and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — Isaiah 29:24
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,
|June 14, 2006||
Volume 5 Number 12
A Star Fell from Heaven
Seven trumpets sound in the Book of Revelation. Each brings with it awesome events to encourage the world to come to repentance. The last three of the seven trumpets are especially significant. They announce events that are so great and terrible for much of the world that they are called "Woes." The sounding of the fifth trumpet announces the first "Woe," in which a star falls from heaven:
1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven to the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. -Revelation 9
Using the key that was given to him, the star releases darkness, as smoke, in the form of things called "locusts," which are given power:
2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. -Revelation 9
This star is more than a physical meteorite. It is some sort of being, which receives the key of the bottomless pit. It does not already have the authority to open the bottomless pit. Instead, that authority is given to him in the form of a key.*
The "bottomless pit" is also called the "abyss," from the Greekabussov (abussos). It is sometimes translated into English as the "deep." We learn from Luke that it is the dwelling place for disembodied spirits. When Yahshua (Jesus) was casting out evil spirts from a possessed man, they pleaded with Him not to send them into the "deep," which is the "bottomless pit:"
30 And Yahshua asked him, saying, What is your name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.
31 And they sought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.
32 And there was there a herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they sought him that he would permit them to enter into them. And he permitted them.
33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. -Luke 8
These evil spirits, called "devils," did not want to go out into the bottomless pit. They wanted to occupy bodies, even if they were the bodies of swine. If the locusts which the fallen star released from the bottomless pit in Revelation 9 were actually evil spirits, then they also would have likely sought bodies to occupy and control.
Who is the "Fallen Star?" We learn from the prophet Isaiah that there was one who is called "Lucifer" that fell from heaven:
12 How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken 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 sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. -Isaiah 14
There is considerable confusion over the identity of "Lucifer." The Hebrew word,llyh (heylel), occurs only once in the Bible. It means "light-bearer" or "shining one." It has been translated in various Bible versions as "Lucifer," "star of the morning," "morning star," "Day Star," "shining one," "shining star," and others. Some of these translations tend to cause confusion between "Lucifer" and Yahshua (Jesus). For example, Yahshua says that He is the "Bright and Morning Star:"
16 I Yahshua have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the assemblies. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. -Revelation 22
Lucifer, which many believe to be Satan, is typified in
Isaiah 14 as the king of Babylon. He is described as a shining light, or star,
which fell from heaven. The word "Babylon" is adapted into
English through Greek from the Hebrew word,
To understand how the king of Babylon could possibly be called a "star," we need to go back to the beginning of Babel. Nimrod was its first king:
9 He was a mighty hunter before Yahweh: therefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before Yahweh.
10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. -Genesis 10
Historical legend indicates that Nimrod’s wife, Semiramis, assumed his power after he died.** She deified her dead husband as the "god of the sun" and called him Bel (or Baal), which means "Lord." As the wife of the "god of the sun," she is known as Belti, which means "Lady."
Semiramis, who was said to be extremely beautiful, acquired the status of the "goddess" through her son, who she claimed to have conceived after her husband’s death through a supernatural union with the "sun god." The son was named Tammuz, which means "god of the fire." (The worship of Tammuz as an abomination to Yahweh is recorded in Ezekiel 8:14.)
Claiming Tammuz was the rebirth of her "sun god" husband, Semiramis became known as the "mother of god" and the "queen of heaven." Because she derived her status as the "mother of god" through her son, Tammuz, Semiramis is often depicted as a beautiful mother holding the child. After her death, Semiramis was known as "Ishtar" and worshipped as the "star" of heaven.
Yahweh also describes Satan as being beautiful and as having "brightness:"
17 Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: I will cast you to the ground, I will lay you before kings, that they may behold you. -Ezekiel 28
The star goddess, "Ishtar," is worshipped by countless names in various cultures as an object of beauty. She is sometimes called the "Morning Star," which is "Venus," and seen in the eastern sky as bringing the sun upon the earth every morning.
Ishtar is seen in the Bible as Ashtaroth or Ashtoreth, which also means "star." The worship of Baal and Ashtaroth was seen by Yahweh as a great sin:
11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of Yahweh, and served Baalim:
12 And they forsook Yahweh God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves to them, and provoked Yahweh to anger.
13 And they forsook Yahweh, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. -Judges 2
The temptation to worship the "star of heaven" is great. Even King Solomon, who built the temple for Yahweh in Jerusalem, fell into the sin of worshipping the star goddess (see 1 Kings 11:5-6).
The worship of Baal (by many different names) and Ashtaroth (also by many different names) was characterized by acts of sexual union among the participants. The early rituals were performed in groves of trees, with the masculine symbol of Baal represented as a "standing image," which was forbidden by Yahweh, in the center of a circle:
1 You shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall you set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down to it: for I am Yahweh your God. -Leviticus 26
As the worship of the goddess accelerated among Yahweh’s people, the poles of the groves, which were known as "asherah," were moved into the temple and blended with the worship of Yahweh (see 2 Kings 21).
The locusts, or spirits, which the fallen star unleashed have the power to "hurt" those who do not have the seal of the God in their foreheads:
4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. -Revelation 9
The word "hurt" is based on the Greek wordadikew (adikeo). It sounds much like the English word "addict" and means "to do wrong or to sin." Will the spirits, which are released from the "bottomless pit" by the fallen star, have such power over us?
18 I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. -Revelation 1
** For futher information, see Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons (Ontario, California: Chick Publications, no date; first published as a pamphlet in 1853 and greatly expanded in 1858).
Come to Understandingis sent out twice per month free of charge. To add someone to our growing list of readers, please contact us at:
Institute for Biblical and Historical Studies
Kerby F. Fannin, Ph.D., Director
P.O. Box 260, 114 East
Addison, Michigan 49220 U.S.A.
You may view this and past editions online at:
Scriptures are taken from the Proper King James Version (PKJV)
Ó2006Institute for Biblical and Historical Studies. All rights reserved. You may freely copy this publication, provided you acknowledge its source and inform us of your use.