What does the Bible say about Lucifer?
If you regularly study the Bible, you’re familiar with how God dealt with men and women throughout biblical history. Again and again, in the old and new testaments, you see the mercy of God being extended to rebellious people. But what about God’s dealings with angels? Scripture tells us that God was dealing with angels even before the fall of Adam and Eve. One particular angel, Lucifer, is mentioned in Scripture. Here’s what the Bible has to say about Lucifer and the other angels.
Christian quotes about Lucifer
“In the midst of a world of light and love, of song and feast and dance, Lucifer could find nothing to think of more interesting than his own prestige.” C.S. Lewis
“Sin came through the pride of Lucifer and salvation came through the humility of Jesus.” Zac Poonen
“Don’t think of Satan as a harmless cartoon character with a red suit and a pitchfork. He is very clever and powerful, and his unchanging purpose is to defeat God’s plans at every turn—including His plans for your life.” Billy Graham, in The Journey
“Satan, like a fisher, baits his hook according to the appetite of the fish.” Thomas Adams
Who is Lucifer in the Bible?
Interestingly, the name Lucifer only appears one time in the King James Version of the Bible. In Isaiah 14:12-15, we read a description of a being that in Hebrew is translated hêlēl or shining.
The King James Version translates this verse as: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which weakened the nations! (Isaiah 14:12 KJV) The name Lucifer doesn’t appear anywhere else in the KJV Bible.
The American Standard Version of 1901, dropped the name Lucifer, and stick closer to the original Hebrew meaning. It reads, How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, that did lay low the nations! (Isaiah 14:12 ASV)
At some point, the “angel of light” or “shining one” got the name Devil. This name means slanderer. He was also called Satan, which means accuser. Jesus calls him “the evil one” in Matthew 13:19. Other descriptions you find in scripture include:
- Ruler of this world
- Prince of the power of the air
- Accuser of the brethren
- The god of this age
1. Isaiah 14:12-15 (KJV) “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 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 most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”
2. Matthew 13:19 (NKJV) “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.”
3. Revelation 20:2 (ESV) “And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.”
4. John 10:10 (NIV) “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
5. Ephesians 2:2 “in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.”
6. Matthew 12:26 “And if Satan is casting out Satan, he is divided and fighting against himself. His own kingdom will not survive.”
Why is Satan called Lucifer?
Scholars suggest that when the Hebrew was translated into Latin, the word lucifero was used because it means “to shine “ in Latin. At that time, Lucifero was a popular name for the Devil. So, the translators of the King James Version kept the Latin term “Lucifer” when they translated Isaiah 12:14.
7. Isaiah 14:12 (NLT) “How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world.”
The fall of Lucifer
Although Lucifer was described as “shining one” and “daystar”, he was diminished into being called Satan, the enemy and accuser of mankind.
How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God, I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit. Isaiah 14:12-15.
In Ezekiel 28:1-15, the prophet Ezekiel describes someone he calls the king of Tyre. Although there was a king of Tyre, this description goes way beyond any human abilities. Some scholars think the earlier part of the chapter in Ezekiels describes the king, but moves to describing the fall of Satan. But most scholars agree that although this is a difficult passage to interpret, it’s likely these verses are about the fall of the angel who became the Devil or Satan.
Ezekiel 26: 16-17
16 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.
17 Your heart was proud because of your beauty;
you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.
I cast you to the ground;
In the New Testament, we read about the judgment that occurred for Lucifer and his angels.
8. 2 Peter 2:4 (ESV) “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.”
9. Luke 10:18 (NASB) “And He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like lightning.”
10. Revelation 9:1 “The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss.”
11. Isaiah 14:12 “How you have fallen from heaven, O day star, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the ground, O destroyer of nations.”
12. Ezekiel 26:16-17 “Then all the princes of the sea will descend from their thrones, remove their robes, and strip off their colorfully woven garments. They will clothe themselves with trembling; they will sit on the ground, tremble again and again, and be appalled at you. 17 And they will take up a song of mourning over you and say to you, ‘How you have perished, you inhabited one, From the seas, you famous city, Which was mighty on the sea, She and her inhabitants, Who imposed her terror On all her inhabitants!”
13. Ezekiel 28:1-5 “The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “‘In the pride of your heart you say, “I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas.” But you are a mere mortal and not a god, though you think you are as wise as a god. 3 Are you wiser than Daniel? Is no secret hidden from you? 4 By your wisdom and understanding you have gained wealth for yourself and amassed gold and silver in your treasuries. 5 By your great skill in trading you have increased your wealth, and because of your wealth your heart has grown proud.”
Where does Lucifer appear in the Bible?
The word Lucifer only appears in the King James Version of the Bible. The other English translations choose to use the daystar, shining one in Isaiah 14:12. The Latin word Lucifero was popular when the KJV was translated, so they used the popular Latin translation.
The best description of this “angel of light” is in Revelation 12:9 (ESV). It says,
The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world — he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
15. Job 1:12 “The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.”
16. Zechariah 3:2 “The LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”
17. Jude 1:9 “But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
18. Revelation 12:9 “And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”
Why does Lucifer fall from heaven?
According to scripture, God created Lucifer as a perfect being without defect. At some point, he sinned and rebelled against God. Because of his perfection and beauty;him, he became prideful. His pride was so great, he thought he could overcome God’s rule. God brought judgment against him so he no longer held his position as the anointed one.
See Ezekiel 28:13-15 (ESV)
You were the signet of perfection,
full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13 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.
14 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.
15 You were blameless in your ways
from the day you were created,
till unrighteousness was found in you.
19. Ezekiel 28:13-15 “You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl.[a] Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. 14 You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. 15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you.”
20. Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
21. Proverbs 18:12 “Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.”
Why did God create Lucifer?
In Genesis 1:31, God describes his creations as very good. This included the perfect, beautiful “shining one” described in Isaiah. In the creation story, God enjoys His creation. Lucifer started out as a shining one, but his sin against God caused him to be cast out. He became a mere shadow of who he was. His power and influence are reduced to being a tempter of men. In the future, God promises to cast him out completely.
22. Revelation 12:9 (ESV) And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
23. 1 Samuel 16:15-16 “And Sauls servants said to him, “Behold now, a harmful spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the harmful spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well.”
24. 1 Timothy 1:20 (ESV) “among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.”
25. Revelation 13:8 (ESV) “and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.”
Lucifer temps humanity to sin
In Genesis 3:1 we read that the serpent(Lucifer or Satan) was more crafty than any other beast. According to the Merriam Webster online dictionary, the word crafty means ” adept in using, subtlety and cunning.” This gives you a good idea of Satan’s motivation to tempt Adam and Eve. Perhaps he wanted to get back at God for judging him. Scripture doesn’t tell us exactly what the Devil’s reasons were for tempting the first humans in the Garden of Eden.
We read he was living in the Garden of Eden. He must have looked for opportunities to corrupt Adam and Eve. He tempts humanity to sin by instilling doubts into Eve’s mind about God. Here’s the account of how Lucifer first tempts humanity to sin.
Genesis 3: 1-7 (ESV)
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
Jesus, in John 8:44, describes the Devil this way.
“He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.“
26. 2 Corinthians 11:14 “No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”
27. 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
28. Mark 1:13 “and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.”
29. Acts 5:3 “Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?”
30. Matthew 16:23 “Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
31. Matthew 4:5-6 “Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “’He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”
32. Luke 4:13 “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.”
33. Ephesians 4:27 “and do not give the devil an opportunity.”
34. John 8:44 “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
35. Genesis 3:1-7 “Now the serpent was more cunning than any animal of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God really said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You certainly will not die! 5 For God knows that on the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will become like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves waist coverings.”
Jesus’ victory over Lucifer
When Jesus died for our sins on the cross, he brought a death blow to Satan. He defeated him by stripping him of his power to accuse. When Christ died the accuser was brought to his knees. Everyone who trusts Jesus will never die. Satan can’t separate those who believe from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
36. Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
37. Colossians 2:14-15 (ESV) “he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.“
38. Romans 16:20 “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”
39. Hebrews 2:14 “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil.”
40. Colossians 2:14-15 New International Version 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
41. 1 Corinthians 15:57 (HCSB) “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”
42. Colossians 1:13-15 “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
43. 1 John 4:4 “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”
44. 1 John 5:4 “whoever has been born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith.”
Is Satan in hell?
Satan in not in hell at the moment. However, Revelation 20:10 tells us that someday God is going to cast Satan into the lake of fire….and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
In the meantime, be aware of these things:
Bad things happen
Satan is going to tempt you and cause bad things to happen, but you can trust Christ to be with you in the midst of your trial.…. for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6 (ESV)
Don’t be surprised at evil
Do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as something strange were happening to you. 1 Peter 4:12 (ESV).
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good” Romans 12:9 (ESV)
Pray to be relieved from evil
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Matthew 6:13 (ESV)
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)
Do good, not evil
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21 (ESV)
Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (ESV)
45. Revelation 20:10 “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
46. John 12:31 “Now judgment is upon this world; now the prince of this world will be cast out.”
47. John 14:30 “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me.”
48. Ephesians 2:2 “in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.”
49. Revelation 20:14 “Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.”
50. Revelation 19:20 “But the beast was captured along with the false prophet, who on its behalf had performed signs deceiving those who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. Both the beast and the false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.”
God allowed Satan’s fall. He oversees everything Satan does. Everything the Devil does is under his control. He’s never surprised by evil, but in his wisdom, God has a purpose in it. Scripture doesn’t tell us every detail about what happened with Lucifer and his fall. But can trust that God rules and reigns over him just like he does all his creation.