He could have fell to Mars, Venus, or GJ667Cc. I understand that he needed to be cast out of heaven, but why to Earth where he has caused more trouble? Are there any apocryphal books which describe this differently?

  • 3
    I think this is an interesting question. To me it wouldn't really make sense unless you take Genesis 1 literally - with the earth being the "center of the universe" (in the sense of importance and focus, not necessarily location), rather than viewing earth as a random speck of dust in an obscure part of the universe. – Jas 3.1 Jun 30 '12 at 21:54
  • 2
    It might be worth first considering the question, "Did Satan fall to earth"? See here for my impression - that Satan "fell" in the sense of "falling from grace", but was not banished from heaven to earth when he sinned as is commonly believed. – Jas 3.1 Jul 2 '12 at 1:05
  • 1
    or he fell to earth, through our sin - (and we happen to be on earth not GJ667Cc). – Greg McNulty Jul 2 '12 at 1:36
  • 1
    @GregMcNulty He did not fall to Earth through our sin. He fell because he rebelled against God. Our sin had nothing to do with it. – user1054 Jul 2 '12 at 12:08

This question would not have even made sense to anyone prior to Copernicus, let alone to anyone who originally heard or received this image.

When this story was first received, there would have been no other body for him to land on. The earth was the center of all, and the "wandering stars" aka other planets, were just lights in the sky.

One of the most commonly applied ruled of hermeneutics is that a text can not mean what it could not mean to the original hearers. In other words, if a lie is held widely enough, it must be addressed in terms of the lie. Our cosmology may have changed, but to the original storytellers, it was the truth.

Bear that in mind, and the answer to your question becomes obvious: there was no other place for Him to go.

  • 2
    -1 for the "non-scriptural" part. That Satan was cast down to earth is pretty scriptural. "And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world -- he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him." (Rev 12:9) – LoveTheFaith Jun 30 '12 at 19:03
  • I don't understand - can you elaborate? Are you saying that "Satan falling to earth" is a lie? What about Revelation 12:9, 12-13? (I'm assuming you accept Revelation as Scripture.) Also, Jesus used similar language in Luke 10:17. -1 pending further explanation. – Jas 3.1 Jun 30 '12 at 21:48
  • 2
    Satan will fall to earth in Rev, but has not yet done so. In Luke 10, Satan was falling from heaven, yes, but not towards earth. The only time that Satan has been cast to earth is in Paradise Lost, most decidedly not Scripture. – Affable Geek Jun 30 '12 at 22:34
  • Looking at Revelation 12 in a larger sense, Christ was born and taken up to God, then the dragon was thrown down to Earth, where he persecuted the woman - the church. – El'endia Starman Jun 30 '12 at 23:16
  • IIRC in Paradise Lost he is cast directly into Hell, even before the Earth is created, and then has to make his own way to Earth. – James T Jul 1 '12 at 3:00

The simple answer is that is was God’s permissive will to send the Devil to where He placed Adam and Eve in the garden.

If Adam was on Mars then the Devil would have been sent there. So the answer is similar to ‘Why did God create the tree?’ ‘Why did God allow sin?’ ‘Why did God not turn the Devil into jelly-beans?’ ‘Why did God not prevent the temptation of Eve?’ All such questions have the same answer
Sometimes when we have no clear reason why something happened, we can see the purpose in its effects. The initial effects of the Devil and his minions being cast upon the earth and expelled from the spiritual realm of God’s throne in heaven seems contrary to God’s will. The result is that man was tempted and fell under his power. The result was that sin had filled the world (not Mars) under his malice and control, so that now the world is completely flooded with mutual hatred, strife, envy, lust, anger, pride, fierceness, and rage, against one another; all which are the direct result of his being cast down and set free to temp Eve. The result is that man learned to hate God. Clearly this was not God’s true will only His permissive will. Yet God’s set the boundaries of many agents of free will to be used to work out His higher purposes of Grace.

What is the true result of this great and terrible thing? What is the result of sin multiplied by sin until each generation would be under Noah’s flood if God did not hold back His anger? The answer is that the more sin and hatred of God increased the more exceeding and praiseworthy is the glory of God shining brighter through it! HOW? In its total annihilation of sin and destruction and the redemption of the lost God haters, for which Jesus died!

20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5: 20-21)

In fact the reason for ‘everything’ even though it seems things went terribly wrong, is that it is according to God's pleasure and perfect will, intentional and permissive will. This does not excuse the sinfulness of sin or Gods will that none should sin, it only admits God knew every sin that man would ever commit and planned to provide atonement by the death of His Son, before the world was created. God does not live in time, so whatever happens tomorrow is no more distant than what happened before he fell. This includes choosing the location f where the Devil will live and how much power he is garneted.

Ephesians 1:3-6 is a typical verse declaring this truth, which has always been the position of great theologians:

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he c predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

Notice everything was known 'before the creation' and that everything was done to the 'praise of his glorious grace'. Now I take these verses to mean that mankind's understanding and experience of God's grace, goodness and love, which can only lead us to praise and experience that grace, is at a 'higher realm' after the fall and salvation of mankind in Christ, then if there was no fall at all.

I found a quote by Martin Luther on the exact same question and he seems to have held the same view I propose:

If God should be asked at the last judgment, ‘Why did you permit Adam to fall?’ and he answered, ‘In order that my goodness toward the human race might be understood when I gave my Son for man’s salvation,’ we would say, ‘Let the whole human race fall again in order that thy glory may become known! Because thou hast accomplished so much through Adam’s fall we do not understand thy ways.’ “There is a threefold light: that of reason, that of grace, and that of glory.” (Luther's Works Volume 54, P385)

Martin Luther, Calvin, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, etc. all held this view. Talking about God not wanting ‘robots’, is rather silly by comparison. It's a man center view and fairly earthly.

Subject likes this must be resolved into God's own good pleasure and grace, we can only have faith like the Apostle:

33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” 36 For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. (Romans 11:33-36)

  • +1 Good answer again Mike. I'm glad that you started hanging around here :) – user1054 Jul 1 '12 at 11:49
  • I strongly disagree with this answer, and want to clarify why for other readers... You are arguing from the perspective of "Meticulous Providence" in this post, which basically says that this is (ultimately) "the best of all possible worlds", including all the evil(!), because God is glorified more through the "presence" of evil than He would be otherwise. Problem: In this view, God created most people in such a way that they would choose to reject Him, resulting in them burning in Hell for eternity, all for self-glorification. This is clearly contrary to the nature of God (i.e. love). – Jas 3.1 Jul 2 '12 at 1:17
  • Also, the statement that this "has always been the position of great theologians" is simply incorrect. C. S. Lewis, for instance, rejected this doctrine. – Jas 3.1 Jul 2 '12 at 1:18
  • 1
    @Jas3.1 - This is not my meaning at all-> God's 'self-glorification'. It is the 'opposite' of what I mean. By God's glory I mean that which produces the best possible life for men, angles, the creation, etc. --> that is why it glorifies God. By God’s infinite love He works 'all things' to the benefit of those who love Him (Rom 8:28). Plus anyone can take this infinite treasure if they will. The truth is not in one extreme, or another, but where both extremes meet, beyond our own ability to comprehend -->‘Oh, the depth”. I do not hold the hyper-Calvin view on this, mine is more Like Luther's. – Mike Jul 2 '12 at 4:10
  • @Mike My apologies - I misunderstood. I read your answer to mean that the reason Satan was "sent to earth" is that "the more sin ... increased the more exceeding and praiseworthy is the glory of God". (I'm a bit hyper-sensitive to the M.P. view.) – Jas 3.1 Jul 4 '12 at 4:33

In Biblical cosmetology, "Heaven" is the sky, and "Earth" is the ground. Naturally, anything that falls from the sky is going to hit the ground.

  • 2
    Sounds good, but do you have a reference? – El'endia Starman Jun 30 '12 at 20:24
  • I'm not sure what you're saying... would Mars be part of the sky, then? – Jas 3.1 Jun 30 '12 at 21:50
  • @Jas3.1 - Yes. Mars and the other planets (planet = randomly moving star to an ancient) was up in heaven. – T.E.D. Jul 1 '12 at 16:52
  • 2
    @T.E.D. the "ancients" knew about planets vs stars. They called planets "wanderers" Because their movements were not as predictable as other stars. We like to believe that cosmology is a newer study, unfortunately it was quite popular until the dark ages. Even things like the world being round was understood by ancients. – user1054 Jul 1 '12 at 21:06