I will repeat, that it is very possible that the entity/Angel most famously known as “Lucifer” has never existed. And This is where it gets interesting. Throughout history, since the dawn of time, in most monotheistic religions, there have been a very clear-cut and defined definition of “good vs. evil”. If there is an all-seeing, all-powerful loving god, there must also be an all-corrupting, ever-present omnipotent destroyer, the devil. It has been a major topic of debate amongst the faithful for quite some time now. This is how it has been for many thousands of years, and this article won’t change that. However, I did come across something very intriguing, and I am going to share it with you: the entire identity of the Angel known as “Lucifer” may, in fact, be a scholastic error. That’s right, somewhere along the lines, someone screwed up. So, let’s begin to unravel why the name “Lucifer” may very well not even be a name for the devil at all.
Many thousands of years ago, the holy scriptures were written. And they were not written in English, or even Latin. However, “Lucifer” was only brought into existence as late as the 4th century, anno domini. Most people and religions, mistakenly, use the name of “Lucifer” and “Satan” interchangeably, and this is in fact also incorrect. Another thing that should also be mentioned, is that “Satan” and “Lucifer” are two different, distinct beasts. Most people do not understand what I mean by that, so briefly, I will just say that “Satan” is actually also an office, or title. For example, at one time, Azazel held the rank of Satan. He was known as Satan, much like a high-ranking officer in the military would be known simply as “General“. Even within the ranks of the demonic, and in the Islamic religion, the title of Shaitan is just that: a title. It doesn’t describe the actual entity, it describes their allegiance. All Djinn (Islamic equivalents of “demons”) who were Shaitan were followers of Iblis (“Satan”), i.e., “evil djinn“. Their function was to tempt and put in peril mankind, etc, much like the demonic entities of the Judeo-Christian religions. At one point, Beelzebub, Belial, and a host of other demonic entities/rulers all held the title of Satan: because at the time when they were known by this title, they were the ones ruling Hell.
With that being said, Lucifer is not a title, Lucifer is an entity. Now, the name “Lucifer” is never actually mentioned in the verse of the Bible which everyone credits to the first “sighting” of Satan: Isaiah 14:12. Now, here is a rather interesting fact: “Lucifer” is never directly or indirectly called Satan, nor is the word Satan ever found in Isaiah 14. This supports my above claim that “Satan” is merely a title, and not an identifying name. The exact quote-in-question of which I am referring to is:
Isa 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!
Except, the word I am referring to that has been mistranslated is “Haylel” ( הילל), or another version, Hĕlĕl. This, literally, is the Hebrew word for “Morning star”. Now, as you can see with most Angels of the Old Testament, this biblical reference to an Angelic entity uses the suffix “-el”. (for example, Micha-el, Gabri-el, Rapha-el, etc.) So, while it is logical to assume that this word, Haylel, refers to an Angelic being, it does not translate to the word “Lucifer”. For more on the “-el” suffix, one of our favorite authors, Michelle Belanger explained it quite eloquently in her book The Dictionary of Demons – Names of the Damned, ISBN 978-0-7387-2306-8, page 98:
If you pay close attention to a number of names in this text, you’ll find that there is a traditional convention to the spelling of most angel names. Nearly all angel names end in either -iel or -ael. The Semitic root el means “Lord” or “God,” and in the case of angels, it is usually read as meaning “of God.” Thus, the name of the angel Raphael is taken to mean “healing of God,” as the root raph means “to heal.” This is generally interpreted as a demonstration of that angel’s devotion to the Creator. However, the name could also be taken to mean “god of healing” – a reading suggestive of the possibility that all the angels were once members of an ancient pantheon that predates Jewish monotheism. Many demons began life as angels, and quite a few of them still retain their angelic-sounding names despite their fallen status. This of course raises problems with clearly discerning the fallen from the unfallen, as their names can be virtually identical. Even the magickal grimoires that endeavor to describe methods for calling up demons to make use of their skills acknowledge that these infernal beings are roguish and deceitful by nature and, unless properly bound and compelled, will seek to mislead people. The seventeenth-century scholar Dr. Thomas Rudd devised a solution: he outlined an extensive question-and-answer session intended to trick demons into revealing their infernal natures. It begins with getting the spirit’s name and ends by asking the spirit to agree that all the fallen have been justly condemned. The idea here is that a fallen angel will balk at this statement, and reveal itself by trying to argue the point.
So as you can see, much of religion is staked in the proper translation of the original texts. According to the Miriam-Webster dictionary online, the original of the word “Lucifer” is as follows:
Origin of LUCIFER:
Middle English, the morning star, a fallen rebel archangel, the Devil, from Old English, from Latin, the morning star, from lucifer light-bearing, from luc-, lux light + –fer -ferous — more at light
First Known Use: before 12th century
And, the definition of “morning star” as explained by the Google online dictionary is:
morning star n.:
A planet, especially Venus, visible in the east just before or at sunrise.
So, to the average person, even scholars, the definitions of “Lucifer” and “morning star” have a strikingly similar meaning, and most would agree that it is the same definition. Now, this is exactly where the problem lies: “Lucifer” is a translation, not a transliteration. As anyone out there who has ever worked in translation knows, genuine, real, proper names are transliterated. They are not translated. And this is the major issue.
According to this website, which this article borrows rather heavily from:
This is a simple indication that the word Haylel is not a proper name, nor was Lucifer intended to be viewed as a proper name in its original usage. Also, when we look in the Latin Vulgate’s version of 2 Pe 1:19, the Greek word for morning-star (phosphoros) is translated as lucifer, indicating that the word lucifer was never intended to be understood as a proper name:
2Pe 1:19 And we have the prophetic word made more certain, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, (The Scriptures)
et habemus firmiorem propheticum sermonem cui bene facitis adtendentes quasi lucernae lucenti in caliginoso loco donec dies inlucescat et LUCIFER oriatur in cordibus vestris (Latin Vulgate – 405 ad)
Now, since many of us were predisposed to believe lucifer was hasatan, it may be shocking to see this word lucifer being used to describe the “prophetic word” (i.e. the morning star); but the context makes it clear, not only is “lucifer” NOT a proper name; it IS the latin word for morning star.
Adding further insult to injury, something else that I have come across in the past is that many people out there have equated the name “Lucifer” to the Greek “Eosphorus”. And, a quick search of this will show you the origins of this name as well. In the Wikipedia entry for “Hesperus”, in the first paragraph, it clearly lists:
In Greek mythology, Hesperus (Greek Ἓσπερος Hesperos) is the Evening Star, the planet Venus in the evening. He is the son of the dawn goddess Eos (Roman Aurora) and is the brother of Eosphorus (also called Phosphorus, and Lucifer), the Morning Star.
So obviously, this term gets around, no? While I could give you numerous citations and quotations from every possible source I own in regards to the name “Lucifer”, I strongly recommend that you do your own research. The reason for this is because too many people take for granted that what they are learning is correct when in fact it may very well not be. All bits of information have been passed on, verbally, literally, or fictionally, and in the end it is like playing one gigantic game of ‘telephone’, where the message is so distorted by the time it comes back around that it doesn’t always resemble what it did originally. And again, an excerpt taken from The Dictionary of Demons – Names of the Damned, written by Michelle Belanger, one of the best occult researchers I have found, includes a rather lengthy explanation in her entry for “Lucifer”:
Lucifer: Lucifer has come to be one of the most recognizable names for the Devil. He is depicted variously as Satan, the Serpent in Genesis, and the Dragon in Revelation. The name Lucifer itself is derived from a passage in Isaiah 14:12, translated in the King James Version of the Bible to read: 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! The word translated here as Lucifer is the Hebrew helal, meaning “morning star.” The word Lucifer itself comes from the Latin Vulgate version of the Bible. In Latin, lucifer means “light-bearer.” At the time that the Latin Vulgate version of the Bible was being translated, the word lucifer referred specifically to the planet Venus in its capacity as the morning star. Saint Jerome, the translator of this passage, was not in error when he parsed the Hebrew helal for the Latin lucifer, as both words refer directly to an astrological phenomenon, not an individual. Later readings of the passage, however, interpreted Lucifer as a proper name. Notably, most modern biblical scholars assert that this passage in Isaiah referenced not the fall of an angel, but the fall of the king of Babylon. A few lines earlier, in Isaiah 14:4, the portion of the text that includes the reference to the fallen morning star is introduced as an extensive taunt to be taken up against the king of Babylon. Despite this, early Church fathers took Isaiah 14:12 as a direct reference to Satan, connecting it with Luke 10:18, where Jesus declares, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” The only real connection between these two passages, at least linguistically, is the reference to a fall. Saint Paul helps enable the association between Satan and the Light-Bearer with his passage in 2 Corinthians 11:14 that says, ” … even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” Through these three passages, plus the story in Revelation where the Devil is cast out of Heaven, a rich mythic history about Lucifer has evolved.
While I will not lie claims one way or the other, due to the fact that I am no linguistics scholar, I do have to state that in regards to this particular issue, it does hold a certain level of credence. It is plausible. It is also no secret that the devil exists throughout history, and that he has been known by many, many names. The article I have been mainly referencing above does seem a little bit biased to me, and it seems like they are trying to go out of their way to prove that “Lucifer” is not the proper name for the devil, but I’ll end this article by delivering this quote, and asking that you consider it’s meaning.
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” – William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet
- The Dictionary of Demons – Names of the Damned, by Michelle Belanger, ISBN 978-0-7387-2306-8
- The Bible, multiple versions
- The Way of the Nazerene