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The Book of Samael (Sefer Samael)


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     The angels were not all of one opinion.  The Angel of Love favored the creation of man, because he would be affectionate and loving; but the Angel of Truth opposed it, because would be full of lies.  And while the Angel of Justice favored it, because he would practice justice, the Angel of Peace opposed it, because he would be quarrelsome.
     To invalidate his protest, God cast the Angel of Truth down from Heaven to earth, and when the others cried out against such contemptuous treatment of their companion, He said, "Truth will spring back out of the earth."
     --From the Haggadah,
        The Jewish Book of Legend
     The name Samael is a combination of the Hebrew "sam" meaning poison and "el" meaning "of God," or angel.  According to rabbinic literature, Samael is the angel of death and chief of the satans (i.e., prosecutors or adversaries).  In the Sayings of Rabbi Eliezer, he is charged with tempting and seducing Eve, and The Zohar characterizes him as a dark angel, both tempter and antagonist.  Kabbalistic literature calls him the "severity of God" and lists him as fifth of the archangels of the world of Briah, corresponding to the sefira Gevurah.  Jewish tradition claims that Samael is wedded to Lilith, a female demon.
     --From A Dictionary of Angels Including the Fallen Angels, by Gustav Davidson.