Why does the Bible use 'morning star' to refer to both Jesus and Satan?
In Isaiah 14:12 we read, "How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn!" The King James and New King James Versions use "Lucifer, son of the morning" in place of "Day Star, son of Dawn." The larger context of this passage is traditionally interpreted as referring to Satan and his fall from heaven.
In Revelation 22:16, we read, "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star." Why are both Jesus and Satan called the morning star?
In ancient times the idea of a morning star was one of a bright star that outshines others. In Isaiah, the poetic structure of chapter 14 uses the phrase to describe the greatness of Satan prior to his fall in contrast with his evil in rebelling against the Lord.
With Jesus, the concept of the morning star is used to also note His greatness. This is clear from the other title used of Him in the same verse, "the root and descendant of David." Of great importance is the fact that Jesus is noted as the bright morning star. His greatness is far above all others. Satan could not cause Jesus to sin (Matthew 4:1-11), could not stop His plans, nor defeat Him through death. Satan will ultimately be defeated by Jesus and cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7-10).
It is important to note also that using a similar idea to compare both Satan and Jesus does not mean they are similar. For example, someone might speak of the dynamic leadership of Hitler over Nazi Germany, yet would not consider this trait a good thing. Yet a dynamic leader could also be a good thing in a different context, such as in leading a business, school, or other organization.
This same idea of comparison is even used in the Bible with Jesus and Satan with another idea, that of a lion. In 1 Peter 5:8 Satan is described as a roaring lion who seeks to devour believers. Yet Jesus is also called a lion, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, in Revelation 5:5.
Both Satan and Jesus are powerful, yet the power of Christ is infinitely greater. Colossians 1:16-17 teaches, "For by him [Jesus] all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together." John 1:3-5 adds, "All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
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