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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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LUCIFER. In Isaiah 14:12 occurs the phrase ‘helçl ( helâl ) ben shachar ,’ commonly but incorrectly rendered ‘Lucifer son of the morning,’ as if the expression helçl ( helâl ) must mean ‘the morning-star’ (cf. AVm [Note: Authorized Version margin.] and RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘ day-star ’). In this connexion, helçl ( helâl ) can denote only the waning of some luminary, as it is forcibly compared with the impending fate of the then king of Babylon, whose utter destruction the prophet is engaged in foretelling, The waning luminary intended by the author may probably have been only the old moon crescent seen at dawn, just about to disappear. It could scarcely have been a morning-star, whose chief point would be its brightness. This allusion to a waning luminary possibly reflects some myth similar to the Greek Phaethon legend (Gunkel, Schöpfung und Chaos , 132 134). From a supposed reference in Luke 10:18 and Revelation 9:1-11 to this passage in Isaiah, the name ‘Lucifer’ came to be used synonymously with ‘Satan.’

N. A. Koenig.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Lucifer'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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