Who is Lucifer ?
If you asked a hundred people, “Who is Lucifer?” Probably ninety-nine of them would say that Lucifer is satan. But that’s not what the bible says. The King James Bible, and several other versions, use the word “Lucifer”, one time, and that one time is in Isaiah 14, verse 12. Some of the other English versions of the bible use the words “shinning one”, or “shining star”, instead of the word “Lucifer”. But whichever word is used, whether it be “Lucifer” or “shining one”, most people believe that those words refer to satan.
And the reason that they think that, is because in Isaiah 14, verse 12, the bible says; “How thou art fallen from heaven, Lucifer, son of the dawn! How thou art cut down to the ground, you who prostrated the nations!” And so people think that it was satan, who fell from heaven, and who was “cut down to the ground” as the verse says.
But earlier in this chapter, God made it perfectly clear who He was talking about, and it was not satan. The bible says in verses 4 thru 6; (this is the lord speaking to Isaiah) “Thou shall take up this parable, against the king of Babylon..” Some versions say; “take up this proverb”, and some say; “take up this taunt”. But by definition, the word means.. “this prophetic figurative discourse”. Isaiah is being told by God, to prophesy about the king of Babylon, in a figurative manner. And that’s exactly what he does.
So then, “Thou shall take up this prophetic figurative discourse, against the king of Babylon, and say; How hath the oppressor ceased! The golden city ceased!” The “golden city” was Babylon, and the “oppressor” was the king of Babylon. But the oppressor has ceased, because he has been “cut down to the ground” by God. He has “fallen from heaven” so to speak. When we get to verse 13, we’ll see how the king of Babylon, had exalted HIMSELF, above heaven, and above “the stars of God”. And so when he was “cut down to the ground”, it was as if he had “fallen from heaven”. And so that is why God uses that type of language.
The scripture says; “Jehovah hath broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers, (remember the lesson from the other week, about how the staff and the scepter symbolize the power of a kingdom) Well, “Jehovah hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the scepter of rulers, that smote the peoples in wrath, with a continual stroke; That ruled the nations in anger, with a persecution that none restrained!”
Remember, this is a prophecy. Isaiah prophesied about this, in the eight century BC, and the prophecy was fulfilled in the sixth century BC. And the king of Babylon, was the wicked ruler being spoken of. He ruled the world at that time, from the so called “golden city” of Babylon. Even the city was likened to shining gold! And the king, was the “shining one” who ruled over the nations, from the shining “golden city”.
Now let’s read verses 7 thru 12; “The whole earth is at rest, and quiet, (because God has broken the rule of the king) They break forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee (at the fallen king) and the cedars of Lebanon ,saying; Since thou art laid low, no hewer is come up against us.” (No one has come to cut us down)
“Sheol from beneath, is moved for thee, to meet thee at your coming. It stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth. It hath raised up from their thrones, all the kings of the nations.” (the kings of the nations that the king of Babylon had previously “prostrated”)
“All of them, shall answer and say unto thee; Art thou become weak as we? Art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to sheol, and the noise of thy viols.” “Viols” means your harps and your stringed instruments. The ones that no doubt played in celebration, of the king’s former greatness.
“The worm is spread beneath thee, and the worms cover thee.” In other words, you’re dead, and you’re rotting away; You’re being eaten away by worms.
“How thou art fallen from heaven, shining one! Son of the dawn. How thou art cut down to the ground, you who prostrated the nations!”
And remember how I said that God was using this analogy of having fallen from heaven, because the king, in his own mind, had exalted Himself above the heavens? Well, listen to verses 13 thru 16..
“And thou hast said in thy heart, I will ascend into the heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; And I will sit upon the mount of the congregation, in the uttermost parts of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself, like the Most High!”
So then the king of Babylon had most assuredly exalted himself above the heavens, and considered himself to be as God! Therfore, God choose language that was quite appropriate, when He said; “How thou art fallen from heaven!” No one had literally “fallen from heaven”, not the king, and not satan! But the king of Babylon, had certainly fallen, from his self-proclaimed, and arrogant position, of being above the heights of the clouds, and of being like, the Most High! That’s what the king had fallen from.
Then God went on to say, beginning with verse 15; “Yet thou shalt be brought down to sheol, to the uttermost parts of the pit! They that see thee, shall gaze at thee; They shall consider thee, saying; Is this the man that made the earth to tremble? That did shake the kingdoms? That made the world as a wilderness, and overthrew the cities thereof, that let not loose, his prisoners to their home?”
“All the kings of the nations, all of them sleep in glory, every one in his own house; But thou art cast forth, away from they sepulcher, like an abominable branch, clothed with the slain that are thrust through with the sword; That go down to the stones of the pit, as a dead body trodden under foot.”
And the scriptures continue with this basic idea, for several more verses, but what we’ve read so far, is the gist of the “proverb”, or the “parable” or “the prophetic figurative discourse” that Isaiah was told to make, concerning the king of Babylon. And there is absolutely nothing here, that in any way, has anything to do with satan. It is 100% in reference to the king of Babylon, exactly as the scripture says it is.
Now let me explain to you why the word “Lucifer” is not a proper translation, and why it’s not a proper word to be used in this verse. To begin with, let me tell you where the word “Lucifer” came from, and what it means.
“Lucifer” is a Latin word, which means “light bearer”, or “light bringer”. Now you might ask, why is a Latin word, used in our English bibles, to translate a Hebrew word” Why isn’t an English word simply used? Well, in many English versions, an English word is used, and the English word used, is “brightness” or “bright one” or “shinning one”. And let me point out, that just because something might have the quality of “brightness”, or that it might exhibit the quality of “shinning”, that doesn’t make it the source of that brightness. But that’s exactly what “Lucifer” does means. “Lucifer” is the very source of the light, and the “bringer” of the light.
But let me tell you how the word “lucifer” came to be used in our older English bibles, like the King James Version. And I’m just going to go ahead and read from some study material on the subject..
In 382 A.D. Pope Damasus commissioned the scholar Jerome to make an official revision of the many Latin versions of the Bible that were floating around in the Catholic Church at that time. Jerome went off to a cave in Bethlehem, where he proceeded to make his translation, the Old Testament part of which he supposedly based on the Hebrew text. But in practice Jerome based his Old Testament very largely on the Greek language Septuagint version (i.e. “LXX”) of the Old Testament, which Origen had produced about 140 years earlier, while in Caesarea.
By A.D. 405 Jerome had completed his work, which we today know as “The Latin Vulgate” Bible. It is far from a particularly accurate translation of the original texts. Rather, it is an interpretation of thought, put into idiomatic, graceful Latin! But “an interpretation of thought” is only good, when the translator has a perfect understanding of “the thoughts” he is translating. But if a translator has a flawed understanding of the thoughts he is trying to translate, then his “interpretation of thoughts” results in a very flawed and misleading translation.
For 1000 years this Vulgate translation was without a rival, and herein lies the problem! The Latin Vulgate translation was the only version of the Bible available to the people of Europe during that period of time. There was no possibility for anyone to compare the Vulgate with any other translation, or with Hebrew and Greek manuscripts.
So then the Roman Catholic church is who was really responsible for the word “Lucifer” being used in our early English bibles. Because if anyone undertook to translate the bible into English, all they had to go by was the Latin Vulgate bible, which used the word “Lucifer”. And no one would have had any idea that “Lucifer” wasn’t a proper translation from the original Hebrew, because no one had the original Hebrew to consult at that time. Thank the Lord, that things changed, and that the Hebrew became available, so that people could finally see, that “Lucifer is not at all a correct translation of the Hebrew word “Hey’lal”, spelled HALAL.
But since Jerome, and the Roman Catholic church already believed that Isaiah 14, verse 12 was speaking about satan, and because they already believed that satan was originally an angel of God, and actually the highest angel of God, who could be called “a shinning angel”, they therefore were content with the word “Lucifer” being inserted into the text of Isaiah 14, verse 12, instead of an English word which would have been the equivalent of the Hebrew word “heylel”. And I’ve already stated, that Hebrew word simply refers to something that ahs the quality of brightness, or the quality of “shinning”.
Jerome, and the Roman church, simply had no desire to take into account, the actual words of Isaiah 14, verse 4, which tells us plainly and clearly, that this “prophetic figurative discourse” which was about to come, was specifically directed at the king of Babylon. So there’s quite a bit of information there, but I don’t think that it’s at all difficult to understand.
Something interesting about the Hebrew word “HALAL”
The positive meaning of ” halal ” is: to be bright, to shine, to praise.
The negative meaning of ” halal ” is: to boast, to brag, to be mad, to be arrogant.
The Word “Lucifer”
Here’s an interesting fact about the word “Lucifer”. As I said, “Lucifer” is a Latin word; And in the Latin Vulgate bible, that word is used again, in 2 Peter 1, verse 19. Here’s what that verse says in the King James bible;
2 Peter 1, verse 19; “We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto you do well that you take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place; Until the day dawns, and the morning star arises in your hearts.” Some versions use the word “day-star”. But in the Latin, the word is “Lucifer”.
Most of our newer English versions are translated directly from one of the Greek texts. And the Greek word used there is identical in meaning, as the word “Lucifer”. The Greek word is “phosphoros”. But again, Phosphoros, and lucifer, both mean.. a “light giver”, or “light giving”.
That word “phosphoros” , which is translated as “‘day-star”, or “morning star”, t is an adjective; And an adjective is a word that describes something, or someone. So then, who or what, is the word “morning star” describing?
2 Peter 1, verse 19 says that we have a “more sure word of prophecy”. Here’s a little better translation of that; “And we have the steadfast prophetic word.” And the prophetic word that he’s talking about, is the word of Christ, and the prophecies about Christ.
Peter had been talking about Christ in the previous verses. I’m going to read verses 17, 18 & 19; “For He received from God the Father, honor and glory, when there was borne such a voice to Him by the Majestic Glory (that’s God) (saying).. “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased. And this voice, we ourselves heard, borne out of heaven, when we were with Him on the holy mount. And we have the steadfast prophetic word, whereunto you do well that you take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place;”
The word of God is a light to our path, isn’t it? And we would do well to take heed to it, as the light that it is. And the last part of that verse says; “Until the day dawns, and the MORNING STAR arises in your hearts.” Take heed unto this “light” which we have, “UNTIL the day dawns..” What day is he talking about? We are to take heed unto the prophetic word which we have, until what day comes? The answer is, until the eternal day comes. That’s how long we need to allow God’s word to guide our heart and soul. Until time is no more.
We need to take heed, unto the words of the bible, until we reach the eternal day; “Until the day dawns”.
And until “the morning star arises in your hearts.” Of course that’s another figurative phrase; But what is the “morning star”, which will arise within us? I think that we’d have to allow for a couple of answers to that.
There’s no doubt that when we reach the shores of the eternal day, then we will also have reached eternal life. And so we could surely say that eternal life arises within us. So that’s one answer.
But another answer that we surely could not count out, is the very source of eternal life, which of course is the same source as the eternal light. It’s the source of all light, which is God, and Jesus Christ.
Jesus said in Revelation 22,verse 16; “..I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star.” And the meaning there is that Jesus outshines all others. The phrase “the bright morning star” came to be used in reference to the planet Venus, because it shows up in the early morning sky, and it outshines all of the stars of the heavens. In that verse, Jesus calls Himself, “the bright morning star”.
Revelation 21, verse 23 says; “And the city (that’s a figurative reference to heaven) had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”
But now listen to what Jesus says in Revelation 2, verses 26 thru 28; “And he that overcomes, and he that keeps My works unto the end, to him will I give authority over the nations. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken in pieces. Just as I also have received of My Father, and I will give him, the morning star.”
So then, just as Jesus has received “the morning star” from His Father, He would also give “the morning star” to those who also overcome. In this verse, “The morning star” is something that the Father gave to Jesus, and that Jesus in turn, promised to give to those who overcome, just like He overcame. So you can see that “the morning star” has two different meanings, in those two different verses. Once it refers to Jesus Christ Himself, and then it also refers to something that Jesus promises to give.
What is “the morning star” referring to in that verse? I think that there can be two things that it refers to, and it might actually refer to both of them. First, Jesus surely has promised to give eternal life to those who overcome. But at the same time, He will give eternal glory to those who overcome.
God the Father surely gave Jesus eternal glory. And, God the Father also gave to Jesus Christ, the eternal life that He had in heaven, before He became a physical man. Acts 2, verse 33 says; “Having therefore been exalted, by the right hand of God, and having received from the Father, the promise of the Holy Spirit..”
Jesus Christ received the promise of the Holy Spirit, and that is exactly what every newborn Christian is promised upon their baptism.. The promise of the Holy Spirit, as a gift! Acts 2, verses 38 & 39. And we know exactly what that promise is, because the apostle John tells us what it is, in 1 John 2, verse 25; “For this is the promise that He has promised us; Eternal life.”
I believe that we would have to say, that the eternal light, and the eternal glory, and the eternal life, will all arise in our hearts, when we reach the eternal day.
According to the bible, there is only ONE, who could be called “Lucifer”, “the light bearer”, “the bright morning star”. And that ONE, is Jesus Christ; Not satan, but Jesus Christ.
And according to the bible, it was the king of Babylon, who was, (figuratively speaking that is) “the shinning one”, who had fallen from heaven so to speak, because it was he who had exalted himself above the heavens, to a position of being like God. And so God cut him down to the ground, where sheol awaited him.
“How thou art fallen from heaven, shinning one, son of the dawn! How thou art cut down to the ground, you who prostrated the nations!”