555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

189. How Did Satan Receive the Name "Lucifer"?

There have been at different times various interpretations of the famous passage in Isa. 14:12: "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!" "Lucifer" means "light-bringer," and has also been translated "son of the morning," "morning star," "brilliant," "splendid," "illustrious." Tertullian and Gregory the Great interpreted the passage in Isaiah as referring to the fall of Satan, and, since their time, the name "Lucifer" has been almost universally held by the Christian Church to be an appellation of Satan before the fall. Dr. Henderson, a famous commentator, simply interprets it "illustrious son of the morning," and holds that it has no reference to the fall of the apostate angels. Some later authorities claim that the passage has a prophetic reference to the fall from power of the great and illustrious King of Babylon, who surpassed all other monarchs of his time in splendor.