Explaining “Lucifer” in the Bible

This post is going to explain what the name “Lucifer” means in the Bible. But there is a long answer and a short answer to this question. I’ll give the “Short Answer” first.

The Short Answer to what “Lucifer” Means

The word “Lucifer” is not a name. It is the Latin phrase for “light-bearing,” or “light-bringing,” and it is often used to refer to Venus, which is the brightest star in the sky when it appears in the morning. The word does not appear in the text of scripture (which was originally written in Hebrew, not Latin), and instead, it appears in works of ancient Latin writers like T. Lucretius Carus, Ovid, and Ciciero.

The first place it appears is in the Vulgate, which was the Latin translation of the Old Testament Hebrew. The Vulgate at Isaiah 14:12 says:

quomodo cecidisti de caelo lucifer qui mane oriebaris corruisti in terram qui vulnerabas gentes

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, who didst rise in the morning? how art thou fallen to the earth, that didst wound the nations?
(Isaiah 14:12, Vulgate with English Translation)

And it then first appeared in an English Bible (that I can find) with the 1599 Geneva Bible, with the following footnote:

How art thou fallen from heaven, O [footnote: Thou that thoughtest thyself most glorious, and as it were placed in the heaven: for the morning star that goeth before the sun, is called Lucifer, to whom Nebuchadnezzar is compared.] Lucifer, son of the morning? and cut down to the ground, which didst cast lots upon the nations? (Isaiah 14:12, 1599 Geneva Bible)

And it’s the good ol’ KJV that really put it into our modern-day common-parlance.

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! (Isaiah 14:12, KJV)

These days, however, you’ll mostly see this Hebrew word helel (הֵילֵל) translated as “morning star” or “day-star”:

How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, that didst lay low the nations! (Isaiah 14:12, ASV)

How you have fallen from heaven,
    morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
    you who once laid low the nations!
(Isaiah 14:12, NIV)

How you are fallen from heaven,
    O Day Star, son of Dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground,
    you who laid the nations low!
(Isaiah 14:12, ESV)

So, that’s the short answer of what “Lucifer” means. That’s not Satan’s name, and “Satan” is just a word that means “the accuser.” The real “name” of Satan is actually “Rahab” in the Bible, but that’s a longer story. Instead, let’s just keep things simple and say that “Lucifer” is just a metaphorical description of Satan that appears once in the Bible.

The Long Answer to what “Lucifer” Means

Now it’s time for the “Long Answer.”

Contrary to popular belief, the Bible is not a “simple” book, even though the basics can be understood quite simply. The basics of the Bible are quite simple, but the Bible itself is a WILDLY COMPLEX and layered book. No matter how many times you read it, there is always something else to find. This long answer is one of those “new things” I found.

So, in that vein, note that the “Long Answer” requires me to explain another phrase, and I promise it will be relevant. We need to first talk about “the North” in the Bible.

“The North,” “The Far North,” and “The Far Reaches of North” in the Bible

When you read a phrase like “North” or “The far reaches of the North” in your bible, you probably think it just means “north” in the same way you and I mean “north.” Most of the time, that is true. But in three places (including the place where “Lucifer” appears in the Bible) this is definitely NOT true. That is why we need to cover it.

To understand what I am talking about, look at these places where “the North” is used in a strange way. The first instance comes from the speech of Elihu in the book of Job, where he describes the location of God Almighty:

Out of the north comes golden splendor; God is clothed with awesome majesty. The Almighty–we cannot find him; he is great in power; justice and abundant righteousness he will not violate. (Job 37:22-23)

Next, we see the strange appearance of Jerusalem being in “the North,” even though it is obviously not in “the North” in any significant geographical sense. In fact, Jerusalem is actually pretty far “south” when it comes to the nation of Israel:

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised
    in the city of our God!
His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation,
    is the joy of all the earth,
Mount Zion, in the far north,
    the city of the great King.

Within her citadels God
    has made himself known as a fortress.
(Psalm 48:1-3)

Finally, we also see “the North” in Isaiah’s cryptic description, which is where “Lucifer” or “Day Star” appears in the Bible:

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 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.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit. (Isaiah 14:12-15)

So, what exactly does this mean? Well, the answer is simple, but not at all intuitive to a modern reader. Let’s start with the first passage in Job.

Explaining “The North,” Part 1

So, with that in mind, look back at our Bible verses, taking the first one in Job:

Out of the north comes golden splendor; God is clothed with awesome majesty. The Almighty–we cannot find him; he is great in power; justice and abundant righteousness he will not violate. (Job 37:22-23)

Here, Elihu is giving a location of where God is. He is in the heavens, in a place (“the north”). Now, why does he say this? Well, Elihu notes that we cannot see God, but nevertheless, he comes from “the North.” Why? Well, to understand this, you need to understand how the ancient mind saw “heaven.”

For Elihu and Job and ALL of the ancients, God is quite literally “IN HEAVEN,” and this is not some imaginary place you go when you die. Instead, “heaven” is quite literally “up there.” This is why we see the following descriptions of the location of the Lord:

Thus says the Lord:
“Heaven is my throne,
    and the earth is my footstool;

what is the house that you would build for me,
    and what is the place of my rest?
(Isaiah 66:1)

Do you not know? Do you not hear?
    Has it not been told you from the beginning?
    Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
    and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
    and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;

who brings princes to nothing,
    and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.
. . .
To whom then will you compare me,
    that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high and see:
    who created these?

He who brings out their host by number,
    calling them all by name;
by the greatness of his might
    and because he is strong in power,
    not one is missing.
(Isaiah 40:21-23, 25-26)

I could go further on this, but I won’t spoil it until later. For now, we just need to keep in mind that God is LITERALLY “in heaven” and the location where God is in those “heavens” that you can actually see is “the North.”

Explaining “The North” Part 2

Next, we can explain the appearance of “the North” in the Psalms. But this isn’t the location of God. This is the location of Jerusalem:

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised
    in the city of our God!
His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation,
    is the joy of all the earth,

Mount Zion, in the far north,
    the city of the great King.

Within her citadels God
    has made himself known as a fortress.
(Psalm 48:1-3)

This is strange. Jerusalem IS NOT in the North. Instead, Jerusalem is pretty far south of many different locations that David would have known about. But we can see what is going on here when you realize that a mountain is a place where QUITE LITERALLY, “the heavens” meet the Earth. Where did Elihu in the book of Job say God was in the heavens? He was in “the North.” But where has God placed himself in the days of Israel? In Jerusalem.

For this reason, we get a seemingly non-sensical understanding that Jerusalem is “in the far north.” Why is Jerusalem in the north?

JERUSALEM IS IN THE NORTH BECAUSE GOD IS IN THE NORTH AND GOD IS IN JERUSALEM

Do you get it?

This is going to seem totally nonsensical to you, but just stay with me. This makes TOTAL SENSE to someone in the ancient world, and I will explain why in the next section.

But first, let’s just cover the fact that this logic was VERY REAL to people until the end of the middle ages. As we discussed before, a mountain is where heaven meets earth, and Jerusalem is where God is on Earth, and we know that God is in heaven and in “the north.” Therefore, Jerusalem was seen QUITE LITERALLY (if you take a supernatural view of the cosmos) as a place that corresponded to “the north.”

This supernatural understanding of cosmic space is preserved in some old pictures, especially in medieval drawings where Jerusalem was drawn QUITE LITERALLY as the center of the world, and the center of the universe, at that:

And here’s another one:

This understanding was also made clear in Dante’s view of the “location” of Jerusalem as the tip of the world:

Let’s concentrate on Dante for a minute, because it seems to be upside-down. To understand what is going on, you must understand that the entire “Divine Comedy” of Dante has the characters constantly climbing into heaven in three phrases. First, there is “the Inferno” (which is Hell), then there is “Purgatorio” which is a mountain on earth that reaches into the heavens. Then, they literally ascend into the heavenly places, and the book ends by seeing God.

But in Dante’s telling, the mountain of Purgatory, which reaches into the heavens, is explicitly on the southern hemisphere of the Earth, which the medieval world had never seen before, because the age of exploration had not come yet. This is why when Dante emerges from Hell on the other side of the Earth he says this:

To the right hand I turned, and fixed my mind
Upon the other pole, and saw four stars
Ne’er seen before save by the primal people

Rejoicing in their flamelets seemed the heaven.
O thou septentrional and widowed site,
Because thou art deprived of seeing these!

If you, like me, did not know what the word “septentrional” means, you should know that it means “pertaining to the north.” As such, Dante is writing of seeing four extremely bright stars that are visible in the Southern Hemisphere. This is probably a reference to the four bright stars in the Centaur constellation, the four southern-most stars listed by Ptolemy in his work “the Almagest,” visible from Southern Arabia and Egypt, but not from Europe. The following picture is a simulation of the view of the southern sky in Oman.

That would be Rigil Centauri (aka, Alpha Centauri), Hadar, Mimosa, and Acrux. If you ever go on vacation to the tropics, go out at night and see them, because Dante is not lying when he says they’re impressive.

But anyway, we need to get back to the subject at hand. Dante (who wrote in the 1400s) is quite unique and different than the Bible in that he switches things up. But he does make the case that “Jerusalem” is a place that corresponds to the heavenly realm, and that it corresponded in a special way to the heavenly realm.

What you need to do is understand that this was A TOTALLY NORMAL WAY TO THINK until recent centuries.

A Short Detour into Astronomy

Okay, now, we need to put this all together, and when you see it, it will just “click.” So, let’s take a detour into astronomy. Notice what happens in the North in “the heavens” with this video:

Do you see it? Because Polaris is above the Earth’s north pole, all of the stars appear to go around that star, which is at the celestial north pole. But the Bible does not call this place the “celestial north pole.” But the Bible DOES refer to this point. It does it by referring to the place ABOVE the northern-most place on earth.

But here’s the fact you need to know that is LITERALLY TRUE about the celestial north pole:

THE NORTH IS THE PLACE AROUND WHICH EVERYTHING IN HEAVEN REVOLVES

This is going to be the key in understanding the last place in the Old Testament when “the North” is used, and it will connect quite well with “Lucifer” and Satan.

Explaining “The North” Part 3

This brings us to the final place where “the North” is mentioned in the Bible:

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 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.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit. (Isaiah 14:12-15)

Those who are up on their historical Bible-reading know that this is where we get the name “Lucifer.” As the King James Version says:

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! (Isaiah 14:12, KJV)

You see, this “Day Star” says in his heart that he will ascend to heaven, above the stars, and sit on the mount of assembly “in the far reaches of the north.” As you likely already know, this “Day Star” is Satan. But that “Lucifer” thing isn’t a name for Satan. It’s just a description. So let’s stick to the description.

This passage says that Satan is going to go to “the North” where God is. However, as the passage in Job showed, “the North” is where God is located. It also seems to correspond to Jerusalem. Do you see what this means?

THIS IS A PASSAGE THAT SAYS THAT SATAN IS CHALLENGING GOD’S RULE IN HEAVEN.

Remember what we learned about “the North” and “the far North.” This is where GOD IS LOCATED. Why?

BECAUSE LITERALLY EVERYTHING IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH REVOLVES AROUND GOD.

But in this passage, Satan is trying to put HIMSELF in that position. And in response, he is cast extremely far down.

So, What Does “Lucifer” or “Day-Star” Mean?

Now that we’ve covered “the North,” we are now going to cover what “Lucifer” means. And here, things are going to get a bit technical, because there is A LOT packed into this account in Isaiah 14 where “Lucifer” is mentioned. The first thing we need to notice is WHO this passage about “Lucifer” or the “Day Star” is referring to:

When the Lord has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:

“How the oppressor has ceased,
    the insolent fury ceased!
The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked,
    the scepter of rulers,
that struck the peoples in wrath
    with unceasing blows,
that ruled the nations in anger
    with unrelenting persecution.
The whole earth is at rest and quiet;
    they break forth into singing.
The cypresses rejoice at you,
    the cedars of Lebanon, saying,
‘Since you were laid low,
    no woodcutter comes up against us.’
Sheol beneath is stirred up
    to meet you when you come;
it rouses the shades to greet you,
    all who were leaders of the earth;
it raises from their thrones
    all who were kings of the nations.
All of them will answer
    and say to you:
‘You too have become as weak as we!
    You have become like us!’
Your pomp is brought down to Sheol,
    the sound of your harps;
maggots are laid as a bed beneath you,
    and worms are your covers (Isaiah 14:3-11)

That’s strange. This passage is supposed to be about the devil, but it is delivered TO the king OF BABYLON.

Why is that happening? Well, the answer is that the kingdom of Babylon will (after Isaiah writes) utterly destroy Jerusalem, destroy the temple, and overcome Israel. And as we read before, Jerusalem is in “the far North” because God is in the north and God is in Jerusalem. But here’s the key:

THE PASSAGE IN ISAIAH IS MAKING A DELIBERATE CONNECTION BETWEEN WHAT WILL HAPPEN ON EARTH IN THE FUTURE AND WHAT DID HAPPEN IN HEAVEN IN THE PAST.

In other words, this is a future taunt against the king of Babylon. And this taunt involves some astrological terminology. This is important, and entirely appropriate for a taunt of this nature, because Babylon was the birthplace of astrology (of which Israel was well aware), because they often went astray by looking to it (see Amos 5:26, Jeremiah 7:18, Jeremiah 44:17-19). And therefore, this taunt against the king of Babylon is doing two things in a very complex manner.

  • First, it is predicting the future concerning the capture of Jerusalem by Babylon in 586 BC.
  • Second, it is analogizing the capture of Jerusalem by Babylon with the rebellion of Satan against God.
  • Finally, it is describing the past downfall of Satan and the future downfall of Babylon with a heavy dose of astrologically infused language.

Therefore, we need to talk about astrology to understand what is going on when Isaiah refers to this “Day Star,” and “Son of Dawn” and “Lucifer” thing.

How Isaiah Uses an Astrological Metaphor in the Taunt Against Babylon

So, now we know the original Hebrew word means something like a bright star that shines in the morning. But what is the significance of that? The short version of what this means is that it refers to a very “influential” person. But to understand WHY it means that, we need to cover some basic concepts in ancient astrology.

Basic Concepts in Ancient Astrology

The nation of Israel was not supposed to inquire of astrology, because that activity was only for other nations (see Deuteronomy 4:19). But Israel certainly knew what astrology was, and Babylon was VERY into the whole astrology thing. Around the time Isaiah was being written (740-686 BC), this is when the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal was building his great library in Nineveh, which included many astrological texts.

Now, I’m no expert at reading Akkadian, but every astrologer was always looking BACK to the ancients to figure out what was really going on. The Roman Cicero actually describes the origin of astrology in this way:

Now I am aware of no people, however refined and learned or however savage and ignorant, which does not think that signs are given of future events, and that certain persons can recognize those signs and foretell events before they occur. First of all — to seek authority from the most distant sources — the Assyrians, on account of the vast plains inhabited by them, and because of the open and unobstructed view of the heavens presented to them on every side, took observations of the paths and movements of the stars, and, having made note of them, transmitted to posterity what significance they had for each person. And in that same nation the Chaldeans — a name which they derived not from their art but their race [Note: Cicero says this because by this time in the 1st century BC, “Chaldean” had changes from the name for a race of people to people who study the stars] — have, it is thought, by means of long-continued observation of the constellations, perfected a science which enables them to foretell what any man’s lot will be and for what fate he was born. The same art is believed to have been acquired also by the Egyptians through a remote past extending over almost countless ages. (Cicero, On Divination, Book 1)

Pliny the Elder, the author of “Natural History,” which is like a Roman Encyclopedia, makes the case that the magic art includes astrology and that it began in Persia. Therefore, when the Greeks and Romans write about astrology, they’re writing about the same thing that the Babylonians were writing about.

For that reason, I am going to quote the second century astronomer and astrologer, Claudius Ptolemy, to explore the basic rules of astrology, because his short book is a relatively understandable overview. His work is called “Tetrabiblos,” which means “the four books.” After giving basic descriptions of the type of influence that the planets and stars have on earth, he gives the following general description of how the heavens influence the earth. Here is what he says:

From all this then, it is easy to see that the quality of each of the stars must be examined with reference both to its own natural character and that also of the signs that include it, or likewise from the character of its aspects to the sun and the angles, in the manner in which we have explained. Their power must be determined, in the first place, from the fact that they are either oriental and adding to their proper motion — for then they are most powerful — or occidental and diminishing in speed, for then their energy is weaker. Second, it is to be determined from their position when they are in mid-heaven or approaching it, and second when they are exactly on the horizon or in the succedent place; their power is greater when they are in the orient, and less when they culminate beneath the earth or are in some other aspect to the orient; if they bear no aspect at all to the orient they are entirely powerless. (Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, Book 1, Chapter 24)

In other words, he makes the simple claim that the heavens rain down influence on the earth. And they mainly do it through the arrangement of their positions in the Zodiac. As I have shared in other posts, the Sun, Moon, and planets all appear in a single band in the sky which covers twelve constellations called “the Zodiac”:

So that is the basic part of the sky that Ptolemy is describing.

But things get difficult when Ptolemy starts describing HOW this influence changes depending on the position in the sky. He uses two strange words: “Occidental” (generally, associated with the West) and “Oriental” (generally, associated with the East). But this is a HIGHLY TECHNICAL understanding of Occidental and Oriental, and it is NOT merely where the planets are located in the sky. It is about where these planets are IN RELATION TO THE SUN.

This picture explains what I mean:

This is a diagram of the position of the Sun at midday. The viewer would be looking South. The planets orbit around the Sun, and if a planet like Mercury or Venus is going around the Sun, it will only appear in one of two places. It can be occidental and to the “left” of the Sun or it can be oriental and to the “right” of the Sun.

But no one ever says “left” and “right” because if you were to try to see the diagram above in real life, this would be impossible. At this point in the day, the planets are invisible because the Sun is blocking them out. The only time the location matters is when the sun falls beneath the horizon. When that happens, occidental stars are visible in the evening after sundown:

Meanwhile, an oriental planet will be visible in the morning before sunrise:

So with that in mind, let’s state clearly what Ptolemy is saying. He is saying:

“Oriental” stars are more powerful (that is, they have more influence on Earth) than occidental stars, because they are “adding to their proper motion.”

That “adding to their proper motion” is a fancy way of describing the additional “movement” the planets have against the background stars). The most well-known example of when a planet is NOT doing this is Mercury, which is often seen “in retrograde,” meaning that it seems to move backwards against the background stars. This gets really complicated, because Ptolemy did not think of “orbits,” and he was only thinking of spheres and epicycles. This is way too complicated for me to break down here, but just get this following basic point:

STARS THAT ARE “TO THE RIGHT” OF THE SUN ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN STARS THAT ARE “TO THE LEFT” OF THE SUN.

Next, Ptolemy talks about the influence of planets as it relates to their ACTUAL position in the sky:

Second, it is to be determined from their position when they are in mid-heaven or approaching it, and second when they are exactly on the horizon or in the succedent place; their power is greater when they are in the orient, and less when they culminate beneath the earth or are in some other aspect to the orient; if they bear no aspect at all to the orient they are entirely powerless.

This basically means that stars that are rising over the horizon are more powerful than stars that are falling away from the midheaven. (If you’re wondering what “midheaven” is, that is the place directly above you, or – as it concerns the Zodiac – the place directly to the South (assuming you’re not in the tropics or in the southern hemisphere), where the Zodiac is at its highest point in the sky.

When you add all of this together, you get the following basic rule of thumb about the influence of stars in relation to the earth:

This understanding of “how things work” would have been just as “normal” to Isaiah as “the theory of evolution” is “normal” to an evangelical Christian today.

And just so you know how this actually worked, I’ll finish with this. To simplify all this complicated information, astrologers from ancient times have created a system to display the locations of ALL the stars and planets on the ecliptic both in the sky and below the earth. You have probably seen this diagram as a “birth chart.” As an example, here is a birth chart of Prince Charles from the internet:

Birth chart of Prince Charles - Astrology horoscope

Despite all the funny symbols, the information being shown on the edges is simple astronomical data. The lines in the middle are the astrological mumbo-jumbo. In essence, each planet has a symbol. The Moon looks like a crescent moon (located at about 12:00) and the Sun is that red circle with a dot in it (located at about 5:00). The “ASC” at the left is the eastern horizon, and the “DSC” at the right is the western horizon. The MC at the top is the “midheaven.” At this time, due to the rotation of the Earth, Leo is rising over the horizon to the East, and Aquarius is falling beneath the horizon to the West. Everything below that horizontal line stretching from ASC to DSC is below the earth to an observer. Everything above the horizontal line is in the sky. Therefore, we can see that this chart shows the sky at night (because the Sun is below the earth) and the moon is in a gibbous phase (because it is just off of 180 degrees away from the Sun). It is also either in the month of October or November, because the Sun is in Scorpio.

And just to prove it to you, here is a picture (with the view distorted into a fish-eye with the Earth removed) allowing you to see the position of the stars on Prince Charles’s birthday, at 11:00pm on November 24, 1948:

So, hopefully, that gives you an idea of what “astrology” is showing when it talks about those positions on a birth chart.

The Astrological Metaphor and Description in Isaiah 14

Now that you understand the basic concepts of astrology, you can understand how it relates to the passage in Isaiah. We know that stars GROW in their influence as they rise and FALL in their influence when they set. When the stars are below the earth, they have no power (unless some other rule of astrology kicks in).

Explaining “Lucifer” the “Son of the Dawn”

Think about what this means regarding “Lucifer,” a “son of the dawn.” This is a description of a star that is “oriental” and visible in the morning. This means it has a STRONG influence on the Earth. But that’s not all it says. We see this “son of the Dawn” is a DAY STAR. What is that?

This is a description of a star that does something unnatural. Rather than disappearing in the Sun’s light, as is proper, this star CONTINUES to be visible. It is a star visible in the day.

Here’s what this means in relation to Satan:

LUCIFER WAS A HEAVENLY BODY THAT IS EXERCISING STRONG AND UNNATURAL INFLUENCE OVER THE EARTH

But it goes further, the implication of a morning star that continues to be visible after the day dawns is that this star is moving towards the Midheaven, which is the MOST POWERFUL and MOST INFLUENTIAL place in the sky. In the context of Isaiah 14, this astrological concept was being applied TO SATAN.

But it goes further, because Satan is not only trying to influence the Earth, he is also trying to influence heaven. That is why we see the following description of what Satan is saying in his heart:

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.’

In other words, this “day star” is not merely a “day star.” This is where the meaning of “the far reaches of the north” is so important. This is what it means:

SATAN WAS TRYING TO ASCEND TO A PLACE WHERE EVERYTHING IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH REVOLVES AROUND HIM.

We can see that this is a reference to the rebellion of Satan, which happened in the Garden of Eden, and after that happened, God cursed him and threw him down to the Earth:

The Lord God said to the serpent,

Because you have done this,
    cursed are you above all livestock
    and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
    and dust you shall eat
    all the days of your life.

I will put enmity between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
    and you shall bruise his heel.”
(Genesis 3:14-15)

In other words, this being — the “serpent” — was more shrewd, crafty, and intelligent than any of the beasts of the field that God had made, even though he himself was NOT a mere “beast of the field” (because, you know, he can TALK). Also, this serpent not made out of dust like man. Instead, the serpent and Satan is one of the “elohim” in heaven. This is why the Bible says this about Satan:

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)

And because of Satan’s bad actions, God says that the serpent is “cursed above all the beasts of the field.” And to be “cursed above” is basically saying that Satan will be “put below” all of the beasts of the field who are on Earth.

That is why Satan will “eat dust,” not because snakes now lose their legs and crawl, but because this heavenly being will now have to live on Earth. This is reflected in the passage in Isaiah, as well:

But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.

In other words, he was removed from heaven, and thrown down to the Earth. Not merely to Earth, but BELOW the Earth, which is “the pit” or “Sheol.”

And this event is not only described in Genesis and in Genesis, but also by Jesus Christ:

And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. (Luke 10:18)

And this is also described in Revelation, as well:

Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” (Revelation 12:7-12)

From all of this, it is clear that the physical (or spiritual?) location of Satan changed from “heaven” to “the earth.”

But wait a minute… …we were talking about astrological principles related to the passage in Isaiah and “Lucifer” and the “Day Star,” not the location of Satan in other parts of the Bible, but wait… what were those rules of heavenly influence on earth again?

So the new location of Satan JUST SO HAPPENS to be the place where the “influence” of the stars in heaven on the earth is reduced? That’s right. It’s BENEATH THE EARTH, or “in Sheol.” Read that passage again:

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 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.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit. (Isaiah 14:12-15)

Get it?

Conclusion

So THAT’S what “Lucifer” means, and why Isaiah decided to use that very strange metaphor for Satan. It is a tale of a heavenly being that tries to exercise too much influence, so God throws him down into the grave. It is an “astrological” metaphor used to taunt the king of Babylon, which was the astrological capital of the world, because God knows how to thrown good verbal-jabs.

Hope you found this helpful!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. May I ask; what platform/site do you use to publish your blog? I like the theme you’ve chosen where the featured image for a blog is static on one side of the page while the blog itself occupies the other. I haven’t found a way to do this on my platform — WordPress.

    1. The Jones says:

      It’s a WordPress site.

  2. A lengthy and enjoyable read. ‘How the mighty have fallen’ is apt and a possible reference for the explanation about Satan. The ancient view that Jerusalem was at the pinnacle of the earth is an understandable world view (pardon the pun) to those with a lack of geographical knowledge. In the same way they spoke of a world flood – which actually likely only affected certain countries and not the catastrophic global flood some believe it to have been.

    I would be interested to hear your views on Noah’s flood!

Leave a Reply to The Jones Cancel reply