Lucifer and Satan
Are they one and the Same?
It seems to be common knowledge that the name “Lucifer” is another name for Satan. I mean, everybody from preachers to the people that named the T.V. show, of the name “Lucifer,” use the names interchangeably. If so many people use these names for the same entity, they must be correct, right? Can so many people really be wrong?
Well, let’s look at the Bible and what we can find within its pages about Lucifer. For so many people to call the Devil “Lucifer”, it would seem to be a pretty good bit connecting the two. In fact, Lucifer is only mentioned once in the entire Bible! That’s right, once, in Isaiah 14:12. So, it would seem there should be a strong connection, wouldn’t it? Let’s see.
Isaiah wrote in Chapter 14, verse 12, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground which weaken the nations!” If we were to pluck this verse out of the chapter and use it with verses pertaining to Satan, we could make it sound as though the verse is talking about Satan.
Instead of looking at this one verse by itself, we can get its real meaning by reading it in its context. The context, that this verse falls in, starts in vs. 4 and runs through vs. 23. Let’s look through these verses.
Verse 4 – Here Isaiah prophesies about a time when Israel would “take up this proverb against the king of Babylon.” What would Israel do? Take up a proverb? Who would that proverb be against? The king of Babylon. And there we have the subject of this passage of scripture.
What was the proverb? “How hath the oppressor ceased! The golden city ceased!” The people of Israel would be rejoicing over the ending of their oppressor (king of Babylon) and his golden city(Babylon).
Verses 5 & 6 – These two verses go on to talk about how God would put an end to the rule of the kings of Babylon. Verse 7 tells that earth would be at rest, and verse 8 says even the trees would rejoice, saying, “Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us.”
Verses 9 – 11 – These verses paint a very dark and bleak picture for the king of Babylon. Verse 9 says, “Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming,” and that it “stirreth up the dead,” even all the chief ones of the earth.” When God was to pass His judgement on the king of Babylon, the king would be sent to Hell and the people already on hell, even the kings that Babylon had previously oppressed, would be so moved to meet the Babylonian king.
Verse 10 – We see, here, the kings already in hell getting a kind of “ha-ha, in your face!” moment at the expense of the king of Babylon. “Art thou become as weak as we?” The kings are having a “look how the mighty have fallen” moment.
Verse 11 – “Thy pomp is brought down to the grave.” The king’s grand showings to please his vanity would be ended by the grave. By this grave, too, his voice would be silenced, and he would find that he would come to the same end as all other men. As the grave would show no respect to the king or his position, neither would the worms of the grave show respect for the king nor his body. They would cover the king’s body, in his grave, just as any other man’s body will be covered, whether he is rich or poor, ruler or servant.
Verse 12 – Here we come to the main verse of this post. As stated earlier, we could take verse 12 out of the chapter and use with verses from other scripture to make it sound like this verse is talking about Satan. However, when you take this verse in its context, as we have seen so far, the passage has only been focused on the king of Babylon. This remains the same in verse 12.
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” This passage is not talking about a literal fall from heaven. Instead, it is using symbolism, it is an allegory. It is talking about the king of Babylon falling from his lofty, grand, position of preeminence on earth.
“How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” Once it was Babylon that had its way other nations, and ruled over them. Now it is God casting them down and having His way with Babylon. They are to be brought down and made no better than the other nations. In fact, the following verses show Babylon’s future was to be even worse.
Verse 13 – The king of Babylon had plans to ascend into heaven, exalt his throne “above the stars of God,” and “sit upon the mount of the congregation.” We could say he had some lofty goals. Sorry, I couldn’t resist!
Verses 13 – 14 – These verses give us some insight into the king’s mindset. His pride and vanity lead him to think that he would “ascend above the clouds” and “be like the Most High.” Obviously, the king had an overinflated ego. He thought he could put himself on the same level as God.
Verse 15 – Again we see talk of the king of Babylon being brought down to hell. Still, the one constant of this passage is the talk about the king of Babylon. Verses 16 – 20 go on to talk about the king’s humiliation and how the people will look upon him after his downfall.
Verses 21- 23 The last verses of this passage tell us about how God would destroy the lineage of the king, “the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew,” And in Verse 23 is God’s promise to make the land of Babylon a land of desolation. It would become barren, and not again the home of a power, influential kingdom like Babylon.
So, from verse 4 all the way through to verse 23 we see only talk of the king of Babylon. There is no reason to think that, suddenly, Isaiah’s prophecy would turn to talk of Satan in one verse, in the middle of the passage, and then go back to talking about the king of Babylon. What kind of sense would that make? Think of how hard that would make the Bible to follow if that happened in the scriptures!
Again, if we were to take verse 12 out of context, we could make it sound like it is a verse about Satan, but if, and only if, we take out of context. When read in context I don’t think it is easy to see that the name Lucifer was not being used to refer to Satan, but to the king of Babylon.
Please feel free to ask questions, or leave any comments!