A Study in Isaiah
Chapter 14 verse 12
A profound motivation to search out what is said in Isaiah came as a result of a post I had made on Facebook that addressed some of the religious ceremony having to do with the Pope. The video opened with an opus, sung in Latin, apparently had its origins in the book of Isaiah. As the young man sang, the English translation appeared the bottom of the screen. Strangely it said nothing of Lucifer. In the video, made in 2014, the originator of the video asks, “did you notice what he said?” Since I don’t know Latin, I feel like I missed it entirely. He went on to explain that the song began by giving Lucifer an equivalency to God. My impression is that the person posting the video is telling us that the Pope too gives Lucifer that level of distinction as well. The subplot to this is that the Pope, if not the Antichrist, is certainly kicking open the doors as he fulfills scripture about the apostasy.
So, the burning question is: Where is this found in scripture, what is it saying to us, and, does it elevate Satan/Lucifer to the status of God?
Where is this found in scripture?
Without going into great detail at this point, the passage originates in Isaiah 14:12, and, according to the CJB reads like this:
“How did you come to fall from the heavens, morning star, son of the dawn? How did you come to be cut to the ground, conqueror of nations?”
This dive into the Hebrew and associated Strong’s numbers may only confuse you, but I want you to see the KJV w/Strong’s numbers.
Isaiah 14:12 KJV+ HowH349 art thou fallenH5307 from heaven, H4480 H8064 O Lucifer, H1966 son H1121 of the morning! H7837 how art thou cut down H1438 to the ground, H776 which didst weaken H2522 H5921 the nations! H1471
Note how the word Lucifer is attached to the Strong’s number H1966. The word in Hebrew, translated Lucifer by some, is hêylêl, pronounced hay-lale’; and means, (in the sense of brightness); the morning star: – Lucifer.
Isaiah 14:12 also happens to be the only place you will find this word used in scripture.
In the Strong’s we are told that it is from the root word hâlal, pronounced haw-lal’. (Strong’s number H1984). It means to be clear (originally of sound, but usually of color); to shine; hence to make a show; to boast, and thus to be (clamorously) foolish; to rave; causatively to celebrate.
One other thing you should pay attention to, especially if you read this in the KJV. Note how verse twelve points out that “the morning star” (for understanding and liberties sake, we will call him Lucifer), was cut down to the ground. The impact of that was a weakening of the nations.
I have been told that this is the basis for the word hallelujah, and is the root word for praise.
What is the obvious take away from this?
That Lucifer’s origins included praise to God, but that in no way makes this fallen angel an equal with God. We know from scriptures that he was a created being and that deceit was found in him. God certainly did not make him that way, but also given a free will he chose to usurp God’s authority. Satan’s attempt at mutiny got him stripped of his position and thrown to earth. Because we find him walking in the garden we might assume that this was before his fall, but we also find him deceiving the woman, and that would have certainly been after his fall. Through deceit, he wrangled the dominion and power over the earth away from the man (Adam) and, without a doubt, has been weakening the nations ever since.
An acquaintance of mine, with a Masters Degree in Theology, responded unkindly to the video I posted and took it upon himself to chasten me for pointing out the possibility that the Pope is advancing some form of Luciferian worship. This acquaintance also opted to defend the Pope. This attack, in my mind, is not so unlike something my mother might have done when I was under her authority, for mom’s religious background caused her to defend even the worst of people. To help you understand my rant, my definition of mothering is meant to imply any over overstated correction that assumes you don’t have a brain in your head. I believe that when we take on this attitude and mothering role we are not being useful, but judgmental and controlling. Seeing as part of his chastisement toward me was to point out that Isaiah was talking exclusively about an unknown Babylonian king while quoting a well-known mythological tale taken from the surrounding idolatrous nations, let’s pursue that for a moment.
As for the well-known mythological story.
Here is what the IVPBBC says:
“Many interpreters, ancient and modern, see it as a designation of Venus, the morning star. It is this interpretation that was behind the early Greek translation of the term, as well as the Latin Vulgate’s luciferos (shining one, i.e., Venus). Most modern interpreters believe that Isaiah is using a well-known mythological tale as an analogy to the failure and consequences of the king of Babylon’s rebellion and arrogance, but no known literature matches the details of Helel’s rebellion.”
Keep in mind that old challenge, do you jump off the cliff just because everyone else is doing it? The short answer, I hope, would be, not a chance. Why, because you have the ability to make decisions. The Apostle Paul associated this concept with the Bereans who would not merely accept what he said but validated it with the Word of God and were then convinced.
Allow me to apply some of my logic to what the IVPBBC said.
As a part of my Bible study program on my computer, there are 45 commentaries, many of which I have purchased and at least that many translations of the Bible. I could say, that I draw from 45 interpreters of scripture. Some have a use, but I do not agree with everything they say. When I tell people this, and I rarely do, their response is often, why? Here is one good reason. The KJV has issues, but after all these years they are well-known, and this excludes Elizabethan language issues. However, compared to the NIV or ESV which leaves out large blocks of text which diminish the strength of the book, the KJV or NASB seem to hold truer to the character and nature of God, that I have through experience come to understand. Over simplified versions can open the door to conversations that might not happen with the KJV, and I get that. So, the variety of translations give us varied flavors, and that is okay, as long you are getting appropriately fed.
Is it possible that the many interpreters are merely following each other, as they steer those of us who buy into their garbage, astray? Certainly.
As a side note: Pastor John MacArthur, a brilliant man, says, the gifting involved with the Holy Spirit has been done away with. Since I can see the Holy Spirit involved in my life, do you think I am going to buy into Pastor John’s interpretation on this subject? Not a chance.
“ Most modern interpreters believe that Isaiah is using a well-known mythological tale as an analogy.”
You might as well tell me that most people buy into this fresh idea of killing cops as well; especially when it ‘s obvious they don’t. They don’t buy in because most people are sensible, wishing to live quiet lives. I know I am. It is always the squeakiest wheels and a minority that try to push people into the twisted doctrines of life. Since Satan is a deceiver and the passage itself tells us that he weakens the nations, then it is possible that advancing theories like this “ mythological tale” only weaken our resolve and understanding of God.
I have never heard of a mythological Babylonian king named Helel; that does not mean the story does not exist. Though I did not have the chance to read everything written by every author in the world, I did have to read some unusual stories for college, and that was not one of them.
The practical side of this mythological argument is that we use a Bible that was supposed to be inspired by the Holy Ghost as God spoke through men. God was also very implicit in His commands to stay away from the practices and beliefs of the idolatrous nations that surrounded them. Why would Isaiah have stooped so low as to interject some mythological person into prophecy? He would not have, and to have someone suggest that he did irritates me immensely.
“king of Babylon’s rebellion and arrogance,”
While rebellion and arrogance may be okay words to describe some kings, we only know of a few and for the most part, they all seem to stem from Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. When Nebuchadnezzar holds his head a little too high in arrogance, God humbles him and has him grazing like a cow in the grass for seven years. In time we come to consider him a man who understands God.
The one personality who best fits this rebellion and arrogance is Satan, formerly the light bringer.
“ no known literature matches the details of Hele’s rebellion.”
If there is no public research to back your argument, then why promote the case for this being some unknown mythological Babylonian king? And furthermore, how do you, an intelligent theological commentator makes such ridiculous presumptions without substantial backing.
He may have been the light bringer, but now he is the deceiver of the whole world, and his end is seen in Revelation 20 after the thousand year reign of Christ over the earth.
The Modern King James version interprets Isaiah 14:12 this way.
“How you are fallen from the heavens, O shining star, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!”
The translators of the MKJV took the reasonable route in interpretation by excluding the name Lucifer. Applying a Berean attitude and eliminating the name Lucifer at this point would be the safer road to travel, especially since this is the only place in the Bible we can find this word hêylêl.
So, what does Isaiah 14:12 and its general context, have to say to us, the modern church?
First off, as a believer, you should be aware that we have an enemy.
No, Satan cannot be everywhere at the same time as God can, but a third of the angels fell with him. Ask yourself, how many is a third of an uncountable number? A lot.
Secondly, we learn that Satan was stripped of his title and thrown out of heaven and down to earth.
It is evident from Isaiah 14:12 that “he” has fallen. But, do you know from where?
Jesus told the disciples that he saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. (Luke 10:18.)
Third, Satan, though stripped of his divine authority, is well versed in the Scriptures and skilled in deception. He stole control/dominion over the earth away from Adam.
I know that far too many “Christians” do not understand this concept or believe it. Consider that when Satan tested Jesus after the forty days fast, that he took Jesus up onto a pinnacle of the temple and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and he said they were his to give. Jesus never contested Satan’s claim but merely shut his mouth with the Word of God.
Putting this statement “I saw Satan fall like lightning” (Luke 10:18) alongside other evidence like Ezekiel 28:13 where it shows the light bringer walking about in the Garden, and his deception of Eve in that same garden further on in time (See Genesis 3.) We get a picture of stolen authority.
Fourth: While Satan was thrown from Heaven, we know that it was not a permanent expulsion, as we assume, but more of a stripping of a title and position. One of the passages we use to validate a claim like this is found in the book of Job.
Job 1:6-8 MKJV “And a day came when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah. And Satan also came among them. And Jehovah said to Satan, From where do you come? Then Satan answered Jehovah and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And Jehovah said to Satan, Have you set your heart against My servant Job, because there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil?”
At one time thrown from Heaven, he is still found meandering in the outskirts of heaven among the other angels, close enough to have God speak to him.
The final question then, is Satan equal with God?
There may be an honor bestowed signifying the one who created you, but when it comes to angels, they are messengers. They are not sons as Jesus became, and all of the angels must worship Him.
Hebrews 1:5-7 GW God never said to any of his angels, “You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.” And God never said to any of his angels, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son.” 6] When God was about to send his firstborn Son into the world, he said, “All of God’s angels must worship him.” 7] God said about the angels, “He makes his messengers winds. He makes his servants flames of fire.”
If you have any doubt as to Satan’s origins, as the Jehovah’s witness have, then ponder this:
Ezekiel 28:13-15 MKJV You have been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, the ruby, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the turquoise, and the emerald, and gold. The workmanship of your tambourines and of your flutes was prepared in you in the day that you were created. 14] You were the anointed cherub that covers, and I had put you in the holy height of God where you were; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15] You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, until iniquity was found in you.
Name wise; he is understood to be the anointed cherub that covers.
The allusion seems to be to cherubs covering the mercy seat.
Why would that be? Perhaps because of his rank, or because of his strength. It does not matter for we have no definition for that but what we do know is that he learned deception.
The other reliable reference is found in Isaiah.
Isaiah 54:16 KJV Behold, I have created the smith that blows the coals in the fire, and that brings forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.
While destruction may be a hard concept to swallow, in the scheme of things it is possible that God had this planned all along, with the eventual goal of purging the world of all that would stand between his people and the love he has for them.
So, Satan was created, and with no flaws. And yet, he became flawed. Considering who made him, what chance do you and I have without a savior? None and that is why it is imperative that we find our life in Christ and quickly.