Their commitment went one way, and then it went the other way. I would also challenge the suggestion in the text of the article that the location of Lots cave is known. The Hebrew word suggests "smoothness" or "flattering," describing people who "talk the talk" but do not "walk the walk.". In correlating the sequence of events, Baal's victory over the sea-god, Yamm, is probably to be placed near the beginning of the action, since it was presumably this exploit which gained him the dominant position among the gods, just as *Marduk achieved preeminence by defeating the sea-monster Tiamat. Asherah, along with Astarte and Anath, was one of the three great goddesses of the Canaanite pantheon. Such evil cunning. Mot refused and boasted how he had mangled Baal. Today Jezebel has built Baal altars in the name of 'church' and led many to Baal worship. Because Canaan depended on rain to grow crops and survive, he was numero uno. All Rights Reserved. 4. Psalm 68 may have been written, in part, as a polemic against Baal worship wherein it is indicated in verse 4 that YHWH is the one who rides the clouds. Biblical Sidon is perhaps most infamously known as the birthplace of the Phoenician princess Jezebel (1 Kings 16:31), who became queen of the Israelites during King Ahabs reign in the ninth century B.C.E. Matthew 5:17Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. Kings Ahaz and Manasseh, The Bible speaks of the destruction of Baal's temples and the idols associated with him. It may be, however, that these extra Baalim are Baal's attendants, mentioned as the seven or eight lads whom Baal is ordered to take with him in his descent into the netherworld. This daily newsletter provides a starting point for personal study, and gives valuable insight into the verses that make up the Word of God. Our nation has embraced the old ancient paganism that we read about in the Bible. 13:2) such as Baal himself performed in the Ugaritic myth are depicted in the prophetic tirades. Archaeologists at Sidon have uncovered a 12th11th-century B.C.E. For example, Christmas and Easter are traditions of men, but they are lies. Ashtaroth is mentioned 12 times in the Old Testament. Since Baal was, like almost all ancient deities, a fertility god, the human act of intercourse demonstrated that they wanted Baal to prosper them. The Jordan River (Nahar ha-Yarden) qualified as a mikveh as its flowing living waters originated from a natural spring ( Today,. Isaiah 29:13 clarifies what God means: "Therefore the LORD said: 'Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men.'" In those God calls outthose who, by faith, will voluntarily yield to HimHe is building character based on outgoing love. . (verses 9-11). A complex religion with traditions and gods from all over the ancient Middle East, Baal worship offered something for everyone. As an example, notice Amos 2:6-7, where Amos chides the Israelites: ". Payment of the full tithe to the food stores of the Temple, some thought, would guarantee that YHWH would open the windows of heaven and pour down overflowing blessings (Mal. El is praised for his wisdom in granting the request since now it is insured that Baal will give his rain in season. . This life-and-death struggle pitted the worship of Baal against the worship of Jehovah. What was the rationale behind this perverse, immoral act? In the Bible, the followers of the one true God encounter other gods, or previously worshipped idols themselves. Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. II Kings 17:5-6 relates the ultimate consequence. After a textual gap, there is a report that Baal's corpse has been found. Scholars previously associated the theonym with solar cults and with a variety of unrelated patron deities, but inscriptions have . Jehu's massacre of the Baal worshipers (II Kings 10:1828) did not eradicate bull worship (II Kings 10:31). They were afraid of God, but they did not really change their way of life. linked to Molech (also called Milcom in the Bible). In the mythology of Canaan, Baal, the god of life and fertility, locked in mortal combat with Mot, the god of death and sterility. Our god is what we give our lives over to. In the Judeo-Christian tradition Asherah is considered a false Canaanite deity and a major source of temptation to the Israelites. The judge Gideon was also named Jerubbaal (Judges 6:32), and King Saul had a son named Ishbaal (I Chronicles 8:33). Whoever is missing shall not live.". But their carnality and their fear of men persuaded them to worship Baal, because they wanted to be friends with their fellow Israelites. Prophets and Prophecy (Part 1). Baal & Asherah. Now the king of Assyria went throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria and besieged it for three years. Elijah's work was to reveal the true God to Israel in a time of growing national crisis. This article is about Baal worship in the Bible. In spite of the fact that the word is used as the theophorous element in personal names, such as Eshbaal, Merib-Baal, Jerub Baal, it was long believed that the term remained an appellation and did not become a proper name, except in the case of the Mesopotamian Bel and in late theological speculation. They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, And ate the sacrifices of the dead. Now the word isai, simply means music in Tamil. The worship of Baal extended in this region to the Jews, Canaanites and the Phoenicians. It Is So Painful to Care: How Do I Conquer Apathy? Today, music performers entice young and old in the practice of the worship of Baal-Peor And she has taken over many so-called churches. A religion with such a beginning was doomed to fail, bringing the nation down with it. JezaBel can be respelLt as JezaVel ~ JezaVAl ~ IezaVAL ~ Isaval-lavi ~ an expert in music. The eschatological traits were taken over with the Canaanite myths. There are several ideas as to exactly what Elijah meant by "How long will you falter between two opinions?" Now another presentation that the Phoenicians who are also connected with the Canaanites had traded with the trading mariners of Kerala, India. 2:13) and *Asherah (Judg. Evil practices never go away. Burning incense, worship of the sun, moon, astrology, and ancestor worship are all earmarks of the Baal religion. Indeed, throughout its history, the most important god at Sidon was the storm godknown during the Phoenician period as Baal or Bel. Take the word isabel; it can be split as isa bel or as isai bel. Sidon was well connected by trade by the traders of the Pandya kingdom of Tamil Nadu. . Baal worship is and has always been pagan; today it is replacing the laws and beliefs based upon Judaeo-Christian roots, which honours the GOD of the Bible, His laws and His ways. If Baal triumphed, a seven-year cycle of fertility would ensue; but, if he were vanquished by Mot, seven years of drought and famine would ensue. Thus, they developed a syncretic religious system, a blending of the truth of God and outright paganism. Before we explore what Scripture says about Baal, lets establish a brief depiction of the Canaanite deity. Note the name of her father, King of the Sidoneans and apparently (Josephus) a priest of Baal as well. is a member of the Salem Web Network of sites including: Copyright 2023, Yet Sidon was a significant site before this period, too. The above comment is by Prof. Abraham Joseph, M.Sc., M.Phil. The sum of what Elijah said is actually spiritually dangerous, due to the fact that God is judging. Dig into the illuminating world of the Bible with a BAS All-Access membership. He is deceived into thinking that his material prosperity proves that God approves of his conduct and attitudes. When a person is freezing to death, he feels a pleasant numbness that he does not want to end. Immorality lies in the desire of men to live self-centered lives independent of God, as when Adam and Eve took of the forbidden tree (Genesis 3:1-19). 25:111; Ps. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree. Some scholars believe that the Canaanites also sacrificed pigs and that God prohibited his people from eating pork in part to prevent this horrible cult from being established among them. "Whatever is not of faith is sin" (Romans 14:23). Photo: Courtesy of Claude Doumet-Serhal. 19 Now therefore, call to me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered!only to go on doing all these abominations? They were primarily devoted to the worship of Baal and Asherah (or Asherim, Asheroth). 2:11; 3:7; 8:33), while the singular of the word in combination with other terms apparently designated minor or local gods, such as Baal-Berith, Baal-Gad, Baal-Hamon, Baal-Hazor, Baal-Hermon, or, in the feminine form, a goddess, Baalat-Beer, Baalat-Gebal. Nevertheless, despite the biblical tendency to avoid the use of the word as a proper name, it is now quite clear that by pre-Israelite times the term had become the usual name of the weather-god of Syria-Palestine. For instance, Hezekiahs son rebuilds the shrines of Baal and the Canaanite goddess Asherah that Hezekiah had torn down: He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. One such deity who gripped Israel for a period of time was Baal. that the southern kingdom of Judah ever had .just like her momma. Combine a one-year tablet and print subscription to BAR with membership in the BAS Library to start your journey into the ancient past today! Check out her books at hopebolinger.comfor clean books in most genres, great for adults and kids. 11:17; I Kings 8:3536; Jer. His overall conduct may not be too bad, but his poor self-analysis persuades him that he has no urgent need to seek God any further. That Baal appears to be a relative newcomer in the Ugaritic pantheon has been generally recognized, and it may be that Sakkhunyaton's story about Baal's paternity reflects a mythologizing of the process by which Baal was integrated into the family of El. At Ras-Shamar, Baal was referred to as the son of Dagon, the Philistines chief god. In another room was a round base that likely supported a wooden pillar. It may seem easy to point the finger at the ancient Israelites and say, How could you let a bull statue into Israel? Charles Whitaker Updates? This chapter reports on the behavior of the people placed in Israel after Israel's conquest and deportation by Assyria between 722-720 BC. Theoretically, the Israelites did not believe in idols, but in reality, they did. Baal's abode was Mount apn, identified as Jebel el-Aqra ("Mount Baldy") some 30 mi. What do we know about the religion surrounding this Canaanite deity, and how did it affect those in the Old Testament? All this was part of his fertility role, which, when fulfilled, meant an abundance of crops and fertility for animals and mankind. If you will not be committed to Him, you are going to die.". In the Hebrew language, Baal as a noun means "lord or possessor." As a verb, it means "to have dominion over or be lord over." Additionally, the local deity (near Israel) "Baal," was a god of rain and fertility. Like ancient Israel, we can easily fall back into our former ways. A falling away is taking place right now. In mythological texts from the Late Bronze Age (c. 1550-1200 B.C.E) city-state of Ugarit, she is called "the creatress of the gods"; her consort at Ugarit, the god El, is . The basis for this view was the fact that in biblical usage the plural of the term, with the article, "the Baalim," appears to designate minor local gods (Judg. She's most famously the mother of Baal, another god who shows up throughout the Old Testament when the Israelites stray after other idols. With the help of the sun-goddess Shapsh, Anath locates the dead Baal, carries him to the height of apn, and weeping buries him with funerary sacrifices. Life in a land dependent on rainfall enhanced the appeal of the Baal cult and its pervasive influence persisted through the centuries, as the unrelenting protests of the prophets and the sporadic efforts at reform attest. One idea is that he means, "How long are you going to hop from branch to branch? When Elijah preached his message, it put the people in a bind because they knew their conscience was telling them that they had to commit themselves to God or to Baal. However, God shows there is a possible harmful, secondary effect: As people become financially secure, their attention is diverted from His purpose to vain and unimportant things. A general understanding about the bamah and . Of special interest is the designation Aliy (ly) which is twice applied to Baal in the Krt Epic: Before the discovery and recognition of this name in Ugaritic, H.S. The songs of His Temple would ordinarily be happy and joyous songs of praise to God, but He will turn the songs of their templesung to Baal in the name of the Lordto wailing, for the numbers of the dead will be unimaginable. In Ugaritic and Hebrew, Baal's epithet as the storm god was He Who Rides on the Clouds. It indeed produces great material prosperity, but it is consumed through self-indulgent gorging. 11:1011). God sends a prophet to people who are cold in their relationship with Godspiritually freezing to deaththough they want to stay that way. These people, who became known as the Samaritans, feared the Lord but worshipped their own gods. The prophet Haggai attributed the drought and scarcity in his day to the failure to rebuild the Temple (Hag. The Macedonian Cleopatra planned to send her son to India through the Red Sea. Blending the lies of this world with the truth of God produces a foul mixture called syncretism (James 3:10-13). But who is Baal? Reuben Alcalay, a famous Hebrew lexicographer, stated that Yehoshua is closely related to Let there be So, lets be intellectually honest and start using the proper English translation: Joshua. The rains were fully controlled by YHWH who called them from the sea and poured them out on the surface of the earth (Amos 5:8b; 9:6b). Hosea exposes the problem between God and Israel. Notice the dramatic change of attitude in the people. To accommodate Baal ideology to Yahwism required some radical transformations. It disturbed them. In Hebrew, it is rendered Yehoshua, and in Aramaic, Yeshua. The divine child was named Demarous, one of the cognomens of Zeus-Baal-Hadad. (Jeremiah 7:8-10). 28:2); Hezekiah attempted to eliminate it; Manasseh his son again gave it royal support (II Kings 21:3); and Josiah in his turn purged the Temple of YHWH of the utensils made for Baal and Asherah (II Kings 23:4). 106:28). The building materials, gold, silver, and lapis lazuli, were procured and the architect-builder Koshar was invited to dinner and consultation. This is God's way of showing that Israel abused its prosperity: It used its prosperity for the purposes of idolatry. Commentaries are at odds over what the Hebrew word translated divided means. See what over 150,000 subscribers are already receiving each day. BIBLIOGRAPHY: W. Hermann, in: DDD, 13238; M.S. Thus, IF one is to pronounce the Tetragrammaton according to the masoretic vowel-markings, then it should probably be pronounced something like yuh-WAH or yuh-HWAH. Lastly, he replaced God with golden calves in Bethel and Dan. Ahaz fostered Baal worship (II Chron. Yet, he was in trouble his whole life, from his teenage years on. 3:10; cf. Apostasy is a defection from trutha forsaking of one spiritual approach in favor of another. In the El-Amarna letters the logogram for the weather-god is conventionally read Addu, but that it is sometimes to be read Baluis indicated by the addition of the phonetic complement-lu, as well as by the names like Mut dIm written syllabically as mu-ut-ba-a-lum. They were Phoenicians. The combined letters o and e is joined to pronounce the sound ye. Baal's house was constructed in an extraordinary fashion. What is so interesting is that, by verse 35, it is clear God is no longer addressing Himself to the Samaritans, but to Israel: [T]he LORD had made a covenant and charged [Israel], saying: "You shall not fear other gods, nor bow down to them nor serve them nor sacrifice to them; but the LORD, who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and an outstretched arm, Him you shall fear, Him you shall worship, and to Him you shall offer sacrifice. Some of Judah's kings spent years tearing down shrines and high places to foreign gods (II Chronicles 34:1-7). Baal was the title of the "god" worshiped in ancient Canaan and Phoenicia. In this article, well discuss what Scripture has to say about Baal, what we know from history about Baal, and why this ultimately matters to us today. Second was passing their babies through the fire. In other words, prosperity turns people's heads. Alan, how said anything about John baptizing Jesus? Thus it is clear that Baal, representing the life-giving rains, fluctuates in his ability to withstand the power of Mot, who represents drought, sterility, and death. . Pagan Religious Practices. Who Was Baal? He established a feast in the eighth month to replace the true Feast of Tabernacles in the seventh. No one answered; no one paid attention" (v. 29 ESV). This is typical Israeliltish syncretism, but it will not work. Nyberg had restored it in Deuteronomy 33:12; I Samuel 2:10; II Samuel 23:1; Isaiah 59:18, 63:7; and Hosea 7:16. Murder and sexual immorality was a part of Baal worship.
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