Traditionally; the passage above, as well as Isaiah 14, is used to lend credence to the idea that 'Satan' is/was a fallen spiritual being, an archangel that rebelled and fell from Heaven, but I have always believed, and wish to try to show you now, that these passages are indicative, not of a fallen spiritual being named 'Satan', but of mere men who were adversaries of God's people, one of which, at least, was anointed by God to chasten His 'children'.
Quoting ( at length ) from Isaiah 14;
12 How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,[b] son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart: ‘ I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ 15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit. 16 “ Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: ‘ Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, 17 who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?’
Many theologians have read this passage, in particular, verses 12-15, as comparing the king of Babylon with this supposed fallen angel named 'Satan', or 'Lucifer', which basically means 'light-bearer', but I think that it is pretty clear that we have here another example of 'biblical parallelism', or, saying the same thing twice, in two different ways. In the context of God's words through Isaiah here; it is actually quite ridiculous to assume that, in the middle of pronouncing His woes against the king of Babylon, God would insert a short passage speaking of an altogether different 'person'. ( Maybe not quite so ridiculous really, considering that the king of Babylon was motivated by the same power that motivated the serpent in the Garden! ) As I have explained in my Bible studies many times; the king of Babylon, as so many other kings and rulers ( Exodus 9:16 ), thinking that they were merely following their own agenda, inadvertently fulfilled God's purposes. Solomon wrote, in Proverbs 21:1, 'The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.' Another definition for Lucifer is 'day-star'. In II Peter 1:19; Peter names the Christ 'the morning star', and Jesus Himself confirms this in Revelation 22:16. One might argue, as tradition is, I believe, that the Day-star, or this 'Lucifer' was once 'an angel of light' ( II Corinthians 11:14 ) before he got jealous of God's position and tried to exalt himself above God's throne, and was 'kicked out' of Heaven; but I believe that it can be proven from Scripture that this is not necessarily the case. From the other passage that I've noted, Ezekiel 28, that is traditionally used to 'prove' the existence of the fallen angel named 'Satan'; I wish to quote verses 14-16;
14You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. 15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you. 16By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned; therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones. ( this could almost be speaking of Adam )
From Peake's Commentary on the Bible, as quoted in a Wikipedia article on the subject of cherubim;
A number of scholars have proposed that cherubim were originally a version of the shedu, protective deities sometimes found as pairs of colossal statues either side of objects to be protected, such as doorways..
From an article that I had written several years ago, entitled 'Chariots of Fire'; I quote,
'Ungers Bible Dictionary says that they ( cherubim ) were vindicators ( or protectors?- my addition ) of God's holiness that overshadowed the ark of the covenant.'
Lamenting for the king of Tyre, in the passage above ( Ezekiel 28 ); we see that he, as Adam, in a typical ( speaking of the second 'Adam', Jesus Christ-I Corinthians 15:47 ) sense, was the 'anointed cherub who covers' making one think of the Ark of the Covenant, in Exodus 25:17-22. The writer uses the Hebrew verb סכך, which has a meaning of 'to hedge, fence about, shut in' to describe this 'anointed cherub' , strengthening the idea that they were beings, whether human or otherwise, 'good' ( Judges 14 ) or 'evil' ( Exodus 9, II Kings 24 ( Jeremiah 27:6 ) , that stood as protectors of the glory and holiness of God. Although we have no record, as far as I know, of the king of Tyre taking captive ( from 'The Land' ) God's errant children, we do see in Scripture ( Isaiah 14 ) that the king of Babylon did, being 'sent ( Jeremiah 21:10, 25:9, 27:6, Ezekiel 21:1-21, Amos 5:25-27 ( Acts 7:43 ) of the Lord'! One might wonder why I say that someone like Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, was a protector of God's glory: well, if my readers will remember that when God gave 'the apple' of His 'eye' into captivity under the hand of the king of Babylon, it was for His glory ( Psalm 106:8, Isaiah 42:8, 48, 60, 66:5, Jeremiah 2:11, 13:11, 14:7, 14:21, Ezekiel 20:9, 36:22, 39:21, Daniel 9:3-19, Hosea 4:7, Habakkuk 2:16, 3, Malachi 2:2 ), to protect His name, which His people were profaning among the nations! Our first parents, Adam & Eve, were turned out of the Garden for the very same reason; because they had profaned His name, His glory ( Genesis 3 ). As we see in Jeremiah 25:9, God called the wicked king of Babylon 'My servant'; in Isaiah 45:1, God said that the selfish king of Persia was 'His anointed', while back in Exodus 9:16, God told the Pharaoh of Egypt 'I have raised you up'. Whether we like it or no, whether we agree with is choices or not; it is clear that God has used, in the past, and still uses, 'evil' men to accomplish His purposes.
In the Revelation of Jesus Christ ( 4:11 ); John recorded that the twenty-four elders around the throne of God praised His glory, saying that 'You are worthy, O Lord,[g]to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist;[h] and were created.' The apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians, in chapter 1, 'For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.' I think that most people ( Christians ) would agree with these statements above, at least to some degree, and acknowledge that all creation was made to serve God, and His purposes, and even that 'Satan', whether he is a fallen spiritual being, as is traditional, or whether Satan is just a name given to the adversaries of God's people and purpose ( Remember that Jesus told Peter to 'Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.' ( Matthew 16:23 ) is, as Nebuchadnezzar above, a servant of God, to fulfill His purpose, whether for 'good' or for 'evil' ( whether we like it or not )!
My purpose in this little study is, first of all, to bring glory to His holy name by reminding my readers that it is His purposes that will be accomplished, not ours, not 'Satans', and second, to edify and strengthen my readers by relieving them through the fact that , although Paul warned his readers, in Ephesians 6:12, 'For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[c] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.', it is not the tradition 'demons' and 'devils', per se, which we strive against, but that we fight against the desires and purposes of wicked and selfish people, as we ourselves once were, and sometimes, still are! You've probably heard the phrase, 'the mind is a battlefield': James wrote, 'Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet[a] you do not have because you do not ask.' ( James 4:1&2 ) Our 'problems' come when we neglect to ask our Heavenly Father for what we need, or want, and from how we treat the gifts that He does send ( whether we think they're 'good' or 'evil' ), not from this traditional fallen spiritual being, or angel that we call 'Satan''!
May God bless you with this little study!
In His service,
and for His glory,