Author: Ron Graham


The Name “Lucifer”
—It's NOT a name for Satan

On we have some teaching about Satan the Devil. We sometimes hear him referred to as Lucifer. It seems to me that this is a mistake, as the following note explains.

The name Lucifer means shining one, and was used by the King James translators to render the Hebrew helel. The Hebrew word most likely means day star or morning star. The Bible calls Jesus Christ "the day star" and "the bright and morning star" (2Peter 1:19 Revelation 22:16). It would be contradictory for Satan to legitimately hold the same description.

Isaiah 14:4-22 is a taunt against the king of Babylon. The statement "How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn!" (verse 12) is a taunt full of irony. It is referring to the arrogance of the king who said in his heart, "I will ascend to heaven, I will raise my throne above the stars of God..." (verses 13-14). He never did of course, because God punished him.

Some tie Isaiah 14:12 to Luke 10:18 and Revelation 9:1 where Satan is spoken of as falling from heaven. Even if we allow that there might be a double meaning in Isaiah 14:12 so that Satan is regarded as the antitype of the king of Babylon, we would still have to see that calling him "O star of the morning, son of the dawn!" is sarcasm and irony. In other words Satan is anything but a shining star. So the name Lucifer is wrongly applied to him as a legitimate name.

Satan is the Deceiver of deceivers, and the Antichrist of antichrists. Of course he would enjoy appropriating the name Lucifer. It helps him to "disguise himself as an angel of light" (2Corinthians 11:13-15). Let the name Lucifer be on pagan lips, but never let a Christian honour Satan with that name.

The Morning Star

Peter speaks of "the morning star" (2Peter 1:19), a name which Jesus applied to himself when he said, "I am the root and offspring of David, the bright and morning star" (Revelation 22:16). Jesus promises every follower of his, "I will give him the morning star"(Revelation 2:28). There are many stars, some brighter and more glorious than the others (1Corinthians 15:41), however the star of earth's own solar system, the sun, is so glorious when it rises in the morning, that all other lights in the sky fade before it. Every rising of Earth's morning star, every dawning of a new day, reminds us that Jesus is our light who shines in the darkness, and the darkness flees from his presence. We thank Jesus for giving us this light from himself.