Lucifer or Morning Star
Translation of הֵילֵל as "Lucifer", as in the King James Version, has been abandoned in modern English translations of Isaiah 14:12. Present-day translations have "morning star" (New International Version, New Century Version, New American Standard Bible, Good News Translation, Holman Christian Standard Bible, Contemporary English Version, Common English Bible, Complete Jewish Bible), "daystar" (New Jerusalem Bible, English Standard Version, The Message), "shining one" (New Life Version) or "shining star" (New Living Translation).
This development has been decried not only by adherents of the King James Only movement, but also by others, who hold that the King James Version is correct and that Isaiah 14:12 refers to Satan under the name of "Lucifer", or who hold that the reference to Satan is preeminent.
The term appears in the context of an oracle against a dead king of Babylon, who is addressed as הילל בן שחר (hêlêl ben šāḥar), rendered by the King James Version as "Lucifer, son of the dawn" and by others as "morning star, son of the dawn".
In a modern translation from the original Hebrew, the passage in which the phrase "Lucifer" or "morning star" occurs begins with the statement: "On the day the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labour forced on you, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended!" After describing the death of the king, the taunt continues: "How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.' But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit. Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: 'Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble, the man who made the world a wilderness, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?'"
J. Carl Laney has pointed out that in the final verses here quoted, the king of Babylon is described not as a god or an angel but as a man.
For the unnamed "king of Babylon" a wide range of identifications have been proposed.They include a Babylonian ruler of the prophet Isaiah's own time the later Nebuchadnezzar II, under whom the Babylonian captivity of the Jews began, or Nabonidus, and the Assyrian kings Tiglath-Pileser, Sargon II and Sennacherib, Herbert Wolf held that the "king of Babylon" was not a specific ruler but a generic representation of the whole line of rulers.
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Famous quotes containing the words star, lucifer and/or morning:
“The Star that bids the Shepherd fold,
Now the top of Heavn doth hold,
And the gilded Car of Day,
His glowing Axle doth allay
In the steep Atlantick stream,”
—John Milton (16081674)
“Now the runaways would run no more and never
again would their hair be tangled into diamonds,
never again their shoes worn down to a laugh,
never the bed falling down into purgatory
to let them climb in after
with their Lucifer kicking.”
—Anne Sexton (19281974)
“In a pleasant spring morning all mens sins are forgiven. Such a day is a truce to vice. While such a sun holds out to burn, the vilest sinner may return.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)