God of the Week: Helal (Day Star, Morning star)

12/06/2010: Helel

Helel is a Canaanite personification of the morning star, in Latin known as Lucifer, and known t0 us as the planet Venus. In translation of the Hebrew texts, Saint Jerome used the Latin “Lucifer” in place of Helel, and this substitution has become commonplace in many Bibles to this day.

In Isaiah 14:12, Helel (the morning star) is revealed to be the son of Shahar, the dawn goddess. This passage compares the king of Babylon with the morning star, who appears as the brightest object in the sky for a short time, until he quickly falls and is replaced by the sun. Lack of knowledge of this reference, along with Jerome’s substitution of the Latin “Lucifer”, caused many readers of the book to mistakenly identified the character as the Hebrew “Adversary” (Satan).

How you havefallen from heaven,O star of the morning (Helal), son of the dawn (shahar)!You have been cut down to the earth,You who have weakened the nations!

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