Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Howl!

Unless you're a Mason or a Biblical scholar, or are still mind-boggled at the over-literalness of Josh the Baptist, our Kentucky minister friend with whom we had online conversations during the past month, you might want to just skim this entry quickly and move on. But before you do, note that this piece ends with a link to Beat poet Allen Ginsberg's epic Howl, which I bet you haven't read or heard lately. I once saw Ginsberg read it / recite it / rant it. Wow.

In a way-too-long article at Bible-Truths.com, we find references to Lucifer and the King of Tyre. Written from a devoutly Christian but definitely not literalist point of view, author L. Ray Smith proves that Lucifer referred to in that famous passage of Isaiah 14:12 — "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!"— is not and never was intended to be Satan.

By pointing out all the other uses of the same Hebrew word eiliu (and variations) in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea and other Prophetic books, he shows that the Latin word "Lucifer" should never have been used in the famous verse. He says that word should properly have been translated as "howl."

He writes:
... I will list the King James renderings of the word that is found in the "Hebrew" texts and transliterations of its various forms in every occurrence in the entire KJV Bible. Now you can be the judge. In all Hebrew of Aramaic texts of Isa. 14:12, the only word found is "heh-lehl," eill, which is a form of the Hebrew stem "yah-lahl," ill, meaning howl. Here is Kittel’s Hebrew Text for the Hebrew Stem ill — "yah-lahl" — HOWL:
Isa. 13:6 eiliu Howl ye
Isa. 14:31 eili Howl
Isa. 15:2 iilil shall howl
Isa. 15:3 iilil shall howl
Isa. 16:7 iilil Howl
Isa. 16:7 iilil shall howl
Isa. 23:1 eililu Howl ye
Isa. 23:6 eililu Howl ye
Isa. 23:14 eililu Howl ye
Isa. 52:5 eililu make to howl
Isa. 65:14 eililu shall howl
Jer. 4:8 ueililu Howl
Jer. 25:34 eililu Howl
Jer. 47:2 ueill and shall howl
Jer. 48:20 eilili Howl
Jer. 48:31 ailil will I howl
Jer. 48:39 eililu They shall howl (Howl ye)
Jer. 49:3 eilili Howl (Howl ye)
Jer. 51:8 eililu howl
Ezek.30:2 eililu Howl ye
Hos. 7:14 iililu They howled
Joel 1:5 ueililu And howl
Joel 1:11 eililu howl
Joel 1:13 eililu And shall be howlings
Amos 8:1 ueililu and howl
Micah 1:8 uailile howl ye
Zeph. 1:11 aililu Howl
Zech.11:2 eill howl
Zech.11:2 eililu howl
Isa. 14:12 eill Lucifer (??)

I don’t believe one has to be a Hebrew scholar to see at a glance that "Lucifer" is totally out of place in this list. The meaning of this word is clear; eill is a verb that means "howl", and not a noun than can be twisted into a personal name such as "lucifer"!
I'm thinking this pretty much gets Freemasons off the hook as far as being "devil worshippers," since most people who say that about Masons base their opinion on the fact that Albert Pike, the man who rewrote the Masonic Scottish Rite rituals and who wrote thd 861-page Morals and Dogma seemed to praise "Lucifer."

Lucifer, as we know, means Light-Bringer, and nowhere except in people's minds has it ever meant "Satan" or "the Devil." And yes, Masons seek Light, so they'd be happy to see a Light-Bringer coming.

But the Light-Bringer isn't the Devil.

Smith convincingly points out that the entire passage in Isaiah where Lucifer is mentioned is referring to the King of Babylon during that time period.

Here he points out each pronoun, each time showing it refers to the King of Babylon. (See entire chapter for original context.) Then... suddenly... for no obvious purpose but simply driven by a misplaced stylus-stroke by a scribe, he says, "Lucifer" is created out of nothing.
"All they shall speak and say unto thee [king of Babylon], Art thou [king of Babylon] also become weak as we? Art thou [king of Babylon] become like unto us [mere mortals and not gods from heaven]. Thy [king of Babylon] pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy [king of Babylon] viols: the worm is spread under thee [king of Babylon], and the worms cover thee [king of Babylon]. How art thou [king of Babylon] fallen from heaven, O Lucifer…"?!?

Here is how the Concordant Literal Old Testament translates this verse by following the Hebrew Manuscripts rather than the Catholic Latin Bible: "How you have fallen from the heavens! Howl, son of the dawn! You are hacked down to the earth, defeater of all nations."

* * *

All this talk of howling reminds me of Allen Ginsberg's epic poem Howl. If you've never heard Ginsberg read it or read it yourself, you're missing something amazing. Warning: It contains words and images some people find offensive.

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  1. I posted a polite invitation over at Josh the Baptist's blog Practical Theological Discussions, thinking that perhaps ol' Josh, Chip and company might provide some insight into this interesting topic.

    Here was my invitation, posted Feb. 14, 2006 at the anti-Masonry article on Practical Theological Discussions:

    Friends: You may (or may not) find a recent post on the Burning Taper to be of interest. It discusses and links to an article by a Christian who (to his own mind anyway) proves that Lucifer, referred to in Isaiah 12:14 ("How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!") is not and never was intended to refer to Satan, and instead resulted from a scribe's mis-stroke of a stylus. If true, this would: 1) prove that the Bible shouldn't be taken literally without checking the original Hebrew manuscripts against later translations and; 2) show that Albert Pike wasn't refering to Satan when he spoke of Lucifer, thereby demonstrating accusations that Masons worship the Devil are groundless. Peace. — The Widow's Son

    Pastor Josh Buice apparently didn't find the discussion worthy... he deleted my post.

    Nothing like a Baptist censor....

    — The Widow's Son

  2. Widow's Son,

    Actually, your invitation may have been taken seriously if you would simply send an e-mail rather than inserting your own self marketing in our website. The invitation had nothing to do with Freemasonry! That is the discussion where you posted your invitation.

    If I have time, I will address your subject, but at the moment, I am personally very busy.

    I hope to discuss these issues with you in the upcoming days.

    Josh Buice
    Not ashamed of the Gospel -- Romans 1:16

  3. You're too funny, Josh.

    How can I invite you and your associates and your blog readers to our site if I don't leave a link? Is that self-marketing, or a courtesy? Sorry... I thought the heart and soul of blogging was the hyperlink. My bad.

    But speaking of marketing... you don't seem to be able to post a comment without inserting at least one marketing message from one of Saint Paul's epistles, can ya?

  4. I'm impressed. I read but a mere fraction of that site and what it had to say and was impressed. You saved me some time and energy on that. I do find the translation to be suspiscious, but then if your not taking things to literally, something like this would be lost on you.

    Nicely put Widow's Son, nicely put.

  5. Dear all,
    if you take the time and trouble to read any book on "The History of the Bible", meant not as "history as it was in those days" but "how the Book of Books came to be", you will realize the Old Testament itself mentions over and over of "Books of old" and "parchments" in a style which makes it clear that the author of those words had the clear picture of the antiquity of the described documents.
    Items that someone in 1000BC considered "ancient", in times when records and implements were handed down generation after generation... must have been so old there was no memory of them exixsting at all, when they were found.
    "Parchment" means "written od thinly cut hide" in the days when papyrus was the staple writing material, as it was sold and exported from Egypt throughout all the Middle East.
    Why am I saying this? Because the Old Testament clearly mentions at least one time when mentioning the translation for the benefit of the Jewish community in Alexiandria; thus the "Septuagint" Bible was created. Unfortunately, rthe "Seventy Wise Men" had clear orders from the Priests of the Temple, that only the face value of the Scriptures was to be translated; no permission to translate acronyms, abbreviaitons, idiomatic expressions and Ghematria.
    King James' Bible derives from the Septuagint, with the addition and correction from Latin Bibles and the earlier (and often banned) Vulgatas. Hence, all is, as the saying goes, "Lost in Translation" and all we're laft with is a nice, 4000 year old fairy tale.
    The evidence? In Greek, Elohim "created Heavens and Earth, but in Hebrew "manipulated" it; terraforming, if you will, but not "created out of nothing".
    The Snake is NOT the symbol of Evil. In Numbers 21:6 YHWH orders Moses to "forge an antenna (very thin and tall rod) and hang a snake onto it" - that snake is the Caduceus used by Toth in Egypt and by Hermes/Apollo in Greco-Roman religion. Anything BUT a symbol of evil.
    Until King Hezekiah destroyed it in 2Kings 18:4, that is...


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