The word with the definite article Ha-Satan (Hebrew: הַשָּׂטָן hasSāṭān) occurs 17 times in the Masoretic Text, in two books of the Hebrew Bible: Job ch. 1–2 (14×) and Zechariah 3:1–2 (3×). It is translated in English bibles mostly as ‘Satan’.
The Bible is full of references to Satan, or the Devil. The word “Satan” itself appears over 200 times in the Old Testament and over 50 times in the New Testament. As a result, it can be easy to feel like you know everything there is to know about this figure from Scripture.
But what if you were to ask yourself: How many times does Satan appear in the Bible?
You might think that this question would have an easy answer—or maybe even no answer at all! But as it turns out, there are several ways of counting how many times Satan is mentioned in Scripture.
How Many Times Is Satan Mentioned In The Old Testament
When it comes to the devil and Satan, you might be surprised at how few times either name is used in the Old Testament. Instead, Satan is often referred to by other names that are drawn from different languages. Here’s what we know about how many times Satan and the devil are mentioned in the Bible.
Satan is mentioned in 24 verses in the Old Testament.
You may have noticed that Satan is mentioned 24 times in the Old Testament. The word “satan” or “devil” can be found 5 times, “devil” appears 9 times and Lucifer appears once.
The word satan is used five times throughout the Bible.
The word satan is used five times throughout the Bible. In Hebrew, the word means “adversary” or “accuser.” It is derived from a verb meaning “to oppose”. This refers to the belief that Satan is an adversary of God, who opposes His will and interferes with humanity’s relationship with God.
The first use of this word occurs in Genesis 3:1-5 (the story of Adam and Eve), when it was used to describe what was happening between God and Adam after they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil:
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made…And he said unto the woman…ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in what day soever ye shall eat thereof..ye shall be as gods…” (Genesis 3:1-5).
Another use occurs in Job 1:6-12 where we see two angels called “sons of God” discussing whether or not Job serves God because he is righteous or because he fears him. They ask each other if there are any others who could accuse him before God? The only one who could do this would be Satan himself!
The word devil appears nine times in the King James Version of the Bible.
The word devil appears nine times in the King James Version of the Bible. In Exodus, the devil is described as a serpent who tempts Eve to eat from a tree (Genesis 3:1-6). The word devil is then used twice in Job when God asks Job if he knows where evil comes from (Job 38:7). In Isaiah and Jeremiah, Satan is described as an enemy that opposes God’s purposes for Israel (Isaiah 14:12-15; Jeremiah 10:10).
In Ezekiel 28, the king of Tyre is called a “prince” or “ruler” who has fallen because he was proud and led other people astray by his wealth and beauty. This passage may describe how power can be misused even by those who seem close to God at one time but end up distancing themselves from Him later on due to prideful choices they make while leading others astray with false promises instead of truth.”
The word lucifer appears once.
In the book of jude, we read about lucifer. He is described as a fallen angel who used to be in heaven but has been cast out. You can read this passage for yourself in Jude 1:6-8:
“And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”
“Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh…”
“Even as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses…”
Satan is mostly referred to by other names in the Old Testament.
In the Old Testament, Satan is referenced most often by other names. The word “satan” itself appears in just five verses (Job 1:6, Job 2:1, Zechariah 3:1, Revelation 12:9 and Luke 10:18), and these are the only references to the name of an actual being called Satan. The majority of occurrences of the word refer to some sort of supernatural entity or evil force that opposes God’s purpose for humanity and creation; in these instances it would be more accurate to think of this entity as analogous to a fallen angel than as a personal being who is equal with God or who rebelled against Him. Terms such as “the devil,” “Lucifer” and “adversary” all refer back towards this being without referring directly at any point just yet – because they’re not actually names themselves but descriptions instead!
Satan’s role in the Old Testament is quite different than what we might expect. He is hardly mentioned by name, and when he is, it’s to describe someone who opposes God or his prophets. This means that there are likely many more references to Satan than the ones we’ve identified above; they just aren’t as obvious because they don’t use his name. Of course, this doesn’t mean that he isn’t important; instead, it shows how his influence can be felt without ever being directly mentioned. Now that you know more about how Satan operates in scripture, perhaps you’ll notice him working subtly against God throughout your reading of the Old Testament!