This great star evidently symbolizes a distinguished ruler responsible as set in the moral firmament to give light in the dark night of the worlds history, but he is an apostate personageone under the immediate judgment of God, burning as a torch; in this respect like the great mountain burning with fire. The epithet great is attached to the mountain, and also to the star; only in the former a corporate power or system is referred to, whereas in the latter an exalted individual is meant.2This view finds support by those who understand the star, already fallen , in Revelation Rev. 9:1+ to be this very star. Since the star there is clearly a spiritual being who unlocks the bottomless pit, then perhaps his fall is recorded here. Although there are many parallels between this verse and the fall of Satan (Isa. Isa. 14:12; Luke Luke 10:18; Rev. Rev. 9:1+; Rev. 12:4+), the context appears to be describing a cosmological event involving a large physical object. This star is said to be burning and appears to rain down upon a wide area of the globe causing the waters to become polluted. These characteristics speak more readily of natural phenomena than a malevolent spiritual being. As we discussed concerning the interpretation of symbols, once the choice is made to take physical descriptions as being symbolic, there is no end to the conjecture which attends the interpretation of what God is attempting to convey. Again, we ask the question: If God had wanted to describe a time of extreme physical catastrophe, how would He have done so differently than what we have before us? A second question presents itself: How could God tell us about future physical convulsions if we forever insist on taking the text as some form of veiled apocalyptic political intrigue? See The Genre of the book of Revelation.
1 Whenever the word star is used symbolically, it is a common symbol of an angel, and this is the case here. The angels name is Wormwood, showing the angel to be a fallen one.Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, The Footsteps of Messiah, rev ed. (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 2003), 226.
3 John MacArthur, Revelation 1-11 : The MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1999), Rev. 8:10.