Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Since Jews don't believe in hell for unbelievers, what will happen to Satan? Will he be punished for eternity?

share|improve this question
Since Jews don't believe in hell for unbelievers What do you mean by this? As far as I know, it's wrong. Do you mean Jews don't believe in hell for non-Jews who are believers? – b a Sep 30 '12 at 19:07
@ba Probably, I am confused by judasims views on these things. Also, How can a non-Jew be a believer? – dongle26 Sep 30 '12 at 19:08
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noahide_laws – b a Sep 30 '12 at 19:19
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Jews don't believe in eternal hell - hell is time limited to 1 year (or 11 months).

But hell is not just a place of punishment, it's a place for a soul to be "cleaned" and prepared for it's next reincarnation. It is said the "fire" of hell is really the feeling of shame a person feels for his actions.

So placing Satan in hell would not make any sense in that light, since Satan is not a person (or soul) who needs punishment.

Additionally Satan is an angel of God who was commanded to act as he does. Unlike the Christian belief, Satan is not rebelling against God.

In Christianity evil comes from Satan and good from God. In Judaism evil is simply the absence of good - it does not come from any entity. God is the sole power, there are no other supernal powers.

share|improve this answer
Sources........ – Double AA Sep 30 '12 at 20:48
"Evil is simply the absence of good" Then what's Satan? – HodofHod Sep 30 '12 at 21:07
@HodofHod A prosecutor. God gave Satan the job of acting as prosecutor. But Satan is not a source of evil, nor is Satan evil either! He is simply doing the job god asked him to do. Angels do not have independent thought - they have no free will, so they have no ability to do anything unless commanded by God. As humans we "target" Satan to try to prevent him from bringing up any sins before God, but just like in a real court, the real audience is God. – Ariel Oct 3 '12 at 0:33
I can't speak for Chakirah, but certainly in Kabbalah evil does "exist". (Ok, so it's existence is not even on the level of our "existence", and we're completely batel, but still, it exists. There's a sitra achra, and there's a seder hishtalshelus for evil too!) Of course, this "evil" is not independent of G-d either, for ultimately, it comes from Him too. – HodofHod Oct 5 '12 at 6:10
Additionally, this does not address the question's main point: what happens to the Satan? – HodofHod Feb 3 '13 at 8:01

In Bava Basra 16a it says that Satan is the yetzer hara. According to Sukah 52a, the yetzer hara will be slaughtered in the future.

share|improve this answer
But not punished? – dongle26 Sep 30 '12 at 19:10
@dongle26 'Slaughtered' is a metaphor. Satan is not a person. – Double AA Sep 30 '12 at 19:17
@dongle26 Yetzer Hara means "Evil inclination". In the future, after the messiah comes people will have no desire to do bad, so there will be no Evil inclination. Without any bad there is no job for Satan to do. – Ariel Oct 3 '12 at 0:34

"Satan" isn't an individual being opposed to God the way he is in Christianity. "The satan" is a job description; it's basically the angel who will act as prosecuting attorney when you come to be judged, and is the one God sends to test/prove people like Job. You see ha-satan in the midrash; for example, there is one about how when Avraham is on his way to offer Yitzchak up as a burnt offering, ha-satan keeps interfering -- by becoming a river and blocking the way, by placing doubts in Avraham's mind, by trying to turn Yitzchak against him, and so on. But the key point is that ha-satan acts at God's direction.

share|improve this answer
[citation needed], I know. I'll try to come back to this later. – Monica Cellio Sep 30 '12 at 19:05
Zohar (II, 163a, explained here) brings a parable of a harlot hired by a king to test his son; the harlot herself hopes that the prince will not succumb as she does her job – Michoel Oct 2 '12 at 13:01

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.