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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Lu´cifer, a word that occurs once in the English Version in the lines—


'How art thou fallen from heaven,

Lucifer, son of the morning!

How art thou felled to the ground,

That didst weaken the nations!'


(). The meaning of the Hebrew word seems to be 'brilliant,' 'splendid,' 'illustrious,' and it appears to have been the Hebrew name of the morning star. Tertullian and Gregory the Great understood this passage of Isaiah in reference to the fall of Satan; in consequence of which the name Lucifer has since been applied to Satan; and this is now the usual acceptation of the word. But Dr. Henderson, who in his Isaiah renders the line, 'Illustrious son of the morning!' justly remarks in his annotation: 'The application of this passage to Satan, and to the fall of the apostate angels, is one of those gross perversions of Sacred Writ which so extensively obtain, and which are to be traced to a proneness to seek for more in any given passage than it really contains, a disposition to be influenced by sound rather than sense, and an implicit faith in received interpretations. The scope and connection show that none but the king of Babylon is meant. In the figurative language of the Hebrews a star signifies an illustrious king or prince (; comp. ; ). The monarch here referred to, having surpassed all other kings in royal splendor, is compared to the harbinger of day, whose brilliancy surpasses that of the surrounding stars. Falling from heaven denotes a sudden political overthrow—a removal from the position of high and conspicuous dignity formerly occupied (comp. ; ).





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Lucifer'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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