Who was Baal in the Bible And Where He Appear?

Humans have an innate need to worship, and when they don’t know (or actively reject) the One True God, they often turn to false gods. It’s possible to worship anything. There are those who worship bad forces, those who revere the natural world, and those who idolize something or someone they’ve made into an idol.

In the Bible, believers in the One God come into contact with those who worship false gods or who had worshipped idols. On occasion, Israeli leaders made allowances for and even welcomed foreign gods. Baal was one such god who held Israel in its thrall for some time.

Deity used his prophet to show his strength over this false god from the northern nations above Israel in the middle east, despite having the power and support of the king of Israel and his wife. The people were misled by this false god, but God showed Himself to be true.

Who was Baal in the Bible
Who was Baal in the Bible

Who Was Baal?

Baal was typically referred to be Dagan’s son, although, in Ugaritic writings, he is one of El’s sons. The bull, a symbol of strength and fertility in Ugaritic scriptures, was linked to both Baal and El. He had a particular hatred for snakes, both as individual snakes and as representatives of Yammu.

There were several gods in and around the Canaanite region, and the word Baal was often used to refer to any of them. It’s possible to use it interchangeably with “lord” or “master.” It referred to particular gods who had decisive impacts on Israel at various stages in its history.

The Baal of the Bible was both a fertility god worshipped over the world and a storm god credited with delivering precipitation to the land of Canaan. He was worshipped by the Phoenicians as their god. Archaeological evidence from Syria suggests a mythology pitting Baal, the fertility god, against Mot, the deity of infertility, once every seven years.

The winner would have an impact on agricultural output for the next seven years. A prosperous crop season was attributed to Baal, whereas hunger was considered the work of Mot. He eventually vanquished every other god in the region’s mythology, including El, the god of creation.

The extent to which Baal was worshipped fluctuated over time, but at one point even Egypt participated. Most academics agree that the Ugarit people group worshipped a deity called Hadad, which was also known as Baal in other languages. This deity fulfilled a similar role.

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Where Does Baal Appear in the Bible?

The Book of Numbers is the first place where we see references to Baal worship. According to Moses’ story, the Hebrews rebelled against the God who released them from captivity three times after they fled Egypt. There was an incident where the males of Moab engaged in s*xual misconduct with the ladies of the city.

Who was Baal in the Bible
Who was Baal in the Bible

Inheritors of the Moabites included Abraham‘s nephew Lot. They began to worship the Moabite gods after letting these women into their lives, even though they had no intention of marrying them: “So Israel yoked himself to Baal of Peor.”

And God became very angry with Israel (Numbers 25:3). As a result of this sin, a terrible epidemic hit the Hebrew people at that time. After a while, the issue was resolved, but the Israelites still faced temptation to return to their worship of Baal.

Who Worshipped Baal?

Many different cultures around and within Canaan worshipped Baal for a long time. Jezebel, Ahab’s wife, came from the renowned pagan city of Tyre, the capital of the Phoenician kingdom, and she actively supported Baal in Israel.

According to Roman accounts, the Phoenicians sacrificed children as part of their devotion to the god Baal. Despite initial skepticism, additional archaeological discoveries have provided support for this assertion. The sacrifice could not have been successful without the parents’ voluntary participation (Rawlison 347).

The reasoning behind this is not known for certain, but historical records suggest it may have been based on the idea that children, being both innocent and the centre of a parent’s world, made the sacrifice more significant. Rituals involving human sacrifice by fire were prevalent.

Who was Baal in the Bible
Who was Baal in the Bible

The Baal rites included the drawing of blood in some form. The Bible gives an account of a prophet of God engaging in ritual self-flagellation as part of this worship. And they shouted aloud and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances, till the blood spilled forth upon them,” the Bible says of the Baal prophets during their encounter with Elijah. (1 Kings 18:28)

Where Do We See God’s Power over Baal?

There was a purpose for God protecting Elijah. Collective repentance and the establishment of a good monarch who would remove the idols’ emblems and enforce God’s commandments allowed Israel to eradicate idol worship in the past.

Ahab was a terrible king who had little interest in upholding justice, and as a result, the prophets of his time were assassinated before they could call on the people to repent. God eventually called Elijah out of hiding to meet Ahab.

A face-off with 450 Baal prophets was a part of this conflict. Elijah and the other prophets constructed altars, slaughtered an animal, and asked their gods to produce the necessary fire. Taking it a step further, Elijah soaked his altar in water.

Who was Baal in the Bible
Who was Baal in the Bible

“…there was no voice, and no one answered” when the prophets of Baal cried out for a fire. And as noon came and went, they yelled until it was time to make the oblation, but no one could be heard. No one responded; they weren’t even listening (1 Kings 18:26b, 29)

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