Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Who is Lucifer?

“Lucifier” is a term that is often applied to the Devil. Is “Lucifer” Satan? Why doesn’t my Bible use the term “Lucifer”?

“Lucifer” in our English Bibles
The word “Lucifer” is found only in the King James Version of the Bible in (Isaiah 14:12). The passage reads,
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).
As mentioned, the King James Version is the only English translation that uses this term, in other translations it is rendered “morning star, son of the dawn!” (NIV), “O Day Star, son of Dawn!” (ESV), “O star of the morning, son of the dawn!” (NASB) and “O day-star, son of the morning!” (ASV).

Background and Definition
The word used in this passage is the Hebrew term “helel”, which literally means “star of the morning” as translated by the NASB. When the King James Bible was formed in the 1600’s, the translators employed the Latin term “Lucifer”  which also means “light bearer” or “morning star” which is most likely in reference to the planet Venus.

The word “Lucifer” is not a good translation, nor even a transliteration of the Hebrew term. All of the more accurate versions of the Bible since the KJV have corrected this error.

Who is “Lucifer” or “The Morning Star”?
The idea that “Lucifer” is the name of the Devil in (Isaiah 14:12), comes from a misunderstanding of what the prophet Isaiah is discussing. In (14:4) the reader will note that the audience of this declaration is “the King of Babylon” (possibly Nebuchadnezzar). The Babylonian Kings thought very highly of themselves. They would have thought they were great like the “star of the morning”, but they were no match for the power of God. God who is above all the stars and the heavens has the power to destroy even the most powerful kings. For Isaiah writes in verses 22-23 of the same chapter,
“I will rise up against them,” declares the LORD of hosts, “and will cut off from Babylon name and survivors, offspring and posterity,” declares the LORD. I will also make it a possession for the hedgehog and swamps of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction,” declares the LORD of hosts:” 
Lucifer is the Latin word for “morning star” which in the context of Isaiah 14 is in reference to the King of Babylon and not the Devil.

By Cliff Sabroe