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Baal

Ba'al (Biblical Hebrew בעל, pronounced [ˈbaʕal], usually spelled Baal in English), also sometimes called "Bael", is one of the seven princes of Hell in Christian demonology. He is mentioned widely in the Old Testament as the primary pagan idol of the Phoenicians, often associated with the heathen goddess Ashtaroth. His name is a Northwest Semitic word and title meaning "master" or "lord", which is used for various gods including Hadad who were patrons of cities in the Levant and Asia Minor, cognate to Akkadian Bēlu. Nevertheless, few if any Biblical uses of "Baʿal" refer to Hadad, the lord over the assembly of gods on the holy mount of Heaven, but rather refer to any number of local spirit-deities worshipped as cult images, each called baʿal and regarded in the Hebrew Bible in that context as a "false god".

Baal is a Christian demon who was ranked as the first and principal king in Hell, ruling over the East. According to some authors Baal is a Duke of Hell, with 66 legions of demons under his command. The term "Baal" is used in various ways in the Old Testament, with the usual meaning of master, or owner. It came to sometimes mean the local pagan god of a particular people, and at the same time all of the idols of the land. It is also found in several places in the plural "Baalim", or Baals (Judges 2:11, 10:10). There were many variations, such as the sun god, the god of fertility, and Beelzebub, or the "lord of flies".

During the English Puritan period, Baal was either compared to Satan or considered his main assistant. According to Francis Barrett, he has the power to make those who invoke him invisible, and to some other demonologists his power is stronger in October. According to some sources, he can make people wise, speaks hoarsely, and carries ashes in his pocket.

Ba'al

While his Semitic predecessor was depicted as a horned man or a bull, the demon Baal was in grimoire tradition said to appear in the forms of a man, cat, toad, or combinations thereof. An illustration in Collin de Plancy's 1818 book Dictionnaire Infernal rather curiously placed the heads of the three creatures onto a set of spider legs.

Trivia

  • "Baalists" or "Baalites" means worshippers of Baal as they are called, and they praised his name and worshipped him, thus given the name to the Baal "religion", "Baalism".

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