One of the most common misconceptions among Bible believers is that Lucifer is another name for Satan, based on a single occurrence of the word … the King James translation of Isaiah 14:12, which reads...
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!
However the name "Lucifer" does not exist in the Hebrew text, nor the Greek translation (The Septuagint), but was derived from Jerome’s 4th century AD translation of this verse into Latin. Lucifer is a Latin name, which could not exist in a Hebrew manuscript, written before Latin even existed.
The KJV translators simply borrowed the name from Jerome's translation of the Bible.
Note however that Jerome was not in error. Lucifer which means "light-bearer", was the fourth century Latin name for the planet Venus, which reaches its maximum brightness shortly before sunrise or shortly after sunset, for which reason it has been known as the Morning Star or Evening Star. As “Morning Star” Venus heralds daylight.
The Hebrew term translated in the KJV as “O Lucifer, son of the morning” is Helel ben Shahar.. literally ‘Helel son of Shahar’. In the Babylonian / Canaanite religions, Helel which means to shine or to bear light, and Shalim, the god of dusk were twin brothers... sons of Shahar, the god of the dawn. Hence ‘Helel son of Shahar’
”Apparently these verses allude to a mythological story about a minor god (Helel son of Shachar) who tried to take over Zaphon, the mountain of the gods. His attempted coup failed and he was hurled down to the underworld. The king of Babylon is taunted for having similar unrealized delusions of grandeur…” (NET Bible. http://www.bible.org/netbible/index.htm).
King of Babylon
One of the purposes of the book of Isaiah was to declare God’s discontent with the sins of Judah, Israel and the neighboring nations. The prophet warned that, starting in Jerusalem, God’s people were about to be severely judged for breaking their covenant with Him. Then, in an ever widening spiral, Isaiah 13 begins a series of prophetic judgments against the surrounding nations, including Babylon.
There is no doubt about the fact that Isaiah 14, when speaking of "Lucifer," is referring to the king of Babylon, clearly portrayed as a human ruler. [See verse 16 in particular]. However note that In the early days of the prophet Isaiah, Assyria, not Babylon, was the major threat to Israel. It would take a few decades yet before Babylon would become a significant power. The prophet was looking ahead to the rise and fall of the enemy that would oppress his people, which is why these verses are written in the past tense.
The context of Isaiah 13-14 speaks explicitly concerning the king of Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar?) starting with
The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see. [Isaiah 13:1]
And continuing in chapter 14, verse 4..
that thou shalt take up this parable against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!
The boast apparently made by the egotistical monarch was:
"I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; and I will sit upon the mount of congregation, in the uttermost parts of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High (Isaiah 13-14).
However God had a different fate in mind for the impudent potentate. He said the king would experience both the collapse of his kingdom and the loss of his life. He would be…
brought down to Sheol, to the uttermost parts of the pit. [Vs. 15]
In fact, when the ruler finally descends into his eternal grave, the inhabitants of Sheol would jeer..[Note the use of the word “man”.
“"Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms?. (vs. 16).
How body would not be laid to rest in a king's sarcophagus, but a general grave.
All the kings of the nations, all of them, sleep in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast forth away from thy sepulchre like an abominable branch, clothed with the slain, that are thrust through with the sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a dead body trodden under foot. [Isaiah 14:18-19].
Much of the reason behind associating the word Lucifer with Satan stems from several connections made with other parts of Scripture, not the least if which is that the Babylonian empire is especially connected with Satan’s empire in the Apocalypse. Also there are at least two other verses in Scripture that refer to Satan and seem to bear remarkable similarity to the events spoken of in Isaiah 14.
a) Luke 10:18… "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven".
b) Revelation 12:7-9 .... 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.
Additionally, Isaiah 14 has a parallel in Ezekiel 28, where Ezekiel speaks of the king of Tyre in another rise and fall situation. However Ezekiel’s language seems to transcend mere mortality, for the king is described as the anointed Cherub who was perfect in every way when he walked in the holy mountain (heaven) with God in Eden, until evil was found in him.
“.. the parallels that exist between the Isaiah passage and Ezekiel 28 (the concept of a fall and expulsion-Ezekiel 28:16), which has more clear references to the fall of Satan (although the historical figure being spoken of there was a man: the king of Tyre [vs. 2, 9]). Such references include the fact that the king of Tyre is said to have dwelt in Eden, been created, and is called the anointed cherub which covers (Ezekiel 28:13-15). Such descriptions are obviously poetic in regards to the king of Tyre, but seem to have a more direct reference to Satan himself” [Jason Dulle. Who is Lucifer in Isaiah 14:12?].
While it is true the Old Testament itself does not actually contain a literal account of the rebellion and fall of Satan and that Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 are directly concerned with the temporal rulers of Babylon and Tyre, rather than a supernatural being, we can not assume that the passages do not contain any other references.
Our Western concepts of allegory and typology are basically Western repackaging, since we use Greek methods of interpretation to try to understand a Jewish book. It is imperative that we try and understand the way Jews thought about the Bible. Scripture contains both Scriptural types and Predictive Prophecy.
Predictive prophecy looks forward, is expressly verbal and usually very specific, while a type is a factual happening in history divinely ordained to be a prophetic picture [or a glimpse] of one or more actual events yet to come, with the subsequent happenings being called the antitype. The Hebrew idea of prophecy is a pattern that is repeated, multiple fulfillments with one ultimate fulfillment. Each of the multiple fulfillments is both a type of, and a lesson on, the ultimate fulfillment. [See Understanding Prophecy and Typology]
And it is entirely possible that both Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 look both backward and forward.. the antitype of the fall of Satan and a prophetic glimpse of the rise and fall of another sinister figure who is yet to come … The Antichrist.
“Those who feel that only the human leader is in view understand the language as a typical, exaggerated way an oriental ruler might be referred to. Those who also see Satan in the passage argue that such language includes too many superlatives and figures to be true of only an earthly king no matter how great he was. It would seem difficult to apply verses 14 and 15, for example, to any earthly king”
“If these passages do not extend beyond the human counterparts to Satan himself as the invisible enemy behind the scenes, then the Bible is silent regarding the origin of why and how God’s and man’s greatest adversary came into existence” [Satanology. By: J. Hampton Keathley, III , Th.M].
And it is also likely that references to both kings go beyond the mortal leaders to reveal things about something or someone else.. a subtle allusion to the spirit force behind these kings. Call to mind when the angel told Daniel that Michael had to help him in the twenty one day standoff with the ‘prince’ of Persia. He was obviously referring to a superhuman since no human could stand up to an angel for 21 seconds, leave along 21 days. In other words the kings of Babylon and Tyre were both underwritten by Satan as will be the Antichrist in the future, just as the prince of Persia was..
"But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia” [Daniel 10:13]
Jesus as the Morning Star
The use of ‘morning star’ with reference to Satan is especially telling considering that the same title is used of Christ in 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, the bright and morning star” (aster orthrinos an epithet of Venus).
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer [morning star], son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!