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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. id., בִּעִל גָּר, lord of fortune: Sept. Βααλγάδ v. r. Βαλαγάδ, once [Joshua 13:5] Γαλγάλ ), a city of the Canaanites, perhaps in the valley of Lebanon, at the source of the Jordan and foot of Mount Hermon, whose kings were taken and put to death by Joshua, but the city itself remained unsubdued in his day (Joshua 11:17; Joshua 12:7; Joshua 13:5). It was a place evidently well known at the time of the conquest of Palestine, and, as such, used to denote the most northern (Joshua 11:17; Joshua 12:7), or perhaps northwestern (Joshua 13:5, Hamath being to the extreme northeast) point to which Joshua's victories extended. It was in all probability a Phoenician or Canaanite sanctuary of Baal under the aspect of Gad or Fortune, (See GAD), from whose worship it appears to have derived its name. (See BAALIM). The words "the plain (בַּקְעָה ) of Lebanon" would lead to the supposition that it lay between the two ranges of Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon which is still known by the same name el-Buka'a, and it has accordingly been identified by Iken and others (including Thomson, Land and Book, 1:353) with Baalbek (Ritter, Erdkunde, 17:230). (See BAALBEK). But against this are the too great distance of Baalbek to the north, and the precise expression of the text "under Mount Hermon." The conjecture of Schwarz (Palest. p. 60), supported by Robinson (Researches, new ed. 3, 519), is, that the modern representative of Baal-gad is Banias, a place which long maintained a great reputation as the sanctuary of Pan. (See CAESAREA PHILIPPI). From its association with Mount Hermon, it would seem to be the same with BAAL-HERMON (Judges 3:3; 1 Chronicles 5:23). Smith.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Baal-Gad'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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