view as web pdf Who Was Lucifer? (Isaiah 14:12)

The name `Lucifer', which means shining one, only occurs once in the Bible and is used in the following verse:

"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!"

This informative verse does not say who Lucifer was; we shall therefore study the context to find out who he was.

We discover the answer eight verses earlier; he was the king of Babylon! Verse 4 reads, "Thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, "How hath the oppressor ceased! The golden city ceased." A proverb in this context means something written in metaphorical style, a form of poetry also used concerning the king of Tyre.

The whole passage from verse 4 to verse 24 is a continuous taunting of the last king of Babylon, Belshazzar; it taunts his arrogant pride ­ in the words, "For thou hast said in thine heart, "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God"" (v.13). It also prophecies his demise. "The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of rulers. Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming...and they shall speak and say unto thee, "Art thou become weak as we? Art thou become like unto us? (v.10) Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worms spread under thee and the worms cover thee"" (v.11). When was this `proverb' given? At the end of chapter 14 an historical event is mentioned, `In the year that King Ahaz died was this burden' (v.28). This was well over a century before the Babylonians came to power, such is the wonderful foreknowledge of God.

The Fall of Babylon

The last king, Belshazzar was holding a feast when the end came. The Medes under Darius and the Persians under Cyrus had combined their forces to surround the city Babylon in which the defenders thought they were safe. It had very high walls but a river flowed through it, protected by gates. The successful strategy was to divert the water through an artificial channel enabling invaders to enter the city by passing under the gates. Being engaged in revelry the defenders had no idea that their end had come.

Daniel Chapter 5

In this chapter the prophet Daniel describes the scene on the last day.

Belshazzar had ordered the holy vessels taken from the Jewish temple in Jerusalem to be brought out and used in their revelry. He then saw a man's hand writing his doom on the plastered wall which his wise men could not understand. Daniel was brought in to interpret the words. These were as follows, `ME-NE, ME-NE, TE-EKEL, U-PHAR'- SIN. MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it. TE-KEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PE'-RES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians'. (v.26-28)

The chapter ends with the brief announcement, "In that night was Belshazzar king of the Chaldeans slain, and Darius the Mede took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old." (v.30-31) This account of Belshazzar's death in literal terms is the fulfillment of the `proverb' of Lucifer falling from heaven.

Figurative language

Some people might take figurative language literally which if they do, is bound to lead them into making mistakes. This has happened with the idea that rebellious angels, led by Satan, have been thrown out of heaven and Satan goes around tempting people to do wrong. This idea is completely fallacious and is not taught in the Bible.

Temptation to sin

A sinner is held responsible for any sin he has committed. There is no recognition of a sinner's temptation originating from a source other than his own heart and mind. Here are some scriptures on this point:

Ez.18:4 `The soul that sinneth it shall die'.

Matt.15:19 `For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man.'

James 1:13-15 `Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: but every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.'

These verses clearly show that temptation to sin comes from within. It is our own human nature that is responsible for our desires and lusts. We, therefore, cannot blame God or Lucifer or anyone else for the sins we commit.

One of the world's biggest refugee camps close to Kenya's Border with Somalia, designed for 90,000 refugees,now shelters over 270,000

Bro. Ralph Green, (Torquay, U.K.)

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