Should the Bible say "Lucifer" or "morning star" in Isaiah 14:12?

From "Answers To Your Bible Version Questions"© 2002 by David W. Daniels

Question: Should the Bible say "Lucifer" or "morning star" in Isaiah 14:12? And does it refer to Satan?

Answer: The King James Bible is correct. Although "Lucifer" is the Latin version of the name, the passage is talking about Satan, not a mere Babylonian king.

Light-Bearer or Morning Star?

Throughout the world, if you ask people who "Heyleel" (hey-LEYL) is, most will not know what to answer. But if you ask them, "Who is Lucifer?" you will very likely get the correct answer. People know who Lucifer is. Ask the Luciferians, who worship Lucifer as a being of light. Ask the Satanists, who call their master Lucifer. No one is in doubt as to who Lucifer is.

What if you ask them, "Who is the morning star?" or "Who is the day star?" Most will know it’s Jesus. Look at these scriptures:

2 Peter 1:19: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:"

Revelation 22:16: "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star."

Any translation that says "day star" or "morning star" or "star of the morning" in Isaiah 14:12, like most modern perversions, is bringing confusion. And God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). Many people reading the modern perversions end up asking, "If Lucifer is the morning star and Jesus is the morning star, then is Lucifer Jesus?" The modern translations are simply not clear!

That is not all. The term translated "Lucifer" does NOT at all mean "morning star" or "star of the morning." That would be two totally different Hebrew words. The word means "light-bearer." In Greek it's "heosphoros," "light-bearer." In Latin it's translated "Lucifer," light-bearer. Whether you say "heylel," "heosphoros" or "lucifer," the meaning is the same: "light-bearer." But only Lucifer communicates who we are talking about in English.

And not only English uses the term. Look at these ancient translations of the word. They also use some form of "Lucifer."

Spanish Reina-Valera (1557 through 1909) Lucero
Czech Kralika (1613) lucifere
Romanian Cornilescu (to present) Luceafar

Going Deeper: the Example of Ezekiel

There is evidence that God is speaking through his prophet to someone other than the king, even though it starts out to that person. Ezekiel 28 is an excellent example. It begins by talking about a human being ruling as king of Tyrus (Tyre). Then the scene shifts and the devil behind the leader starts to take focus:

First God addresses the king, called the "prince of Tyrus":

Ezekiel 28:1-2: "The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God"

Then to the devil behind the prince, called the "king of Tyrus" (note the more specific references that have nothing to do with the location or time of Tyre):

Ezekiel 28:11-17: "Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee."

There was no one in Tyre that was in Eden or the mountain of God. No one there was a cherub (a type of angel). No one there was "created." This is Satan, Lucifer, the serpent, the dragon, the devil. (And I'm sure he recognizes those names for him by now!) Satan/Lucifer/the serpent/the dragon was a cherub, an angel. He was created, since angels were created, not born. Humans were born after Adam and Eve, not created. He was in the garden of God, Eden. He was the "covering cherub." He was "bright" as an angel of light (see also 2 Corinthians 11:14)

Now let's look back at Isaiah 14. Isaiah also begins talking to the physical king of Babylon, then afterward to the spirit behind him.

It starts out to the king:

Isaiah 14:4-8: "…thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth. The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us"

Then it changes in tone:

Isaiah 14:12-15: "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. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit."

The scriptures tell us who this is. Jesus said:

Luke 10:18-20: "And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven."

Revelation also leaves no doubt as to who fell from heaven:

Revelation 12:7-12: "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time."

So we know that the only ones in the Bible that fell from heaven are the Devil and his angels. These are the ones for whom "everlasting fire," the lake of fire, was made:

Matthew 25:41: "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:"

Revelation 20:10: "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."

The King James Bible is right, however we view it. Even if we pretend the scripture is only talking to the earthly king, it still is clearly talking about Satan, the Devil, known world over as Lucifer.

May God bless you as you read and trust the translation of His preserved words in English, the King James Bible.

Get more answers in "Answers To Your Bible Version Questions"

Products of interest: