December 16, 2021 – Thursday
Isaiah 14:12 NIV
12 How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!
Isaiah 14:12 ESV
12 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!
Isaiah 14:12 KJV
12 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 Hebrew for this expression, morning star, is translated lucifer (meaning “light-bearer”) in the Latin Vulgate, the origin of “Lucifer” in early English translations of this verse. As a result, many want this to be about Satan’s fall from heaven. Instead, the phrase fallen from heaven actually represents in an exaggerated way the fall of Babylon, with all its imperial ambitions, into destruction.
Looking at the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible we find, fallen … morning star refers to an Assyrian omen concerning birth anomalies suggests that a large star will fall, perhaps referring to a meteor. A broken Ugaritic omen text concerns the phenomenon of a star falling on the 30th day. morning star. The Hebrew (helel) occurs only here in the OT, though the verbal root means “shine” And then states, This “shining one” probably refers to Venus and is found also in Ugaritic mythology, with mention of “daughters of the morning star.” The Vulgate translators in the fifth century AD rendered this as “luciferos,” also a reference to the morning star, Venus. This led interpreters centuries later to associate this passage with Satan, though it is not he who is the subject under discussion, but rather the Babylonian king (as explicitly stated in verse 4, “That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!”
Quoting the Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible a some more we find, Such an understanding was unfortunately incorporated into the early English translations such as the King James Version, which renders it “Lucifer.” This has been corrected in most modern English translations. son of the dawn. The morning star descends from “dawn” (shahar), another denizen of Canaanite mythology. It is part of a divine astral pair, “Dawn and Dusk” (or morning and evening star), and is descended from Ilu, the head of the pantheon, and a human female. Isaiah is probably referring to some well-known mythological event in which a lofty figure was relegated to the lowest depths, the netherworld itself, though it is unclear which myth he means.
So what was Isaiah’s purpose in writing this? Isaiah seemed to have written this as a promise to the Israelites that they would one day be able to mock the king of Babylon who had destroyed their way of life. He prophesied that Babylon, on matter how powerful and mighty, will be likewise destroyed. Babylon thought to be God’s equal or greater than God which makes them truly opposed to God.
With the above in mind, it is easy to understand why this is also applicable to Satan who sees himself as God’s equal. Irrespective of its target, the text makes clear that any desire to be an equal with God is a pride-generated desire that will result in complete and total destruction. God simply has no equal, and his greatness is immeasurable. As believers, it is central to our faith to acknowledge that the character of God is unattainable. It is why we worship Him.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help me to always recognize any kind of pride that puffs me up, instead of acknowledging You and how wonderful and truly great You are. It is You I worship and no other. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton in Beavercreek