The Name "Lucifer!"
Author: Frank W. Nelte
In the English version of the
Bible the name "Lucifer" appears only one time--in Isaiah 14:12. This
"How are you fallen from
heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning..."
"Lucifer" is not an
English word, but a Latin word. The question is: who gave the world this Latin
In A.D. 382 Pope Damascus
commissioned the scholar Jerome to make an official revision of the Latin
versions of the Bible that were floating around in the Catholic Church. Jerome
went off to a cave in Bethlehem where he proceeded to make his translation,
supposedly based on the Hebrew text, but in practice based very largely on the
Septuagint version (i.e. "LXX") that Origen
had produced about 140 years earlier while in Caesarea. (The truth about the LXX is another subject that I have discussed in
a separate paper.)
Anyway, by A.D. 405 Jerome
had completed his work, which we today know as "The Latin Vulgate"
Bible. It is far from an infallibly accurate translation of the original texts.
Rather, it is an interpretation of thought put into idiomatic, graceful Latin!
For a thousand years this
Translation was without a rival--and herein lies the
Jerome had understood that
Isaiah 14:12 is talking about Satan. There the Hebrew word
"heylel" is used and Jerome translated this into Latin
This is a mistranslation!!!
The word "Lucifer"
comes from 2 Latin words:
Lux (=light) + ferous (=to bear
or carry). Thus the name "Lucifer" means
Light-bearer or Light-bringer.
But this is not what the
Hebrew word " heylel " means! We'll see later
exactly what this word does mean.
Anyway, as a result of this
Latin Vulgate translation, which was almost the only version of the Bible in
use throughout Europe for the next 1000 years, Satan popularly became known
as Lucifer. It should be self-evident that when the first people who translated
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
word "Heylel," they would simply substitute it with the already well-known
(originally) Latin name "Lucifer." And they could do this because on
the surface this seems to be a reasonably accurate translation. But it isn't
I mentioned earlier that the
word "Lucifer" appears only once in the English versions of the Bible.
But in the Latin Vulgate translation of Jerome it appears twice! That's right,
twice! Where else is this word used and who does it refer to? Jerome certainly
knew who it refers to. This knowledge also casts a dark cloud over his
intentional use in Isaiah 14:12!
2 Peter 1:19: "...until the
day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." This is another
The two words "day
star" are a translation of the one Greek word
" phosphoros ." This comes from the two Greek
Phos (=light) + phero (=to bear
or carry). Thus the Greek word " phosphoros "
means Light-bearer or Light-bringer.
Anyone who knows both, Greek
and Latin, can verify that the Greek word " Phosphoros "
and the Latin word "Lucifer" are absolutely, one hundred percent
identical in meaning. "Lucifer" is the perfect translation into Latin
of the Greek word " Phosphoros ."
Now let's note the
dishonesty, first of the English translators and then of Jerome--
All of the English
translators of the Bible know very well that the word " Phosphoros "
in 2 Peter 1:19 can be perfectly accurately translated by the word
"Lucifer." Instead they have chosen to deliberately obscure this
They knew very well that 2
Peter 1:19 refers without doubt to Jesus Christ. This verse
calls Jesus Christ " Phosphoros " (in Greek)
or "Lucifer" (in Latin). Yet the translators have hidden this fact
behind the words "day star." The facts are that "Phosphoros " has absolutely nothing to do with either
"day" or "star"! The translators simply borrowed a term
that is elsewhere used for Christ--namely "morning star" in
Revelation 2:28 (Greek = proinos + aster)
and in Revelation 22:16 (Greek = orthrinos + aster).
To translate "phosphoros " as "day star" is plain
Now let's look at Jerome. The
phrases quoted under point #8 above are translated by Jerome into Latin as
dies elucescat et lucifer oriatur in cordibus vestris ."
Notice that Jerome correctly
translated the Greek " phosphoros " into the
Latin word " lucifer ." Jerome obviously knew
that this verse refers to Jesus Christ--yet he wrote " lucifer "
with a small "l" and did not capitalize the word. He also knew that
he had translated the word " phosphoros "
perfectly into Latin.
Jerome knew that in the New
Testament "Lucifer" is a title for Jesus Christ; yet he still chose
to also translate the less-clearly defined Hebrew word "Heylel" in
Isaiah 14:12 as "Lucifer," knowing that this word referred to
Satan--and here Jerome started the word with a capital "L,".
So with Jerome, Satan gets a
name that refers to Christ with a capital letter--and Christ gets His own name
only with a small letter.
Now let's look at the Hebrew
word " heylel "--
It is used only once in the
Bible, in Isaiah 14:12. That does not
give us any further insight. But "Heylel" is derived from the
primitive root word " halal " It is this word
that gives us understanding of what "Heylel" really means. I might
add here that this is also the only way that Jerome and the English translators
could come to an understanding of what "Heylel" means--by clearly
understanding the meaning of the word that "Heylel" is derived from,
since it is only used one single time.
" Halal "
is used 165 times in the Old Testament and it is translated as follows in the
- 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 should make clear that
the translators felt they should attach over a dozen different meanings to this
word " Halal ." The meanings are both, good
and bad; both, positive and negative.
There is no question that
this word has a good, positive meaning. But neither is there any question that
it also has a bad, negative meaning. Jerome, without the slightest proof
available to him, decided to give the word "Heylel" a good, positive
meaning. All the major translators into English have simply followed Jerome's
lead, who was working for Pope Damascus, remember?
Anyone who has studied what
God tells us about Satan, should realize immediately that Satan is--"mad,
boastful, a fool and foolish and he does rage." These words
with which " Halal " is translated in
numerous places, fit Satan perfectly.
The very next verses in
Isaiah show Satan boasting! Read Isaiah 14:13
- 14! That is why God calls him " heylel "--because
he boasted!! What could be plainer?
"For you 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: I will ascend above the heights of the
clouds; I will be like the most high" (Isaiah 14:13.
is so very obvious in these verses!
Now here are some of the
places where " Halal " is translated as:
- "Mad" = 1 Samuel 21:13; Psalms 102:8; Ecclesiastes 2:2; 7:7; Isaiah 44:25; Jeremiah
25:16; 50:38; 51:7;
- "Fools" = Job 12:17; Psalms 75:4;
- "Foolish" = Psalms 5:5; 73:3; 75:4;
- "Rage" = Jer. 46:9; Nahum 2:4;
- "Boast" = 1 Kings 20:11; Psalms 10:3; 34:2; 44:8; 49:6; 52:1; 97:7; Proverbs
20:14; 25:14; 27:1.
It should be very clear by
now that "Heylel" has nothing to do with the words "Star"
or "Day" or "Morning" or "Bringing" or
"Carrying." Notice also that he is "the son (Hebrew = the
product) of the morning" (Isaiah 14:12). Christ is the Morning Star and it is He who created Satan. And Satan has
deceived all of mankind into giving him the exalted title, which is what it
really is, and which rightfully belongs to Jesus Christ, of
"Light-Bringer." One clear fulfillment of
Paul explained this in 2
Corinthians 11:14, where he tells us: "...for Satan himself is transformed
(Greek = disguised) into an angel of light." Do you grasp this? He has
deceived the world into believing that Isaiah 14:12 tells us that he used to
hold Christ's job (as per 2 Peter 1:19 )--that
he used to be an angel who was a "Light-bringer."
Once you get rid of the old
paradigm that "Lucifer is a name that used to refer to Satan" and
grasp that the Bible identifies Christ as "Lucifer" (or "Phosphoros " in Greek), the Light-bringer, then you'll
be surprised how many scriptures literally flood into your mind in support of
- John 8:12 = "I am the light of the world..."
- John 3:19 = "...that light is come into the world..."
- John 1:4 - 8 = "...in Him was...the light of men..."
- John 12:36 = "...believe in the light..." etc., etc..
We need to understand that
God has absolutely no reason to reveal Satan's previous name to us. Why should
we have to know it? (Apart from Ezekiel 28:12-15) nowhere in the bible is
anything good said about Satan!! Notice that in Ezekiel 28, where God does
speak about Satan's existence before the creation of man, God reveals that
Satan had been an anointed cherub--but God does not use any name that
previously applied to Satan. Why not? If it was a "good" name that we
should know about, it would have fitted perfectly into this description of
Satan's prior glory. But Ezekiel 28 carefully avoids hinting at any previous
name. And so why should Isaiah 14:12 be an exception--by giving us a lofty
title that supposedly belonged to Satan at one time, and which Peter in fact
tells us is Christ's title?
Whatever name Satan may have
had previously is totally blotted out before God--it is as though Satan never
ever had that name. That's what sin does--it totally blots out any memory of
any good that went before. That's what God tells us in Ezekiel 3:20 and 18:24
and 33:13. If the righteous turns away from God,
then--"all his righteousness shall not be remembered." Isn't this
plain enough? After Satan sinned, why should God want us to know about Satan's
supposed "good name" from a previous time???
Understand this: even if
"Lucifer" really had at one stage been Satan's name, God still would
not want us to use it in reference to Satan! It is God who reveals Satan to us
by the name "Satan"! And it is God who reveals Satan as a braggart in
Satan is the god of this age
(2 Corinthians 4:4) who has blinded the minds of people. He has churches and
ministers who disguise themselves as "...the ministers of
righteousness" (2 Corinthians,
a plain reference to them disguising themselves as "Christians."
Satan's universal ("catholic") church gave Satan one of Christ's
names by means of a mistranslation from the Hebrew into Latin. Jerome was
clearly working for Satan when he converted the Greek word "Phosphoros ," used in 2 Peter 1:19 for Jesus Christ,
into a personal name for Satan in the Old Testament. Jerome knew that "Phosphoros " refers to Christ. If he really was a
Hebrew scholar, as is generally claimed, then he also knew that "Halal " also has negative connotations like "mad,
boast, foolish," etc., because he would have had to translate this word
into Latin 165 times. Did Jerome really not understand the context of boasting
in this passage?
For over 1000 years this name
was used for Satan in the western world. It was placed above question as a
former name for Satan. So translators and students of the Biblical languages
and of Latin have also accepted this as a fact that should not be questioned.
Satan clearly does not want his "right" to the name
"Lucifer" questioned. Those who use it for Satan show they are
"worshipping" Satan--by attributing one of Christ's names to Satan.
I could carry on with some
more points, but I feel that the above information should suffice to understand
that Satan is never referred to as " lucifer "
in the Word of God. So what about you--will you continue to refer to Satan as
having once been called "Lucifer"?? You now know the facts!
Author: Frank W. Nelte
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