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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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Baal (Romans 11:4 in a quotation from 1 Kings 19:18) was a generic name for a god among Semitic peoples, the literal meaning being ‘owner’ or ‘lord.’ Attempts have been made to show that this was the original name of the Sun-god, or that it represents the Supreme Being worshipped by the Canaanites. Neither of these contentions can be proved; indeed it is evident that the Baal of one place differed from that of another. Thus the reference in the text is to Melkart, the Baal of Tyre. The feminine article (τῇ Βαάλ) in the Greek of Romans 11:4 is due to the frequent substitution of bôsheth (in Greek αἰσχύνη), ‘shame,’ for Baal by the Hebrews.* [Note: Hence frequently in LXX ἡ Βαάλ (= ἡ αἰσχύνη), though in 1 Kings 19:18 the reading is τῷ Βαάλ.]

Literature.-A. S. Peake, article ‘Baal’ in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) ; G. F. Moore in Encyclopaedia Biblica ; L. B. Paton in Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics ; W. R. Smith, RS [Note: S Religion of the Semites (W. Robertson Smith).] 2, London, 1894, p. 93ff.

F. W. Worsley.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Baal'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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