Adversary in the Bible

Hebrew: שָׂטָן —transliteration: satan —meaning: adversary, also the name of the superhuman adversary of God and all mankind —occurrences: 27

Greek: ἀντίδικος —transliteration: antidikos —meaning: adversary (a technical legal term used in antiquity of an adversary in a courtroom—someone bringing a lawsuit seeking official damages) —occurrences: 5 times in Scripture

also known as: opponent, enemy, antagonist, foe, accuser

The word “adversary” is used 22 times in the King James Bible, 9 times in the NIV, and 16 times in the NRSV.

It has various meanings.

  1. Mankind’s Adversary

    This is Satan, the Devil.

    “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary [antidikos] the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” 1 Peter 5:8 LSB

    שָׂטָן —transliteration: satan: 1 Chronicles 21:1; Job 1:6-9; 1:12; 2:2-7; Zechariah 3:1

  2. Any opponent, foe or enemy

    Hebrew: שָׂטָן —transliteration: satan

    Numbers 22:22; 22:32; 1 Samuel 29:4; 19:22; 1 Kings 5:4; 11:14; 11:23; 11:25; Psalm 109:6; Luke 13:17; 18:3—“opponent” NASB)

  3. one who speaks against another, a complainant (Matthew 5:25; Luke 12:58)

More information

Article Version: August 31, 2021