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(Hebrew: סַמָּאֵל‬, "Venom of God", "Poison of God," or "Blindness of God"; rarely "Smil," "Samil," or "Samiel")

is an important archangel in Talmudic and post-Talmudic lore, a figure who is the accuser (Ha-Satan), seducer, and destroyer (Mashhit), and has been regarded as both good and evil. Rabbinical writings describe Samael as the guardian angel of Esau and a patron of Edom.

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 archangel of death. He remains one of God's servants even though he condones the sins of man. As an angel, Samael resides in the seventh heaven, although he is declared to be the chief angel of the fifth heaven, the reason for this being the presence of the throne of glory in the seventh heaven.


In Judaism, Samael is said to be the angel of death, and the title "Satan" is accorded to him. While Satan describes his function as an accuser, Samael is considered to be his proper name. While Michael defends Israel's actions, Samael tempts people to sin. He is also depicted as the angel of death and one of the seven archangels, the ruler over the Fifth Heaven and commander of two million angels such as the chief of other satans. Yalkut Shimoni (I, 110) presents Samael as Esau's guardian angel.

According to The Ascension of Moses, Samael is also mentioned as being in 7th Heaven:

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." There upon 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."

In The Holy Kabbalah (Arthur Edward Waite, 255), Samael is described as the "severity of God", and is listed as fifth of the archangels of the world of Briah. Samael then became the consort of Adam's first wife, Lilith.

Lilith is a demon created alongside Adam, originally created for the role Eve would fill. Samael created with her a host of demon children, including a son, the "Sword of Samael" (or Asmodai).

Samael is sometimes confused in some books with Camael, an archangel of God, whose name is similar to words meaning "like God" (but Camael with a waw missing).

It is also said that the Baal Shem once summoned Samael, to make him do his bidding.

In several interpretations of the Ascension of Isaiah, Samael is often identified as Melkira (Heb.: מלך רע melek ra - lit. "king of evil", "king of the wicked") or Malkira/Malchira (מלאך רע malakh/malach ra - "messenger of evil", "angel of iniquity") or Belkira (prob. בעל קיר baal qir - "lord of the wall") or Bechira (בחיר רע bachir ra, - "the elect of evil", "chosen by evil") which are all epithets of the false prophet sent by Belial to accuse Isaiah of treason. Notably, the passage also identifies him as Satan.

In Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer, a Midrash work, dated to the period during the spread of Islam, Samael appears as the serpent in Genesis and Satan. Probably influenced by the Quran, due to its parallels to the Islamic equivalent of Satan; Samael, consisting of fire, disapproved the creation of Adam made from dust, afterwards descended from heaven to seduce Adam and Eve to eat from the forbidden fruit. Furthermore, probably adopted from Apocryphon of John, Cain was born from Eve by intercourse with Samael.


In Christian demonology Samael is sometimes regarded as a powerful demon.

According to some myths[citation needed], Samael was mated with Eisheth Zenunim, Na'amah, Lilith, and Agrat bat Mahlat, all except Lilith being 'angels' of sacred prostitution.

This link is a dubious one and likely arises from a case of mistaken identity equating Samael with the demon Azazel who is himself in Zoharistic lore a combination of the angels Aza and Azrael.


In the Apocryphon of John, found in the Nag Hammadi library, Samael is the third name of the demiurge, whose other names are Yaldabaoth and Saklas. In this context, Samael means "the blind god", the theme of blindness running throughout gnostic works[citation needed]. His appearance is that of a lion-faced serpent.
In On the Origin of the World in the Nag Hammadi library texts, he is also referred to as Ariael, the Archangel of Principalities.


To anthroposophists, Samael is known as one of the seven archangels: Saint Gregory gives the seven archangels as Anael, Gabriel, Michael, Oriphiel, Raphael, Samael, and Zerachiel.[citation needed] They are all imagined to have a special assignment to act as a global zeitgeist ("time-spirit"), each for periods of about 360 years. Since 1879, anthroposophists posit, Michael has been the leading time spirit.

How did Samael and Lucifer differ?

Well they surely differ in ranks.

Lucifer: A fallen Seraph, used to be one of the highest ranked heavenly Angel. Like every Seraph he had six wings. He is defined as the light bringer and as a seraph he was the Seraph of Godís music.

He represents the morning star, and as the morning star he used to be the brightest and most beautiful amongst the Seraphim. After his fall he is now one of the most powerful among the Satans (adversaries).

Samael: When itís about rank well Samaelís place was higher than the ḥayyot (" holy heavenly creatures") and the Seraphim. He is a frightful looking angel with 12 wings. His height is so great, it takes five hundred years to cover a distance equal to it, from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet he is studded with glaring eyes. He is described as an accuser, seducer, and destroyer. He is the angel of death who takes the soul away from man. Samael resides in the seventh heaven, although he is declared to be the chief angel of the fifth heaven, the reason for this being the presence of the throne of glory in the seventh heaven.

He is the commander of two million angels such as the chief of other Satans. He also became the consort of Lilith and created with her a host of demon children (Most notable among them is Asmodai).
The difference between their power and ranks is just enormous. Lucifer fell because of his strive to claim the highest seat among all Seraphs, this was further fuelled by his pride as the most brightest Seraph. Samael on other hand was an angel whose duty itself was of dark nature, in many ways he is similar to the angels Af (Anger) and Hemah (Wrath), for just like them he is an primal angel who God created to execute his will at any cost, due to the primal nature of his responsibility unlike Lucifer he is described to be as both good and evil.

While itís quite clear that Lucifer is a fallen Angel, the status of Samael is more or less ambiguous in nature.

And if you go by various scriptures Lucifer you will realise that he isnít exactly evil, yes he is depicted to possess pride (unnaturally high pride for a Seraph) but he canít be described as evil. On other hand the descriptions about Samael clearly bear the testimony of his evil nature.

Their natures and aims can be best summarised as follows:

Lucifer: Aimed to be the brightest and most powerful among Seraphs. Aimed to ascend wherein no Angel had ever dreamt about ascending. He was vain but not treacherous.

Samael: Aimed to be the new God. Aimed to overthrow God from Heaven. Aimed to destroy faith in God from the hearts of human. Aimed to corrupt everyone and rule over everyone. He was evil, spiteful and treacherous.

If you see carefully, Samael indeed makes Lucifer look like a good guy. I mean what kind of being this God is who banishes Lucifer who was basically a proud (in a way vain) dreamer into hell while keeps a clearly evil and spiteful being like Samael in seventh heaven.

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