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The Lucifer Misunderstanding

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  • Information The Lucifer Misunderstanding

    Staying in context, defining words can help us immensely to understand what a particular scripture really means. One major example of this is the Lucifer misconception that really shows how we interject our own ideas, images and beliefs into the Bible.

    Isaiah 14:12 thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! (KJV).

    I suppose it can be easy to understand how many people can do this because we are taught tradition and most do not want to go against the grain. Even when it’s right there in front of our faces we shy away from the basic understanding of grandma, context and defining words.

    Even some of the most recognized pastors have the very same belief that this verse refers to the angel Lucifer, so who is going to dispute a pastor. Even though the Bible teaches us to study the Scriptures, we fail to do so perhaps because it’s easier just to listen to a pastor who is supposed to be studied in the Scriptures than to research, investigate and analyze what’s being said compared to the Scriptures.

    But the real problem for most of us is our inability to connect the dots. If a verse starts off with the words “FOR”, we fail to find out what it’s there for. Not realizing that the Bible was not written in verses and was broken up into verses later on in the 15th century. If you look at Isaiah 14:1 the word "For" which is a "conjunction"; a word used to connect clauses or sentences or to coordinate words in the same clause (e.g., and, but, if). The English language has seven coordinating conjunctions, and they’re easy to remember if you can just remember FANBOYS: For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So.

    As we can see sometimes we need to read the chapter before to understand the verse we are reading now.

    Isaiah 14:12 is a primary example because chapter 13 needs to be read before chapter 14 as stated above. To be truthful chapters 13 through 22 are about Isaiah’s prophecies against the nations around 725 BC and to truly understand everything we should read these chapters. I know, it seems we have to read almost the whole book sometimes to understand just one simple verse.

    Defining words is a very important factor of studying the Bible because we are in a modern time and a lot of the words then did not mean what they mean today. Furthermore, there were idioms in those days as well which we may not understand and have to do some studying/research to determine their meanings. For instance, it’s raining cats and dogs which is a modern term, if said then, would totally confuse an ancient person.

    I generally make it a habit that if I do not understand a particular word, I stopped reading and go research that word so that I can fully understand the meaning and intent behind the word.

    Although most people associate the name Satan with the name devil, and Lucifer to all mean the same thing; they do not. When we look into the word "Satan" from the Hebrew (השׂטן /Satan) we learn that it means (adversary, one who withstands) and in the Greek (Satanas / Satan) which means "the accuser". So really, when we say "Satan" we're just saying "adversary against good, one who withstands; the accuser" which isn't the name of the devil as we call him.

    The word "devil" in the Old Testament is the word “shade” a daemon (as malignant). Malignant means "very infectious; harmful in influence"; diseased. Devil in the New Testament is the Greek word "diabolos" which means "false accuser" and again isn't the proper name for as we call him the Devil or Satan.

    In Leviticus 17:7 the word devils is the Hebrew word "śâ‛ir" which means "a he goat, hairy, kid" and is the same for (2 Chronicles 11:15). The Egyptians, and other nations of antiquity, worshipped goats as gods; satyrlike. Not only was there a celebrated temple in Thmuis, the capital of the Mendesian Nomos in Lower Egypt, dedicated to the goat-image Pan, whom they called Mendes, and worshipped as the oracle, and as the fertilising principle in nature, but they erected statues of him everywhere.

    If the Bible is supposed to agree with itself, then there should always be a reference from the Old Testament to the new. There is no reference whatsoever to the name Lucifer in the Old Testament to the New Testament.

    In ancient times there were many gods. Bible Manners and Customs tell us that Marduk came to assume the central place in the Babylonian pantheon long before Nebuchadnezzar’s day and that the sun, moon, and Venus—served as a second group of gods. So what's the story with the name Lucifer in the Bible? Is this really Satan, the Devil or a god? Why is it only in the Bible one time and never referenced as Lucifer from the Old Testament to the New Testament? Well, maybe he is, just not with the word "Lucifer". In Luke 11:15 we learn that the word "Beelzebub" which means "dung god; Beelzebul, a name for Satan". Beelzebub is also found in the Old Testament in (2 Kings 1:2, 2 Kings 1:3, 2 Kings 1:6 and 2 Kings 1:16) which has it's Origin from "'Eshba`al"; still, it's not the name Lucifer.

    Lucifer " הֵילֵ֣ל" ,"hêylêl" which traslate in the septuagint to "εωσφορος" that means "from Ancient Greek εωσφορος ‎(Heōsphóros), from Ἕως ‎(Héōs, “dawn”) + φέρω ‎(phérō, “to bear, to carry”); Morning Star, the planet Venus". Many interpreters, ancient and modern, see it as a designation of Venus, the morning star and was the interpretation that was behind the early Greek translation of the term, as well as the Latin Vulgate's luciferos (shining one, i.e., Venus).

    In the Ancient Near Eastern ANE the "Morning Star" which was also called the "Day Star (2 Peter 1:19)" was the planet Venus that rose before dawn to herald a new day. This word "Lucifer" is in the Laten Vulgate Bible in three places; Job 11:17, Isaiah 14:12 and 2 Peter 1:19. But when you look at Job 11:17 for example, we see that this is the word for "morning" and has the meaning "dawn (שׁחר) (as the break of day); generally morning". It is interesting to see that most missed the simple statement of Isaiah 14:4 which reads as follows "That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!" This is a "proverb" against the king of Babylon; (a short pithy saying in general use, stating a general truth or piece of advice); a poetic style among the Hebrews.

    Ezekiel 28:2-10 had this same style which should give you a clearer picture of what's being said to a man. Ezekiel also speaks of him to the same effect, thus: “Thus saith the Lord God, Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the sea; yet art thou a man, and not God, (though) thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God. Art thou wiser than Daniel? Ezekiel 28:3.

    In 2 Peter 1:19 the words "day star" is the Greek word "phōsphoros" which means " light bearing (phosphorus), that is, (specifically) the morning star (figuratively) day star." In the Interlinear Bible "day star is the words (Morning Star / φωσφόρος). It is not the same word used for "star" like in Revelation 2:28, Revelation 22:16 or any other word star used in the New Testament. The word "star" that's used in Revelation and 11 more times in the New Testament is the word "astēr / ἀστέρα" which means "a star (as strown over the sky)"; not day star as in 2 Peter 1:19 or Isaiah 14:12. If Satan which is the common word used for the devil fell from heaven, it was like lightning, not like a morning star which rises in the morning; Luke 10:18.

    We can see just how prevalent the use of the word Morning Star was in ancient times by Clement of Alexandria said: Christ, the Sun of the Resurrection, He “who was born before the morning star,” (Psalms 110:3) and with His beams bestows life; Chap. IX. — “That Those Grievously Sin Who Despise or Neglect God’s Gracious Calling.” Venus was even in the time of Solomon: When Solomon accepted the religious practices of his foreign wives, he tolerated some of the worst examples of heathen idolatry. Solomon accepted the worship of Ashtoreth, Chemosh, and Molech. Ashtoreth, variously known as Ishtar, Astarte, and Venus, Ishtar was principally the goddess of sex and war.

    Bible Manners and Customs: "The Babylonians worshiped Ishtar as goddess of war and goddess of sexual love and procreation. She revealed herself to human beings as the morning star and evening star".

    The only Scriptural reference to "Lucifer" is in Isaiah 14:12 – and then only in some translations. The proper name "Lucifer" does not appear in the original text of Isaiah. The original text from the interlinear Bible of Isaiah 14:11 - 13 reads as follows: your Majesty is lowered into sheol; the noise of your harps. The maggot is spread under you; yea, the worms cover you. Oh shining star, son of the morning, how you have fallen from the heavens! You weakening the nations, you are cut down to the ground. For you have said in your heart, I will go up to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit in the amount of meetings, and the sides of the north.

    Dr. Roy Blizzard, a well-known Hebrew roots scholar, offers some insightful background, "The history of the origin of a being called Lucifer is interesting. The word Lucifer comes from the Latin verb, luceo, lucere, luxi, which means to shine, to glow, glitter, to be clear. It is light, day dawning. The adjective, lucidus-a-um, means shining, bright, clear, lucid. The noun, lucifer-eri, means the morning star, the planet Venus, or a day. It comes from the adjective lucifer-era-erum, shiny."

    The use of "Lucifer" is ancient, in Latin where it was the term to refer to the planet Venus when it appeared as a star in the morning. Although some early Christian Latin writings refer to "Lucifer", it was the Latin Vulgate that is most responsible for its widespread use. The Vulgate was produced by Jerome (c. 347-420) by translating available Greek and Hebrew manuscripts into Latin. It was started in approximately 382 A.D a late fourth-century Latin translation and was completed in approximately 405 A.D. It was the scriptures used by the Catholic Church for nearly 1000 years. Here's what the Vulgate says: "Quomodo cecidisti de cælo, Lucifer, qui mane oriebaris? corruisti in terram, qui vulnerabas gentes?"

    Remember, "Proverb" in the word "mâshâl" which means "similitude", in other words "a visible likeness of metaphorical nature". The word "Babylon" is the Hebrew word "bâbel" which means "confusion; Babel". So, this chapter is directed at the King of Babylon, but if you start reading at Isaiah 14:12, then you can make this to mean what you want it too.

    Just one more thing. Satan (Hebrew) meaning “accuser” or “adversary,” occurs several times throughout the Hebrew Bible and refers to enemies both human and celestial alike. When referring to the celestial adversary, the word is typically accompanied by the definite article. He is ha-satan—the Accuser—and it is a description rather than a proper name. Satan’s role or should I say (Beelzebub) role in the New Testament, though highly expanded, has much more in common with the Accuser of the Hebrew Bible than the commander of the armies of darkness that is typically portrayed in the Dead Sea Scrolls whereas Lucifer only refers to Venus. Even though Beelzebub is given such lofty titles as “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31), “father of lies” (John 8:44), “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4), “ruler of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), and Beelzebul / Hebrew - "ba‛al zebûb / Greek - "Beelzeboul"", “ruler of the demons” (Matthew 10:25; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15), Beelzebub is essentially treated as nothing more than a glorified prison warden who has been corrupted by his own power.

    Stay in context with the chapter and define the words will always help in the study of the Bible. Interesting enough we need to understand the importance of the sun, moon and stars in those days. These were the days in which even their calendar was based on a lunar system and there was an abundance of concentration on the planets and stars. Even Justin Martyr (Born: 100 AD, Nablus - Died: 165 AD, Rome, Italy) puts “sun and moon” instead of “Lucifer”; Ps. 110:3 in his fragmented notes "Chap. LXXXIII. — It Is Proved That the Psalm, “the Lord Said to My Lord,” Etc., Does Not Suit Hezekiah" and in the British Museum there are a series of 70 Babylonian tablets of which number 63 is devoted exclusively to the planet Venus.


  • #2
    Re: The Lucifer Misunderstanding

    Lucifer is a Latin word that according to the Latin dictionary means "morning star" or "light bearer". We know that Satan is neither the Morning Star, nor the Light Bearer, because Jesus is the Morning Star and the Light of the world. Satan is the prince of darkness, nothing more.

    John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
    Revelation 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, [and] the bright and morning star.

    Satan is called Lucifer (and thus morning star) in Isaiah 14 ironically, because he wants to be transformed in an angel of light. Satan wants to be God, he wants to be Jesus.

    Isaiah 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
    2 Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

    This is an interesting point of controversy. The Dutch equivalent of the King James Version, called the Statenvertaling (1637), does not translate Isaiah 14:12 as Lucifer but as Morning Star. It often gets attacked because of that, but people do not know that Lucifer actually means "morning star" in Latin. See this video on Lucifer in the Dutch Statenvertaling or this text with Bible quotes.

    But the interesting things is that the King James Version originally came out with margin notes containing alternative translations, and also a note for Isaiah 14:12, that Lucifer can also mean "day star". But these notes are not in many King James Bibles today, or the original notes have been replaced by the publisher's own.
    Last edited by jpeters; Jun 8th 2019, 12:25 PM. Reason: double text


    • #3
      Re: The Lucifer Misunderstanding

      Originally posted by jpeters View Post
      Lucifer is a Latin word that according to the Latin dictionary means "morning star" or "light bearer". We know that Satan is neither the Morning Star, nor the Light Bearer, because Jesus is the Morning Star and the Light of the world. Satan is the prince of darkness, nothing more.

      So who is the other morning star?

      Job 38:7
      When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?


      • #4
        Re: The Lucifer Misunderstanding

        Isaiah 14:12 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!

        Who else but Satan will literally fall from heaven?

        Isaiah 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

        Who else but Satan could ascend into heaven like he did in Job?

        Isaiah 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

        Paul wrote that the Antichrist will also seek to do this and whether the AC is Satan or a Satan possessed man it still is a reference to Satan.

        Isaiah 14:15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

        Exactly what Rev 20 depicts happening to Satan!

        Isaiah 14:16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
        Isaiah 14:17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?

        Satan bound for a thousand years and I can easily imagine people saying this about him!

        That's far too many coincidences to just be about some old king of Babylon as all of it exactly pertains to Satan and what is going to happen to him and what he tries to accomplish.

        The serpent was in the garden of Eden.
        Lucifer was in the garden of Eden.
        Satan was the serpent in the garden of Eden.

        Satan fell from heaven.
        Lucifer fell from heaven.

        Satan will be cast into a pit.
        Lucifer will be cast into a pit.

        So how exactly is Lucifer not Satan?
        James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.


        • #5
          Re: The Lucifer Misunderstanding

          I also find it interesting that serpent also means bright or shining one, this seems to be a correlation not so much of titles but descriptions of his role. If one could take stock of these descriptions it seems Satan held a high office on earth and one could easily say that it was similar to that of the Lords. Satans description has been referred to that of venus the moring star, interesting the Lords description is also the morning star, the bright morning star that outshines all others.

          Isaiah went to an earthly king to prophecy against, one could say he had a kingly role with the affairs on earth, The Lord is the king of kings of heaven and earth. Satan is described having a breastplate, which indicates a priestly role, The Lord is the high priest with a breastplate of 12 stones.

          Of course with Satan sinning, he corrupted his role, and needed replacing, hence again we can see there was no other way imaginable for God to redeem man but by the offering of His Son.


          • #6
            Re: The Lucifer Misunderstanding

            There is an assumed understanding, in the Bible, that there are spirit-beings. God created heaven, which is our atmosphere, separating clouds and seas. However, this heaven also contains the stars. This division between heaven and earth reflects upon the separation between the domain of God and men. And it is assumed that in the domain of God there are spirit beings, just as there are stars in the heavens. And it is assumed that human beings are, like angels, to serve God, though in their own domain, the earth.

            So stars have come to be symbolic of angels, which are spirit beings in the heavens. The assumption is made that events on earth are accomplished not just by God, but also through the medium of His angels.

            The existence of evil angels is understood from the Genesis account of the fall of Man, when Satan and the Devil (Revelation refers to them as that), tempt Eve to eat from the forbidden tree. (The tree represented the authority of God's word in what *not* to do.)

            In Job we also see Satan try to accuse Job, who is a righteous man. Though this evil being is central as an adversary, it was assumed, I think, that there are *many* evil angels, not just because there are many stars in the sky, but also due to God's tendency to us agents to put into effect His purposes.

            Daniel shows that all of these assumptions are in play, as he equates national leaders with angelic beings who preside over that leadership. So it is no surprise that Christians read Satan into the prophecy against the King of Babylon. It is not ignoring the literal application to the King of Babylon as much as utilizing the language of celestial activities to explain that the evil in this king is parallel with the evil of Satan, who presides over many evil angels.

            The reason the celestial story about angels is not spelled out in detail is likely due to the tendency of Man to dally with this dangerous evil. In the Law Israel was told to shun anything associated with spiritual contact of an occult nature.


            • #7
              Re: The Lucifer Misunderstanding

              Honestly with my first run through of the bible I knew of a certainty that it was a prophecy against a ruling king and his kingdom of the day.
              It wasn't until years later that I ever even heard the idea that Lucifer was the devil.
              So it is a bit intriguing to hear the things that you are touching on.

              Honestly with my first run through of the bible I knew of a certainty that it was a prophecy against a ruling king and his kingdom of the day.
              It wasn't until years later that I ever even heard the idea that Lucifer was the devil.
              So it is a bit intriguing to hear the things that you are touching on.