Lucifer means the morning star. This name was associated with the devil because of the interpretation of some passages in the Old Testament but the Bible does not say that this is his name.
In the Bible, Lucifer is not a proper name. This word came from the translation of the Bible into Latin. Isaiah 14:12 , in the original Hebrew, talks about the morning star . In Latin, the morning star is called lucifer (“the one who brings light”). Instead of translating as “morning star”, some old translations kept the word Lucifer, as if it were a name.
How did Lucifer become associated with the devil?
The name Lucifer was associated with the devil because of an interpretation of Isaiah 14: 12-20 , which is a prophecy against the “morning star”.
In Isaiah 13 and 14, God sent a message of condemnation to Babylon , which had oppressed the people of Israel. Babylon was a very large and strong empire, which conquered all its enemies. His kings, like the famous Nebuchadnezzar, were very arrogant and felt invincible.
See more about Babylon in the Bible here.
In the passage about Lucifer, the prophecy talks about someone who is the “morning star”, who has become very arrogant. The morning star thought he could become like God, stealing His glory. She thought she had all the power but her end would be humiliation and total destruction.
The most obvious interpretation is that this prophecy is about the fall of Babylon and its king. But another interpretation has also emerged, which suggests that the morning star is not just the king of Babylon. Lucifer could also be a reference to the spiritual power behind all the arrogant kings who rebel against God – the devil.
Thus, the story of the morning star may be a metaphor for the fall of the devil. He became arrogant and rebelled against God. Therefore, he was expelled and one day will be completely destroyed.
Because of this, the name Lucifer became associated with the devil in the popular Christian tradition. But the Bible does not say anywhere that Lucifer is (or was) one of the devil’s names. It just means the morning star.
See also: what is the morning star? What represents?
Is Lucifer’s story really about the devil?
The Bible does not say that the morning star story is about the devil. This prophecy is mainly a condemnation of Babylon and all the arrogants who think they can be greater than God. But the story has several similarities to what the Bible says about the devil in other passages:
- His rebellion started because of arrogance – Isaiah 14: 13-14; 1 Timothy 3: 6
- He was condemned by God and thrown to the ground – Isaiah 14:12; Revelation 12: 9
- He will be punished in hell – Isaiah 14:15; Revelation 20:10
Find out here: does the devil exist? Who is the devil?
Therefore, even if it is not a direct reference to the devil, Lucifer’s story shows the danger of falling into the same sin as the devil.