“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!” ~ Isaiah 14:12
While this is not much of a doctrinal issue, it bears discussing. There are few people that would argue the fact that Lucifer and Satan are one and the same. That is except me. I came to this conclusion some years ago after wondering why people talk about the devil so much.
To the point, I find it difficult to agree that the two are one. The description alone causes the argument to break down in my perspective. Then there are other factors. Allow me to open my mind to you and you’ll see what I mean.
Who was Lucifer?
To answer this question we need to look at the book of Isaiah. In chapter fourteen, the description begins with verse four and ends with verse twenty.
“For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.
And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the LORD for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.
And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve,
That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!” ~ Isaiah 14:1-4
Note that I added verses one through three. I did this to begin establishing the person of Lucifer. The Lord is speaking to Isaiah about Israel. By this time, Israel had a long history of rebellion against God. He gave laws about fraternization with other nations. This was because other nations were successful in turning their hearts to their gods. Then they ended up enslaved to that nation.
But the Lord is long-suffering and kind to his people. He encourages them with a day of deliverance from their captors. The question is who were their captors in this instance? This is where verse four begins. The nation in question is Babylon. The message is then changed and God begins speaking about the king of Babylon. While this can become in-depth going forward, my desire is to give the simplest explanation I can.
What about the description?
“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.
Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.” ~ Isaiah 14:5-9
Just from the wording, it sounds like a person. The phrase “Since thou are laid down” could not be describing a spirit. The devil is not lying down anywhere. Hell in verse nine is the word ‘sheol’ which is the grave. Spirits don’t decay or die except God destroy it, it does not follow that this is referencing a spirit.
“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.” ~ Isaiah 14:10-11
Again we see reference to death and decay. This can only point to flesh after burial in or in contact with the earth.
Fallen from Heaven
“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.” ~ Isaiah 14:12-14
Now this is the heart of the matter. People worshiped Kings as gods. So was the sun; an example being the sun worshiped as Ra in ancient Egypt. And so here I believe the reference is someone exalted and worshiped. Note that verse twelve speaks of him as cut down to the ground. One would have to be a lifting up first.
In verse thirteen, the king speaks of ascending into heaven. He wants to exalt his throne above God’s. The devil did not need to do this since he was already in heaven and still had access! (Job 1:6)
Described in Death
“Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.
But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcass trodden under feet.
Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.” ~ Isaiah 14:15-20
The verses end with clear descriptions of a human being:
• Denied the honor of former kings
• Treated like garbage and roadkill
To close this part, please note that the word Lucifer is only found once in all scripture. It was only spoken by God to Isaiah and never by anyone else. Not even Jesus or the Apostles called the devil Lucifer or even referenced the name.
Satan’s True Form
Now let’s go to where Satan is really described.
“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.
Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.” ~ Ezekel 28:11-19
There is no doubt that the one described here is Satan. Also, note that the one described is an angel, not human. There is no reference to hell or corruption. This being was once in heaven in this context but will face destruction, not burial.
I hope you were able to glean something out of this discussion. Please read and study the scripture for yourself and come to your own conclusion. And remember…
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” ~ 2 Timothy 2:15
Bible.org. (2010, March 22). Is “Lucifer” the Devil in Isaiah 14:12? – The KJV Argument against Modern Translations [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://bible.org/article/lucifer-devil-isaiah-1412-kjv-argument-against-modern-translations
Note: All scripture references are from the King James Version unless noted otherwise.