Ba'al

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Meaning: Lord.

  1. The name appropriated to the principal male god of the Phoenicians. It is found in several places in the plural BAALIM (Jdg 2:11; Jdg 10:10; 1 Kg 18:18; Jer 2:23; Hos 2:17). Baal is identified with Molech (Jer 19:5). It was known to the Israelites as Baal-peor (Num 25:3; Deut 4:3), was worshipped till the time of Samuel (1Sam 7:4), and was afterwards the religion of the ten tribes in the time of Ahab (1 Kg 16:31ff; 1 Kg 18:19ff). It prevailed also for a time in the kingdom of Judah (2Kg 8:27; comp. 2Kg 11:18; 2Kg 16:3; 2Chr 28:2), till finally put an end to by the severe discipline of the Captivity (Zeph 1:4ff). The priests of Baal were in great numbers (1 Kg 18:19), and of various classes (2Kg 10:19). Their mode of offering sacrifices is described in 1 Kg 18:25ff. The sun-god, under the general title of Baal, or "lord," was the chief object of worship of the Canaanites. Each locality had its special Baal, and the various local Baals were summed up under the name of Baalim, or "lords." Each Baal had a wife, who was a colourless reflection of himself.
  2. A Benjamite, son of Jehiel, the progenitor of the Gibeonites (1Chr 8:30; 1Chr 9:36).
  3. The name of a place inhabited by the Simeonites, the same probably as Baal-ath-beer (1Chr 4:33; Josh 19:8).
This article needs to be merged with BA'AL AND BA'AL-WORSHIP (Jewish Encyclopedia).


This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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