Did You Know that “Lucifer” is Not Satan
Over the course of time, many assumptions and myths arise from the Bible due to certain people who have just not really studied the matter out. One of these many popular “myths” is that another name for Satan is “Lucifer”. Now you might be saying, “but Lucifer is Satan, I’ve heard that all my life”. Yes, you’re right, anyone you likely talk to today will tell you that it is so, especially Hollywood, but that doesn’t mean it’s the truth. Remember what I said before about how the myths develop over time, and then before you know it they are accepted as fact. Lets look at what the Bible says about the issue.
Those who have decided to assign the name Lucifer to the devil refer to Isaiah 14:12, which is the only verse in the Bible where the name is found. The verse reads, “How you are fallen from heaven, oh Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!” Brother Wayne Jackson described in one of his articles where the word came from. He said, “the term ‘Lucifer’ was taken by the King James Version translators from Jerome’s Latin Vulgate (383-405 A.D.) edition of the Bible. The Hebrew word is Heylel which suggest the idea of shining or bearing light. Jerome assumed the word was the name of the morning star, hence, he rendered it the Latin title Lucifer” (Jackson, ChristianCourier.com 2000). The basic translation of the word “Lucifer” is considered to be “day-star” as seen in the margins of many of today’s Bibles.
So how did “Lucifer” come to be another name for the devil? The reason for this is because some have failed to properly study the verses, they have taken them out of their context, and many others have just taken people’s word for it for years that it was the truth. When we study the complete context of Isaiah 14 we can see that it is specifically speaking of the King of Babylon and referring to him with the name “Lucifer”. Isaiah had been prophesying about the many calamities which would befall Israel, and one of them would be the fall of Judah to Babylon. In Isaiah chapter fourteen, he is speaking of the prideful arrogance of the king of Babylon and his eventual downfall. He uses figurative language describing how the king thinks he has elevated himself into the heavens higher than God Himself through his many conquests, and then the dramatic fall into hell where he will be mocked for how great he thought he was. It could easily be made to seem like Isaiah is speaking of the fall of Satan from heaven, but it just isn’t the case.
A close examination of the context shows that it is specifically speaking a “proverb against the king of Babylon” (Isaiah 14:4), and it also refers to the subject as a “man” (v. 16) which Satan clearly is not. Brother Jackson also stated in his article how it is common in the Old Testament to refer to fallen corrupt rulers as stars falling from the heavens or losing their light (i.e. Isaiah 13:10; Ezekiel 32:7).
A few good thoughts can come from a short study like this that we all should be reminded of. The first is that we should always study any question from the Bible in it’s complete context as well as check all similar references elsewhere in the Scripture. Secondly, we must never accept something as fact just because it has become tradition or commonly accepted as fact among people. We need to have the attitude of the Bereans (Acts 17:11), and search the Scriptures for ourselves. -Ed