|Lucifer | Light Bearer | Venus
||[Feb. 26th, 2010|08:05 pm]
The name 'Lucifer' (Light Giver) refers to the planet Venus - the brightest object in the sky apart from the Sun and the Moon - when appearing as the Morning Star. Lucifer has been erroneously equated with the fallen angel Satan, because of a scriptural misreading of a passage applied to Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, who in his glory and pomp aspired to exalt himself to the level of god, as reported in Isaiah : "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning." Just as the brilliance of Lucifer surpasses that of all other stars in firmament, so the splendor of the king of Babylon suprasses that of all Oriental monarchs.
According to the Qur'an, Iblis (the Arabic name used) disobeyed an order from Allah to bow to Adam and as a result was forced out of heaven and given respite until the day of judgment from further punishment: "It is We Who created you and gave you shape; then We bade the angels prostrate to Adam, and they prostrate; not so Iblis (Lucifer); He refused to be of those who prostrate." (Allah) said: "What prevented thee from prostrating when I commanded thee?" He said: "I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire, and him from clay."
In the New Testament the Adversary has many names, but "Lucifer" is not among them. He is called "Satan" (Matt. 4:10; Mark 1:13, 4:15; Luke 10:18), "devil" (Matt. 4:1), "adversary" (1. Peter 5:8, Tim. 5:14), "enemy" (Matt. 13:39), "accuser" (Rev. 12:10), "old serpent" (Rev. 20:2), "great dragon" (Rev. 12:9), Beelzebub (Matt. 10:25, 12:24), and Belial (comp. Samael). In Luke 10:18, John 12:31, 2. Cor. 6:16, and Rev. 12:9 the fall of Satan is mentioned. The devil is regarded as the author of all evil (Luke 10:19; Acts 5:3; 2. Cor. 11:3; Ephes. 2:2), who beguiled Eve (2. Cor. 11:3; Rev. 12:9). Because of Satan death came into this world, being ever the tempter (1. Cor. 7:5; 1. Thess. 3:5; 1. Peter 5:8), even as he tempted Jesus (Matt. 4). The Christian demonology and belief in the devil dominated subsequent periods. However, though the New Testament includes the conception that Satan fell from heaven "as lightning" (Luke 10:18; Rev. 12:7-10), it nowhere applies the name Lucifer to him. Thus "stella matutina" in Revelation 2:28, which promises the Morning Star to those who persevere. In Revelation 22:16, where Jesus calls himself "the bright morning star". Outside the Bible, the Roman Rite liturgy's Exultet chant in praise of the paschal candle refers to Christ as the Morning Star (in Latin, lucifer, with lower-case initial).
As one of the brightest objects in the sky, Venus has been known since prehistoric times and as such has gained an entrenched position in human culture. It is described in Babylonian cuneiformic texts such as the Venus tablet of Ammisaduqa, which relates observations that possibly date from 1600 BC. The Babylonians named the planet Ishtar (Sumerian Inanna), the personification of womanhood, and goddess of love.
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