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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Baal (bâ'al), lord. 1. A Reubenite. 1 Chronicles 5:5. 2. The eon of Jehiel, and grandfather of Saul. 1 Chronicles 8:30; 1 Chronicles 9:36.

Baal. The prevailing worship of the Phœnician and Canaanitish nations, as Ashtoreth was their prominent goddess. There can lie no doubt of the great antiquity of the worship of Baal. It prevailed in the time of Moses among the Moabites and Midianites, Numbers 22:41, and through them spread to the Israelites. Numbers 25:3-18; Deuteronomy 4:3. In the times of the kings it became the religion of the court and people of the ten tribes, 1 Kings 16:31-33; 1 Kings 18:19; 1 Kings 18:22, and appears never to have been wholly abolished among them. 2 Kings 17:16. Temples were erected to Baal in Judah, 1 Kings 16:32, and be was worshipped with much ceremony. 1 Kings 18:19; 1 Kings 18:26-28; 2 Kings 10:22. The religion of the ancient British islands resembled this ancient worship of Baal. The Babylonian Bel, Isaiah 46:1, or Belus, is supposed to be identical with Baal, though perhaps under some modified form. The plural, Baalim, is found frequently, and the singular, Baal, in different compounds, among which appear—

1. Baal-berith (bâ'al-bç'rith), the covenant Baal. Judges 8:33; Judges 9:4. The God who comes Into covenant with the worshippers.

2. Baal-hanan (bâ'al-hâ'nan). 1. The name of one of the early kings of Edom. Genesis 36:38-39; 1 Chronicles 1:49-50. 2. The name of one of David's officers, who had the superintendence of his olive and sycamore plantations. 1 Chronicles 27:28.

3. Baal-peor (bâ'al-pç'or), lord of the opening, i.e., for others to join in the worship. The narrative, Numbers 25:1-18, seems clearly to show that this form of Baal-worship was connected with licentious rites.

4. Baal-zebub (bâ'al-zç'bub), lord of the fly, and worshipped at Ekron. 2 Kings 1:2-3; 2 Kings 1:16.

Baal also occurs as the prefix or suffix to the names of several places in Palestine. Rome of them are—

1. Baal, a town of Simeon, named only fn 1 Chronicles 4:33, which from the parallel list in Joshua 19:8 seems to have been identical with Baalath-beer.

2. Baalah (bâ'al-ah), mistress. 1. Another name for Kibjath-jearim, or Kirjath-baal, perhaps now Kuriet el Enab (?). Joshua 15:9-10; 1 Chronicles 13:6. 2. A town in the south of Judah, Joshua 15:29, which in 19:3 is called Balah, and in the parallel list, 1 Chronicles 4:29, Bilhah.

3. Baalath (bâ'al-ăth), mistress, a town of Dan named with Gibbethon, Gath-rimmon and other Philistine places. Joshua 19:44.

4. Baalath-beer (bâ'al-ăth-bç'er), lord of the well. A town in the south part of Judah, given to Simeon, which also bore the name of Ramath-negeb, or "the height of the south." Joshua 19:8.

6. Baal-gad (bâ'al-găd), lord of fortune, used to denote the most northern, Joshua 11:17; Joshua 12:7, or perhaps northwestern, 13:6, point to which Joshua's victories extended. Possibly it was a Phœnician or Canaanite sanctuary of Baal under the aspect of Gad, or Fortune.

6. Baal-hamon (bâ'al-hâ'mon), lord of a multitude. A place at which Solomon had a vineyard, evidently of great extent. Song of Solomon 8:11.

7. Baal-hazor (bâ'al-hâ'zor), village of Baal. A place where Absalom appears to have had a sheep-farm, and where Amnon was murdered. 2 Samuel 13:23.

8. Mount Baal-hermon (bâ'al-hêr'mon), lord of Hermon, Judges 3:3, and simply Baal-hermon, 1 Chronicles 5:23. This is usually considered as a distinct place from Mount Hermon; but we know that this mountain had at least three names, Deuteronomy 8:9, and Baal-hermon may have been a fourth in use among the Phœnician worshippers of Baal.

9. Baal-bieon (bâ'al-mç'on), lord of the house. One of the towns built by the Reubenites. Numbers 32:38. It also occurs in 1 Chronicles 5:8, and on each occasion with Nebo. In the time of Ezekiel it was Moabite, one of the cities which were the "glory of the country." Ezekiel 25:9.

10. Baal-perazim (bâ'al-pĕr'a-zĭm, or perâ'sim), lord of divisions. The scene of a victory of David over the Philistines, and of a great destruction of their images. 2 Samuel 5:20; 1 Chronicles 14:11. See Isaiah 28:21, where it is called Mount Perazim.

11. Baal-shalisha (bâ'al-shăl'i-shah), lord of Shalisha. A place named only in 2 Kings 4:42, apparently not far from Gilgal; Comp. 4:38.

12. Baal-tamar (bâ'al-tâ'mar), lord of the palm tree. A place named only in Judges 20:33, as near Gibeah of Benjamin. The palm tree (tâmâr) of Deborah, Judges 4:1-24; Judges 5:1-31, was situated somewhere in the locality.

13. Baal-zephon (bâ'al-zç'phon), lord of the north. A place in Egypt near where the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, Numbers 33:7; Exodus 14:2; Exodus 14:9, probably on the western shore of the Gulf of Suez, a little below its head.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Baal'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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