Posted on

Is Lucifer a Name that the Bible Uses for Satan?

This is a re-blog from Christianpublishing house.com

Edward D. Andrews

The name Lucifer, a Latin translation of the Hebrew word for “day star” occurs but one time (Isa. 14:12) in the Scriptures and only in some versions of the Bible. For example, the King James Version renders Isaiah 14:12: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!”

The Hebrew word (hê·lēl) translated “Lucifer” means “light-bearing object in the sky, Shining One, i.e., Morning star or Day star, the planet Venus, prominent in the morning, referring to the majesty and high status of a king.”[1]

The Septuagint uses the Greek word (ἑωσφόρος) that means “bringer of dawn.” Hence, some translations render the original Hebrew “morning star” (CSB, LEB) or “Daystar,” (ESV) or “son of the dawn.” (NIV, NASB) However, the Latin Vulgate of Jerome uses “Lucifer” (light bearer), and this is the reason for the appearance of that term in the King James Bible and other versions of the Bible.

ANGELSThe expression “shining one,” or “Lucifer,” is found in what Isaiah prophetically commanded the Israelites to proclaim as a “taunt [or proverb] against the king of Babylon.” Therefore, it is part of a proverb essentially focused on the Babylonian empire. That fact that the description “shining one” is directed at a man and not Satan (i.e., a spirit person) is further seen by the declaration: “you will be thrust down to Sheol.” “Sheol [is] the Underworld, Hades, the Grave, i.e., a place under the earth where the dead reside, the realm of death.”[2] Furthermore, the following verse from Isaiah 14:16 states, “Those who see you will stare at you and ponder over you: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms.’” Unquestionably, “Lucifer” refers to a human, not to Satan, a spirit person. – Isaiah 14:4, 15-16.

Why is such a prominent description given to the Babylonian empire? We must understand that the king of Babylon was to be declared the shining one only after his fall and it was in an insulting remark, in a contemptuous way. (Isaiah 14:3) Selfish pride moved Babylon’s kings to glorify and elevate themselves above everyone else and every kingdom around them. So great was the arrogance of this empire that it is described as boasting: “I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’” – Isaiah 14:13-14.

second coming Cover AMERICA IN BIBLE PROPHECY_ BLESSED IN SATAN’S WORLD_02 Identifying the AntiChrist
“The stars of God” are referring to the kings of the royal line of David. (Numbers 24:17) From King David forward, these “stars” ruled from Mount Zion. King Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem; after that, the name Zion came to apply to the whole city. Under the Mosaic Law, all male Israelites were required to travel to Zion three times a year. Thus, it became “the mount of assembly.” By plotting to enslave the Judean kings and then eliminate them from that mountain, Nebuchadnezzar was disclosing his intention of putting himself above those “stars.” Instead of giving God praise and honor for the conquest of Jerusalem and Judea, he arrogantly puts himself in God’s place. Thus, it is after being humiliatingly cut down to the earth that the Babylonian empire is mockingly referred to as the “shining one.”

The pride of the Babylonian rulers positively reflected the attitude of “the god of this world,” Satan the Devil. (2 Corinthians 4:4) He also strongly desires power and longs to place himself above God. However, Lucifer is definitely not a name that was Scripturally given to Satan. First, let us read for the context,

Isaiah 14:12-21 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

2 “How you are fallen from heaven,
O shining one, son of dawn!
How you have been cut down to the earth,
you who have conquered the nations!
13 You said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne
above the stars of God;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
in the far reaches of the north;[q]
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’
15 But you are brought down to Sheol,
to the far reaches of the pit.
16 Those who see you will stare at you
and ponder over you:
‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
who shook kingdoms,
17 who made the world like a desert
and overthrew its cities,
who did not let his prisoners go home?’
18 All the kings of the nations lie in glory,
each in his own house.[3]
19 but you are cast out, away from your grave,
like an abhorrent branch,
clothed with the slain, those pierced by the sword,
who go down to the stones of the pit,
like a dead body trampled underfoot.
20 You will not be united with them in burial,
because you have destroyed your land,
you have slain your people.

“May the offspring of evildoers
never again be named.
21 Prepare slaughter for his sons
because of the guilt of their fathers,
lest they rise and possess the earth,
and fill the face of the world with cities.”

Now, on this The New American Commentary says,

14:12 The introductory “How” (ʾîk) in 14:12 (repeating 14:4b) marks the beginning of this new paragraph, reminding the audience that this is a lament for a dead person who has fallen (cf. the lament for Saul in 2 Sam 1:19). The lament mourns the humiliation of one who formerly enjoyed a high position. Being cast down to earth implies a loss of power, status, self-determination, and influence. The “morning star” (lit. “shining one,” hîlēl) probably refers to Venus, which is the “son of the dawn,” the morning star that was sometimes used to represent a divinity in ancient Near Eastern religion. This analogy indicates how high this Babylonian king had raised himself up and how far he would fall. Similarly, religious and political leaders today who claim for themselves undue power and authority will need to resist the temptation to think that they control everything (setting themselves up as gods), lest God cause them to suffer the same humiliating fate.

14:13–14 Why did this morning star fall? An attitude of selfish pride led to an attempt to usurp someone else’s authority. The “I will” clauses trace his arrogant actions: (a) He moved from his proper place to putting his throne above other heavenly beings (“the stars of El”). (b) He enthroned himself in the meeting of the divine assembly on a sacred mountain in the north. (c) He ascended above the clouds. (d) He made himself like the Most High God. Several of these concepts run parallel to stories in myths in ancient Near Eastern religions where one god fought with another god in order to gain greater power and sit on his throne. Some myths had the pantheon of gods assemble at meetings on the northern mountain of Zaphon. The intention of this arrogant morning star was to ascend over the clouds to become equal or higher than the highest deity Elyon. The behavior of the king of Babylon was parallel to what the morning star tried to do, though the poem does not reveal exactly what this king did. In essence he tried to rule the world by supplanting God.

14:15–21 The beginning of the previous paragraph about the morning star indicates that pride led to failure and the arrogant one was eventually cast down to earth in shame (14:12). This new paragraph begins with ʾak similar to 14:4b and 14:12, but it applies this same fate to “you,” meaning the king of Babylon, because the king will end up in the same place as the morning star (14:15). Instead of replacing God in the heights of the sacred mountain in the north, the king of Babylon will go to Sheol, even to the remotest depths of the pit of Sheol. Elsewhere the “pit” is a synonym for Sheol (Ezek 26:20; 32:18–24), but here it seems to be a particularly distant place in Sheol, the furthest place one can get from the heights of heaven.

In light of the king’s great accomplishments and pride, the people on earth (or the kings in Sheol) will be astonished at how far this great king has fallen (14:16). He will be utterly humiliated and shamed by what will happen. Once he had the power to cause any nation to tremble in fear and could change the course of history for any city he might attack. He was a ruthless tyrant who could turn a defeated city into a desert place without inhabitants and he could treat people unmercifully (14:17). But now in Sheol he has absolutely no power to do anything at all.

A second sign of his humiliation is related to his disgraceful burial (14:18–19). His shameful treatment of others will come back to haunt him. Instead of having an impressive burial chamber or an elaborate gold-filled tomb dedicated in his honor like most kings, this king will have no glory at all after his death. He will have a dishonorable burial; there will be no royal tomb because he will be considered a “rejected, loathed” (nitʿāb) branch. This picture contrasts with the messianic shoot or sprout in 11:1; he is full of the Spirit and will rule the nations in justice.

Explaining the Doctrine of the Last ThingsThe imagery in 14:19 is not that clear. The idea of being “cast out of your tomb” does not coincide very well with the rest of the verse. Wildberger suggests that “the OT normally speaks of the corpse being ‘cast forth’ in situations in which no one is able to bury someone who has died or else no one wishes to do so (cf. 1 Kgs 13:24f; Isa 34:3).” Thus the whole verse seems to picture the Babylonian king as one among many who were slain in battle and left unburied by a victorious enemy. This great “shoot, branch” (a symbol of a king as in 11:1) will be loathed as his body rots among the dead bodies of fellow soldiers who died trying to defend the king. The state of the “trampled corpse” (kĕpeger mûbās) is unknown, but if a body was trampled underfoot by men or horses, this treatment would do grave injury to the corpse, desecrating and humiliating the dead. This kind of desecration of a dead body was especially shocking in the ancient Near Eastern world where honoring the dead was very important. To go unburied and be left on a battle field for the dogs and vultures to eat was the greatest fear of every soldier (Ezek 39:4, 17–20). Leaving people unburied was the ultimate way to disgrace their memory (Jer 22:19; 36:30). The spirits of those slain (including this proud king) will descend to the “stones of the pit,” an enigmatic phrase that probably does not refer to the practice of burying people by piling stones over them (Josh 8:29; 2 Sam 18:17). Stones always go down to the very bottom of any hole, so if one goes down to the stones, that person is as low as one can get in the pit of Sheol.

The Babylonian king’s final humiliation will involve being rejected by his people and family (14:20–21). Even if enemies might defeat a king in battle or shame a king at his death, usually his own people would rise up to defend his honor and support him. He would be considered a military hero who valiantly and sacrificially gave his life for his people. At the very least, the king’s own family would tell stories of his great character and honor his memory with monuments and parades. But this evil king will never receive even the slightest recognition from anyone, not even from his own offspring. This will happen because it will become very clear to everyone that the king’s selfish actions caused the destruction of his own nation and the deaths of thousands of his own people. Instead of blaming their destruction on their vile enemies, his own people will realize that the Babylonian king killed thousands of them by his foolish actions. Although leaders may be able to fool their followers for a time, eventually people can see through the rhetoric and realize that some leaders in the past and today are more interested in their own power than anything else. They really do not care if they destroy a nation, a company, a seminary, or a church; all they want to do is to further their own cause and create a name for themselves.

Consequently, the king’s ideal of being buried in the family tomb with his ancestors and children will not happen (14:20a). Instead, this king’s name and the name of his children will not be mentioned ever again. No one will want to remember the tremendous shame he brought on the nation, so every attempt will be made to remove his name. One way of wiping out a name is to kill all the children of the king, so that none of them will ever restore the family name to power (14:21; see 2 Kgs 10:17). The urgency of the situation is in the demand that “they must not rise and must not inherit the land.” The people themselves will conclude that it is best to exterminate this family line so that none of the king’s heirs will come back at a later time and try to make a legitimate claim to authority. A second reason why the children will be killed is because of the sins of their father. This indicates that evil and pride were characteristic of several Babylonian kings in this family. A third justification for this action is that the people did not want another king to follow the same pattern by going on the offensive again and trying to conquer all the cities on the earth (14:21b). It appears that the people just wanted to live in peace and were not interested in empire building by planting powerful Babylonian cities over the whole inhabited world.[4]
Now, let us look at the Holman Old Testament Commentary,

14:11–19. Glittering royal robes gave place to hungry maggots and worms. This was all because of Babylon’s pride, trying to occupy the throne of God. The Babylonian king is mocked with a lament. The word How often introduces a statement of grief and bereavement. This lament is mockery, a song of joy. The evil king tried to portray himself as the morning star—that is, as the planet Venus understood by Israel’s neighbors as a god. Now such delusions of grandeur disappear in the realism of Sheol. What a fall! Certainly, he was not anything like the Most High.

This is not the fall of Satan, but the fall of a proud human being who tried to usurp divine authority and divine worship. One who wanted to join the assembly of the gods must content himself with a bed of worms. Even Sheol’s occupants stand amazed at such a fall from world domination to worm food. The situation was the same on earth. Babylon’s own people did not give him the normal honor of a common burial, much less a regal interment. He had to lie on the battlefield in the pile of battle casualties. Nor could he expect a king’s normal heritage—a son left on the vacated throne. Instead, his sons would never receive mention; they would vanish from history. The only dynasty Babylonia would establish would be in the realm of the dead.[5]
CPH BIBLE EDUCATION

Advertisements

About beaconapologetics

A Christian Apologist. A follower of Jesus. A defender of the Christian Faith

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s