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I am watching a neat program on The History Channel about decoding certain items within the framework of our nation’s history. Some very interesting information!

This one episode was investigating the origins, and hidden meanings of the Statue of Liberty. One of the Frenchmen involved with the original design and engineering referred to Lady Liberty as a “Lucifer.” This created a good deal of consternation amongst the modern day investigators until they learned the history of Lucifer.

THE HISTORY OF LUCIFER…

“How art thou fallen from heaven

O day-star, son of the morning! (Helel ben Shahar)

How art thou cast down to the ground,

That didst cast lots over the nations!

And thou saidst in thy heart:

‘I will ascend into heaven,

Above the stars of God (El)

Will I exalt my throne;

And I will sit upon the mount of meeting,

In the uttermost parts of the north;

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;

I will be like the Most High (Elyon).’

Yet thou shalt be brought dow to the nether-world,

To the uttermost parts of the pit.”

– Isaiah 14:12-15

This is the only passage in the bible that mentions Lucifer. In Christian tradition, this passage is proof for the fall of Lucifer.

However, it is more probable that this passage is an allusion to a Canaantie or Phoenician myth about how Helel, son of the god Shahar, sought the throne of the chief god and was cast down into the abyss because of this. Evidence for this theory comes from an Ugaritic poem about two divine children, Shachar (dawn) and Shalim (dusk), who were born as the result of the intercourse of the god El with mortal women. That would make El, Elyon, and Shahar members of the Canaanite pantheon and the “mount of meeting” is the abode of the gods, which corresponds to Mount Olympus in Greek mythology. Unfortunately, this is just speculation as archaeologists have not uncovered any Canaanite sources that describe Helel ben Shahar or a revolt against Elyon.

Many Apocalyptic writers interpreted this passage as referring to Lucifer, and wrote about the fall of the angels. 1 Enoch refers to the falling angels as stars (see the watchers) and may be the beginning of the overlap between the story of the watchers and Isaiah.

Lucifer is a name that in English generally refers to the devil. In Latin, from which the English word is derived, Lucifer means “light-bearer” (from the wordslucem ferre). It was the name given to the dawn appearance of the planet Venus, which heralds daylight. For this meaning, English generally uses the names “Morning Star” or “Day Star”, and rarely “Lucifer”.

The New Testament does not name the devil as Lucifer. Use of this name in reference to a fallen angel stems from an interpretation of Isaiah 4:3-20, a passage that speaks of a particular Babylonian King, to whom it gives a title that refers to what in English is called the Day Star or Morning Star (in Latin,lucifer), as fallen or destined to fall from the heavens or sky. In 2 Peter 1:19 and elsewhere, the same Latin word lucifer is used to refer to the Morning Star, with no relation to the devil. However, in post-New Testament times, the Latin word Lucifer has often been used as a name for the devil, both in religious writing and in fiction, especially when referring to him prior to his fall from Heaven.

The Lucifer story

A myth of the fall of angels, associated with the Morning Star, was transferred to Satan, as seen in the Life of Adam and Eve and the Second Book of Enoch, which the Jewish Encyclopedia attributes to the first pre-Christian century: in these Satan-Sataniel (sometimes identified with Samael) is described as having been one of the archangels. Because he contrived “to make his throne higher than the clouds over the earth and resemble ‘My power’ on high”, Satan-Sataniel was hurled down, with his hosts of angels, and since then, he has been flying in the air continually above the abyss.


Gustave Doré‘s illustration for Milton’s Paradise Lost, Book IV, lines 1013–1015: Satan (alias Lucifer) yielding before Gabriel

Early Christian writers continued this identification of “Lucifer” with Satan. Tertullian (“Contra Marcionem,” v. 11, 17), Origen (Homilies on Ezekiel 13), and others, identify Lucifer with Satan, who also is represented as being “cast down from heaven” (Revelation 12:7–10; cf. Luke 10:18).

But today some contemporary exorcists and theologians, such as Father José Antonio Fortea and Father Amorth, asserted that Lucifer and Satan are different beings.

In the New Testament the Adversary has many names, but “Lucifer” is not among them. He is called “Satan” (Matt. 4:10; Mark 1:13, 4:15; Luke 10:18), “devil” (Matt. 4:1), “adversary” (1. Peter 5:8, ἀντίδικος; 1. Tim. 5:14, ἀντικείμενος), “enemy” (Matt. 13:39), “accuser” (Rev. 12:10), “old serpent” (Rev. 20:2), “great dragon” (Rev. 12:9), Beelzebub (Matt. 10:25, 12:24), and Belial (comp. Samael). In Luke 10:18, John 12:31, 2. Cor. 6:16, and Rev. 12:9 the fall of Satan is mentioned. The devil is regarded as the author of all evil (Luke 10:19; Acts 5:3; 2. Cor. 11:3; Ephes. 2:2), who beguiled Eve (2. Cor. 11:3; Rev. 12:9). Because of Satan, death came into this world, being ever the tempter (1. Cor. 7:5; 1. Thess. 3:5; 1. Peter 5:8), even as he tempted Jesus (Matt. 4). The Christian demonology and belief in the devil dominated subsequent periods. However, though the New Testament includes the conception that Satan fell from heaven “as lightning” (Luke 10:18; Rev. 12:7-10), it nowhere applies the name Lucifer to him.

The Jewish Encyclopedia states that in the apocalyptic literature, the conception of fallen angels is widespread. Throughout antiquity, stars were commonly regarded as living celestial beings (Job 38:7). Indications of belief in fallen angels, behind which probably lies the symbolizing of shooting stars, an astronomical phenomenon, are found in Isaiah 14:12.

The Morning Star in Isaiah 14:12

The Book of Isaiah has the following passage:

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! How his insolence has ceased! … 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; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit on the mount of congregation on the heights of Zaphon; I will ascend to the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the Pit. Those who see you will stare at you, and ponder over you: “Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, who would not let his prisoners go home?

The passage refers to the king of Babylon, a man who seemed all-powerful, but who has been brought down to the abode of the dead (“Sheol“). Isaiah promises that the Israelites will be freed and will then be able to use in a taunting song against their oppressor the image of the Morning Star, which rises at dawn as the brightest of the stars, outshining Jupiter and Saturn, but lasting only until the sun appears. This image was used in an old popular Canaanite story that the Morning Star tried to rise high above the clouds and establish himself on the mountain where the gods assembled, in the far north, but was cast down into the underworld.

The phrase “O Day Star, son of Dawn” in the New Revised Standard Version translation given above corresponds to the Hebrew phrase “הילל בן־שׁחר” (Helel Ben-Shachar) in verse 12, meaning “morning star, son of dawn”. As the Latin poets personified the Morning Star and the Dawn (Aurora), as well as the Sun and the Moon and other heavenly bodies, so in Canaanite mythology Morning Star and Dawn were pictured as two deities, the former being the son of the latter.

In the Latin Vulgate, Jerome translated “הילל בן־שׁחר” (morning star, son of dawn) as “lucifer qui mane oriebaris” (morning star that used to rise early). Already, as early as the Christian writers Tertullian andOrigen, the whole passage had come to be applied to Satan. Satan began to be referred to as “Lucifer” (Morning Star), and finally the word “Lucifer” was treated as a proper name. The use of the word “Lucifer” in the 1611 King James Version instead of a word such as “Daystar” ensured its continued popularity among English speakers.

Most modern English versions (including the NIV, NRSV, NASB, NJB and ESV) render the Hebrew word as “day star”, “morning star” or something similar, and never as “Lucifer”, a word that in English is now very rarely used in the sense of the original word in Hebrew (Morning Star), though in Latin “Lucifer” was a literal translation.

A passage quite similar to that in Isaiah is found in Ezekiel 28:1–19, which is expressly directed against the king of Tyre, a city on an island that had grown rich by trade, factors alluded to in the text. In Christian tradition, it too has been applied to Lucifer, because of some of the expressions contained in it. But, since it does not contain the image of the Morning Star, discussion of it belongs rather to the article on Satan than to that on Lucifer.


Lucifer (Le génie du mal) byGuillaume Geefs (Cathedral of St. Paul,Liège, Belgium)

The same holds for the Christian depiction of Satan in other books of the Old Testament as, for instance, in the Book of Job, where Satan, who has been wandering the Earth, has a discussion with God and makes a deal with him to test Job.

The Tyndale Bible Dictionary states that there are many who believe the expression “Lucifer” and the surrounding context in Isaiah 14 refer to Satan: they believe the similarities among Isaiah 14:12, Luke 10:18, and Revelation 12:7–10 warrant this conclusion. But it points out that the context of the Isaiah passage is about the accomplished defeat of the king of Babylon, while the New Testament passages speak of Satan.

Other readings

Joseph Campbell (1972: pp. 148–149) illustrates an unorthodox Islamic reading of Lucifer’s fall from Heaven, which champions Lucifer’s eclipsing love for God:

One of the most amazing images of love that I know is in Persian – a mystical Persian representation as Satan as the most loyal lover of God. You will have heard the old legend of how, when God created the angels, he commanded them to pay worship to no one but himself; but then, creating man, he commanded them to bow in reverence to this most noble of his works, and Lucifer refused – because, we are told, of his pride. However, according to this Muslim reading of his case, it was rather because he loved and adored God so deeply and intensely that he could not bring himself to bow before anything else, and because he refused to bow down to something inferior to him (since he was made of fire, and man from clay). And it was for that that he was flung into Hell, condemned to exist there for eternity, apart from his love.

This interpretation of the satanic rebellion described in the Quran is seen by some Sufi teachers such as Mansur Al-Hallaj (in his ‘Tawasin’) as a predestined scenario in whichIblisShaitan plays the role of tragic and jealous lover who, unable to perceive the Divine Image in Adam and capable only of seeing the exterior, disobeyed the divine mandate to bow down. His refusal (according to the Tawasin) was due to a misconceived idea of God’s uniqueness and because of his refusal to abandon himself to God in love. Hallaj criticized the staleness of Iblis’ adoration. Excerpts from Sufi texts expounding this interpretation have been included along with many other viewpoints on Shaitan (by no means all of them apologetic) in an important anthology of Sufi texts edited by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, head of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order.

The Sufi teacher Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan taught that ‘Luciferian Light’ is Light that has become dislocated from the Divine Source and is thus associated with the seductive false light of the lower ego, which lures humankind into self-centered delusion. Here Lucifer represents what the Sufis term the ‘Nafs’, the ego.

Latter-Day Saints point of view

The belief that Lucifer is Satan is a core part of Mormon doctrine. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints tradition claims The Book of Mormon was written beginning around 600BC. The author in 600BC, Nephi, claimed to have copied parts of Isaiah in Isaiah’s original words. Roughly one-third of the Book of Isaiah is present in The Book of Mormon, however the verses copied in The Book of Mormon include the Latin mistranslations of Lucifer that are present in the King James version of the Bible.

Another book of LDS canonical scripture, The Doctrine & Covenants, furthers this doctrinal belief when it affirms the doctrine that Lucifer refers to Satan. This doctrine also spread into a third set of LDS scriptures, The Pearl of Great Price, which describes a war in heaven between God and Lucifer.

Cited from:

http://www.deliriumsrealm.com/delirium/articleview.asp?Post=184

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucifer

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