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Why is Satan called Lucifer?

Submitted: 3/31/2008
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Question: I read Isaiah 14:12 where it speaks of one falling and there seems to be a link to that scripture some would say in Luke 10:18, but I noted that only the KJV of the Bible translates the Hebrew word to be Lucifer, in all other modern translations that I have read it is translated son of the morning or morning star or day star or bright star. It seems to me that Lucifer is more applicable to Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:19, Revelation 22:16), so I can't see then if it is so why do our apostolic Christians keep calling Satan Lucifer. And by the way, he is never so called by Jesus nor any of the apostles in the NT. He is either called devil, satan, old dragon, serpent, etc., but never Lucifer. So why do we christen him with such name that in my estimation, though not a Bible scholar, belongs properly to Jesus Christ. You will find the same Hebrew word in other OT verses (Job 38:7, Zechariah 11:2, Ezekiel 21:12), and each time it is translated morning star or howl and at times refers to angels of the Lord and in the NT to the Lord Himself (Revelation 22:16; 2 Peter 1:19). So pleasee explain this to me.

Answer: Isaiah 14:12 must be interpreted in its context. The passage says, 'How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground,
you who weakened the nations!' First of all, Jesus never fell from heaven. Second, He was never cut down to the ground. And third, He never weakend the nations. If you continue on in this passage, it becomes even more obvious that this is not referring to Jesus.

The Hebrew word translated Lucifer is 'heylel' (Strong's number 1966). The difficulty in translating this word is that it is found nowhere else in the Bible. The words you referred to are not the same word. The word 'heylel' is a noun form of the verb 'halal' which means to shine. Therefore, 'heylel' means one who shines or a shining one. The translators have inferred the meaning 'morning star' because the morning star shines brightly. But the actual meaning is shining one. The name Lucifer has its origin in Latin and means 'light-bearer.' Apparently in the beginning, before he fell, Satan was a bright shining angel of light. Today, the best he can do is 'transform himself into an angel of light' (2 Corinthians 11:14). But he no longer bears the true light of God, only the false light of deception.

We do not believe the prophecy of Isaiah was intending to assign a name to the fallen angel known as Satan, but rather only to identify him as a shining one who had fallen from heaven due to pride. We are not to follow his example (see 1 Timothy 3:6-7).