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Samael by silentkitty

Samael.

Samael is an archangel in Talmudic lore. He has been known as the seducer, destroyer, accuser and has been regarded as both good and evil in various texts. In rabbinic lore he was revealed as the chief of Satan's armies and as the Angel of Death.

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.

In some early Jewish lore, Samael is the Angel of Death and chief ruler of the Fifth Heaven with two million angels at his command, residing himself within the Seventh Heaven. He was also said to be the guardian angel of Esau (older brother of Jacob, who was renamed Israel, father of the Jews).

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.

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.