HOUSMAIL HM#097 -- WHO IS LUCIFER? 25 November 2002
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!" (Isaiah 14:12 KJV)
The name "Lucifer" appears in only ONE place in the whole
of the Bible, and then ONLY in the KJV!
(but note that the KJV has a marginal note which offers the alternative "Day Star")
Instead of "Lucifer", other modern versions substitute:
* "Day Star, son of the morning". (RSV)The Latinised form of the word "Lucifer" was used by Jerome in the late 4th century AD Latin Vulgate version of the Bible, to translate the Hebrew word "HEYLEL", which is the Hebrew name for the planet Venus. (the morning star)
* "bright morning star". (NEB)
* "star of the morning, son of the dawn". (NASB)
* "O morning star, son of the dawn". (NIV)
* "O shining star of the dawn". (Moffatt)
From there, many Bible commentators have invested a great deal of "circular logic" of the worst sort, to arrive at the totally unjustified conclusion that "Lucifer" is a Proper Name for the "dragon" and "devil" of Rev 12:9.
However, a careful reading of Isaiah 14 will reveal that the chapter has NOTHING AT ALL to do with the "fallen angel Devil" of popular mainstream theology! In verse 4 it is made abundantly clear that this chapter is a prophecy against the KING OF BABYLON! Certainly, the reference to the Morning Star is highly pictorial language, but there is not even a HINT that it might apply to anyone else!
This prophecy by Isaiah dates from some time during Isaiah's ministry, circa 700 BC. It was clearly fulfilled in a very spectacular way, about 170 years later, when Babylon fell to the Persians, BC536. The prophet Daniel records the circumstances in Daniel Chapter 5. There we read the story of how Belshazzar, the last king of Babylon, drank from the vessels taken from the Jerusalem temple, whilst praising the idol gods of Babylon. It isn't hard to work out that, in this action, there was some implied gross insult against the God of Israel! (verse 23) The hand appeared from nowhere, and wrote the judgement of God on the wall! And that very night Belshazzar was slain by the invading Persian army, and the kingdom passed to Darius the Mede.
In passing we mention another very similar prophecy in Ezekiel 28, which is also often incorrectly referred to the "devil". This time it is about the "King of Tyre" (V1 &11) and it does not mention "Lucifer" at all.
It contains recognisably similar language, this time using the Garden of Eden as a symbol to portray the height and depth of the rise and fall of Tyre. And again we note that there is not the slightest reference to the "fallen angel Devil" of popular mainstream Church theology!
The bottom line is that "Lucifer" is NOT a "fallen angel". It is merely a Latin Name for the planetVenus, which is used as a very graphic and poetic symbol to describe the rise and fall of the King of Babylon!
Anyone familiar with the Old Testament knows that ancient Hebrew regularly uses rich pictorial language in this way, in many places.