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Who is the Day Star?

From one of the very first weeks of Creation, in the Garden of Eden, Satan, the Devil, has tried to usurp the power of the Creator God. Satan is also called Lucifer, a name derived from the Latin words “Luc” meaning “light” and “ferre” meaning “bearer.”

A powerful angel was he created, the number one angel in heaven, the “bearer of the light.” But he was not happy with that and wanted to be God himself. So he rebelled, because of his pride, and has been rebelling against God and His created order ever since.

Gustave Dore. Lucifer
Lucifer by Gustave Dore

Though cast down from his former state, he continues to pass himself off as a pure and good being.

2 Corinthians 1:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (KJV)

But don’t be deceived. He is a usurper and an imitator of God, only that he is a deceiver and not good and righteous at all. He tries to copy everything that God is. This, it seems includes one of God’s names, the Day Star.

If you read from different English translations of the Bible there seems to be some confusion between them as to the identity of the Day Star. We find the term in 2 Peter 1. For context we should read 2 Peter 1:19-21:

2 Peter 1:19-21 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that you take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (KJVER)

Sunrise over lake Biwa Credit: Wikipedia
Sunrise over lake Biwa. Credit: Wikipedia

In these verses and any that follow, KJVER means KJV Easy Read version where the Jacobean forms (ye, thine, ‘th’ on end of words, etc) has been modernised. Otherwise it is identical to the King James Bible.

Quite obviously the Day Star is our Lord Jesus Christ. Who else can “arise in your hearts”? The Greek word translated here is φωσφόρος phosphoros, which means “light-bearing” (“phosphorus”) or  “the morning-star” (figuratively). Some English versions have “the morning star” (NKJV, NIV, ESV, NASB) or “a morning star” (YLT).

2 Peter 1:19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,  (ESV)

2 Peter 1:19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. (NIV)

2 Peter 1:19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. (NASB)

The Scriptures (2 Peter 1:20) also tell us that the Bible interprets the Bible (i.e. no private interpretation) and that the men of God who wrote down God’s Words were just agents moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:21), like a secretary might write what her boss dictates.

Psalm 45:1 My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. (KJV)

Now let’s look at what different versions have for Isaiah 14:12 (my emphases added):

Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how are you cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! (KJVER)

Isaiah 14:12 “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!  (ESV)

Isaiah 14:12 How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!  (NIV)

Isaiah 14:12 “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! (NASB)

In context of the Scriptures the Hebrew word הֵילֵל heylel translated “O Lucifer” is correct. It is Mickelson’s dictionary word H1966. Strong’s Hebrew dictionary translates it as “a shining one”, which fits Satan’s original role as the “light-bearer.” But many lexicons translate the word literally as “the morning star.”  Lucifer is a fallen angel and angels are often referred to as “stars” (figuratively) in Scripture. The Hebrew word for star (כּוֹכָב kokab) is not mentioned at all in this verse. Yet the ESV actually uses the same expression “Day Star” for what is quite clearly Lucifer, Satan. The NIV calls him the “morning star.” If that is correct, how can a reference to Jesus Christ in 2 Peter 1:19 be also translated as “the morning star” in many modern English Bible versions?

Is it Lucifer usurping God again? It does seem so. In Isaiah 14, the context is the temporal king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, who is referred to by the Hebrew word הֵילֵל heylel, which is translated correctly as “O Lucifer” in the KJV. Nebuchadnezzar was not the Day Star, nor the morning star. Definitely Lucifer, who possessed Nebuchadnezzar, is not the Day Star.

Revelation 22:16 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. (KJV)

There is only one Day Star, and He is Jesus Christ. The KJV gets the translation correct.


By John Gideon Hartnett

Dr John G. Hartnett is an Australian physicist and cosmologist, and a Christian with a biblical creationist worldview. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. (with distinction) in Physics from The University of Western Australia, W.A., Australia. He was an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellow at the University of Adelaide, with rank of Associate Professor. Now he is retired. He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.