Who Was Lucifer Before He Became a Fallen Angel?

Andrei Tapalaga

The Fallen Angel (1847) by Alexandre Cabanel, picturing Lucifer in a Christian viewWikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The story of Lucifer, the fallen angel is quite interesting, but many Christians do not exactly understand who Lucifer was and who he became. Most people think that Lucifer was turned into Satan, but it is important to remember that Satan is not a name, but a title in Hebrew that translates to "resister" or "adversary". We do not know exactly who Lucifer became after he had fallen from Heave, but scholars of the bible have a rough idea of who he was.

There was no evil until Lucifer turned against God, or at least this is what some gospels say. Marc Lawrence, a prolific scholar of the bible mentions that Lucifer was never an angel, the name is the invention of Jerome after mistranslating a Hebrew word into Latin via Greek, but we have seen his name appear in multiple scriptures. Some of these refer to Lucifer in fact being the King of Babylon, probably Nebuchadnezzar II. (Isaiah 14:4, 12)

Once again, we see the name of Lucifer being used to represent evil as many see Lucifer as Satan or in some cases his son. But who was Lucifer according to the bible?

Based on Isaiah 14, Lucifer was an angel created by God, referring to him as the son of the morning. the name refers to someone that’s a “Light Bringer”—and in an even more literal sense, it refers to the planet Venus, or “Morning Star”. It’s actually been used to refer to King David, in a nice way.

In Ezekiel 28 that the first ten verses of this chapter are dealing with a human leader. Then, starting in verse 11 and on through verse 19, Lucifer is the focus of the discussion:

Moreover, the word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord GOD: "You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you. In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 
Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you. By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade you profaned your sanctuaries; so I brought fire out from your midst; it consumed you, and I turned you to ashes on the earth in the sight of all who saw you. All who know you among the peoples are appalled at you; you have come to a dreadful end and shall be no more forever." (Ezekiel 28:11-19)

You can see that within the verses Lucifer is referred to the perfect embodiment and even referred to as a cherub (better known as Cherubim) which is a type of angel from heaven. This once again confirms that Lucifer was in fact an angel before becoming a demon or at least that is what the Christian community presumes he became once he reached the depths of hell.

The Cherubim of Glory By Julius Bates (1773)Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The second thing to notice is that he was guarding the mountain of God or heaven, quite an important title which shows that God himself had placed a lot of trust in Lucifer so the betrayal was even more painful that he was not able to find forgiveness, especially when he turned many other angels from heaven against their creator.

The issue with Lucifer is that he wanted to receive the same pride God was receiving from his followers. This greed pushed Lucifer to convince 1/3 of God's angles to rebel against God.

However, Lucifer was kicked out of heaven for trying to be God and take over heaven which was a big sin. Isaiah 14:13-15: “(13) For thou hast said in thine heart, 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: (14) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the highest. (15) Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

Jesus originally created hell for the devil and his demons, but he also sent those in heaven that went against him into hell. Every fallen angel, such as Lucifer, presented greed in wanting to have the same power and status as God himself. What exactly happened to those fallen angels is more based on belief, but the most common belief is that they have joined the ranks of evil in hell with the mission to dethrone God and take his place of glory.

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