This item has been selected by Peter Kirby as a "Featured Con Piece". The status of the claims made here, however, is up for debate.
And Jehovah said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. (ASV)
How is it that an omniscient God would not know the origin of Satan? The question makes no sense. God would certainly know the whereabouts of Satan. Moreover, Satan is presumed to be present everywhere at all times. How is it that ANY being that is always everywhere can explain where he has been or where he is going? The logic escapes me.
Satan is not presumed to be omnipresent. That is your speculation, or possibly something you heard from a Christian who made that speculation. Satan is nowhere indicated in the Bible to be omnipresent. As for God, I do believe that he knew where Satan had been, but might he not have been asking for other reasons than ignorance? Have you never heard an adult, scolding a child, ask the child what they just did or said even though the adult heard it distinctly? --Austin
The concept of an "omnimax God" isn't really Biblical: while there are passages that can be interpreted as claims of omnipotence (such as Jeremiah 32:27, at no point does the Bible say that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and/or omnibenevolent. If God's not omniscent, the verse becomes clearly sensible.
But even at that, it must be remembered that this particular passage is not necessarily proof that God is not omniscient:
- 1: Hebrew grammar also employs rhetorical questions, where the purpose of a question is not to gain information, but to make a statement.
- 2: Literarily, this is not God attempting to gain information, but a means to introduce Satan to the reader.
Rhetorical question or plot device? It makes an interesting discussion for the literary minded, but also makes the claim of errancy rather moot.
Well, I don't hold with inerrancy at all, but I have always interpreted this verse by its plain meaning in English which is, "where (what location) did you come from?" This meaning also fits in with the nature of Satan's answer so I don't see this as even a contradiction, much less an error.