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Frank W. Nelte

Isaiah 14:12


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 AV)


Based on this translation people assume that Satan's name used to be "Lucifer". That is totally, absolutely and completely wrong! It is in fact BLASPHEMY!


The Hebrew word translated as "Lucifer" in this verse is "heylel", and this is the only time this word "heylel" is used in the Bible. It is formed from the primitive root verb "halal".

The LATIN word "Lucifer" means "light-bringer".

The HEBREW word for "light-bringer" is the name "Aaron".

The GREEK word for "light-bringer" is "Phosphoros" (or the older spelling "Eosphoros").

The names "Aaron" and "Lucifer" and "Phosphoros" are 100% identical in meaning. But the Hebrew name "heylel" is completely different in meaning from these three names. "Heylel" in actual fact has nothing whatsoever to do with "bringing any light".

It is interesting that God selected a man with the name "Aaron" to be the very first High Priest, and it is also interesting that in 2 Peter 1:19 Jesus Christ is called "Phosphoros" (which is incorrectly translated into English as "day star"). So who organized for Satan to have the Latin version of this same name applied to himself?

The Hebrew root verb "halal" has TWO distinctly opposite meanings, both of which are amply illustrated in the way this word is used in the Old Testament. It has the positive meaning of "to shine" and is thus frequently translated as "praise" and as "glory". But "halal" also has the NEGATIVE meaning of: "to boast, to be mad, to be foolish, to rage". It is not the word "halal" itself that tells us whether the positive or the negative meaning should be applied; it is always totally dependent on THE CONTEXT in which this word is used that makes clear whether the positive meaning or the negative meaning should be applied. There are many examples for both meanings found throughout the Old Testament, as the verb "halal" is used 165 times.

Now the noun "heylel", formed from this verb "halal", is grammatically just like the English noun "runner" formed from the English verb "run"; it is simply a way of personifying the attributes inherent in the verb. So the "potential" meanings for the Hebrew noun "heylel" range from "bright and shiny one" (the positive side of "halal") all the way to "arrogant and mad boaster" (the negative side of "halal"). And THE ONLY WAY to be absolutely sure as to whether "heylel" is intended by God to represent the positive side or the negative side of "halal" is to carefully examine THE CONTEXT in which GOD presents this name "heylel".

It also goes without saying that if Satan himself had any influence whatsoever regarding which meaning of "halal" should be applied to "heylel", then he would without the slightest hesitation and without any scruples push for the positive meaning. If Satan's vote counts for anything, then it is obvious which meaning he will endorse. Does anyone doubt that?

So let's examine THE CONTEXT in which God used this name "heylel" to refer to Satan. Was GOD trying to heap PRAISE on Satan when He (God) used this name "heylel", or was GOD trying to heap SCORN on Satan when He used this name "heylel"? And was God trying to identify Satan with the exact same name that He would use later (in 2 Peter 1:19) to identify Jesus Christ? Let the context provide us with the answers to these questions.

Isaiah 14:11 speaks about "pomp" or "pride".

Isaiah 14:12 speaks about "heylel" falling from heaven, hardly a very complimentary statement about Satan.

Isaiah 14:13 starts with the words: "FOR YOU HAVE SAID IN YOUR HEART". These words INTRODUCE THE REASON FOR THE NAME "HEYLEL"! God says: "I am calling you 'heylel' BECAUSE of something you said in your heart".

So this is a key verse to examine. Here it is:

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)

Now what do Satan's comments about "I will ascend ... I will exalt ... I will sit ..." tell you? If you were God and if I were to say these words to you, exactly what would you think of me? Would you be impressed by my "genuine" intentions to knock you off your throne and to take over your position? Or would you not rather respond by saying: "JUST WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, YOU STUPID, ARROGANT IDIOT?!"

Let's examine the next verse.

I WILL ASCEND above the heights of the clouds; I WILL BE LIKE the most High. (Isaiah 14:14 AV)

What is this statement: a sincere intention by Satan, or an unbelievably arrogant boast? Surely this is the greatest BOAST that any being, human or angelic, has ever made, arrogantly asserting that he will take over from his own Creator? Is it possible to think of a MORE boastful statement? I don't think so.

The next verse reveals GOD'S RESPONSE to these thoughts Satan had harbored. Notice this verse.

Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. (Isaiah 14:15)

So what was God's response? In plain terms God was saying: "So you think that you can knock Me off My throne and take over from Me, do you? Well, here is what I am going to do to you, sucker!"

That's how God responds to vain and arrogant scheming by anyone. That is what Psalm 2 makes clear. Notice verse 4:

He that sitteth in the heavens SHALL LAUGH: the Lord SHALL HAVE THEM IN DERISION. (Psalm 2:4 AV)

Let's get real!

Satan's intentions were an insult to God and the ultimate in disloyalty towards his own Creator. And God was calling a spade a spade. AND THAT IS WHY GOD USED THE NAME "HEYLEL" FOR SATAN ... TO EXPRESS SCORN, CONTEMPT AND RIDICULE FOR THE SUPREME TRAITOR OF ALL TIME!

It is clear beyond any doubts that the negative meaning of "halal" was intended by God to be applied to the name "heylel".


The Greek language LXX had incorrectly translated "heylel" as "eosphoros"", a spelling variation of "phosphoros", which means "light-bringer". When Jerome made his Latin language Vulgate translation, instead of correctly translating the Hebrew "heylel", he simply translated the incorrect LXX Greek "phosphoros" into Latin as "lucifer". This he did, knowing that Isaiah 14:12 is speaking about Satan, even though Jerome ALSO correctly translated the New Testament Greek "phosphoros" in 2 Peter 1:19 as "Lucifer", knowing that this Scripture refers to Jesus Christ. So Jerome KNEW that once he used the name "lucifer" for Satan in the Old Testament and once for Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

When the English language translators came along, they simply retained Jerome's INCORRECT translation of "heylel" in Isaiah 14:12, while at the same time CAREFULLY OBSCURING Jerome's correct translation of "phosphoros" as "Lucifer" in 2 Peter 1:19.


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! (Isaiah 14:12)


Rather than praising Satan in this verse, God was heaping scorn and contempt on Satan for his unbelievable arrogance. "The god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4) has deceived humanity into applying the positive meaning of "halal" to the designation "heylel", in that way usurping one of the names that the New Testament uses specifically for Jesus Christ. With this name "lucifer" Satan has effectively disguised himself as "an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14).


This subject is further explained in the article on 2 Peter 1:19, and also in my article on "The Name Lucifer" in the main section of this website. Satan's deception stands exposed.

Frank W. Nelte