Associated with the Christian version of Lucifer, Samael (meaning “venom/Poison of God”) is an archangel in Talmudic and post-Talmudic lore who was first mentioned in the Book of Enoch, and who works an accuser, seducer, and destroyer. He is associated so much with the idea of Lucifer that he is also thought to be a fallen angel, but he is not always necessarily considered to be evil (his work can result in good, and as such, it makes some people view him a bit better than they do Lucifer).
One of his most important roles in Jewish lore was that of the angel of death, and he is not only considered to be the angel of death in Jewish lore.
He often appears in the story of the Garden of Eden; he is the one who made sure that Adam and Eve were thrown out of the garden. Instead of changing himself into a snake, he took control of a snake, riding it through the garden. In one story, he is the one who planted the Tree of Knowledge in the garden, and God became angry with him for doing so. God curses him and banishes him from the garden in punishment for planting the tree. It was in retaliation for his punishment that he tempted Eve with the apple. In another version of the story, Samael was apposed to the creation of Adam, and he tempted Eve with the apple because of this opposition.
In one account, he is considered to be the father of Cain, which may explain why Cain is considered to be evil himself. Samael is also said to be the partner of Lilith (Adam’s first wife; the one who, according to Jewish lore was created from the dirt at the same time as Adam, instead of from his rib). The two of them were the parents of the demons that ended up populating Hell.
It is not until the fifth or sixth century that Samael is really associated with evil, and from that point onward, he is considered one of the most prominent demonic entities. He had previously been depicted as the accuser (something of a prosecuting attorney) in the heavenly court, but he began being depicted as tempting people toward sin. It is around this time that Samael’s identity is tied to that of Satan; in this case, Satan is considered to be the accuser, and Samael is thought to be Satan’s real name.
References of Samael have appeared in pop culture in recent years, including in the show “Lucifer,” where “Samael” is Lucifer’s real name (and Lucifer is often called Samael by God).