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(bā`əl), plural


(bā`əlĭm) [Semitic,=master, lord], name used throughout the Bible for the chief deity or for deities of Canaan. The term was originally an epithet applied to the storm god HadadHadad
or Adad
, ancient weather god of Semitic origin, worshiped in Babylonia and Assyria. Important throughout the Middle East, he was worshiped under many names.
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. Technically, Baal was subordinate to El, the supreme god, the creator, and the father of Hadad and other gods.

Baal is attested in the Ebla texts (first half of 2d millennium B.C.), and by the time of the UgaritUgarit
, ancient city, capital of the Ugarit kingdom, W Syria, on the Mediterranean coast N of modern Latakia. Although the name of this city was known from Egyptian and Hittite sources, its location and history were a mystery until the accidental discovery (1928) of an ancient
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 tablets (14th cent. B.C.), he had become the ruler of the universe. The Ugarit tablets make him chief of the Canaanite pantheon. He is the source of life and fertility, the mightiest hero, the lord of war, and the defeater of the god Yam. There were many temples of Baal in Canaan, and the name Baal was often added to that of a locality, e.g., Baal-peor, Baal-hazor, Baal-hermon.

The Baal cult penetrated Israel and at times led to syncretism. In the Psalms, Yahweh is depicted as Baal and his dwelling is on Mt. Zaphon (Zion), the locale of Baal in Canaanite mythology. The practice of sacred prostitution seems to have been associated with the worship of Baal in Palestine and the cult was vehemently denounced by the prophets, especially HoseaHosea
, prophetic book of the Bible. It relates something of the career of the prophet Hosea who preached against the sins of the northern kingdom of Israel in the third quarter of the 8th cent. B.C.
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 and JeremiahJeremiah
a book of the Bible, comprising a collection of prophetic oracles attributed to Jeremiah, a prophet who preached (c.628–586 B.C.) in Jerusalem under King Josiah and his successors. His message indicts his contemporaries for social injustice and religious apostasy.
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. The abhorrence in which the cult was held probably explains the substitution of Ish-bosheth for Esh-baal, of Jerubbesheth for Jerubbaal (a name of Gideon), and of Mephibosheth for Merib-baal. The substituted term probably means "shame." The same abhorrence is evident the use of the pejorative name Baal-zebubBaal-zebub
[Heb.,=lord of flies], a deliberate Hebrew distortion of the name of the god of Ekron in 2 Kings. In the Gospels of Mark and Luke, Beelzebul, the Greek form of the epithet Baal-zebul [Baal the Prince], is encountered. See Baal and Satan.
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 (see also SatanSatan
[Heb.,=adversary], traditional opponent of God and humanity in Judaism and Christianity. In Scripture and literature the role of the opponent is given many names, such as Apolyon, Beelzebub, Semihazah, Azazel, Belial, and Sammael.
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As cognates of Baal in other Semitic languages there are Bel (in Babylonian religion) and the last elements in the Tyrian names Jezebel, Hasdrubal, and Hannibal. The Baal of 1 Chronicles is probably the same as RamahRamah
, in the Bible. 1 Town, NE ancient Palestine, allotted to Naphtali. 2 Town of Asher. 3 Unidentified town of Simeon, called Ramah of the south.
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chief male god of Phoenicians; the generative principle. [Phoenician Rel.: Parrinder, 38]
References in periodicals archive ?
Over the weekend, local sources from the ancient city of Palmyra reported the destruction of another historical site by the ISIL Takfiri terrorists; however, no images were released to show the alleged demolition of the Temple of Ba'al -- the supreme god to the ancient Canaanites (land of Canaan: present-day Levant).
The title of Birnbaum's lecture is an English translation of his autobiographical pamphlet, "Fun an apikoyres tsu a ba'al ma'amin," which itself was a translation of the German pamphlet "Gottes Volk," perhaps Birnbaum's most famous during his religious period.
Elijah defeated the prophets of Ba'al in his contest, notes Koyama, but then in his overzealousness for the LORD he had the 450 prophets of Ba'al slaughtered.
The Ba'al Shem Tov repelled some other Jews by his activity as a miracle worker.
Elijah had fled to Mount Horeb, trying to escape from the wrath of Jezebel, Ahab's queen, who had convinced her husband to erect statues of Ba'al in the temple.
2) At that time, I thought that the Marniptah stela proposed in this letter, which he wants to install in the temple of Ba'al in Ugarit, should be related to the stelae from Beth-Shan.
Bava Kamma 23a, at the second "U-Lehayyev Ba'al Ha-gachelet"; B.
Buber could not have been so influential had he not been the product of strictly Jewish cultural traditions such as the religiousness of Judaism, Jewish Hasidism, mysticism and especially the teaching of Ba'al Shem Tov.
Accessibly organized into three major sections (The Hidden Tradition and the Ba'al Shem Tov; The Circle of the Ba'al Shem and the Maggid of Mezritch; and The Circle of the Maggid and The Rebbe King).
A long letter to Lucius Verus after his victory over the Armenians, praising both princes' skill--not as soldiers, but as rhetoricians--describes Fronto's praying to his 'ancestral gods', imploring 'Hammo Jupiter', that is, Ba'al Ammon, (75) te Liby<ae deum oro> .
WHAT Jewish religious movement was founded by the Ba'al Shem Tov?
You know the story about Elijah and the priests of Ba'al.