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How Art Thou Fallen From Heaven, O Lucifer


jskains

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Are there any good arguments for Lucifer being Satan and the entire war in heaven? It seems the movement is to completely argue against the concept.

But the curious thing is how much people seem to assume our modern interpretations are always better than the people who were closer to the events.....

Anyways, just looking for pro-Lucifer evidence showing the Latin Vulgate was correct in the usage and the Satan/Devil/Lucifer is a correct interpretation. Of course anti-LDS earmark this as an example of Smith's con in using current-day misinterpretations.....

JMS

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The following is from posts I made on the other board a while back:

The Hebrew phrase used in Isaiah is הילל בן־שׁחר, "helel ben shachar," which referred to the the rising of Venus (the "morning star") and which the NRSV translates as "Day Star, Son of Dawn."

Those who translated the text knew that the Hebrew did not actually say "Lucifer," but considered it a reasonable translation of the Hebrew הילל בן־שׁחר. It's wasn't a translation error. And critical scholars have long accepted that this passage in Isaiah actually borrows from Canaanite mythology where the "morning star" is a deity who tries to exalt himself in the mountains of the gods but is instead cast into the underworld. See, for example, J.W. McKay, “Helel and the Dawn-Goddess: A Reexamination of the Myth in Isaiah XIV 12-15,” Vetus Testamentum 20, Fasc. 4, (October 1970): 451.

So, you're right that the passage is literally about the king of Babylon, but it isn't comparing the king to the planet Venus. Instead it's comparing the king to the fallen deity (called the "morning star," or in Latin, "Lucifer") who attempted to overthrow God and rule the divine council -- which, in Christian terms, sounds a lot like the Devil.

So there is archaic language, to be sure. But this isn't an "error," although it's appearance in the Book of Mormon is a clear indication that the Book of Mormon Isaiah chapters are based on the KJV text.

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Are there any good arguments for Lucifer being Satan and the entire war in heaven? It seems the movement is to completely argue against the concept.

But the curious thing is how much people seem to assume our modern interpretations are always better than the people who were closer to the events.....

Anyways, just looking for pro-Lucifer evidence showing the Latin Vulgate was correct in the usage and the Satan/Devil/Lucifer is a correct interpretation. Of course anti-LDS earmark this as an example of Smith's con in using current-day misinterpretations.....

JMS

I think Joseph has it dead on. Satan/Lucifer connection is only present in Christian thought. It was not evident in ancient teachings. While I am somewhat uncomfortable discussing modern LDS exegesis on the subject the case might be made that modern revelation is being functionally metaphoric in comparing the two.

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I think Joseph has it dead on. Satan/Lucifer connection is only present in Christian thought. It was not evident in ancient teachings.

Outside of the Book of Mormon, at least.

While I am somewhat uncomfortable discussing modern LDS exegesis on the subject the case might be made that modern revelation is being functionally metaphoric in comparing the two.

I actually think the connection is very appropriate. If Isaiah is comparing the Babylonian king to a fallen Canaanite deity who tried to usurp God and was instead cast down from the mountain of the gods, then the connection with Satan seems pretty obvious.

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I actually think the connection is very appropriate. If Isaiah is comparing the Babylonian king to a fallen Canaanite deity who tried to usurp God and was instead cast down from the mountain of the gods, then the connection with Satan seems pretty obvious.

The problem is what Isaiah thought Satan was. Was he an actual person or a sycophant in God's control?

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The official church stand is that Lucifer and Satan are one and the same Satan

Satan, also called the adversary or the devil, is the enemy of all righteousness and of those who seek to follow God. He is a spirit son of God who was once an angel “in authority in the presence of God” (D&C 76:25; see also Isaiah 14:12; D&C 76:26–27). But in the premortal Council in Heaven, Lucifer, as Satan was then called, rebelled against God. Since that time, he has sought to destroy the children of God on the earth and to make them miserable.

And from the Bible Dictionary Lucifer

Lucifer. Literally the Shining One; also Lightbringer or Son of the Morning. Lucifer is also known as Satan or the devil. The name Lucifer appears only once in the Bible (Isa. 14:12, but cf. Luke 10:18). Apparently Lucifer is the name of the devil before his rebellion and fall. Latter-day revelation clarifies the fall of Lucifer and equates him with Satan (D&C 76:25–38; cf. Rev. 12:1–17; 2 Ne. 9:8; D&C 29:36–38; Moses 4:1–4).

I'm not sure why there are some who dispute this. The description in Moses seems to pretty much describe Lucifer.

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The problem is what Isaiah thought Satan was. Was he an actual person or a sycophant in God's control?

I don't think that Isaiah associated the Lucifer with the ha-satan of the heavenly assembly. It was only later I think that the ha-satan took on the identity of Isaiah's fallen Canaanite deity.

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I don't think that Isaiah associated the Lucifer with the ha-satan of the heavenly assembly. It was only later I think that the ha-satan took on the identity of Isaiah's fallen Canaanite deity.

Agreed.

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The official church stand is that Lucifer and Satan are one and the same Satan

And from the Bible Dictionary Lucifer

I'm not sure why there are some who dispute this. The description in Moses seems to pretty much describe Lucifer.

This creates quite a moral and spiritual dilemma for those of "us" who feel they are not necessarily one and the same. On one hand there is fairly substantial evidence to show that the OT Lucifer is not satan while there is plenty of evidence to show that it is a creation of early and medieval Christianity while on the other hand there is need for faith in the revelations of modern prophets. Which way we turn is a real conundrum.

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The official church stand is that Lucifer and Satan are one and the same Satan

And from the Bible Dictionary Lucifer

I'm not sure why there are some who dispute this. The description in Moses seems to pretty much describe Lucifer.

Agreed.

I would appreciate it if Joseph or Ron gave us novices some background for all this- I have never heard an alternate LDS view other than Satan and Lucifer are one and the same

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Agreed.

I would appreciate it if Joseph or Ron gave us novices some background for all this- I have never heard an alternate LDS view other than Satan and Lucifer are one and the same

In biblical scholarship it is generally agreed that "satan" in the Old Testament is not a fallen angel or demonic being but rather an angel who accuses people before God (as in a judgment setting). Looking at the Old Testament by itself there does not seem to be any appearance of a real "devil."

But Isaiah 14 might be the exception to this. Isaiah 14 describes the king of Babylon as "Lucifer," a Latin name meaning "light-bearer" which describes the "morning star" (a.k.a., the rising of Venus). The description of "Lucifer" in Isaiah 14 seems to be a reference to the Canaanite deity also associated with the morning star who sought to usurp the Most High God and set himself atop the mountains of the gods. His rebellion failed and the Morning Star was instead cast into the underworld.

Isaiah 14 seems to evidence that independent of the heavenly accuser "satan," some Israelites (including Isaiah?) apparently believed that there was a member of the Divine Council who had rebelled against the Most High God and was cast out of the heavens. While this "Lucifer" in Isaiah 14 does not mesh with the "satan" of the Old Testament, who is not an inherently evil or fallen angel, it does mesh pretty well with the later Jewish/Christian (and Mormon) understanding of Satan.

David Bokovoy has observed elsewhere on this board that Lehi likely makes this conclusion from Isaiah 14 and notes that Lehi does not appear to have previously believed in a devil or believed that that was a common Israelite belief.

"And I, Lehi, according to the things which I have read, must needs suppose that an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from heaven; wherefore, he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God." (2 Nephi 2:17)
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This creates quite a moral and spiritual dilemma for those of "us" who feel they are not necessarily one and the same. On one hand there is fairly substantial evidence to show that the OT Lucifer is not satan while there is plenty of evidence to show that it is a creation of early and medieval Christianity while on the other hand there is need for faith in the revelations of modern prophets.

I don't think this is the problem you make it out to be! Isaiah's Lucifer--probably predating any of the "Satan" passages of the OT--does not resemble the "OT Satan" but he does strongly resemble the "NT Satan." The only real problem I see seems to be the semantics of using the label "satan."

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Christ said he had seen Satan fall from Heaven. John clearly states there was a war in heaven that resulted in Satan being thrown down to earth with his angels. This is part of Satan's life we can say with certainty. And note, this idea of rising to heaven and being thrust out is seen in the Athtar/Baal myth where Athtar says he will ascend to the heights, is cast out and descends to earth.

The section in Revelations seems to include a summary of history that is being represented in a "vision". We know Jesus had already seen Satan fall from heaven before John included that he fall out of heaven,

"And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child"

Christians recognize that the man child is Christ, and was already born and ascended when this book was written. The events of verses seem to account for Satan from his fall, which was sometime before Christ was born, to after Christ was born, credited for Harod's attempts to kill the Christ child, and is the force behind the Anti-Christ who will cause the apostasy that was yet to come in John's time, and tells it all like a one sweeping event.

While Jerome translates it as Lucifer in his Latin text the Vulgate. The early Christian Fathers. Tertullian and others discuss Lucifer, so the connection between Lucifer and Satan was established at least some time prior to the end of the second century. Lucifer was first mentioned (under that name) in the writings of Origen some two hundred years before Jerome. The "sons of God" aka the angels are morning stars (Job 38:7). Origen explained the name Lucifer is a name of glory Satan had prior to his fall, he was a being of light and after his fall he was no longer a being of light nor a morning star.

Now, is helel ben shahar in Isaiah 14 the king of Babylon? There is no basis in Isaiah's charges as they would apply to the Babylonian king. The king of Babylon is not a fallen divinity, he was never in heaven. The scholarly community almost universally rejects it as being the king of Babylon directly. It is recognized that it is an allusion to a figure in contemporary Canaanite religion called "Athtar" an angel or lesser god falling from heaven. 'Athtar is known in inscriptions as the planet Venus, or the Morning Star. In effect, we have in Isaiah a description of a divinity that wanted to seize the throne of God and rule the heavens, before getting cast down. Isaiah is referencing this because the king of Babylon is being taunted by for having similar unrealized delusions of grandeur.

Jesus claims that he saw Satan "fall like lightning from heaven" just like Isaiah said about Helel, "How art thou fallen from heaven" (Isa. 14:12).

Helel said he would exalt his throne above "the stars of God" (Isa 14:13) while John says Satan "drew the third part of the stars of heaven" (Rev 12:4).

Helel said, "I will be like the most High" (Isa 14:14), while the dragon was worshipped as a deity and the dragon (or a servant) "opened his mouth in blasphemy" (Rev 13:4).

Helel "smote the people" and "ruled the nations" (Isa 14:6), while Satan had power "over all . . . nations" and "to make war with the saints" (Rev 13:7).

Helel shall "be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit" (Isa 14:15) while Satan is "cast . . into the bottomless pit" (Rev 20:3)

And there are many other parallels.

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In biblical scholarship it is generally agreed that "satan" in the Old Testament is not a fallen angel or demonic being but rather an angel who accuses people before God (as in a judgment setting). Looking at the Old Testament by itself there does not seem to be any appearance of a real "devil."

But Isaiah 14 might be the exception to this. Isaiah 14 describes the king of Babylon as "Lucifer," a Latin name meaning "light-bearer" which describes the "morning star" (a.k.a., the rising of Venus). The description of "Lucifer" in Isaiah 14 seems to be a reference to the Canaanite deity also associated with the morning star who sought to usurp the Most High God and set himself atop the mountains of the gods. His rebellion failed and the Morning Star was instead cast into the underworld.

Isaiah 14 seems to evidence that independent of the heavenly accuser "satan," some Israelites (including Isaiah?) apparently believed that there was a member of the Divine Council who had rebelled against the Most High God and was cast out of the heavens. While this "Lucifer" in Isaiah 14 does not mesh with the "satan" of the Old Testament, who is not an inherently evil or fallen angel, it does mesh pretty well with the later Jewish/Christian (and Mormon) understanding of Satan.

David Bokovoy has observed elsewhere on this board that Lehi likely makes this conclusion from Isaiah 14 and notes that Lehi does not appear to have previously believed in a devil or believed that that was a common Israelite belief.

Thanks for the clarification- I have not been following this, and there must be others in the same category. So Isaiah used the Latin term to describe the Babylonian king/deity- implying that he was a usurper- so he was making also a political comment?

Just curious about this part- obviously the important point is that Lehi made the connection, and the perhaps not-so-obvious point that Joseph S probably would not have known about this subtlety in the book of Isaiah.

Thanks- this really helps!

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While Jerome translates it as Lucifer in his Latin text the Vulgate. The early Christian Fathers. Tertullian and others discuss Lucifer, so the connection between Lucifer and Satan was established at least some time prior to the end of the second century. Lucifer was first mentioned (under that name) in the writings of Origen some two hundred years before Jerome. The "sons of God" aka the angels are morning stars (Job 38:7). Origen explained the name Lucifer is a name of glory Satan had prior to his fall, he was a being of light and after his fall he was no longer a being of light nor a morning star.

Aha!- ok this is where the Latin term comes it- got it- thanks! So Jerome adopts the theology of Origen et al in translating it "Lucifer"- is that what you mean?

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A lot of modern "Bible Scholars" are pushing the idea that Lucifer is just about a king and has nothing at all to do with Satan or any fall.

JMS

I think it's pretty commonly accepted among biblical scholars that Isaiah 14 is referring to the Canaanite myth of the fallen Day Star. Whether that fallen Day Star is equivalent to the Christian conception of Satan is more a matter of theological opinion than historical inquiry, at least in my opinion.

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I think it's pretty commonly accepted among biblical scholars that Isaiah 14 is referring to the Canaanite myth of the fallen Day Star. Whether that fallen Day Star is equivalent to the Christian conception of Satan is more a matter of theological opinion than historical inquiry, at least in my opinion.

Correct, but perhaps it would be helpful to lay out the parallel texts:

Isa 14:12

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [Heb. heylel (ben šaḥar) = Latin Lucifer “the Shining One; Lightbringer (Son of the Morning)”]

How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

13

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: [Ṣafon]

14

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;

I will be like the most High.

15

Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Ugaritic Text 49:I:33-37 (CTA 6)

"And, Athtar the terrible replied:

`I cannot rule in the heart of Zaphon [North].'

Athtar the terrible came down from the throne of Baal,

and became king in the vastunderworld, all of it"

II Enoch 29:4-5

"One from out (of) the order of angels [satan, 31:4]. . . conceived an impossible thought,

to place his throne higher than the clouds above the earth,

that he might become equal in rank to my power.

And I threw himfrom the height"

Book of Adam & Eve I:6

"But the wicked Satan set me at naught,

and sought the Godhead, so that I hurled him down from heaven"

The same tradition continues in Piers Plowman II:105:11, and John Milton's ParadiseLost

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