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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 ?
And indeed like the Hurrian Kumarbi--and to some degree the Phoenician Elos-Kronos--El is portrayed in the Baal Cycle as the adversary of the storm-god, enthroning his son Yamm, the storm-god's rival, and allying himself with the storm-god's opponents, Yamm beloved of El (Ym mdd II), Mot beloved of El (Mt ydd 'II), All beloved of El ('itrf mdd 'IIm), etc.
The smaller buildings, next to which most of the Roman games were found, had probably been destroyed by the time the Arabs occupied the Temple of Baal.
The first Baal, raw, f lawed and difficult, was published with the assistance of a mentor, Dr Lion Feuchtwanger, and produced after many re-workings on 08 December 1923 at the Leipzig Theatre under the direction of Alwin Kronacher.
Radak, Ralbag, and Abarbanel surmise that he must have recognized those four hundred prophets as prophets of Baal.
The form Yhwh-El, heir of one ancestral manifestation of El, was created early in Israelite religious history, but the battle for supremacy between Yhwh-El and Baal explains the vestiges of Baalism in the early sources.
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Troops have been deployed between the neighboring districts of Baal Mohsen
Summary: A hand grenade exploded Monday evening in the area of Baal Darwich between Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jebel Mohsen in Tripoli, a police report said.
This book thoroughly examines the biblical and in-scriptional evidence dealing with Yahweh and El, Asherah, Baal, Astarte, Anat, and the astral and underworld deities.
Tony Baal, who with his son, Tom, grows Christmas trees and gourds in Palmdale using treated water from the Palmdale sewage treatment plant, also said they have had no problems.
133: this version thus anticipates Smith's monumental Commentary to the Baal Cycle, now underway), Th.
The Notes are rated Baal by Moody's and BBB+ by Standard & Poor's.