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Baal-peor (bāˈəl-pēˈôr), in the Bible, local divinity (the Baal) of Peor. According to the Book of Numbers, the Hebrews stayed at Shittim during the wilderness wanderings. While there, Hebrew men had sexual relationships with the local Moabite women. This led to worship of Baal, provoking an immediate outbreak of divine anger. Peor was also known as Beth-peor. Under the form Belphegor, the name became that of a devil in the Middle Ages, said to appear in the shape of a young woman; Machiavelli used it in his Belfagor.
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fiend turned man; henpecked by wife. [Ital. Lit.: Belphegor, Walsh Classical, 53]
See: Henpecked Husbands
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.