not “being like God”. This is the problem with whatever Satan tells you, at first sight it looks good and desireable, but after you have fallen into his trap, you will suffer.