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In Job 38:7 (ESV), Jehovah claims that the cornerstone of the earth was laid

when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy

implying that the morning stars were living beings.

In Revelation 22:16 (ESV), Jesus calls himself "the bright Morning Star":

I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.

The Devil also seems to be a morning star, according to Isaiah 14:12 (World English Bible). Translations seem to vary a lot on this one.

How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn!

Who are the morning stars?

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Welcome to Hermeneutics.SE! Great question. Tolkien seemed to have played off of this verse in the opening passages of "The Silmarillion". (Which translation did you quote, by the way? It's best to at least mention it once in a post.) –  Jon Ericson Dec 1 '11 at 21:46
    
Thanks. I noticed now, when checking which translations I had used, that the translations of Isaiah 14:12 seem to vary a lot: Lucifer, son of the morning, son of the dawn, star of the morning, morning star, day star... –  Tim N Dec 1 '11 at 22:01
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It may be that limiting the question to just Job will get you better answers. It's not clear to me whether either Revelation or Isaiah are referring to same person as Job or if they merely use the same imagery. Apocalyptic works have a separate set of metaphors than typical poetic passages in the Bible. It's possible that Job has something entirely different in mind. –  Jon Ericson Dec 1 '11 at 22:09
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@JonEricson C.S. Lewis also plays on it in The Magician's Nephew, and to some degree in The Dawn Treader and The Last Battle. A comparison might also be made to his Space Trilogy... –  Kazark May 25 '12 at 23:04
    
I think Isaiah 14:12 describes Nebuchanezar not any devil or satan. How did you reach that conclusion that it refers to any so-called fallen angels? –  Blessed Geek Aug 15 '12 at 6:16
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3 Answers 3

Who are the morning stars?

From the text, I would say the morning stars are the sons of God that are mentioned. This passage seemed to follow a common parallel format found in the surrounding text. Look at the repetitious nature of the surrounding passages for my reasoning:

5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
    Or who stretched the line upon it?

Note here the phrases "determined its measurements" and "stretched the line upon it," how they communicate the same thing.

6 On what were its bases sunk,
    or who laid its cornerstone,

Again here in verse six, "its bases sunk" and "laid its cornerstone," communicating the same thing.

7 when the morning stars sang together
    and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Following the battern before, the morning stars and the sons of God would be the same item.

8 "Or who shut in the sea with doors
    when it burst out from the womb,

Again, the sea is shut in, and it bursts out.

9 when I made clouds its garment
    and thick darkness its swaddling band,

And once again, the clouds are a garment, and the thick darkness is a swaddling band. Again communicating the same thing.

From the text, I think it's clear that the sons of God are the morning stars. But who are the sons of God?

According to Job 1:6 and 2:1, these were beings that would present themselves before the LORD, and Satan would come along with them. This leads me to believe they are Angels. I don't think they can be people, since no people existed at the time God laid the foundations of the Earth (Job 38:6), therefore no people could have shouted for joy (Job38:7).

Who is the Morning Star?

As you pointed out, Jesus also holds a similar title, although his is the "bright and morning star." Clearly the title "morning star" is not exclusive to Jesus, else we would have a rather odd doctrine being taught in Job 38:7.

Christ is also called the "Son of God," while there are many sons of God. Again, Job 38:7 states this, but we also know that men are often times called the sons of God (Romans 8:14, 9:26, Galatians 3:26, etc).

It's important to note here that titles don't necessarily require exclusivity. While there are many sons of God, there is only one Son of God. And while there are many morning stars, there is only one Morning Star.

What about Satan, or Lucifer?

Isaiah 14:12 does mention the "morning star" or "son of the dawn" in many translations, however there is little that connects this individual with Satan. "Lucifer" is of course the word used in Latin, and happens to also be the word used in 2 Peter 1:19. The word is an adjective, and not necessarily a name.

In the Isaiah passage, I don't think the context suggests it to be speaking of any type of fallen being though. The taunt in this text is directed towards the King of Babylon and it seems outside of the text to read eisegetically some other being into the context.

Venus, the planet, is known as the "morning star," and also as "lucifer" in history. This is because it's an early light in the sky, shining in the morning. I believe the language here in Isaiah is descriptive of the King, and illustrates the magnitude of his coming fall using pretty allegorical language.

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+1 A well-thought-out answer. What translation did you quote from? –  Jon Ericson Dec 2 '11 at 17:01
    
@JonEricson I used the ESV, as it was the translated cited by the OP. –  Jonathan Sampson Dec 2 '11 at 17:02
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The morning stars (more than one) sung together implying they were a group or a choir, a soloist doesn't sing together, they just sing. The sons of God shouted, didn't say they sung. Maybe the morning stars was the heavenly choir and "The morning star" was the choir director, at first Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12) but he fell and now it is Jesus (Revelation 22:16).

In Hebrews 12:12 it states that Jesus will sing praise unto thee.

God is a music lover. Psalm 110:2 .. come before his presence with singing. Psalm 33:3 Sing a new song, play skillfully and with a loud noise. Psalm 149:1. Praise the LORD, Sing unto the LORD a new song.

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What is a "son"?

In the genealogy of Joseph in Luke 3:38, Adam is described as the "son of God" because he was directly created by God.

In like manner, God is the progenitor of all angels. (They are non-procreating beings according to Matthew 22:30.) Thus as beings who are created directly by God, they are "sons of God."

Thus the "sons of God" shouted for joy at the creation of the earth (Job 38:2). These "sons of God" were angels, who like Adam were created directly by God. If we look at all the verses in Job Chapter 38, they are written in two-sentence parallels. That is, the first clause of each verse is modified and amplified by the second clause in each verse. So "sons of God" (verse 7b) are in parallel to "morning stars" (verse 7a), and thus refer to the same thing (i.e., angels).

Now what are "morning stars"?

Morning stars herald the day. That is, they precede the glory of the day. They appear in the dawn, and then, wham!, the full glory of the sun appears. We can say that "morning stars" are therefore the harbingers (or messengers) of light.

The name "Lucifer" means harbinger (or messenger) of light. (In the NASB translation of Isaiah 14:12 he is called "Star of the Morning, Son of the Dawn.") If this character is the "Leviathan" of Job 3:8, who cursed the day by creating darkness (and therefore blighting the morning stars), then he is Satan. (Please click here for an amplification and explication.) He was "created" (Ez 28:13) and therefore was a "son of God."

In Job 1:6, Satan was among the "sons of God" who presented themselves before the Lord God, and again he makes his appearance in Job 2:1 when the "sons of God" again appear before the Lord God. Angels are "sons of God" not because they are good and noble, but because they are directly created by God. Even in the human realm, not all "sons" are benevolent beings like their progenitors (parents).

So angels were created by the direct hand of God, and therefore are "sons of God" (whether or not some of the fell did not change their status as "sons"). When they were created, they were the harbingers (or messengers) of light. (The word "angel" literally means "messenger.") What are they messengers of? They are the morning stars or the harbingers of light, and thus they were intended as created beings.

[Jesus the Nazarene was the Eternal Life, who was robed in human flesh. Since his eternal life stemmed from his father, he was not created like the angels, but born, because his eternal life never had a beginning even though we can still say that he was born. He was born twice: first, he was the first-born of all creation (Col 1:15), which means that his existence existed before anything was created, and so his being stemmed, or was sired, by The Eternal Self-Existing One (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה); and secondly, he was born in Bethlehem, when his eternal person took on human nature, and so had become robed in human flesh. In this sense he was both the "son of man" and the "son of God" because he was temporally born from a woman (human nature => second birth) and was eternally born from his father (divine nature => first birth). So at his second birth in Bethlehem, he was still one person, but now with two natures instead of one.]

So Jesus the Christ too is a "morning star," because he is THE son of God, and so he is described in Revelation 22:16. This verse in Revelation brings us back to Luke 1:78-79, which in turns draws us back into the Hebrew Bible to Isaiah Chapter 60 in its entirety. For example, the first verses in this chapter in Isaiah begin as follows:

1 Arise, shine; for your light has come,
And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
2 “For behold, darkness will cover the earth
And deep darkness the peoples;
But the Lord will rise upon you
And His glory will appear upon you.
3 “Nations will come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.”

In other words, Jesus the Christ will inaugurate the daylight portion of the Day of the Lord. (The nighttime portion will be the darkness that precedes, since the biblical "day" officially starts at nighttime.) The morning star will be the harbinger, who will inaugurate the light part of the Day of the Lord, and therefore he will terminate the darkness part (which is a time of terrible judgment).

Thus, when Peter says that this "morning star" will rise in our hearts (2 Pe 1:19) he is referring to this time when we will see the daylight part of the Day of the Lord, which is described in the entirety of Isaiah Chapter 60 (among other passages of Scripture). In fact, Peter mentions in the preceding two verses (2 Pe 1:17-18) that Jesus was identified by the voice from heaven as the "son of God," and therefore the "morning star" is to appear through us. (The reason that we as Christians are "sons of God" is because we are born again with the eternal life of Jesus. It is his eternal life that we have as a gift according to Romans 6:23.) We are therefore members of the body of Christ, and so the "morning star" will rise in our hearts as a body of Christ collective.

Finally, there is an aspect of glory associated with the concept of the morning star, and this glory is the authority of rulership (Rev 2:26-28). Jesus was crowned with the glory of rulership (see Ps 8:3-8 compared with Heb 2:6-8). God's glory is his power and authority (e.g., 1 Cor 11:7; Ju 1:25; Rev 18:1). Jesus shares his glory and his power with the members of his Body, and therefore he offers to those who are faithful the power and rulership in His coming Kingdom (Rev 2:26-28). So the term "morning star" captures more than the one who is the harbinger of light, but one who is actually exercising the power and authority of the Lord God (e.g., 1 Cor 11:7; Ju 1:25; Rev 18:1). Jesus was alluding to this glory and authority aspect, when he told the Pharisees that he was God's son (John 10:34). That is, he was referencing Psalm 82:6, which describes the glory and authority of God on earth -- and interestingly enough (again!) there is the imagery of darkness and the shaking of the foundations of the earth and the fallen prince, which hearkens us back to the fallen "morning star".......

Finally, and not least, in this future kingdom (i.e., the daylight portion of the Day of the Lord), the (good) angels will no longer have the front place of exercising the power and authority of the glory of God (Heb 2:5) but all these angels will take second place to the Body of Christ (1 Cor 6:3).

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