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

  • 2
    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, 2012 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, 2012 at 19:08
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noahide_laws
    – b a
    Sep 30, 2012 at 19:19
  • Like most things, some Jews do believe in hell, and some do not.
    – mevaqesh
    Apr 14, 2017 at 16:43
  • Since it sounds like your question may be coming from a Christian background or influence, you might check out this article on who Satan is from a Jewish perspective.
    – user34203
    Jan 11 at 14:20

4 Answers 4


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.

  • But not punished?
    – dongle26
    Sep 30, 2012 at 19:10
  • 2
    @dongle26 'Slaughtered' is a metaphor. Satan is not a person.
    – Double AA
    Sep 30, 2012 at 19:17
  • 1
    @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, 2012 at 0:34

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.

  • 5
    – Double AA
    Sep 30, 2012 at 20:48
  • "Evil is simply the absence of good" Then what's Satan?
    – HodofHod
    Sep 30, 2012 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, 2012 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, 2012 at 6:10
  • Additionally, this does not address the question's main point: what happens to the Satan?
    – HodofHod
    Feb 3, 2013 at 8:01

"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.

  • 1
    [citation needed], I know. I'll try to come back to this later. Sep 30, 2012 at 19:05
  • 1
    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, 2012 at 13:01

In Sefer Tomer Devorah chapter 1 explaining the verse

And You will cast into the depths of the sea all their sins

The Ramak explains in the end Satan will be nullified.

Just a side note, that section is a difficult read.

  • I don't think this answers the question. It was about punitive measures or lack thereof against Satan. not whether it's powers will be limited.
    – mevaqesh
    May 4, 2017 at 20:26

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .