Baal (Bay´uhl, bah-ahl´)

A Canaanite god. The Semitic word baal means “owner,” “husband,” “lord,” “master.” It can be used as a common noun or as a proper noun. In the latter case it refers to the god Baal (associated primarily with nature, weather, and sexual congress). Also, gods other than this specific Baal may be called “baals.” In the Bible it is not always clear which use is intended. We hear of the cult of Baal in a number of local manifestations: Baal of the Covenant at Shechem (Judg 9:4); Baal of Peor at Shittim (Num 25:3); Baal “Zebub” of Philistia (2Kgs 1:2-3); and perhaps Baal of Hamon (Song 8:11). Jezebel introduced to Samaria the worship of Tyre’s god Baal (1Kgs 18:19). Opposition to the worship of Baal is a persistent theme of the Israelite literature. Historical narratives applaud the destruction of the Baal temple at Jerusalem in the revolt against Athaliah (2Kgs 11:18) and include stories of conflict between the worshipers of Yahweh and the followers of Baal (Judg 6:25-32; 1Kgs 18:16-40). But since Yahweh could also be called lord (baal), the danger existed that Israel’s God would take on characteristics of the Canaanite god. Israel’s prophets fought to preserve a vision of transcendent Yahweh over against the Canaanite concept of Baal.

Judg 9:4

4They gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the temple of Baal-berith with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless fellows, who followed him.

Num 25:3

3Thus Israel yoked itself to the Baal of Peor, and the Lord's anger was kindled against Israel.

2Kgs 1:2-3

2Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria, and lay injured; so he sent messengers, telling them, “Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the g ... View more

Song 8:11

11Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;
he entrusted the vineyard to keepers;
each one was to bring for its fruit a thousand pieces of silver.

1Kgs 18:19

19Now therefore have all Israel assemble for me at Mount Carmel, with the four hundred fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat ... View more

2Kgs 11:18

18Then all the people of the land went to the house of Baal, and tore it down; his altars and his images they broke in pieces, and they killed Mattan, the pries ... View more

Judg 6:25-32

25That night the Lord said to him, “Take your father's bull, the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that belongs to your father, and c ... View more

1Kgs 18:16-40

16So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him; and Ahab went to meet Elijah.17When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?”18He an ... View more

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