The Mythology Behind The Lucifer Story
By James Donahue
Christians commonly associate the name Lucifer with that of the Devil
and Satan as names of God’s advisory and tempter of mankind here on Earth. But Bible scholars argue that the writings
never connect the names.
It is the Book of Isaiah that speaks of "Lucifer, son of the morning,"
and appears to identify Lucifer as an angel fallen from heaven because of pride and a challenge to be "like the most High,"
or an equal to the Creator God. Yet the meaning of this verse appears to be lost in translations from the original Hebrew
and Greek manuscripts over the years.
The students of the ancient text note that Isaiah is promising that
the Israelites wil be freed from captivity in Babylonia and then use the name of Lucifer, which in the old text was a reference
to the Morning Star, in a taunting song against their oppressor. There was an old story among the Canaanites, obviously known
to the Hebrew people of that time, that told of how the Morning Star tried to rise high above the clouds and stand on the
mountain in the far north where the gods lived, but was cast into the underworld when the sun rose. Star gazers know that
the morning star outshines all of the stars in the night sky just before dawn, then disappears when the sun appears.
A student of this subject, Kenneth Webber, notes that the name "Lucifer"
has its origins in ancient mythology, passed down by the Greeks and originating even before that with the Canaanites.
In a copyright paper, Webber points to a Canaanite story about Shaher,
the son of the Sun, called Elyon, and Hel-el, the "abyss of nothingness." Shaher is representative of the morning star, or
the planet Venus. In the story, Elyon was filled with pride, and lusting after his father’s power. For punishment, Elyon
was hurled into the abyss of Hel-el’s womb, along with all of the other stars. This act fertilized the womb which resulted
in the birth of a new day.
There is much more to the story, but we have given you enough that
you can draw some interesting parallels to other mythological stories from the ancient past. Notice the similarity between
Hel-el and the word Hell. And that the son was thrown into the pit of Hel-el as punishment. Also notice that Elyon, or the
Sun God, is a word that is very similar to the Hebrew names El and Elohim, representing the multiple gods involved in creation.
It is Webber’s belief that we are incorrect to use the name
Lucifer to identify a fallen angel.
He argues that the name Lucifer
is a Latin word that means a morning star, or Venus. The name Lucifer appears only once in the Bible, and that is the passage
Bible scholars are in agreement that this passage does not justify
the Christian belief that Lucifer is a name for a fallen archangel who rebelled against God in Heaven and was cast down to
Earth to become Satan, or the Devil. It is commonly accepted that Isaiah may have been writing about Nebuchadnezzar, an ancient
king of Babylon, who fell after exalting himself to the level of God.
St. Jerome and the early Christian scribes, when interpreting the
Old Testament text from Hebrew writings, obviously used the Latin word Lucifer to suggest that Nebuchadnezzar saw himself
as a "god of light" or a morning star.
Webber believes Isaiah plagiarized the old Canaanite story, adapting
it to fit his own story. Thus Elyon became El, one of the many Hebrew gods, Hel-el became Hell, and Shaher, or light-bringer,
when translated into Latin, becomes Lucifer.
It is interesting to note that both Socrates and Plato wrote about
a "god of light" but presented him in a story of Helios, the sun god.
The bottom line is that Lucifer is not Satan. Nor is he a fallen angel.
Yet there is important symbolism in that the name selected for this important entity is Venus, a hot dead planet that once
was considered Earth’s twin in this solar system.
Ironically, the word seems to burn in our subconscious, perhaps as
a warning that what we have done to our environment now threatens to turn Earth into the exact twin to Venus. If we don’t
stop our insanity, Earth may soon be just another hot dead ball spinning around this sun.