They clash violently until both are prostrate and the Sungoddess warns Mot not to fight with Baal lest El hear and overthrow him. Paul, then, is letting the church know that it need not be concerned about missing the end time. Baal was also worshipped by various communities as a local god. To accommodate Baal ideology to Yahwism required some radical transformations. The Semitic original of this name has been recognized in one of Baal's names in Ugaritic: (The name is to be connected with the root dmr, "be strong, brave," and is probably the same as that of Abraham's son Zimrn (damarn), the -n afformative being preserved in the genitive case of the Greek form Demarountos). In others, they rejected Yahweh worship altogether and fully turned themselves over to the idols of Canaan (2 Kgs 17:14-17). What will happen will affect the entire world, even though the world will not grasp the spiritual significance. All this was part of his fertility role, which, when fulfilled, meant an abundance of crops and fertility for animals and mankind. Apparently in anticipation of developments the artisan god Koshar had cast furnishings of gold and silver. Lastly, he replaced God with golden calves in Bethel and Dan. In those God calls outthose who, by faith, will voluntarily yield to HimHe is building character based on outgoing love. As an example, notice Amos 2:6-7, where Amos chides the Israelites: ". The building materials, gold, silver, and lapis lazuli, were procured and the architect-builder Koshar was invited to dinner and consultation. This article is about Baal worship in the Bible. A major question about II Thessalonians 2 is the scope of the described events. The Israelites rejected the law of God and relied on the traditions of Gentile nations. The latter title has a biblical echo in the corrupted form Baal-Zebub (II Kings 1:2ff. The Aztec people used two calendars. 27:1). Baal is said to be one of the first of Solomon's 72 spirits. The worship of Baal was popular in Egypt from the later New Kingdom in about 1400 bce to its end (1075 bce). This Bible History Daily Article was first published in 2017, British Museum Excavations at Sidon Expose Millennia of History, The Phoenician Alphabet in Archaeology by Josephine Quinn. 19 Now therefore, call to me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests. Discovered in a farmer's field in northeastern Egypt, this inscribed monument bears the name of one of the few pharaohs actually named in the Old . They too had blended the worship of the true God with outright paganism, utterly corrupting the relationship He had established with them. Most of them were just saving themselves and making themselves comfortable in their situation. . Either you are going to be committed to Him or not. And one of the most famous instances of Israel going head to head with the prophets of Baal comes from 1 Kings 18. Baal remains silent during the exchange, whereas God showers a sopping-wet altar with fire. Notice the dramatic change of attitude in the people. In Canaan, however, when the solar theology had absorbed the older beliefs, Baal, passing into a sun-god and the goddess who stood at his side becoming a representative of the moon--the pale reflection, as it were, of the sun- -Ashtoreth came to be regarded as the consort of Baal and took the place of the solar goddesses of Babylonia. They believed in a Creator God, but they worshipped Him at the shrines they erected to the Baals. But Baal was not exclusively a fertility god. She's most famously the mother of Baal, another god who shows up throughout the Old Testament when the Israelites stray after other idols. (the Iron Age). I know the firstborn of Creation through and for Him everything was made would appreciate it! In Tamil Nadu, the following words payachi paarai, Peyazhwar, payans, pai (meaning devil) are currently in use. A third is that he is describing somebody teetering on a tightrope and trying to maintain his balance. Ahab accommodated his wife's idolatry to the point of building a . The worship of Baal penetrated Jewish religious life during the period of the Judges (Judges 3:7), became common in Israel during the rule of Ahab (1 Kings 16:31-33), and also influenced Judah (2 Chronicles 28:1-2). 26:1920). The laws given to Moses by God expressly forbade the Jews to do what was done in Egypt or in Canaan. Child sacrifice was a fundamental aspect of Baal worship. 10:25, 12:24; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15, 18). The Laodicean evaluates himself, saying, "I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing" (Revelation 3:17). Israel "feared other gods" (verse 7). The Hebrew scriptures speak frequently of the Baal of a given place or refers to Baalim in the plural, suggesting the evidence of local deities, or lords, of various locales. However, even though their origins were Canaanite, the Phoenicians established their own distinct culture. 26:46). The judge Gideon was also named Jerubbaal (Judges 6:32), and King Saul had a son named Ishbaal (I Chronicles 8:33). Baal persuaded Asherah to intercede with her husband El, the head of the pantheon, to authorize the construction of a palace. However, it was not the religion God gave through Moses, but idolatry that flourished! He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them (2 Kings 21:3). Baal is a Canaanite and Phoeniciandeity and the son of the chief god El. that the southern kingdom of Judah ever had .just like her momma. ed., 1965); H.B. By submitting to Him, we take a small step in being transformed into what He is. All through the Old Testament, the people of Israel fell into Baal and Asherah worship, and it is no different for us today. They simply evolve. The continued worship of Baal was given as one of the causes for the destruction of Judah (Jer. Archaeologists at Sidon have uncovered a 12th-11th-century B.C.E. Whether it turns out to be the falling away remains to be seen. The word bal, common Semitic for "owner, master, husband," became the usual designation of the great weather-god of the Western Semites. This daily newsletter provides a starting point for personal study, and gives valuable insight into the verses that make up the Word of God. But not all years are good, and in a bad year, or a series of bad years, when the rains fail, the skies become like iron, the land like brass, and man's toil is futile for the earth will not yield its increase (Lev. 1:4; Hab. Some suppose Baal to correspond to the sun and Ashtoreth to the moon; others that Baal was Jupiter and Ashtoreth Venus. How could you worship Baal? But if we dont exercise extreme discernment, we may find ourselves doing the same with modern-day baals. Updates? A frequent epithet is "Cloud Rider" (rkb rpt) which has an almost identical parallel in Psalms 68:5. 14:2). 114) or with eschatological victory (Isa. Smith, The Ugaritic Baal Cycle (1994). Let no one be missing, for I have a great sacrifice for Baal. In the Ugaritic mythological texts Balu (bl) is the name of the god which is used more than twice as often as his next most frequent name, Haddu (hd). A falling away is taking place right now. "Christian" religions of this world have mixed the traditions of paganism with some of the truth of God's Word. Since the Ugaritic verified the antiquity and authenticity of this divine name, additional instances have been alleged in the Psalter and in Job. Photo: Courtesy of Claude Doumet-Serhal. 106:28). Download our mobile app for on-the-go access to the Jewish Virtual Library, Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1998 - 2023 American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. Well dive more into this in the historicity of Baal in a few sections. There are several ideas as to exactly what Elijah meant by "How long will you falter between two opinions?" The heyday of Baal worship in Israel came in the days of Elijah, when the Phoenician princess Jezebel launched a massive campaign to promote Baal. was furnished by Harvard University excavations in the form of personal names containing Baal as the theophorous element, such as bybl, "Baal is my father," bl zmr, "Baal sings" or "Baalis strong," bl zkr, "Baal remembers," bl mny, "Baal is my answer," etc. The Bible tells us that there were dire consequences for Israel worshiping a false god (Judges 2). Its prosperity played a part in corrupting the Israelites' hearts, which is why Hosea mentions the divided or disloyal heart in context with its bountiful fruit. "Whatever is not of faith is sin" (Romans 14:23). What Is the Significance of Not the Letter but of the Spirit? (verses 9-11). In the Bible, the followers of the one true God encounter other gods, or previously worshipped idols themselves. Isa. All Rights Reserved. That made God so angry that a plague spread through their ranks; Phinehas stood up and pled their case and the . In the books of Kings and Chronicles, we can read the record of a given king who turned away from God and served the Baals, and the foolishness sounds quick and casual because we are reading a summary. Since their rejection of the house of David under Jeroboam I, the Israelites had practiced a syncretistic religion (Amos 5:21-26; 8:14; I Kings 12:25-33). Most modern translations use "false," "deceitful," or "faithless," and none of these are wrong, including "divided." In correlating the sequence of events, Baal's victory over the sea-god, Yamm, is probably to be placed near the beginning of the action, since it was presumably this exploit which gained him the dominant position among the gods, just as *Marduk achieved preeminence by defeating the sea-monster Tiamat. Today Jezebel has built Baal altars in the name of 'church' and led many to Baal worship. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch" (Matthew 15:14). He views them as personally rejecting Him and His Word. Near Baals temple was that of Dagon, given in the tablets as Baals father. The Kingdom of Israel fell below the historian's radar. The spectacular victory for Yahwism did not have a lasting effect. In their ignorance, the people do not realize the terrible calamity that is coming soon upon modern Israel. Consequently, during this tumultuous time, most Jews kept their faith and identity outwardly but bowed to Baal when necessary to appease Jezebel as well as mainstream culture. Paul is not writing about apostasy in a small group of people that will give rise to an international personality, but an event on the world scene that creates the right environment to catapult this figure, backed by the power of Satan, to the heights of power. Because of their self-absorption, God's "sudden" punishment will stun the people of the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, and the other nations of modern Israel, including some members of the true church. Portions of ancient Baal liturgy were adapted to the praise of Israel's God, as the Ugaritic poems have shown. When the rain failed, it was inevitable that some would question YHWH's power and resort to Baal. Baal was the god of rain, wind, and fertility. The beliefs and practices of the Canaanites were not only detestable, but they also . Recall the mention in Hosea 10:1 of increasing and embellishing altars just before Israel fell to Assyria. Yet, he was in trouble his whole life, from his teenage years on. Photo Credit: iStock/Getty Images Plus/ggenova. The Semitic word "baal" (meaning '"Lord") was also used to refer to various deities of the Levant. An example of Israel going after Baal leads to their loss of direction and, ultimately, scattering at the hands of the Assyrians and the Babylonians. (II Kings 17:35-38). Worship of Baal was also carried out right on the housetops of the people, from where sacrificial smoke to their god was frequently seen to rise. The basis for this view was the fact that in biblical usage the plural of the term, with the article, "the Baalim," appears to designate minor local gods (Judg. Dig into the illuminating world of the Bible with a BAS All-Access membership. They were not committed to the side that they were supposed to be on. The violence and injustice in Israelite society ultimately stemmed from the false teaching proclaimed from the pulpits. Can we stop with the Yahweh pronunciation once and for all? This describes to a T what Israel did then and their descendants are continuing to do today. The Baal-worship so often alluded to and described in Holy Writ might, perhaps, be better styled, id-worship, moon-worship, Melek (Moloch)-worship, or Hadad-worship, according to places and circumstances. Baal was a cruel, sensuous, and revolting false god whose worship involved sexual degradation and lewdness. 28:2); Hezekiah attempted to eliminate it; Manasseh his son again gave it royal support (II Kings 21:3); and Josiah in his turn purged the Temple of YHWH of the utensils made for Baal and Asherah (II Kings 23:4). Next both Mot and Baal appear reconstituted and reactivated and again in conflict. Some of Judah's kings spent years tearing down shrines and high places to foreign gods (II Chronicles 34:1-7). There are indications that Baal and other gods and goddesses of the Canaanite pantheon were associated in the minds of their worshipers with certain heavenly bodies. Dated to c. 1750 B.C.E., the handle pictures the storm god as a leonine dragon. In the Aztec religion, life existed before humans, and civilization was built after the destruction of the fourth sun. If Baal triumphed, a seven-year cycle of fertility would ensue; but, if he were vanquished by Mot, seven years of drought and famine would ensue. Baal rejoiced and celebrated with a banquet. * Jesus is a transliteration of the Latin; it is NOT a translation! A DSS fragment has it spelled Iaw in Greek (iota-alpha-omega), which is consistent with Yahoah; see In this regard, Elijah was a type of John the Baptist, and Elisha, a type of Christ. Although Baal is mentioned almost 100 times in the Bible, he is best known from the narratives of I and II Kings which include the story of the Phoenician princess Jezebel (d. c. 842 BCE), who encouraged his worship, and her struggle with the prophet Elijah, champion of the cult of Yahweh. Yet if you asked most people who believe and follow this new morality, I suspect few would have ever heard of Baal. *Romans 1:25 "Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and WORSHIPPED AND SERVED THE CREATURE MORE THAN THE CREATOR". They were afraid of God, but they did not really change their way of life. How Is Harry Potter a Literary Christ Figure? The worship of Baal extended in this region to the Jews, Canaanites and the Phoenicians. Given Jezebels religious fervor in the Bible, one would expect to find evidence of Baal worship at Sidon.