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Beelzebub is a Philistine god, formerly worshipped in Ekron, and later described as a demon. The name Beelzebub is associated with the Canaanite god Ba'al.

In theological sources, predominantly Christian, Beelzebub is sometimes another name for the Devil, similar to Satan. He is known in demonology as one of the seven princes of Hell. The Dictionnaire Infernal describes Beelzebub as a being capable of flying, known as the "Lord of the Flyers", or the "Lord of the Flies".

Name

in one understanding, Ba'al Zəbûb is translated literally as "lord of the flies".It was long ago suggested that there was a relationship between the Philistine god, and cults of flies—referring to a view of them as pests, feasting on excrement—appearing in the Hellenic world, such as Zeus Apomyios or Myiagros. This is confirmed by the Ugaritic text which shows Baal expelling flies which are the cause of a person's sickness. According to Francesco Saracino (1982) this series of elements may be inconclusive as evidence, but the fact that in relationship to Baal Zebub, the two constituent terms are here linked, joined by a function (ndy) that is typical of some divinities attested in the Mediterranean world, is a strong argument in favor of the authenticity of the name of the god of Ekron, and of his possible therapeutic activities, which are implicit in 2 Kings 1:2–3.

Alternatively, the deity's actual name could have been Ba'al Zəbûl, "lord of the dwelling", and Ba'al Zebub was a derogatory pun used by the Israelites. In regard to the god of Ekron, the belief that zebub may be the original affix to Baal and that it is a substitute for an original zbl which, after the discoveries of Ras Shamra, has been connected with the title of "prince", frequently attributed to Baal in mythological texts. Ba'al Zebub was used in Hebrew as a pun with Ba'al Zebul, where Zebul meant "of the manor", and in a derogatory manner Ba'al Zebub was used to offend the enemies of the Israelites. The Septuagint renders the name as Baalzebub and as Baal muian. However Symmachus may have reflected a tradition of its offensive ancient name when he rendered it as Beelzeboulb.

Christianity

Beelzebub and them with him-1-.jpg

In Mark 3:22, the scribes accuse Jesus of driving out demons by the power of Beelzebul, prince of demons, the name also appearing in the expanded version in Matthew 12:24,27 and Luke 11:15, 18–19. The name also occurs in Matthew 10:25.

Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, It is unknown whether Symmachus the Ebionite was correct in identifying these names, because we otherwise know nothing about either of them. Zeboul might derive from a slurred pronunciation of zebûb; from zebel, a word used to mean "dung" in the Targums; or from Hebrew zebûl found in 1 Kings 8:13 in the phrase bêt-zebûl, "lofty house". In any case, the form Beelzebub was substituted for Beelzeboul in the Syriac translation and Latin Vulgate translation of the gospels, and this substitution was repeated in the King James Version, the resulting form Beelzeboul being mostly unknown to Western European and descendant cultures until some more recent translations restored it.

Beelzebub is also identified in the New Testament as the devil, "prince of the demons".

"Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you."
~ Matthew 12:25-28.

Philistine Theology

Ba'al is well-attested in surviving inscriptions and was popular in theophoric names throughout the Levant but he is usually mentioned along with other gods, "his own field of action being seldom defined". Nonetheless, Ugaritic records show him as a weather god, with particular power over lightning, wind and rain. The dry summers of the area were explained as Baʿal's time in the underworld and his return in autumn was said to cause the storms which revived the land. Thus, the worship of Baʿal in Canaan—where he eventually supplanted El as the leader of the gods and patron of kingship—was connected to the regions' dependence on rainfall for its agriculture, unlike Egypt and Mesopotamia, which focused on irrigation from their major rivers. Anxiety about the availability of water for crops and trees increased the importance of his cult, which focused attention on his role as a rain god. He was also called upon during battle, showing that he was thought to intervene actively in the world of man, unlike the more aloof El. The Lebanese city of Baalbeck was named after Baal. The Baʿal of Ugarit was the epithet of Hadad but as the time passed, the epithet became the god's name while Hadad became the epithet.

Judaism

The original illustration of Ba'al the god of Ekron.

The name Baʿal Zəvûv (Hebrew: בעל זבוב‎) is found in Melachim II 1:2-3, 6, 16, where King Ahaziah of Israel, after seriously injuring himself in a fall, sends messengers to inquire of Ba'al Zebûb, the god of the Philistine city of Ekron, to learn if he will recover.

Now Ahaziah fell through the lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and he became ill; and he sent messengers and said to them, Go inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I will recover from this illness.
~ — 2Kings 1:2
Elijah the Prophet then condemns Ahaziah to die by God's words because Ahaziah sought counsel from Ba'al Zebûb rather than from God.

But an angel of the Lord spoke to Elijah the Tishbite saying,

"Arise, go up toward the king of Samaria's messengers, and speak to them, saying, 'Is it because there is no God in Israel, that you go to inquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron? Therefore, so has the Lord said, "From the bed upon which you have ascended you will not descend, for you shall die." ' " And Elijah went.
~ 2Kings 1:3-4.

Rabbinical literature commentary equates Baal Zebub of Ekron as lord of the "fly". The word Ba'al Zebûb in rabbinical texts is a mockery of the Ba'al religion, which ancient Hebrews considered to be idol worship.

Powers and Abilities

Beelzebub is an extremely powerful being, with in the Philistines case, Ba'al is much stronger then The Devil.

Beelzebub can control the wind, rain, thunder and fire. and is called the King Of the Gods in Philistine Mythology, which means it is much stronger than Mot (The Death God) and Yamnu (The Sea God).

See Also

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