Is Satan Lucifer? Does the fall of Lucifer describe Satan?
In Isaiah 14:12 we read, "'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!'" (NKJV). Who is Lucifer?
The Hebrew word translated Lucifer means "day star" or "shining star." The word Lucifer is from the Latin word Lucifer used to translate the Hebrew word helel. The King James Version, whose translators may not have clearly known what the Hebrew word helel meant in this verse, used the literal word of the Latin Vulgate Bible instead (also used in the Latin text in Job 11:17; 38:32; 2 Peter 1:19).
The verses following Isaiah 14:12 offer insight regarding the identity of Lucifer. Isaiah 14:13-14 state, "You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'" Lucifer is a being who attempted to take God's throne and be like God.
The only being who could fit this description is Satan. No human king could attempt to take God's throne and be God. Even the wicked kings of Isaiah's time were limited to leading human kingdoms, not the heavenly world.
Ezekiel 28 is another passage that discusses the fall of Satan or Lucifer. In this chapter, Ezekiel begins with a lament regarding the prince of Tyre. However, beginning in verse 12 he is told to take up a lament regarding an unknown king of Tyre. The description then reveals this king refers to Satan.
Ezekiel described Satan, saying, "You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty" (v. 12). Verse 13 clearly notes Satan's identity, revealing, "You were in Eden, the garden of God." Verse 14 adds, "You were an anointed guardian cherub." This indicates Satan was a key angelic leader, perhaps the top angel, prior to his fall.
Verse 15 explains, "You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you." Verse 16 adds that Satan sinned. Verse 17 tells us his sin was due to pride "because of your beauty." God said, "I cast you to the ground" (v. 17). Satan's future judgment is also noted, saying, "you have come to a dreadful end and shall be no more forever" (v. 19).
Though not a common term for Satan, Lucifer is a term that refers to the same being who rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven and his angelic role of leadership. Now Satan serves as the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), tempting people to sin and influencing evil until his final judgment (Revelation 20:10).
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