Lucifer is not a Fallen Angel in Original Hebrew Text
- Lucifer (Venus) = Bearer Of Light
"Lucifer makes his appearance in the fourteenth chapter of the Old Testament
book of Isaiah, at the twelfth verse, and nowhere else: "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!"
The first problem is that Lucifer is a Latin name. So how did it find its way
into a Hebrew manuscript, written before there was a Roman language? To find the
answer, a scholar at the library of the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati was
consulted. They were asked "What Hebrew name was Satan given in this chapter of
Isaiah, which describes the angel who fell to become the ruler of hell?"
The answer was a surprise. In the original Hebrew text, the fourteenth chapter
of Isaiah is not about a fallen angel, but about a fallen Babylonian king, who
during his lifetime had persecuted the children of Israel. It contains no
mention of Satan, either by name or reference. The Hebrew scholar could only
speculate that some early Christian scribes, writing in the Latin tongue used by
the Church, had decided for themselves that they wanted the story to be about a
fallen angel, a creature not even mentioned in the original Hebrew text, and to
whom they gave the name "Lucifer."
Why Lucifer? In Roman astronomy, Lucifer was the name given to the morning star
(the star we now know by another Roman name; Venus). The morning star appears in
the heavens just before dawn, heralding the rising sun. The name derives from
the Latin term lucem ferre; bringer, or bearer, of light." In the Hebrew text
the expression used to describe the Babylonian king before his death is Helal,
son of Shahar, which can best be translated as "Day star, son of the Dawn." The
name evokes the golden glitter of a proud king's dress and court (much as his
personal splendor earned for King Louis XIV of France the appellation, "The Sun
The scholars authorized by ... King James I to translate the Bible into current
English did not use the original Hebrew texts, but used versions translated ...
largely by St. Jerome in the fourth century. Jerome had mistranslated the
Hebraic metaphor, "Day star, son of the Dawn," as "Lucifer," and over the
centuries a metamorphosis took place. Lucifer the morning star became a
disobedient angel, cast out of heaven to rule eternally in hell. Theologians,
writers, and poets interwove the myth with the doctrine of the Fall, and in
Christian tradition Lucifer is now the same as Satan, the Devil, and ---
ironically --- the Prince of Darkness.
So "Lucifer" is nothing more than an ancient Latin name for the morning star,
the bringer of light. That can be confusing for Christians who identify Christ
himself as the morning star, a term used as a central theme in many Christian
sermons. Jesus refers to himself as the morning star in 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."
And so there are those who do not read beyond the King James version of the
Bible, who say 'Lucifer is Satan: so says the Word of God'...."
Henry Neufeld (a Christian who comments on Biblical sticky issues) went on to
"this passage is often related to Satan, and a similar thought is expressed in
Luke 10:18 by Jesus, that was not its first meaning. It's primary meaning is
given in Isaiah 14:4 which says that when Israel is restored they will "take up
this taunt against the king of Babylon . . ." Verse 12 is a part of this taunt
song. This passage refers first to the fall of that earthly king...
How does the confusion in translating this verse arise? The Hebrew of this
passage reads: "heleyl, ben shachar" which can be literally translated "shining
one, son of dawn." This phrase means, again literally, the planet Venus when it
appears as a morning star. In the Septuagint, a 3rd century BC translation of
the Hebrew scriptures into Greek, it is translated as "heosphoros" which also
means Venus as a morning star.
How did the translation "lucifer" arise? This word comes from Jerome's Latin
Vulgate. Was Jerome in error? Not at all. In Latin at the time, "lucifer"
actually meant Venus as a morning star. Isaiah is using this metaphor for a
bright light, though not the greatest light to illustrate the apparent power of
the Babylonian king which then faded."
Therefore, Lucifer wasn't equated with Satan until after Jerome. Jerome wasn't
in error. Later Christians (and Mormons) were in equating "Lucifer" with
So why is this a problem to Christians? Christians now generally believe that
Satan (or the Devil or Lucifer who they equate with Satan) is a being who has
always existed (or who was created at or near the "beginning"). Therefore, they
also think that the 'prophets' of the Old Testament believed in this creature.
The Isaiah scripture is used as proof (and has been used as such for hundreds of
years now). As Elaine Pagels explains though, the concept of Satan has evolved
over the years and the early Bible writers didn't believe in or teach such a
The irony for those who believe that "Lucifer" refers to Satan is that the same
title ('morning star' or 'light-bearer') is used to refer to Jesus, in 2 Peter
1:19, where the Greek text has exactly the same term: 'phos-phoros'
'light-bearer.' This is also the term used for Jesus in Revelation 22:16.
The author of The Polytheism Of The Bible And The Mystery Of Lucifer, F.T.
DeAngelis, comments on this as follows
"It seems minor, but - the actual term used in the Greek Septuagint version of
Isaiah 14:12 (given that there is no ONE way of accurately transliterating) is
Eo(u)s phoros, morning star/DAWN god of light. Eos or Eous phoros [not Heos (as
your website claims) or phos phorus (as a Christian website I visited shows)] -
although there is a Greek term and English... phosphoro(u)s. Your [site] is
The actual name, "Lucifer," goes back to the Greeks, before the Romans. Socrates
and Plato talk about this "god of light"; surprisingly, not in the context of
Eos (god of Dawn), but -- as a morning star -- juxtaposed with the sun (Helios)
and Hermes. This information can be found in Plato's Timaeus (38e) and in Edith
On a lighter note, Arthur Clarke, in his fictional book 2061 correctly uses the
word "Lucifer". He uses it as a name for a new sun in the solar system which is
correct since the new sun is a second 'morning star' of 'original'
'light-bearing' substance--not some evil being of religious mythology.
David Grinspoon comments on the historical aspects of the word as follows: "The
origin of the Judeo-Christian Devil as an angel fallen from heaven into the
depths of hell is mirrored in the descent of Venus from shining morning star to
the darkness below. This underworld demon, still feared today by people in many
parts of the world, is also called Lucifer, which was originally a Latin name
for Venus as a morning star." (Venus Revealed p. 17) Actually, Grinspoon should
just refer to the "Christian Devil" since the Jews never believed in such a
creature and still don't to this day.