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My my, you have truly rendered me speechless one more. I thought I have lost all hope for you, and yet, you are able to make me lose the little fragments of hope in you I don't even know I still have.
Samael.

Samael is a fallen archangel and the chief-general of Satan's armies as the Angel of Death. He has been known as the seducer, destroyer, accuser and has been regarded as both good and evil in various texts.

Overview

Samael is the Angel of Death and chief ruler of the Fifth Heaven, Ma'on with two million angels at his command, residing himself within the Seventh Heaven, Araboth. He was also said to be the guardian angel of Esau. True to his title as the Angel of Death, Samael was closely affiliated with the Reapers of Death; working in collaboration with them to shepherd the souls to Paradise - Reapers would sever the link between world and spirit while Samael would light to way for the souls to follow.

He is considered in Talmudic texts to be a member of the heavenly host with often grim and destructive duties. One of Samael's greatest roles in Jewish lore is that of the main angel of death and the head of the satans or arbiters. Although he condones the sins of man, he remains one of God's servants. He appears frequently in the story of Garden of Eden and engineered the fall of Adam and Eve with a snake in writings during the Second Temple period. However, the serpent is not a form of Samael, but a beast he rode like a camel.

The name of Samael has several possible meanings, among them is "Blindness of God", "Poison of God" or "Left Hand of God", Regarding the last mentioned, considering that Michael is considered the right hand of God, being his heavenly prince and his greatest fighter and leader of the forces of good, Samael being the left hand of God could represent that Samael is the opposite counterpart of Michael, being the personification of evil and the leader of the forces of chaos and darkness.

The Right Hand of God being the personification of his light and love, and the left hand being the personification of his darkness and wrath. Because of this, the name Samael was considered to be one of the possible names for the Morning Star, Lucifer, or Satan the Accuser. This would also explain why the name of Samael is always related to something negative, like "Poison of God" or "God of the Blind". Being, even, one of the three names of the Demiurge in Gnosticism, the shadow of the Unknown Father, the progenitor of evil and the creator of the material world.

Appearance

Samael is an angel attributed with serpents and snakes. When he fell from the Heaven, Samael ended up becoming a bizarre and boring figure, becoming a kind of greenish snake with reddish details on the body, having human arms and legs. That being his devilish demon face.

Before falling from Heaven, Samael was a beautiful angel with tanned skin, gray hair and a dark physique, being considered very attractive by several demons of Ayin. He dressed in the white clothes that angels used to wear in Heaven.

Personality

Powers and Abilities

History

Myths and Legends

His name means "Venom of God", suggesting he is either the vengeful hand of God or the enemy of God, and it has even been suggested that Samael is the angelic name of Satan himself. Depending on tradition, Samael can be a fallen angel or he can be seen as an angel who is still loyal to divine law but enforces the darker side of faith (in either form he can be considered an alter-ego of Satan or a unique entity in his own right). He could be the embodiment of corruption and amorality.

In the Sayings of Rabbi Eliezer, Samael is charged with being the one who seduced and impregnated Eve with Cain. Other scholars suggest it was Azazel who seduced Eve and it was Samael who tempted Eve in the guise of the Serpent. In The Holy Kabbalah, Samael is named as the fifth archangel in the world of Briah who took Lilith as his bride when she left Adam. He was also said to have mated with several of the angels of prostitution.

Due to Samael being one of the more enigmatic angels, there are many variations as to who he was and how fell from grace from his actions. Samael was first mentioned during the Second Temple Period and immediately after its destruction. He is apparently first mentioned in the Book of Enoch along with other rebellious angels. In Enoch 1 he is one of the Watchers who descended to Earth to copulate with human women, although he is not their leader, this being Samyaza. In the Greek Apocalypse of Baruch, he is the dominant evil figure. Samael plants the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, thereupon he is banished and cursed by God. To take revenge, he tempts Adam and Eve into sin by taking the form of the serpent.

In the Exodus Rabbah, Samael is depicted as the accuser in the heavenly court and tempting to sin, while Michael defends Israel's actions. Here, Samael is identified with Satan. While Satan describes his function as an "accuser," Samael is considered to be his proper name. He also fulfills the role of the Angel of Death, when he comes to take the soul of Moses and is called the leader of satans.

The title of Satan is also applied to him in the midrash Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer, where he is the chief of the fallen angels. According to the text, Samael opposed the creation of Adam and descended to Earth to tempt him into evil. Riding the serpent, he convinces Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. His role here might be influenced by the Islamic idea of Iblis, who refused to prostrate himself before Adam because he consists of fire and Adam merely from dust. The midrash also reveals Samael fathered Cain with Eve.

Quotes

You have become an enemy of God. Let me show you how despicable you are, Devil.
Michael before castrating Samael.
In the last heaven Moses saw two angels, each five hundred parasangs in height, forged out of chains of black fire and red fire, the angels Af, "Anger", and Hemah, "Wrath", whom God created at the beginning of the world, to execute His will. Moses was disquieted when he looked upon them, but Metatron embraced him, and said, "Moses, Moses, thou favorite of God, fear not, and be not terrified," and Moses became calm. There was another angel in the seventh heaven, different in appearance from all the others, and of frightful mien. His height was so great, it would have taken five hundred years to cover a distance equal to it, and from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet he was studded with glaring eyes. "This one," said Metatron, addressing Moses, "is Samael, who takes the soul away from man." "Whither goes he now?" asked Moses, and Metatron replied, "To fetch the soul of Job the pious." Thereupon Moses prayed to God in these words, "O may it be Thy will, my God and the God of my fathers, not to let me fall into the hands of this angel."
Apocryphal Gedulat Moshe.

Gallery

Trivia

  • In some traditions he is also believed to have fathered Cain with Eve, as well as the partner of Lilith.
  • It said that after becoming a fallen angel, Michael at the behest of God castrated Samael so as not to fill the world with his demonic offspring, this being the reason why Lilith seeks to fornicate with men and a new consort.
  • Samael is one of the three names of Yaldabaoth in Gnosticism.
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