Numbers gives us the first mention of "the satan". 'The satan' starts off in the OT as a role, an adversarial role, and not a particular person.'Stn' is the root word for 'obstruct' and, according to Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton, the text goes like this: "and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the road as his satan (le-satan-lo]
So that's where the word Satan comes from.
As with Job, this 'testing' by the gods is a common theme in mythology. The human has to pass many tests throughout his life. The planet most associated by astrologers with these testing periods of our lives is Saturn, and in many respects the Jewish obstructive satan
has several of the qualities attributed to Saturn.
Any astrologer will tell you that if you have Saturn passing through your sign, you will face difficulties. You will feel obstructed, and nothing you do will amount to anything. Sometimes you will feel heavy and weighed down, as if you're wearing lead boots. Interestingly, lead is the metal most associated with Saturn.
However, just like in the Balaam story, these obstructions and testing periods are supposed to be good for us ... even though they don't feel like much fun at the time. But they are considered to be the fire that tempers the sword of our character, that makes us who we are.
So although Satan/Saturn gave Job a hard time, in the end, he won through. That, to me, is what that story is about and it requires us to take a grown up view.
A child might think that a lion is bad or evil because it bites off the head of a giraffe. When we get older, we realise that that's what lions do ... the same with 'the satan
' or Saturn. In obstructing or testing us, he is not being evil. He is just doing his job. And he renounced all ideas about being popular long ago.
He may even have been the original main god of the Hebrews, before Yahweh, not least given that their SAbbath day is Saturday, or Saturn's day, and one of the names for God is SAbbaoth. Satan is certainly revered by the Kabbalists who claim they practise the original Jewish religion. Saturnus was also a Roman god.