Of all the myriad characters in the Bible, nobody has a worse reputation than Satan. He's described as a serpent, snake, dragon, and the literal embodiment of sin and evil. As such, it's no surprise that people hate him, treating him as the antithesis to God with the power to possess innocent souls and bring the apocalypse upon the world. The actual story, however, is far different from this popular conception. Satan, as written in the Bible, isn't really that powerful; he's simply a fallen angel who isn't that different from any of God's other created beings. Satan isn't even the ruler of Hell - he is just another prisoner like everyone else condemned to its depths.
In literature, Satan is often portrayed very differently from the red-horned devil humanity at large has come to hate. In actuality, he is an anti-hero, someone who opposed the often strict rule of God and suffered for it. If anything, these facts about Satan might show you that he's not so diabolical, after all.
According To The Bible, Satan Isn't The Ruler Of Hell But Is Co-Ruler Of Earth
The story of Genesis relays the tale of humanity's origins, which are directly tied to the history and fall of Satan. According to the Bible, humans were given the Garden of Eden and were entrusted with its rule. Satan was entrusted with guiding them and showing them God's beauty, but he soon became jealous of the kingdom that humans were given.
He decided to rebel, manipulating humanity to follow their own desires rather than God's. Although Satan essentially took over the world, God didn't strip him of his power. Rather, he allowed Satan to continue ruling over Earth for a time. God and Satan temporarily shared authority over humanity before God eventually cast Satan down to Hell.
Satan's Entrapment In 'Inferno' Reveals That He's Not As Clever As Many Believe
While Satan is often portrayed as a smooth-talking negotiator intent on tricking humans out of their souls, Satan's portrayal in Inferno is anything but. Portrayed as a giant brute, he has three faces, six wings, and is trapped in a frozen lake by his own doing.
The constant beating of Satan's wings creates a frigid wind that keeps the ice frozen, and the text suggests that this is the mechanism that originally imprisoned him. If he stopped beating his wings, the ice might melt; however, he may not be able to move without flying. This frustrating paradox renders Satan more of a buffoon than a master manipulator.
As Its Creator, God Is The True Ruler Of Hell
Popular comparisons between God and the Devil as equals or rivals are hardly in keeping with the Bible's descriptions of the two figures. As God created the entire universe, including the Devil, He clearly wields more power.
To that end, Hell's expressed purpose is the containment and punishment of Satan himself, lending further credence to the notion that Satan's reputation is simply a millennia-long misconception.
Hell Is Satan's Punishment For His Actions In The Garden Of Eden
According to the Bible, God created the Earth to be placed under humanity's reign. He created Adam and Eve to live in and watch over the Garden of Eden and provided them with free will. Satan became jealous of this seemingly preferential treatment and chose to subvert God's power by corrupting humanity.
While Satan was originally meant to be humanity's mentor, he betrayed his wards, perhaps for the purpose of taking the Garden for himself. Whether he sought to rule or simply wanted to corrupt God's creation, he turned humanity against God, which served as the real reason he was cast out of Heaven and punished.