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Posted by: Michael Stevenson on Mon, Aug 8, 2011

MANY people have assumed—and falsely—that the name of Satan was Lucifer before he fell. But, was it really Lucifer? While most take this for granted, the truth bay well surprise you. You might in fact, be very shocked to see that that to some the name of Lucifer means something which is far different. To them, it is a name which should actually be given to Jesus Christ.

 This very controversy has been around for years, but has again recently risen, this time with the churches of God. It is an important subject which is underscored by allegations that to use Lucifer as a name for the archangel who later fell and became Satan, means that we are taking God’s name in vain. According to some in the churches of God, it is tantamount to worshipping Satan. These are some pretty serious accusations and therefore, as true disciples of Jesus Christ, we do not want to be guilty of dishonoring God. So therefore, we need to take an important look at this subject and see just what it is that God has to say about this matter—remembering that He has much to say on all matters which pertain to the truth!


Where Did the Word Lucifer Come From?

The word Lucifer only appears one time in the King James Version of the Bible. It is found in Isaiah in a place that the prophecy concerning the king of Babylon is found and is directed not at a physical king, but rather, against a spiritual ruler. We read that “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.

 This term, Lucifer, was actually a Latin word which came to us through the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible, a volume completed by Jerome in the 5th Century C.E. His work was not a complete re-translation of the Bible. He used older Latin translations of the Old Testament in which were most likely translated from the Septuagint (a Hebrew and Greek translation of the Old Testament). As Jerome had been fluent in both the Greek and the Hebrew, he there also had preferred the Greek and Hebrew Old Testament writings instead.

 In the Hebraic. Or the Masoretic text, the word Lucifer in the KJV is “heylel.” This word is found only once within the Bible. The Jewish sources tell us that it actually means “shining one” and was the Hebrew word for the morning star. Because of this, there are other translations of this verse that renders it as being:

“How hast thou fallen from the heavens, O shining one, son of the dawn! Thou hast been cut down to earth, O weakener of nations”—Young’s Literal Translation.

How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, that didst cast lots over the nations”—The Jewish Publication Society Bible.

How did you come to fall from the heavens, morning star, son of the dawn? How did you come to be cut to the ground, conqueror of nations?”—Complete Jewish Bible.

 The translators of the Jewish Septuagint also had known that the meaning of heylel was that of the “morning star.” They had translated it as “eosphorus” which is Greek for the “morning star.” The question then comes to us as to why the “morning star?” Just what is this very star and what is its very importance as it has when referring to the one whom now we refer to as Satan?

 Today, astronomers know that the morning star (day star) and the evening star are the same heavenly body in space. They are what we know as Venus. The ancients had no idea of this knowledge and it was not until about 530 B.C.E. that they discovered this truth when Pythagorus had found that they were the same planet. Until this time, the Greeks had named the morning star “eosphorus” or “phosphorus” while the evening star they called “Hesperus.” Eosphorus actually means “bringer of dawn,” and the term phosphorus means “bringer of light.” In classical myth, the morning star supposed had been personified as a male figure who had a torch.

When he translated the Old Testament, Jerome had understand that this eosphorus, phosphorus and Lucifer were actually the same in meaning. Just as the Greek eosphorus and phosphorus, Lucifer was the Latin word for the morning star. Further, Lucifer also means “light bringer.” Some contend that Jerome had coined the word, but it was Roman astrologers who had actually given the name of Lucifer to the morning star way before Jerome had actually translated the Bible.


Understanding the TRUTH

They that reject the usage of Lucifer also are opposed to the Jewish understanding of the word heylel. According to them, the only way to really know the meaning of the word heylel is to delve into the meaning of the word “halal” which actually is the root word from which we get heylel.

 Strong’s actually gives to us the definition of halal as being “to shine,” but yet, these people often reject this definition as well. They further believe that the context is the only real way to determine which meaning of halal had applied to Isaiah 14:12. We find in the Strong’s that the word halal in the Old Testament really has thirteen different meanings. We further find that the word is located 165 times within the Old Testament. The negative words for this word are boast, mad, foolish, fools and rage. These account for only about 25 of the 165 times that we find the word in the Old Testament. Those who condemn the usage of it by the Church claim that because the context refers to Satan, and since Satan is boastful, mad, foolish, and raging, then the word heylel must mean the same thing.

 This argument, however, ignores the true context of the verse itself. As the morning star {when it is able to be viewed), always comes before dawn, there is therefore an obvious relationship between the morning star and the morning. So then, we see that the “son of the morning” or “son of dawn” that comes after the word heylel, would actually make no sense at all if the meaning of heylel is boastful, mad, foolish and raging. It then can only make sense if the meaning of heylel is actually morning star.

 One author who condemns the way the Church uses Lucifer often tries to make the context fit by claiming that “son of the morning” really means “son of Jesus Christ.” In other words, since this boastful, mad, foolish and raging archangel was formed by Jesus, then therefore is His son, but yet, this author attempts to make a connection between “son of the morning” and that Revelation 22:16, where Jesus is named “the bright and morning star.” But yet, when we read Isaiah 14:12, does it not say “son of the morning star.” It simply then reads “son of the morning” or “son of the dawn.”

 This very same author then takes on a very strong defense of the accuracy of the Masoretic text as opposed to the Septuagint. His reason for this is not without merit. It is actually based upon the verse that reads “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God”—Romans 3:1-2.

 The reasoning from the author then becomes quite inconsistent when he therefore applies this argument to the discussion of Lucifer. He has accepted—up to a point—that the Jews had faithfully preserved the Old Testament manuscripts, but then he begins to reject their definitions of the words which are found in the manuscripts.

 If, in fact, we can really rely upon the Jews for the preservation of the Old Testament scriptures as we claim, then we are able to rely upon them of the accuracy of the words of the Hebrew language. The two cannot at all be separate—they go hand in hand! Therefore, we would have to remember that the Jews are correct in how they teach regarding even the meaning of what the words really are. It would never make any sense for the Jews to preserve the writings, but at the same time for them not to preserve the knowledge of the words.


The Bright and Morning Star

While it may seem very confusing to many that Jesus Christ is named “the bright and morning star” when the archangel that later became known as Satan is also the “morning star,” it need not be confusing. We must keep in mind that the being of Isaiah 14:12 is also at one point a righteous angel—one of the highest. We know this because, Ezekiel writes “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee”—Ezekiel 28:15.

 God has never created anything which is evil (James 1:13) and therefore, there was indeed a time when this archangel was perfect—but, as a result, he had fallen from his perfect status because of his great pride.

 Further, we read that “Satan himself transforms himself as an angel of light”—2 Corinthians 11:14. This implication of this verse is that righteous angels are angels of light—thus, proving to us that Satan will transform himself into an angel of light, which explains how he is often able to lead astray the majority of the world. Most traditional Christians would have us to believe that Satan was never an angel of light, but the plain truth here is that he had to have been because he was at one point full of righteousness. In every biblical truth where a man sees an angel in full angelic glory, he falls on his face out of fear—thus, this proves that angels are so glorious that man is afraid to look upon them. That is how brilliant and how wonderful angels shine. The righteous angels shine so glorious that God will use the stars to symbolize the angels (Job 38:7; Revelation 1:20, 12:4). Hence, Satan will at times make himself look as if he is righteous—even though he is full of evil.

 Lucifer was no ordinary angel. He had been appointed to be a cherub that covered the throne of God (Ezekiel 28:14). He was the one who had been chosen to rule over earth (Matthew 4:8-9). Further, we find in Ezekiel 28 that the great beauty of Satan, and 1 Corinthians 15:40-41 showing that various spirits sine with varying degrees of awesome beauty. Therefore, Satan probably had shown much more brilliant than all the other angels put together. Does it therefore seem fitting that God would have given Satan the title of “morning star” when he was still righteous? Thus, Lucifer would have been the brightest object—after the sun and the moon—thus, being the morning star—the brightest object in our sky!

 God, unlike humans, names people and things for what they are. We usually name people for what we want—such as we might name someone after another in the family line. But, God names people and beings for what they are and for what they accomplish. Thus, He quite possible had named “morning star” as a title or rank to show that Lucifer was the highest archangel. Thus, it makes perfect sense that because of Satan’s rebellion, God would have taken this title “morning star” and placed it upon Jesus instead, thus showing that Jesus had qualified to replace Satan on the throne of earth—which explains why Jesus would become the King of earth and rule over earth at His Return.

 Until Jesus returns, Satan is the “god of this world”—2 Corinthians 4:4 and when Jesus returns, Satan will be replaced and all the nations of earth will become the Kingdom of God (Revelation 11:15) with Jesus Christ as King. For now, Satan holds a title and a position that rightly belongs to Jesus Christ. Currently, Satan is the ruler over earth. In God’s true Church, there is no single person that would argue this truth. Yet, there are some who will argue at the truth of the pre-fall Satan, when he was a real and literal righteous angel who was given the title of “morning star” because of his position. But now, that title and position rightly belongs to our coming King, Jesus Christ.


What About 2 Peter 1:19?

Those that argue with the use of Lucifer by the Church will often times refer to 2 Peter as proof. The KJV translation renders it as “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts”—2 Peter 1:19.

 This phrase here, “day star” in this verse is actually translated from the Greek phosphorus which is the Greek for the “morning star” or “day star.” This same word is rendered by Jerome as “Lucifer.” The detractors will usually claim that the KJV translators had known better than to translate phosphorus into “day star.” They will contend that the KJV translators had known that Lucifer was a name for Jesus Christ. But, they were at best lazy, or at worst, knowingly part of an evil plot whish was inspired by Satan to take one of the titles of Jesus Christ to himself.

 These people further claim that this plot had started with Jerome and the KJV translators who had followed him, blindly or otherwise. But yet, it should clear that the KJV translators never followed what Jerome had done. Rather, the truth is that Jerome was correct in all that he had taught. Where Jerome had used “Lucifer” in 2 Peter 1:19, the KJV says “day star.” Where Jerome put “Lucifer” in Isaiah 14:12, the KJV capitalized the name “Lucifer” so rather, it should have been lucifer instead.

 Some have also come against Jerome by claiming that he had made a huge mistake when he did not put a capital letter on lucifer for Jesus Christ, but rather, put a capital for Lucifer which referred to Satan. They claim that this is a proof positive that Jerome was being used by Satan. But yet, Jerome did not put a “L” on Lucifer in Isaiah 14. It was the KJV translators that did this.

 More than likely, the translators of the KJV knew full well that heylel in Isaiah 14:12 was for the archangel which later became known as Satan, and therefore, they rather chose to use the Latin word lucifer for morning star to represent this very title and rank. They also had chosen to put a “L” on it instead of a “l”. Thus, they made it to be a proper noun and name. One reason for which they might have done this was because they had no real clue as to the name of Satan before he fell. Does this then mean that these translators had thought that Lucifer was his name which God gave? More than likely they did not!

 They also, more than likely, had recognized that the Greek phosphorus or the Latin lucifer in 2 Peter 1:19 had referred to Jesus. Rather, than to actually confuse the reader of the Bible by using the same word which is found in Isaiah, they therefore chose to render it “day star.” They further had chosen to regard “day star” as a description rather than a proper name. They then made the same choice to do the same in Revelation 22 in which we read that “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”—Revelation 22:16.

 The KJV translators had not put any capital letters on the descriptions of people or of God and they did not put capital letters on pronouns for God as we have done today. This was not done out of disrespect, but it was the writing style of that day.

 Let’s therefore consider that the translators of the KJV had neither been lazy, nor dupes of Satan. God says to us that the “powers that be” are ordained by Him and are ministers of Him (Romans 13:1-6). Therefore, we should then ask, is it possible that the King James of England and those whom he had commissioned to translate the Bible had actually been used by God as His chosen ministers to accomplish this task for His own divine purpose? Yes, God is powerful enough to do so, and we know that most experts generally agree that the most accurate English Bible translation that we have is the KJV.


But, Is Lucifer One of Jesus’ Names?

Lucifer is a Latin word and so therefore, unless the Father and the Son uses Latin in heaven to communicate, then the name Lucifer is not even used. At the same rate, even the name Jesus Christ, Logos, Yeshua, or another of the many other terms and names developed by man are used.

 More than likely, the Father and His Son have their own language which mankind does not know. Nevertheless, we know from Jesus’ own example, that it is allowable to communicate with the Father in man’s language. For example, we read that “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”—Matthew 27:46.

 These words which Jesus spoke are in the Aramaic language which is what was spoken by Jesus and others of His time period. We can also pray by use the name for God that is recorded in scriptures of Jehovah/YHVH.

 It is true that with the passage of time, there are some words which have meanings which are changed; some words we have borrowed from other languages are sometimes changed in meaning while others are too difficult to understand. The Bible then foretells that one day, God is going to give all mankind a pure language (Zephaniah 3:9), but until that time, we have to communicate with God and with each other by those languages with which we are now familiar.


What Is the Conclusion?

So then, given our human limits, is it appropriate for us to use the name of Lucifer when we refer to the archangel that later became Satan? We can be sure that the actual name which God had given him was not at all any language of man—but was God’s own language which is pure. But, Lucifer is not inappropriate either as it conveys what we know in our own language. It actually refers to what Satan was before he had fallen. Remember that God had inspired the Hebrew language.

 Of course, if anyone in God’s Church rather chooses for his own sake not to use the name Lucifer, then we cannot be judgmental nor can we get on to him for doing so as it is his own individual choice to use or not to use the term. Just as Paul himself had at times direct the Church not to offend others in eating meats, we also should remember that we cannot offend brethren who disagree with the use of the name Lucifer.

 At the same time, they that choose to accuse God’s people of taking His name in vain and worshipping Satan when we use Lucifer would also be in need of remembering that they too cannot judge. Both sides need to remember that “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night”—Revelation 12:10.


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