Who is Baal?
(lord, or master), different forms of the name of the supreme male divinity of the Phoenicians and Canaanites,as Ashtoreth was that of their supreme female divinity. 1 Kgs 18:21; Isa 46:1; 1 Sam 12:10; 1 Kgs 11:33. That the divinities were derived from astrological fancies there is little doubt, but it is a question with what pair of the heavenly bodies we are to identify them. The common opinion is that they represent the sun and moon respectively, while other scholars say they are Jupiter and Venus. The license sanctioned -- indeed, demanded -- by their worship may have given it attractiveness. At all events, it spread among the Jews, being introduced into Israel by Jezebel and by her daughter into Judaea. Many and severe were the judgments required to eradicate it. Baal side of an Altar from a temple in Kunawat (Canatha), east of the Jordan. The frequent use of the word Baal in the plural form, Baalim, e.g. Jud 2:11; Jud 10:10;1 Kgs 18:18; Jer 9:14; Hos 2:13, 2 Sam 21:17, proves probably that he was worshipped under his different modifications. Hence several compounds exist. 1. Ba'al-be'rith (covenant lord), the form of Baal worshipped by the Shechemites after Gideon's death. Jud 8:33; Jud 9:4. 2. Ba'al-pe'or (lord of the opening, an allusion to the character of the rites of worship), the form of Baal-worship in Moab and Midian shared in by the Israelites. Num 25:3, 1 Chr 6:5, 1 Sam 30:18; Deut 4:3; Josh 22:17; Ps 106:28; Hos 9:10. 3. Ba'al-ze'bub (lord of the fly), the form of Baal worshipped at Ekron. 2 Kgs 1:2-3, 1 Chr 24:6, Ex 17:16. Human victims were offered to Baal. Jer 19:5. Elevated places were selected for his worship, and his priests and prophets were very numerous. Sometimes the tops of the houses were devoted to this purpose. 2 Kgs 23:12; Jer 32:29. See High Places. The worship of Baal by the ancient Druids was probably general throughout the British Islands. One of the Druidic yearly festivals and deemed of special importance took place in the beginning of May, which was the first month of their year, and called Be'el-tin, or "fire of God." A large fire was kindled on some elevated spot in honor of the sun, whose returning beneficence they thus welcomed after the gloom of winter. Of this custom a trace remains in "Beltin Day" (or Whitsunday) in many of the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland. In the Lowlands the same name was retained till a comparatively recent date. House of Ba'al 1 Kgs 16:32. Is the same with the temple (or place of worship) of Baal. See particularly 2 Kgs 10:21-28.