According to the Northwest Semitic languages, “Baal” was a dignified name given as a substitute to owners and lords, and eventually, ordinary people began to apply it to the Gods.
In a lot of Middle Eastern sections, especially among the Canaanites, Baal is idolized as the God of fecundity and considered as one of the most significant gods in the pantheon.
Who Is Baal?
Baal, also referred to as the “Lord of Rain and Dew,” was a fertility, agricultural, and thunderstorm deity. He was frequently portrayed as a fierce warrior who conquered the deity of death.
The term “Baal worship,” a practice that involves child sacrifice, is also mentioned in the Bible. According to the Bible, one of the causes of the northern kingdom of Israel’s demise was its worship of Baal.
What Does The Bible Say about Baal?
“The next morning Balak took Balaam up to Bamoth Baal, and from there he could see the outskirts of the Israelite camp.”
And then it happened to proceed on the following day, that Balak laid hold of Balaam, and escorted him to the towering locations of Baal, and thus as a consequence he might have to face the most extreme side of people.
“Because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.”
And thus they departed from the Almighty, and were in the service of Baal and Ashtaroth.
“In the morning when the people of the town got up, there was Baal’s altar, demolished, with the Asherah pole beside it cut down and the second bull sacrificed on the newly built altar.”
And at the time when the inhabitants of the city wake up early in the morning, gaze upon how the altar of Baal was hurled down and the coppice that was situated next to it was cut down, and then the second bullock that was seven years old was sacrificed upon the altar that was rebuilt.
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The people of the town demanded of Joash, “Bring out your son. He must die, because he has broken down Baal’s altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.”
And then the city’s people told Joash to lead his son outside so that he could lose his life, as a repercussion of crushing down the altar of Baal and cutting down the coppice that was located by the side of the altar.
“But Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, “Are you going to plead Baal’s cause? Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar.”
And Joash asked it out loud to everyone that stood there opposing him, that whether anyone of them were willing to beg for Baal or to rescue him; whoever would solicit on behalf of him, shall be condemned to death while the sun is still shining on us: if he claims himself as a God, let him beg for himself, as someone had crushed down his altar.
“So that day they gave Gideon the name Jerub-Baal, saying, “Let Baal contend with him,” because he broke down Baal’s altar.”
And as a result, on that day, he called him by the name Jerubbaal and said that Baal should be allowed to beg against him, for he was the one who hurled down his altar.
“He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him.”
And it happened to proceed as if it were a casual opportunity for him to tread in the transgressions of Jeroboam and the descendant of Nebat, that he brought Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal, who was the king of Zidonians, to his wife, and made his way to work for Baal and paid all his devotions to him.
“He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria.”
And he nurtured an altar for Baal in the abode of Baal, which he had constructed in Samaria.
“Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
At the moment, address and assemble all the people of Israel to me and bring them to Mount Caramel and the fortune-tellers belonging to Baal four hundred and fifty, and the fortune-tellers were belonging to the thickets four hundred, which dine at the table, Jezebel.
“Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing.”
And Elijah mentioned it to the fortune-tellers of Baal that they should pick out a bullock for themselves and get it dressed first for they are many in number, and then plead to the Gods by calling their names out loud but do not light any fire beneath.
“So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.”
And then they escorted the bullock that was delivered to them, and they put clothes on it, and then they pleaded to Baal by calling out his name from dusk till dawn, crying to hear them out. In spite of their requests, there was no reply; no voice from him was audible. And so they turned to the altar that was built and leaped upon it.
“Then Elijah commanded them, “Seize the prophets of Baal. Don’t let anyone get away!” They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there.”
And then Elijah told them to lay hold of the fortune-tellers of Baal and prevent them from running away. And so they were escorted by them, and Elijah led them down to the small river of Kishon, and it was there that they were put to death.
“Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel – all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”
And even then I have forsaken seven thousand of me in Israel, all of them who have not bent their knees before Baal, and all of them whose mouths have not greeted him with a kiss.
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“He served and worshiped Baal and aroused the anger of the LORD, the God of Israel, just as his father had done.”
And he worked for Baal, carrying out all his commands and paid all his devotions to him, and gave rise to anger in the Lord, the God of Israel, in compliance with everything that his father had performed.
“The people, however, were still sacrificing at the high places, because a temple had not yet been built for the Name of the LORD.”
And demons were wrought by him in the presence of the Supreme Being, but not in the fashion it was carried out by his guardians, both father and mother because he completely discarded the depiction of Baal that was given to him by his father.
“Then the king made a great throne inlaid with ivory and overlaid with fine gold.”
And all the people were assembled together by Jehu, and he told them that Ahab might have disobeyed and worked less for Baal, but on the contrary, he will be completely under the service of Baal.
“The throne had six steps, and its back had a rounded top. On both sides of the seat were armrests, with a lion standing beside each of them.”
So at this moment summon all the fortune-tellers of Baal and bring them to me, each of his attendants and each of his priests, allow no one among them to feel left out; because I have a substantial oblation to be made to Baal; whoever shall not be present, he shall be sentenced to death. But Jehu performed it with quite a keenness, and his ambitions went to such an extent that he might have even knocked down the devotees of Baal.
“Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one at either end of each step. Nothing like it had ever been made for any other kingdom.”
And Jehu told them to make an announcement regarding arranging a dignified congregation for Baal. And obeying Jehu, they declared it.
“All King Solomon’s goblets were gold, and all the household articles in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. Nothing was made of silver, because silver was considered of little value in Solomon’s days.”
And Jehu spread the word through all Israel. Hence all the devotees of Baal made an appearance so that not a single man could be absent from there. And they made an entrance into the abode where Baal lived, and his abode was filled with people from one nook to the other.
“The king had a fleet of trading ships at sea along with the ships of Hiram. Once every three years it returned, carrying gold, silver and ivory, and apes and baboons.”
And then he mentioned it to him that it was regarding the vestry, come carrying with yourself the vestments for each and every devotee of Baal. And they obeyed him and therefore brought with themselves the vestments as alluded to.
“King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth.”
And Jehu and the descendant of Rechab named Jehonadab, made their way into the abode of Baal, and conveyed it to the devotees of Baal, to look and dig into the fact that none of the attendants of the Lord are present. Except for the devotees of Baal, no one should be allowed there.
“Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift – articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules.”
And it came to make its way that the moment he had stopped with the ritual of sacrificing, the burnt offering, Jehu mentioned it to the keeper and to the commanders, to advance forward and put them to death; let nobody come forward. And then, with a firm blow, they stroke them with the rim of the sword, and the keeper and the commanders expelled them and made their way to the city where the residence of Baal is situated.
“Solomon accumulated chariots and horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses, which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem.”
And perhaps they had brought out the pictures from the abode of Baal, and then burnt them down to ashes.
“But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard.”
And they introduced curb on the pictures of Baal, and put a restraint over the abode of Baal, and then constructed it into an outhouse up to this date.
“Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Kue – the royal merchants purchased them from Kue at the current price.”
And this is how Jehu completely razed Baal to the ground and turned him out of Israel.
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“They set out from Midian and went to Paran. Then taking people from Paran with them, they went to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave Hadad a house and land and provided him with food.”
And each and every inhabitant of the area made their way into the abode of Baal, and put an end to it; his altars and his pictures were destroyed into pieces thoroughly, and put Mattan, the priest of Baal, to death in front of the altars. And the priest nominated office bearers over the residence of the Lord.
“For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.”
And they had forsaken all the commandments of the almighty Lord, their God, and prepared melted pictures instead, even two calves, and made a coppice, and devoted themselves to all the host of paradise, and worked under the directs of Baal.
“But Naboth replied, “The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my ancestors.”
Because he had reconstructed the towering places which had been razed to the ground by Hezekiah, his father; and he had built altars for Baal and also assembled a coppice, as did the king of Israel, Ahab; and devoted himself to all the host of the paradise and worked for them.
And the ruler, the king ordered Hilkiah, the highest among priests along with the priests of the second sequence and the guards of the gate, to bring out each and every vessel that was produced in the name of Baal, from the temple of the Lord. And or the coppice and the all the host of paradise: he set them on fire excluding Jerusalem in the meadows of Kidron and transported the burnt ashes of them to Bethel.
And he put an end to the idol-worshipping priests, who were commanded to be burnt into ashes and smoke by the kings of Judah in the towering places located in the city of Judah and the places surrounding Jerusalem; they who also burned Baal into smoke and ashes, to the sun and the moon and the planets and to all the host of the paradise.
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