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Frank W. Nelte

December 1995

THE NAME LUCIFER HAS NEVER BELONGED TO SATAN!

(Some editing done in 2017)

In most of the English versions of the Bible the name "Lucifer" appears only one time, in Isaiah 14:12. This verse reads:

How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning... (Isaiah 14:12).

Now the word "Lucifer" is not an English word, but a Latin word. And so the question is:

Who gave the world this Latin name "lucifer"? And why did they give us this Latin name?

 

HOW WE CAME TO HAVE THIS NAME "LUCIFER"

In 382 A.D. Pope Damasus commissioned the scholar Jerome to make an official revision of the many Latin versions of the Bible that were floating around in the Catholic Church at that time. Jerome went off to a cave in Bethlehem, where he proceeded to make his translation, the Old Testament part of which he supposedly based on the Hebrew text. But in practice Jerome based his Old Testament very largely on the Greek language Septuagint version (i.e. "LXX") of the Old Testament, which Origen had produced about 140 years earlier, while in Caesarea.

By A.D. 405 Jerome had completed his work, which we today know as "The Latin Vulgate" Bible. It is far from a particularly accurate translation of the original texts. Rather, it is an interpretation of thought, put into idiomatic, graceful Latin! But "an interpretation of thought" is only good when the translator has a perfect understanding of "the thoughts" he is translating. But if a translator has a flawed understanding of the thoughts he is trying to translate, then his "interpretation of thoughts" results in a very flawed and misleading translation.

For 1000 years this Vulgate translation was without a rival, and herein lies the problem! The Latin Vulgate translation was the only version of the Bible available to the people of Europe during that period of time. There was no possibility for anyone to compare the Vulgate with any other translation, or with Hebrew and Greek manuscripts.

Jerome understood that Isaiah 14:12 is talking about Satan. There the Hebrew word "heylel" is used for Satan, and Jerome translated this into Latin as "Lucifer"!

This is a mistranslation!

The Latin word "Lucifer" is made up from two Latin words. These two words are:

Lux (=light) + ferous (=to bear or carry).

Thus the name "Lucifer" means in the Latin language "Light-bearer" or "Light-bringer".

But that is not what the Hebrew word "heylel" means!

Shortly we will see exactly what this word Hebrew "heylel" does mean.

Anyway, as a result of this Latin Vulgate translation, which was virtually the only version of the Bible in use throughout Europe for the next 1000 years, Satan popularly became known as Lucifer. This identity for Satan with the name Lucifer was established throughout Europe long before there ever was a translation into the English language.

It should be clear that, when the first people to translate the Bible into English came along, one of their paradigms was that the name "Lucifer" applied to Satan. When they came to translate Isaiah 14:12 into English, they decided that, rather than actually "translate" the Hebrew word "heylel", they would simply substitute it with the already well-known Latin name "Lucifer". And they could do this because on the surface this seems to be a reasonably accurate translation. But it isn’t really accurate at all!

So, to summarize thus far:

1) It was the Catholic Church which assigned the name "Lucifer" to Satan.

2) This Latin word is supposedly a translation of the Hebrew noun "heylel" used in Isaiah 14:12.

3) But "lucifer" was NOT an original way of mistranslating the Hebrew "heylel"!

4) Rendering the Hebrew "heylel" into Latin as "lucifer" was simply copying the

precedent set in the Greek language LXX translation!

5) The Greek LXX had translated Isaiah 14:12 into Greek as "eosphoros", an older way of spelling the Greek word "phosphoros".

6) So the reason why Jerome mistranslated "heylel" as "lucifer" is because centuries earlier the LXX had already mistranslated "heylel" as "phosphoros" into Greek!

7) The Greek word "phosphoros" and the Latin word "lucifer" mean absolutely 100% the same thing! Absolutely!

In their respective languages both these words mean "light-bearer" or "light-bringer". They are just as identical as are the English word "bread" and the German word "Brot", or the English word "knife" and the German word "Messer". Phosphoros and Lucifer are completely identical in meaning.

So the word "lucifer" is a perfect translation into Latin of the Greek word "phosphoros"! This means that Jerome perfectly translated into Latin the Greek LXX interpretation of Isaiah 14:12, but Jerome made no attempt to correctly translate the Hebrew word "heylel" into Latin! Jerome simply latched onto the mistranslated Greek LXX version of Isaiah 14:12, while totally ignoring the ramifications of this way of translating Isaiah 14:12 into Latin.


So now let’s examine the facts. We need to examine both, the Greek LXX and also the Latin Vulgate. Then the error in Isaiah 14:12 should become apparent.

 

THE GREEK LXX TEXT

In the Greek language LXX text of the Old Testament the word "phosphoros" (actually its older version "eosphoros") is used seven times. Phosphoros is in fact used to translate six different Hebrew words into Greek. Here are the six Scriptures:

1) In 1 Samuel 30:17 the Greek word "phosphoros" represents the Hebrew word "nesheph", which means "twilight". In the Latin Vulgate this is rendered as "vespere". The Latin "vesper, vesperis" means "evening".

2) In Job 3:9 the Greek word "phosphoros" represents the Hebrew word "aphaph", which means "eyelids", and by extension "dawn". The KJV rendering of "the dawning of day" is rendered in the Jewish translation (JPS) as "the eyelids of the morning". In the Latin Vulgate this is rendered as "aurorae". The Latin "aurora, aurorae" means "dawn" or "daybreak" or "sunrise".

3) In Job 11:17 the Greek word "phosphoros" represents the Hebrew word "boqer", which means "morning" or "daybreak". In the Latin Vulgate this Hebrew word is here rendered as "lucifer".

4) In Job 38:12 and also in Job 41:18 (which is Job 41:10 in the LXX) the Greek word "phosphoros" represents the Hebrew word "shachar", which means "dawn" or "dayspring". In the Latin Vulgate Job 38:12 is rendered as "diluculo" and in Job 41:18 (which is Job 41:9 in the Vulgate) it is rendered as "diluculi". The Latin "diluculum, diluculi" means "lesser" and "break of day" and "dawn".

5) In Psalm 110:3 the Greek word "phosphoros" represents the Hebrew word "mishchar", which means "dawn". In the Latin Vulgate this Hebrew word is rendered by the adjective "luciferum", which means "light-bringing".

6) In Isaiah 14:12 the Greek word "phosphoros" represents the Hebrew word "heylel". We will see the meaning of this word later. But in the Latin Vulgate this is rendered as "lucifer", which means "light-bringer".

So here is what we have seen:

The one Greek word "phosphoros", which specifically means "light-bringer", has been used in the LXX to translate six different Hebrew words with the following meanings:

A) Nesheph means "twilight".

B) Aphaph" means "eyelid" and by extension "dawn".

C) Boqer means "morning".

D) Shachar means "dawn" and "dayspring".

E) Mishchar means "dawn".

F) Heylel has a meaning we’ll examine shortly.

Thus in the LXX all six of these Hebrew words are mistranslated into Greek!

The Greek word "phosphoros" does not mean "morning"! The Greek word for "daybreak" and for "dawn", which is used about 26 times in the LXX, is "orthros" (e.g. Genesis 19:15; Genesis 32:26; etc.).

Thus the above Hebrew words "aphaph" and "boqer" and "shachar" and "mishchar" would all have been translated more accurately by the Greek word "orthros" than by "phosphoros"!

Translating the Hebrew "nesheph" into "phosphoros" in the LXX was clearly a mistake, which even Jerome recognized, and that is why Jerome therefore translated this correctly into Latin as "vespere" (meaning "evening").

That leaves the one Hebrew word "heylel" that is also mistranslated in the LXX as "phosphoros". "Heylel" really does not have anything to do with "bringing" anything! It’s simply not about bringing or carrying anything, be it "light" or be it anything else!

But this is typical of the extremely poor quality of the LXX translation. Here they have indiscriminately translated six different Hebrew words with the one Greek word "phosphoros". It is the same as the LXX indiscriminately translating fifteen different Hebrew words with the one Greek word "hupostasis". The Greek language LXX Old Testament is a very poor quality and highly unreliable translation. That’s the kindest thing that we can say about the LXX.

However, one thing should already be quite clear:

The fact that the LXX has incorrectly used the Greek word "phosphoros" to translate the five different Hebrew words (i.e. nesheph, aphaph, boqer, shachar and mishchar) should tell us that the LXX is also wrong in translating the Hebrew word "heylel" with this Greek word "phosphoros"!

It is not as if "heylel" somehow really means the same as "phosphoros", and that it is just that the other 5 words are incorrectly translated! Furthermore, if "phosphoros" really was a correct translation for one of those five Hebrew words, then it would automatically mean that therefore "phosphoros" must be a wrong translation for "heylel", since "heylel" has absolutely nothing at all to do with any of the other five Hebrew words! "Heylel" is a different word with a totally different meaning. It has nothing at all to do with "morning"!

 

WHAT JEROME DID WITH HIS VULGATE TRANSLATION

1) Jerome recognized that the LXX mistranslated 1 Samuel 30:17 with "phosphoros", and so he correctly supplied the word "vespere" for his Latin text.

2) Jerome also recognized that the LXX mistranslated Job 3:9 as "phosphoros", and so he correctly supplied the Latin word "aurorae" for this verse.


3) Jerome also recognized that the LXX mistranslated Job 38:12 and Job 41:18 as "phosphoros", and so he correctly supplied the Latin words "diluculo" and "diluculi" for these two verses.

4) But Jerome did not recognize that the LXX translation of "phosphoros" for the Hebrew "boqer" in Job 11:17 was a mistranslation, and so he stayed with the LXX rendering, and supplied the Latin word "lucifer" here. This is a mistake! The Hebrew "boqer" means "morning" and "lucifer" does NOT mean "morning"!

5) Jerome also did not recognize that the LXX translation of "phosphoros" for the Hebrew "mishchar" in Psalm 110:3 was a mistranslation, and so here he also followed the LXX, and supplied the Latin adjective "luciferum". This is also a mistake! The Hebrew "mishchar" means "of the dawn" and "luciferum" does NOT mean "of the dawn"!

6) Consider also that of the six different Hebrew words indiscriminately translated in the LXX with the word "phosphoros", only the Hebrew "heylel" refers to a specific being! The other five words refer to certain conditions! But "heylel" is used to describe an individual! It has nothing to do with the other five words.

It is only in Isaiah 14:12 that this Hebrew word "heylel" is ever used! So there are no other direct references in the Old Testament to help us understand what this word is supposed to mean.

With this word "heylel" Jerome in his Latin translation blindly followed the flawed LXX translation, and therefore simply translated the Greek LXX word "phosphoros" correctly into Latin as "lucifer". This is also a mistake! Jerome wasn’t supposed to translate the Greek word "phosphoros"; he was supposed to translate the Hebrew word "heylel". But that is something Jerome didn’t do.

Furthermore, Jerome simply must have been aware of this mistake, because Jerome also used the word "lucifer" to refer to a different individual in the New Testament! Jerome used the word "lucifer" to refer to two completely different individuals. Did you know that?

7) Thus Jerome himself clearly knew that in his translation of the whole Bible he had used the Latin word "lucifer" as a name for one individual in the Old Testament, and as a reference to a completely different individual in the New Testament. Jerome was obviously clearly aware of this conflict!

Thus far we have seen two places in the Latin Vulgate where the word "lucifer" is used in the Old Testament: Job 11:17 and Isaiah 14:12. But there is also a New Testament occurrence of "lucifer" in the Latin Vulgate translation.

 

EXAMINING 2 PETER 1:19

Here is the text for this verse, first the transliterated Greek text, then the Latin Vulgate text, and then the text of the KJV.

kai echomen bebaioteron ton prophetikon logon ho luchno phainonti en auchmero topo heos ou hemera diaugase kai PHOSPHOROS anateile en tais kardiais humon (2 Peter 1:19 TR)

et habemus firmiorem propheticum sermonem cui bene facitis adtendentes quasi lucernae lucenti in caliginoso loco donec dies inlucescat et LUCIFER oriatur in cordibus vestris (2 Peter 1:19 VULGATE)

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)

So let’s note the following:

1) The Greek text reads: "kai PHOSPHOROS anateile en tais kardiais humon". This means: "and PHOSPHOROS arise in your hearts".

2) The Latin Vulgate has correctly translated this into Latin to read: "et LUCIFER oriatur in cordibus vestris", which also means: "and LUCIFER arise in your hearts".

3) But the English translators mistranslated this section to read: "and THE DAY STAR arise in your hearts".

Here is what we have:

It is the Latin Vulgate translation that has translated the Greek text of 2 Peter 1:19 correctly into Latin.

The Latin Vulgate has correctly translated the Greek word "phosphoros" with the Latin word "lucifer". These two words are 100% identical in meaning. So the Latin is a perfectly correct translation of the Greek text.

The context of this verse makes very clear that Jesus Christ is being spoken about! Therefore in this verse Peter referred to Jesus Christ as "Phosphoros", or translated into Latin as "Lucifer"! If we are going to translate the Hebrew word "heylel" into a Latin word, then we need to be consistent and also translate the Greek word "phosphoros" into a Latin word. It is hypocritical in the extreme to insist on translating the Hebrew "heylel" into Latin as "Lucifer", but to refuse to also translate the New Testament Greek word "phosphoros" into Latin as "Lucifer".

This conclusion, that Peter referred to Jesus Christ as "Lucifer", is indisputable! And Jerome knew without a shadow of a doubt that Peter was referring to Jesus Christ as "Lucifer"! Yet Jerome chose to also use this same word "lucifer" in Isaiah 14:12 to refer to Satan. Why?

The English translators also realized full well that Peter in this verse calls Jesus Christ "Lucifer". But since they had, through their ingrained paradigms, committed themselves in Isaiah 14:12 to refer to Satan as "Lucifer", therefore they had no option but to translate this verse deviously!

They could not allow themselves to retain Jerome’s correct translation as "Lucifer", because that would have been an obvious clash with Isaiah 14:12. But they also had to have this verse worded in such a way that it would still be clear that this verse is speaking about Jesus Christ. Their readers had to know who this verse is referring to, but without using the correct meaning of the word used for that person (i.e. Lucifer used for Jesus Christ) in this verse.

Therefore they hit on the option of replacing the codename used here for Jesus Christ (i.e. Lucifer) with another codename used for Jesus Christ elsewhere in the New Testament. So they opted to use the codename "the Day Star"! That codename for Jesus Christ is very similar to one that is used in the Book of Revelation, namely "morning star".

And I will give him the Morning Star. (Revelation 2:28)

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)

Both these verses are speaking about Jesus Christ as "the morning star". In Revelation 2:28 the Greek expression reads proinos + aster, and in Revelation 22:16 the Greek expression reads orthrinos + aster. In both verses the key Greek word is "aster", which means "star".

So by deliberately mistranslating "phosphoros" as "day star" they diverted attention away from the real meaning of the name used for Jesus Christ in this verse (i.e. Lucifer), while at the same time still ensuring that readers would have no difficulty identifying this codename as applying to Jesus Christ. Pretty sneaky, isn’t it?

The facts are: The Greek word "phosphoros" has nothing at all to do with "stars" or with "days"! Nothing at all! It doesn’t mean "star" in any way, shape or form! And it doesn’t mean "day" in any way, shape or form! It only has one meaning, and that meaning is "Lucifer"! Or you can translate that into English as "Light-bringer", if you prefer.

Every single English and German and Dutch translation of 2 Peter 1:19 that I have seen is deceitful! They all infer the word "star" into this verse, even though the Greek word for "star" (i.e. "aster") is not used, and not even hinted at! "Phosphoros" is simply not the same as "aster"! But they will fight tooth and nail to justify attaching the meaning of the Greek word "aster" to the Greek word "phosphoros" in 2 Peter 1:19.

That is dealing deceitfully with the Word of God!

All the English translators obviously got their word "lucifer" in Isaiah 14:12 from Jerome’s Latin Vulgate version, which version Wycliffe used for his English translation. But we have now seen that Jerome used the word "lucifer" three times in his whole translation, all three of which Jerome himself simply got from the Greek "phosphoros" in the Greek texts (LXX for the Old Testament, and the Received Text for the New Testament). Yet the English translators chose to only retain one of those three as "lucifer", while rejecting one case (i.e. Job 11:17) as a flawed translation, and then deliberately heavily disguising the last occurrence of "phosphoros" (i.e. 2 Peter 1:19). Why did they not translate all three verses as "lucifer"?

It bears repetition:

To translate "phosphoros" as "day star" is plain dishonesty!

Now let’s get back to Jerome and his Latin Vulgate translation.

Jerome knew that in the New Testament "Lucifer" is a title for Jesus Christ. Jerome knew that he had translated the Greek text of 2 Peter 1:19 perfectly correctly. There could not be any doubt, because the meaning of the Greek word "phosphoros" is well known.

Yet Jerome still chose to also translate the far less clearly defined Hebrew word "heylel" in Isaiah 14:12 as "lucifer", knowing that in this Scripture this word referred to Satan.

WHY did Jerome just accept the LXX translation of this word "heylel", when he was perfectly willing to question the LXX translation in 1 Samuel 30:17 and in Job 3:9, etc.?

 

THE HEBREW WORD "HEYLEL"

Let’s now examine this Hebrew word "heylel".

It is used only once in the Bible, in Isaiah 14:12. That does not give us much help. When a Hebrew word is used several times in the Old Testament, then we can often clarify the meaning for such a word by looking at the context of the other places where this word is used. But when a word is only used once, and additionally when this Hebrew word is not used anywhere else outside of the text of the Old Testament, then there is only one way to establish the meaning for such a word.

In the case where a word is unique, where it is only used once in the Bible, the only way to correctly establish the meaning is to examine two things:

1) We must examine, where this is known, the root word or words from which our unique word has been formed.

2) We must very carefully examine the context in which our unique word is used.

These are the only tools God has made available to us when He confronts us with unique words. So let’s use these two steps to try to establish what meaning God had in mind for "heylel", since Isaiah 14:12 represents the words of God Himself.

 

TRACING "HEYLEL" BACK TO ITS ROOT WORD

While some scholarly works may confidently claim one specific root word for "heylel", there are in fact TWO possible root words for "heylel", something that isn’t generally acknowledged, though there are a few scholars who do acknowledge this.

A) The word "heylel" could well be derived from the primitive root word "halal". This is the most commonly accepted root, though not necessarily the intended one. However, if this is the correct root word, then the word "heylel" in Isaiah 14:12 is truly unique, never again being used by anyone else in any context, in the Bible or outside of the Bible.

B) But the word "heylel" could also be derived from the primitive root word "yalal". This is mentioned far less often by scholars as the potential source for the word "heylel", but this is grammatically just as much a possibility for being the root of "heylel" as is the word "halal". If this is the correct root word, then the word "heylel" in Isaiah 14:12 is not unique at all, because the word "heylel" derived from the root word "yalal" is also found in some other verses in the Old Testament.

To avoid confusing the issue, we do not at this point need to know the meanings for these words "halal" and "yalal". Once we understand the grammatical points that are involved, then we can examine the respective meanings.

Now since we read these transliterated Hebrew words from left to right, I will present the transliterated Hebrew letters in the following words also in the left to right format, the opposite to the way they are in fact written in the Hebrew script. The following is over-simplified and for illustration purposes in our alphabet only.

For this exercise we need to know just three Hebrew letters and how we transliterate them. They are the Hebrew letters: HE = H, YOD = Y, and LAMED = L. (The letter VAV = V appears in a subsequent example.)

The word "heylel" consists of the letters HYLL

The word "halal" consists of the letters HLL

The word "yalal" consists of the letters YLL

There were no vowels in the Hebrew text. In Hebrew the definite article is expressed by the letter "he" (i.e. "H"), which is prefixed to the word and is then pronounced as "ha". But the letter "he" is obviously also the starting letter of many words without representing the definite article, and in those cases the pronunciation of the letter "he" depends on which vowel is attached to it.

So with this simplified background, here are the two possibilities for the origin of the word "heylel".

1) If the noun "HYLL" (heylel) was formed from the root word "HLL", THEN the initial "H" is a part of the new noun, and the meaning of this word "heylel" then is "a halal one", without the definite article. With this root assumed, the Strong’s number for "HYLL" is #1966, and this number is shown as being derived from Strong’s number #1984 = "HLL".

2) However, if the noun "HYLL" was formed from the root word "YLL", THEN the initial "H" represents the definite article (which in biblical Hebrew is always attached to the word as a prefix), and the meaning of this word "heylel" then is "THE yalal one". This second possibility should also be easy to identify: HYLL = H + YLL. With this root, the word "hyll" will not be listed under any Strong’s number of its own; instead it will be listed under the Strong’s number #3213 = "YLL", because it will only be one specific form of the verb "yalal".

Now scholars can be as dogmatic as they like, that only one root is a possibility. But that doesn’t make it so. Since there is no evidence anywhere in the world, not in biblical Hebrew, not in Aramaic, not in non-biblical Hebrew, not in Greek, not in Latin, and not anywhere else on this earth, as to what is, with absolute and unerring certainty, the correct root for this Hebrew word "heylel", therefore it needs to be acknowledged that etymologically both of these interpretations are possibilities!

At this stage this has got nothing to do with what these words "halal" and "yalal" actually mean. That will come later. Grammatically the one possibility is just as legitimate and just as likely as is the other possibility.

We need to recognize that there is no way that even the most brilliant Hebrew scholar can dogmatically assert that one of these two options is definitely not a possibility. So why would God possibly allow such information to be lost, when God took the trouble in one specific context to refer one single time to Satan as "heylel"?

The answer: even though the words "halal" and "yalal" have emphatically different meanings, both options in fact make the same basic point about Satan! To state this another way:

If the word "heylel" is derived from the word "halal" it applies perfectly to Satan; and if the word "heylel" is derived from the word "yalal" it applies equally perfectly to Satan.

The two possibilities convey complementary messages. So in giving us the word "heylel" but allowing the origin of this word to be obscured, God in effect said: to know what I really mean when I call Satan "heylel", you can take your pick from the two possibilities, because both of them apply.

 

THE MEANINGS OF THE 2 HEBREW WORDS

Now we are ready to consider the meanings of these two Hebrew words.

Let’s start with the word "yalal", the meaning of which is less complicated than the meaning of "halal".

The word "yalal" is a primitive root verb which means "to howl" or "to wail"! Thus, if "yalal" is the root word for the noun "heylel", then this word "heylel" means "the howler" or "the wailer", or even the hiphil imperative "howl!". And in this scenario Isaiah 14:12 then means:

"How are you fallen from heaven; howl, son of the morning [i.e. you were created by (this is the meaning of the word "son") Jesus Christ, who identifies Himself as "the Morning Star" in Revelation 22:16], how are you cut down to the ground (the reason for your great howling and wailing), which did weaken the nations."

[COMMENT: There is also a marginal reading in the Hebrew text for this verse, known as the "qere" reading, which reads "son of howling" in place of "son of the morning". If this "qere" reading is correct, then that would make a strong case for "heylel" here meaning "howl". This verse would then read: "... howl, son of howling, how are you cut down to the ground ...".]

In Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament, under the notes on the word "heylel" Gesenius wrote the following after first discussing the potential "lucifer" meaning for this word:

"However, heylel itself is not infrequently Imperfect Hiphil of the verb yalal in the signification wail, lament (Ezekiel 21:17; Zechariah 11:2), and this does not appear less suitable, and is adopted by the Syrian (Aramaic) translation ..."

[Gesenius was later pressured to change the last part to read "this is less suitable", but that is not how he originally evaluated the word "heylel". He is not the first scholar to cave in to pressure groups demanding specific changes. Think of Erasmus later including the spurious words in 1 John 5:7-8, in order to placate the Trinitarians, etc.]

So here we have the Hebrew scholar Gesenius in effect telling us that the word "heylel" could equally well have come from either the word "halal" or from the word "yalal". Gesenius acknowledged that both roots are equally suitable.

Here is a translation of the Aramaic Version, which Gesenius mentioned. This is the 1933 Translation by George M Lamsa from the Peshitta, the Aramaic language Old Testament.

Here is the text of Isaiah 14:12 in the Lamsa Old Testament:

"How are you fallen from heaven! Howl in the morning! For you are fallen down to the ground, O reviler of the nations." (Isaiah 14:12, Lamsa O.T.)

Now am I saying that the Peshitta is a good version of the Old Testament? No, of course not! Am I saying that the Lamsa Translation is a good translation? No, of course not. Am I saying that the Lamsa translation of Isaiah 14:12 is a particularly good translation? No, not necessarily.

The only reason I am showing this translation is because it illustrates what the scholar Gesenius freely acknowledged, that from a grammatical point of view it is quite possible that the Hebrew word "heylel" could indeed have been derived from the word that means "to howl"! And this translation is an acknowledgment of this fact. That’s the only merit of this verse in the Lamsa O.T.

This grammatical possibility is also pointed out by Adam Clarke in his commentary on this verse. Clarke himself rejected that the word "heylel" should mean anything like "Lucifer", stating that Satan "is most incongruously denominated Lucifer".

Next, we saw that the word "heylel" in Isaiah 14:12 consists of the (transliterated) letters "HYLL". Now if we do a search on this letter sequence in the Hebrew text, then we find Zechariah 11:2, which Gesenius also mentioned in his comments. This verse reads:

"Howl (Hebrew = HYLL), fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl (Hebrew = HYLYLV), O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down." (Zechariah 11:2)

In this verse the first word translated "howl" has the identical spelling to the word transliterated as "heylel" in Isaiah 14:12, which is there mistranslated as "Lucifer". The second word translated as "howl" in this verse is nothing more than the plural of "HYLL". The first "howl" is addressed to one fir tree, thus in the singular. The second "howl" is addressed to many oaks, thus in the plural. The letter VAV = V, appended to the second word, represents the second person masculine plural suffix in the perfect tense.

Ignoring the differences between the singular and the plural, for all practical purposes Zechariah 11:2 has two occurrences of the Hebrew word "HYLL". And both are appropriately translated as "HOWL"! (We can find this plural form of the word "HYLL" in a few other verses as well, as Gesenius also indicated.) So there is a clear precedent in the Old Testament for "heylel" really meaning "to howl" or "howler". The only reason "heylel" in Isaiah 14:12 is considered to be a completely unique word is because in this verse scholars have decided, based on the precedent set by the flawed Greek LXX, to associate this word "heylel" with the word "halal". That is a possibility, but it is also a possibility that this word "heylel" should not be associated with "halal".

At any rate, IF "heylel" should really correctly be led back to "yalal", then "heylel" in Isaiah 14:12 ceases to be a unique Hebrew word, because this verb "yalal" is used over 30 times in the Old Testament.

Now this means that there is a reasonable case for considering "howl" as the root for the Hebrew word "heylel", rendering it as "howl" or "howler" in Isaiah 14:12. In this verse God is speaking about the punishment for Satan (being thrown out of heaven), and "howling" is a commonly mentioned response by people to the punishments that God pours out on the disobedient. This is amply documented in the Book of Isaiah and elsewhere (Isaiah 13:6; 14:31; 15:2-3; 16:7; 23:1, 6, 14; 65:14; Jeremiah 4:8; etc.) For example, Isaiah 65:14 shows people howling "for vexation of spirit". This line of thinking fits very well into the picture of Satan being thrown out of heaven.

Am I saying that this (howl or howler) must be the correct meaning of "heylel"? No, not necessarily. I have already pointed out that even the most qualified Hebrew scholars (e.g. Gesenius, etc.) have no way of making such a decision with absolute certainty. So I myself certainly do not have a definitive way of determining which root ("halal" or "yalal") is involved in "heylel". Sometimes I am inclined to lean towards the "halal" root, and at other times I am inclined to lean towards the "yalal" root, simply because both roots apply so clearly to Satan, and both fit so clearly into the context of Isaiah 14:12. The bottom line is that my research shows me that both roots are distinct possibilities. And it is not a matter of favoring one root over the other, because that only leads to endless and needless arguments.

 

THE WORD "HALAL"

Now let’s look at the root word "halal". This Hebrew verb has two distinctly opposite meanings. Both of these meanings are represented in numerous verses in the Old Testament, and neither meaning is in doubt.

To illustrate this: In the Old Testament the root word "halal" is used 165 times and it is translated as follows in the KJV: 117 times = Praise,   14 times = Glory,   10 times = Boast,   8 times = Mad,   3 times = Shine (d),   3 times = Foolish,   2 times = Fools,   2 times = Commended,   2 times = Rage,   1 time = Celebrate,  1 time = Give,  1 time = Marriage, 1 time = Renowned.

This illustrates that the translators felt they should attach over a dozen different meanings to this word "halal", all of which basically fall into two main categories:

The positive meaning of "halal" is: to be bright, to shine, to praise.

The negative meaning of "halal" is: to boast, to brag, to be mad, to be arrogant.

It is always the context in which "halal" is used that determines whether the positive meaning is intended or whether the negative meaning is intended. When the word "halal" is examined on its own, apart from any context, then it is impossible to know whether the meaning should be positive or negative.

Let’s notice a few places where the verb "halal" is very obviously used with a bad and negative meaning. In the following passages I have in each case rendered the translation of "halal" into bold print for easy recognition. I will present 24 different Scriptures to show that these negative meanings are not rare or contrived. In each case the context is evidence itself that the translators did get it basically right when they assigned these negative meanings to "halal".

 

SCRIPTURES WHICH USE "HALAL" WITH A NEGATIVE MEANING

And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard. (1 Samuel 21:13)

Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me. (Psalm 102:8)

I said of laughter, it is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it? (Ecclesiastes 2:2)

Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart. (Ecclesiastes 7:7)

That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; (Isaiah 44:25)

And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them. (Jeremiah 25:16)

A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols. (Jeremiah 50:38)

Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD’S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad. (Jeremiah 51:7)

He leadeth counsellors away spoiled, and maketh the judges fools. (Job 12:17)

I said unto the fools, deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn: (Psalm 75:4) (halal is used twice in this verse!)

The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. (Psalm 5:5)

For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. (Psalm 73:3)

Come up, ye horses; and rage, ye chariots; and let the mighty men come forth; the Ethiopians and the Libyans, that handle the shield; and the Lydians, that handle and bend the bow. (Jeremiah 46:9)

The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings. (Nahum 2:4)

And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell him, Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off. (1 Kings 20:11)

For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth. (Psalm 10:3)

                    My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad              (Psalm 34:2)

In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah. (Psalm 44:8)

They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; (Psalm 49:6)

<A Psalm of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said unto him, David is come to the house of Ahimelech.>> Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually. (Psalm 52:1)

Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods. (Psalm 97:7)

It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth. (Proverbs 20:14)

Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain. (Proverbs 25:14)

Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. (Proverbs 27:1)

In every one of the above 24 verses the words in bold letters represent the translation of the Hebrew verb "halal". Yes certainly, we can find many other Scriptures where "halal" has a good and positive meaning (as in Psalm 44:8 above, for example). But it is equally clear that this word also has a negative meaning, which is expressed by words like: boasting or bragging, acting foolishly, acting like a madman, getting into a foolish rage, etc.

I have provided the above long list of quotations to make very clear that this is not a rare or incidental side of the word "halal". This meaning is clearly understood by all scholars of Hebrew, as is also shown by the definitions Gesenius provides in his lexicon.

So the point we should remember when we look at the Hebrew word "halal" as the possible source for the word "heylel" is this:

THE CONTEXT ALWAYS HOLDS THE KEY!

IF the word "heylel" derives from the word "halal", THEN the word "heylel" could theoretically have one of these two vastly contrary meanings:

A) It could mean "A Bright One, Someone worthy of Praise".

B) It could also mean "An Arrogant Boaster, A Lunatic, Someone who is Mad".

However, the word "heylel" cannot possibly mean "day star", because neither the word "day" nor the word "star" has any connection to either of the two potential root words! Likewise, the word "heylel" cannot possibly mean "Light-bringer" or "Lucifer", because neither potential root verb in any way implies "bringing" anything, or "carrying" anything! It is a jump in logic to infer that "a Bright One" must be "a Light-bringer".

Next, if "heylel" is indeed based on the word "halal", then it is absolutely imperative for us to examine the context, because it is the context alone that will tell us whether the positive meaning or the negative meaning of the word "halal" needs to be applied to the noun "heylel".

The context of "heylel" in Isaiah 14:12 is very easy to establish. We just need to ask ourselves the right questions, questions like:

1) Is God speaking about someone who is worthy of praise?

2) Is God speaking about someone who is doing something good?

3) Is God speaking about someone who is doing something "bright"?

4) Or is God speaking about someone doing something bad?

5) Is God speaking about someone who is boasting?

6) Is God’s tone positive or negative about this individual?

What are the answers to these questions? It is those answers that will establish God’s intent for this designation "heylel" (i.e. if it comes from the root "halal"). And the correct conclusion will then be obvious!

Thus:

If God in this passage is praising this individual, if God is saying that this individual is doing something good and bright, if God is expressing positive feelings for this individual, then the word "heylel" cannot possibly mean "arrogant boaster", etc. No, if these positive answers are correct, then the word "heylel" must inescapably mean "bright one".

On the other hand:

If God in this passage expresses negative feelings about this individual, if God is saying that this individual has done something bad, and that this individual is an incredible braggart, then the word "heylel" cannot possibly mean "bright one", let alone "light-bringer". No, if these answers are correct, then the word "heylel" must inescapably mean "arrogant boaster", etc.

Now we all already know the answers to the above questions!

In this context God is condemning this individual, God is exposing this individual’s incredible boast to "knock God off His throne in heaven", and God is excoriating this individual whom God threw out of heaven!

There is absolutely no possibility, not the slightest chance whatsoever, that God would somehow say something positive, anything positive, in this context about an individual, whom God very obviously HATES! Exodus 20:5 ("I am a jealous God") is not an empty threat! God hates the "abominations" Satan has inspired (Deuteronomy 12:31; etc.). It is completely inconceivable that in this context God would mention anything good about Satan! Look at the context of Isaiah 14:12. It speaks for itself.

So IF "halal" is indeed the root word for the noun "heylel", then Isaiah 14:12 must read:

How art thou fallen from heaven, you arrogant braggart, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!" (Isa 14:12 AV)

So here are the conclusions of our search for the correct meaning of the Hebrew word "heylel".

1) If this word was derived from the word "yalal", then "heylel" must mean "howl" or "the howler"! In this case "heylel" in Isaiah 14:12 is not a unique word at all.

2) But if this word was derived from the word "halal", then "heylel" must mean "arrogant braggart"! In this case "heylel" in Isaiah 14:12 is indeed a unique word, being used only this one single time in Israel’s entire history.

3) The context of Isaiah 14:12 makes absolutely clear that God could not possibly have intended the positive meaning of "halal" to apply to this individual who is clearly hated by God!

4) Furthermore, meanings such as "lucifer" and "day star" are etymological impossibilities!

Anyone who assigns a meaning to "heylel" before examining the context is like a man who decides that the word "halal" simply must mean "brilliant" or "glorious" in 1 Samuel 21:13, and so he would be forced to read about David ...

And he changed his behaviour before them, and made himself brilliant and glorious in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard. (1 Samuel 21:13)

Such a translation would be absurd! Yet that is precisely what people do with Isaiah 14:12, when they decide before examining the context that "heylel" must have a good and positive meaning.

I can understand the "halal" (i.e. foolish) translators of the Greek LXX text making such a foolish assumption, and I can also understand that a man who worked for the Catholic Pope (i.e. Jerome) made the same wrong assumption, because those people were working for "the god of this age" (see 2 Corinthians 4:4). But I cannot understand how ministers in the Church of God can make such an assumption, when they are confronted with the facts I am presenting in this article. Can anyone really deny that the context of Isaiah 14:12 must hold the key as to which meaning of "halal" must be applied to the noun "heylel"?

So let’s now examine the context of the word "heylel".

 

THE CONTEXT OF "HEYLEL"

In Isaiah 14:4 God starts to present a message of punishment against the king of Babylon. Verse 10 then reads:

All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? (Isaiah 14:10)

This shows the king of Babylon having become weak. There is a reason why God punishes that king. Notice verse 11:

Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. (Isaiah 14:11)

The words "your pomp" and "the noise of your viols" show that the man was vain and arrogant! He had a high opinion of himself. He thought far too much of his own power and greatness. Is that not obvious? If that isn’t clear, perhaps you need to read the whole section from verse 4 down to verse 11?

So God leads us to the point where some human ruler is shown up as being arrogant, proud and haughty. And at that point god switches the focus to Satan!

So the next verse says:

How art thou fallen from heaven, o heylel, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! (Isaiah 14:12)

So let’s ask ourselves:


Is God referring to this individual "heylel" in a positive way or in a negative way? Is God speaking softly and friendly to this "heylel", or is God speaking harshly and in a punitive way? Can anyone deny that God is speaking harshly and forcefully to this "heylel"?


Why and how would anyone possibly "fall from heaven"? Would God ask them politely to "just move along, dear fellow", or would they fall from heaven because God threw them out?! Now if you were a Hebrew speaker, and if you would throw someone out of your house ... if in the process of throwing such a person out of your house you would use the word "heylel" to refer to such a person ... would you be thinking of the positive meaning of "halal" or would you under such circumstances be thinking of the negative meaning of "halal"? That should really be a "no-brainer", right?

Next, the king of Babylon had been shown as subjugating nations and ruling over them (Isaiah 14:6), and God in verse 12 draws a very clear parallel for this "heylel", who also had "weakened the nations". So is that where the parallels stop, or are there further parallels between "heylel" and the king of Babylon? There clearly are further parallels.

Let’s continue with the next verse.

For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: (Isaiah 14:13 AV)

Let’s ask some more questions.

What is the opening word "for" supposed to tell us? This word tells us that verse 13 gives us the reason why "heylel" fell from heaven". So verse 13 tells us the reason for the severe treatment "heylel" received in verse 12, being thrown out of heaven.

But understand this: Verse 13 also tells us why God refers to this individual as "heylel"!

Now what do the words "you have said in your heart" tell us? These words tell us that what follows reveals the innermost feelings and attitudes and motivations and thought processes of this individual referred to as "heylel". So verse 13 tells us what went on in Satan’s mind!

Next, when anybody other than God says: "I am going to ascend into heaven", what kind of statement is that? Why is God presenting this statement here for Satan? Is that a factual and accurate observation? Is it, as one man tried to seriously convince me, a sincere statement of intent by Satan? Or is it an incredibly arrogant boast?

Is there anything sincere about Satan? Sincerity is totally contrary to Satan’s nature and everything Satan stands for! He is the most insincere, two-faced hypocrite that exists anywhere in the universe! Jesus Christ summarized Satan’s character in John 8:44 as being "a liar and the father of lies".

Did God in Isaiah 14:4-11 present a good picture of the king of Babylon, or did God present a bad picture of that king? So is God in this section trying to present a good picture of Satan or a bad picture of Satan? Is this the place where God is going to list all the good points on Satan’s CV? Or does God apply the principle of Ezekiel 3:20, that when a righteous person or being turns away from righteousness, then never again will any of his past righteousness even be remembered!?

Next, is the statement "I will exalt my throne above the stars of God" an objective, humble and factual statement ... or is it an incredible boast? Are the words "I will exalt" a sincere statement of intent, or do these words show unbelievable arrogance? Are the words "I will exalt" a wise statement or are those words the height of stupidity? Are those the words of a wise individual, or are those the words of a super fool? Are these words not just another way of saying "I am the greatest"?! And what are such words ... if not boasting?!

Next, what are the words "I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north" ... a sincere factual statement, or the greatest boast any being could ever make? Do we believe that God would say to such an individual: "oh, be my guest; I guess I’ll just move on over"? Or would God not with great fury throw out someone like that? Do we really expect God to say anything "nice" about someone who wants to, in Mr. Armstrong’s words, "knock God off His throne"?

Which meaning of "halal" would God use for an individual who had the arrogance to challenge His own Creator: the good meaning or the bad meaning? God’s anger at times "waxed hot" against the people of Israel when they just kept on sinning. How much "hotter" would God’s anger wax against someone who attempted to take over God’s very throne? I mean, compared to Satan’s audacity towards God, the sins of the people of Israel in the wilderness were on a far lower level. And that is why Satan’s sins are far more serious than the sins of the people of Israel in the wilderness.

God continues to state about Satan saying in the next verse:

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High" (Isaiah 14:14)

Now how would you describe the words "I Will ascend above the heights of the clouds"? Did God intend these words to convey the honest and objective intentions of the one God is speaking about, or are these words an expression of arrogant boasting? Are these words wise or are they foolish? Are those words the expression of a sound mind or are they the expression of a mind that is mad? Is God here trying to praise Satan or is God severely criticizing Satan?

Next, what do the words "I will be like the most High" tell you? Are they nothing more than an honest statement of intent (from the father of lies!) or are they the absolutely supreme boast that anyone anywhere at any time could ever make? Is it possible for anyone to ever make a greater boast than this? No, that simply is not possible!

There is no greater boast possible, than for someone to say: "I am going to take over from God"! That statement here ("I will be like the most High"), made in obvious rebellion and opposition towards God, is the greatest expression of boasting, pride, arrogance, stupidity, madness and foolishness that is possible! That is the pinnacle! Only an absolutely arrogant idiot could ever think that he could possibly replace his own Creator God!

Can you understand what God has done in these three verses (Isaiah 14:12-14)? God has exposed Satan’s pride and arrogance and foolishness and boasting. It is all there in the open, for any of us to see. Verse 15 continues by spelling out a penalty for Satan.


Now the point is this:

To understand exactly what the word "halal" back in 1 Samuel 21:13 means, it was imperative for us to examine the precise context in which this word is used. The same holds true for the noun "heylel".

SO WHAT DOES THE CONTEXT OF "HEYLEL" TELL US?

Does the context of "heylel" speak about praise and glory and brilliance and light? Does the context convey that God is calm, relaxed, friendly, merciful, encouraging and helpful? Or does the context show that God deals in anger and in fury with this individual who has challenged His supreme authority? Does the context of "heylel" convey arrogance and foolishness and madness and incredible boasting or not?

It should be clear that the word "heylel" is not a name for the individual being spoken about (i.e. Satan), but a descriptive term applied to that individual, intended to sum up all the attributes exposed by the next two verses!

The context makes absolutely clear, beyond any doubt, that God intended the bad meaning of "halal" to form the basis for the noun "heylel"!

In other words, if "heylel" is derived from the word "halal", then the way God intended for us to translate Isaiah 14:12-14 into English is as follows:

"How are you fallen from heaven, you incredibly arrogant and mad boaster, son of the morning (i.e. Jesus Christ, the Morning Star, created you); how are you cut down to the ground, who weakened the nations; because you thought that you could ascend up to heaven, to be above all My holy angels, and to then knock Me off My throne and replace Me as ruler over everything."

Now it should be clear that Satan was not going to allow his own church to translate these verses like this. But we in God’s Church ought to be able to immediately recognize the unbelievable boasting involved in Satan’s statements here. God called Satan "heylel" in verse 12 because of what Satan said in verses 13 and 14! God did not call Satan "heylel" because of something that is not said in this context. The one and only time God ever used the descriptive term "heylel", God also provided in the very same context the reasons for this "name"!

Verse 12 cannot be read in isolation. It must be read in conjunction with the two verses that follow it. That’s the way things work in the entire rest of the Bible. It is always the context that helps to understand the intended meaning when a word or an expression could perhaps be ambiguous.

So:


The Bible calls Jesus Christ "Lucifer" in 2 Peter 1:19. Satan inspired his own people to then insert the word "lucifer" as a name for Satan into Isaiah 14:12. On this matter Satan has deceived "the whole world" (see Revelation 12:9). In the process Satan has claimed a name that really belongs to Jesus Christ.

Let’s now examine various statements in the New Testament, that are relevant to this matter.

 

RELEVANT NEW TESTAMENT STATEMENTS

In 2 Corinthians 11:14 Paul tells us the following about Satan:

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)

Paul is telling us that Satan has disguised himself as "an angel of light", the Greek expression here being "eis aggelon photos". The Greek "photos" is the genitive case of "phos", and means "of light". Literally this verse means that Satan has presented himself as "a messenger of light"! And the name "Lucifer" means "a bringer of light"! And "a messenger" is a person who "brings" something, right?

Can we not see that Paul is here, under inspiration, telling us that Satan has "disguised himself to appear in the role of lucifer"?! That’s what 2 Corinthians 11:14 means! Satan has disguised himself into a role that the Apostle Peter shows very clearly as belonging to Jesus Christ!

Notice how clearly and plainly the Bible identifies Jesus Christ as "Lucifer"!

The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, that all men through him might believe. (John 1:7)

This is speaking about Jesus Christ. And He came to "to bear witness of the light". Does that make Jesus Christ "a Light-bringer" or not? Does this make Jesus Christ "Lucifer" or not?

That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (John 1:9)

"The true light" (Greek "to phos to alethinon") is Jesus Christ. Is John not also implying that there is therefore also a false light? Who is John in this verse referring to as bringing light to mankind ... Satan or Jesus Christ? So who should have the name "Lucifer"?

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19)

Again, if Jesus Christ brought light into the world, then who is "the Light-bringer" ... Satan?? If you had asked the Apostle John the question: "Do you mean to say that Jesus Christ is actually ‘Phosphoros’, or ‘Lucifer’?", that John would have answered: "Well, certainly. That’s the whole point I am trying to get across."

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12)

So did Jesus Christ claim to be "the Light-bringer" or not? Would Jesus Christ ever want to lay claim to a name that at one stage belonged to Satan, who in turn had only been created by Jesus Christ? Does God ever want the titles He had given to individuals He Himself had created? Or had that created individual gotten too big for his boots and laid claim to a title that belonged to his Creator?

Just who is trying to get his hands on whose titles?

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. (John 9:5)

Why was Jesus Christ so intent on referring to Himself as the One who had brought light into the world? Did Christ know that Satan wanted to usurp that specific status, of "Light-bringer"? Jesus Christ could just as well have said: "I am Lucifer", and conveyed 100% exactly the same message as with the words "I am the light of the world". How often does the Apostle John record Jesus Christ making this point ... that He was "Lucifer", the real "Light-bringer"?

Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them. (John 12:35-36)

Again, who did Jesus Christ say had brought the light, Satan? Of course not. If Satan had not brought the light, how could Satan possibly be called "Light-bringer"? But people who want to give Satan the name "Lucifer" then say:

"No, no. We are not saying that Satan is now a Light-bringer. We are just saying that Satan used to be a Light-bringer, before he sinned".

That kind of twisted and convoluted reasoning is typical of Satan’s mind. First of all, any glory "that used to be" is as though it had never been, as far as God is concerned. And secondly, Satan has never at any time brought any light to anybody! How could he possibly ever have been "a light-bringer" when he in fact was "a murderer from the beginning" (John 8:44)?

Who did Satan in the past supposedly "bring light to"? The dinosaurs over which he ruled before Adam was created, and which all ended up being totally annihilated? Or the angels, which he led in rebellion against God, permanently destroying all the potential those angels had possessed until then? Any planets, stars or galaxies within this universe, which will need to be destroyed by God and replaced with a NEW heaven and earth? To whom has Satan ever brought light at any time?

The truth is that Satan has NEVER brought light to anybody or to anything!

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. (John 12:46)


Again, did Jesus Christ here imply that He was "a Light-bringer" or not? If in this verse Jesus Christ was not claiming to be "a Light-bringer" (i.e. Lucifer), then what was He saying?

It is because of all these statements by Jesus Christ that Peter called Jesus Christ "Phosphoros" or "Lucifer"! Peter had also heard all these statements personally!

Bear in mind also that we human beings use names differently from the way God uses names. We first give someone a name or a title, and then we hope the person will live up to that name or fulfill the duties attached to that title. The name or title very often comes first, and the actions come later.

But with God the actions come first, and only then do the names or titles follow. So with God someone has to first actually "bring light" before that individual becomes eligible for the designation "Light-bringer". It is not that God would somehow give someone (i.e. Satan) the designation "Light-bringer" and then hope that this individual also lives up to this designation.

There is not the slightest indication anywhere in the Bible that Satan ever "brought light" to anyone. ALL the angels received access to light from God Himself; they did not receive such access to light from another angel. God has ALWAYS been the only "Light-giver" and "Light-bringer"!

 

HOW GOD THINKS ABOUT "CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE"

We human beings always want credit for our good deeds, even when we are sinning! Even when we are clearly in the wrong, we will still say: "Yes but ... I also did this and that good thing, and you should take my past good conduct here and here into account, etc.".

We believe in "plea bargaining"! Criminals who have clearly transgressed still want their good deeds taken into account as "mitigating factors". That is precisely the way Satan’s mind works! Satan has sinned most seriously. But he would like "his supposed good past" to somehow be remembered and recognized and taken into account. And he will not hesitate to fabricate an imaginary "good past" ... that’s what liars tend to do.

But that is not how God works!

When people sin, then all their "good past" is blotted out. It is just as if they NEVER had any "good past" before their sin. The "good past" is as though it had never been. That’s the way God works. Sinners never get any credit for "past good behaviour". The present is the only thing that counts before God. If the present is "good", then the past "good" is remembered and the past "bad" is forgotten and blotted out. But if the present is "bad", then the past "good" is forgotten and blotted out, and only the past "bad" is remembered and taken into account.

With God the present is the key to which part of the past "stays active".

With God there is no "plea bargaining" (except for total confession and real repentance) to obtain a more lenient sentence in the absence of real repentance, and there are never mitigating factors in the past that would diminish the penalty for present wrong actions.

Now God is the One who has identified Satan to us throughout the Bible by names and designations like: Satan (Adversary), devil, slanderer, murderer, liar, serpent, deceiver, etc.. And it is Satan himself who has persuaded a deceived humanity to "at least give him credit for (supposedly) at one time having been a ‘light-bringer’". And it all goes back to that terribly corrupt LXX translation, which found six different Hebrew words for "phosphoros" and 15 different Hebrew words for "hupostasis".

Peter shows that Jesus Christ is "Phosphoros", or "Lucifer" (2 Peter 1:19). This means that Lucifer is worthy of worship, because Christ is God! To assign the name "Lucifer" to Jesus Christ is one way of worshipping Jesus Christ. It follows that assigning the name "Lucifer" to Satan is one way of worshipping Satan! And giving the name "Lucifer" to Satan is a staggering insult to Jesus Christ, the only true "Light-bringer"!

If you have read through this whole article and then still insist that "Lucifer used to be Satan’s name before he sinned", then I will tell you that before God you will be guilty of insulting Jesus Christ and of worshipping Satan!

Frank W. Nelte