|Near Eastern Religions|
Shahar is the god of dawn in the pantheon of Ugarit. He is a son of El, along with his counterpart and twin brother Shalim the god of dusk. Both are gods of the planet Venus, and were considered by some to be a twinned avatar of the god Athtar. As the markers of dawn and dusk, Shahar and Shalim also represented the temporal structure of the day.
The name is a cognate of the Hebrew word Shachar (שָׁ֫חַר) meaning dawn.
Shahar in Isaiah 14:12–15
Isaiah 14:12–15 has been the origin of the belief that Satan was a fallen angel, who could also be referred to as Lucifer. It refers to the rise and disappearance of the morning star Venus in the phrase "O light-bringer, (Helel ben Shaḥar, translated as Lucifer in the Vulgate and preserved in the early English translations of the Bible) son of the dawn." This understanding of Isa. 14:12–15 seems to be the most accepted interpretation in the New Testament, as well as among early Christians such as Origen, Eusebius, Tertullian, and Gregory the Great. It may be considered a Christian "remythologization" of Isa. 14, as the verse originally used Canaanite mythology to build its imagery of the hubris of a historical ruler, "the king of Babylon" in Isa. 14:4. It's likely that the role of Venus as the morning star was taken by Athtar, in this instance referred to as the son of Shahar. The reference to Shahar remains enigmatic to scholars, who have a wide range of theories on the mythological framework and sources for the passage in Isaiah.
- Hinnells, John R. (2007). A Handbook of Ancient Religions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 122.
- Day, John (2002). Yahweh and the gods and goddesses of Canaan. London: Sheffield Academic Press. ISBN 9780567537836.
- Poirier, John (1 July 1999). "An Illuminating Parallel to Isaiah XIV 12". Vetus Testamentum 49 (3): 371–389. doi:10.1163/156853399774228047.
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