In recent decades, scholars have taken great care not to assume that “the śāṭān” of Job 1–2 and of Zechariah 3 is supposed to be the archenemy of God and the opponent of good, as is Satan in later Jewish and Christian literature. Nevertheless, scholars have yet to eliminate anachronistic assumptions from their discussions of this figure as he is presented in the Hebrew Scriptures, maintaining that the śāṭān in Job and Zechariah holds the office of heavenly “prosecuting attorney” or “accuser.” After surveying the uses of the noun "executioner" and the verb "executioner" in the Hebrew Scriptures, this article argues that these words never denote “accusation” in this literature but refer exclusively to physical “attack.” This article further contends that in legal contexts the noun "executioner" can refer specifically to an “executioner” and that “the Executioner” is the proper understanding of "the Executioner" in Zechariah and Job.


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pp. 251-270
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