Ba’al, spelled as Baal in English was the legendary god of the Phoenicians and the Canaanites usually pictured as an opponent of God in the Bible. He was known by the Babylonians as Bel and was the leading god of the Phoenicians usually associated with Ashtaroth in the Old Testament. He was also thought of as the son of the chief Canaanite god El with Ashera.
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Yet, there were some accounts stating Baal was the son of Dagon and a descendant of El. Baal is placed on the Bible Timeline as early as the 17th century BC
Recently, a majority of the scholars believed that Baal was the equivalent of the Canaanites for the Babylonian god named Marduk and the Assyrian god named Hadad. There was also the term “baal”, a Semitic word that literally means “Lord” and was used in the Bible to refer to the local idols. It could also mean the “master” or the “owner”.
According to the Canaanites, Baal was the powerful god of Heaven and also of the sun, rain, thunder, fertility, and agriculture. He was worshipped by the Canaanites even before the Israelites left Egypt up to the Babylonian deportation during the 6th century BCE. During the era of Ahab and Jezebel, they declared Baal paganism as the national religion of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
Baal was illustrated in the forms of a human, a ram, or a bull. Yet there was also the evil form of Baal illustrated in the forms of a man, a cat, a toad, or the combinations of such.
Divine adulation to Baal was greatly criticized by the prophets and numerous leaders of Judah who taught that God wanted to annihilate any Canaanite religion inside Judah and Israel. This could be the reason why Baal was at times pictured as a demon among the Christians. Christian demonologists thought Baal was a powerful evil character and the topmost king in Hell. He was believed to be of equal standing to Satan or was the right hand of Satan in the English Puritan era.
Baal in the Bible
Judges 3:7. The Israelites committed a crime before the Lord by worshipping Baal and Asherah.
Judges 6:25. The Lord ordered the destruction of the altar of Baal and the pole of Asherah.
Judges 6:28-30. The people demanded Gideon be punished with death because he destroyed the altar of Baal and the pole of Asherah.
Judges 6:32. Gideon was given the name Jerub-Baal because of the destruction he did to the altar of Baal.
Judges 10:6. The Israelites sinned before the Lord once again by serving Baal and the Ashtoreth.
Judges 10:10. The Israelites acknowledged their sin of serving Baal.
1 Samuel 7:4. The Israelites stopped serving Baas and Ashtoreth and worshipped the Lord.
1 Kings 16:30-32. Ahab sinned before the Lord by serving Baal and building an altar and temple of Baal in Samaria.
1 Kings 18:19, 18:22. Baal had 450 prophets serving before him.
2 Kings 3:1-3. Joram, Ahab’s son destroyed the altar of Baal that his father built.
2 Kings 10:24-27. Jehu headed 80 men in ransacking and destroying the temple of Baal and burned the sacred stone of Baal.
2 Kings 10:28-29. Jehu ordered to prohibit the worshipping of Baal in Israel.
2 Chronicles 28:1-3. Ahaz made worshipping Baal the main religion of his kingdom.
2 Chronicles 33:2-4. Ahaz reconstructed the temples and altars of Baal and poles of Asherah.
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