Who Is the Morning Star?
Question: The KJV states Lucifer is the "son of the morning." The NIV calls Lucifer "the morning star." Is there a conflict between these two?
Answer: Yes! Isaiah 14 indicates that the one so named "Lucifer" in verse 12 will be "brought down to hell" according to verse 15. Verse 12 states: "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!" Verse 15 states: "Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell."
Many Bible commentators have rightly concluded that this passage is speaking about Satan, his pride and arrogance, and his ultimate fall. This passage makes it clear that this being named "Lucifer" had many unholy ambitions. "For thou hast said," we read in verse 13, "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most high." This is what got Satan into trouble: He wanted to be like God. In verse 12 Satan is in Heaven; in verse 15 he is in Hell.
Modern translations have an unusual rendering of Isaiah 14:12. The New International Version, for example, translates Isaiah 14:12 this way: "How you have fallen from heaven O morning star, son of the dawn. . . ." In verse 15 the NIV says that this morning star will be "brought down to the grave." The NIV, with virtually all of the other modern translations, with the exception of the New King James Version, speaks about this "morning star" falling from Heaven and being brought "to the grave." Who is the "morning star"?
In Revelation 22:16 the Lord Jesus Christ says: "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." Jesus is "the bright and morning star." Shouldn’t we be concerned that, according to the modern translations of Isaiah 14:12, the "morning star," identified as Jesus Christ in the New Testament, falls from Heaven because of pride and is cast into "Hell"? Is this not the ultimate blasphemy and therefore the worst possible translation?
How did the modern versions come up with their translation? On what basis do they use the words "morning star"? Simply by adding a word to the Hebrew text. The Hebrew text has the words: helel ben shachar. That literally translates into Helel, son of the morning. You will notice that the word "star," kokab, is not there. The modern versions translate the passage as if the Hebrew text stated: kokab shachar ben shachar. In doing so, they actually add the word "star" (kokab) and repeat the word shachar, meaning "morning" or "dawn."
But what is the justification of the modern translations for using the words "morning star"? The Hebrew helel comes from the root hll meaning "to shine." The translation "Lucifer" is from the Latin Vulgate and comes from two Latin words, lucis, meaning "light" and fero meaning "to bring." Neither does the Hebrew or the Latin say anything about any "star." The source, then, of the translation "morning star" is pagan mythology. Due to the brightness of the planet Venus, and the time of its appearing, it was considered the bright and morning star. Mythology and certainly not sound linguistics calls Satan the "morning star."
Among all the English versions readily available today, only the King James Version and the New King James Version establish the connection between Lucifer and Satan. This important testimony to the rise and ultimate fall of Satan would be lost except for the testimony of these two translations.