Origins of Sin, Evil, and Satan
What About Isaiah 14:12?
Isaiah 14:12-14 – 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! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most high. (KJV)
Many believe that Isaiah 14:12 is referring to Satan when it mentions Lucifer. They use this verse to prove that Satan was a perfect archangel that turned evil and fell from heaven. However, they ignore the context of the verse. Let’s look at the verses before:
Isaiah 14:4 – That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! (KJV)
Isaiah 14:10-11 – All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. (KJV)
From verse 4 we see that God is talking about the king of Babylon. Verse 11 says he was but in the grave with worms, but Satan did not die, nor was he put in the grave, and worms can’t hurt him because he is spiritual. Why would verses 4-11 be talking about the king of Babylon, but verse 12 suddenly switch to Satan? If it is not Satan, where does this word Lucifer come from in the King James Version? Here’s what Strong’s Concordance says:
Lucifer (lu’sif-ur) – occurs 1 time in 1 verse in the KJV, Hebrew word used is heylel, Title applied to king of Babylon
So even Strong’s Concordance says that Lucifer is NOT Satan, but the king of Babylon. The Hebrew word used is heylel. Although Heylel is only used one time in the Bible, the root word halal is used 165 times. What is the actual meaning of halal? “Halal” is translated as follows in the KJV:
117 times = Praise
14 times = Glory
10 times = Boast
8 times = Mad
3 times = Shine(d)
3 times = Foolish
2 times = Fools
2 times = Commended
2 times = Rage
1 time = Celebrate
1 time = Give
1 time = Marriage
1 time = Renowned
In Isaiah 14:13-14 the person in question is boasting. Boasting is the third most common usage of the word “Halal” This makes much more sense than Satan. So why does the King James version translate Heylal into Lucifer?
The King James version was written from 1604 – 1611 by the Church of England. However, they did not translate it from the original Hebrew and Greek. They translated it from Jerome’s Latin Vulgate who translated the Bible into Latin in the early 5th century. To make it worse, most of today’s English translations are all from the King James version, so there are a lot of mistranslations. One of the most accurate English translations is Young’s Literal translation published in 1862 by Robert Young, which you can find online for free at Bible Gateway, or buy on Amazon. Another is the Concordant Literal Old and New Testaments published in 1983, which you can order here. These translations are strict literal translations of the original Hebrew and Greek texts, however, even they have some errors.
Lucifer comes from the 2 Latin words Lux and ferrous. Lux means light and ferrous means to bear or carry. Thus, Lucifer actually means light-bearer or light-bringer, NOT Satan. So instead of translating heylel, the King James translators just decided to leave the Latin name Lucifer, as it was written in Jerome’s Latin Vulgate. So what do other translations say?
Isaiah 14:12 – How you are fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! (NIV)
Isaiah 14:12 – How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn (NRSV)
Isaiah 14:12 – How you have fallen from the heavens! Howl, son of the dawn! You are hacked down to the earth, defeater of all nations. (Concordant Literal Translation Old Testament)
Isaiah 14:12 – How hast thou fallen from the heavens, O shinning one, son of the dawn! Thou has been cut down to earth, O weaker of nations. (YLT)
All of these translations translate Lucifer into dawn. This is the correct meaning. Remember that in the entire King James Bible, this is the only verse Lucifer appears in. So without it, the Bible never says that Satan was a fallen archangel, but that God created him, and he was evil from the beginning. (Gen 3:1, 1 John 3:8)
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