Baal (Hebrew בַּעַל / Baʕal, akkad. Belu (m), BEL, ugarit. , Phöniz. - pun. , And amurr. Balu (m), Bal, samaritan. Bal, aram. Be'lu, from the 19. dynasty Egypt. b'r, Βηλος Greek, in the Septuagint and Josephus Βααλ, lat Belus, at Jerome Baal, arab. Balu, altsüdarab. B'L, äthiop. Ba'el ) is in ancient times a name for various deities in the Syrian and Levantine space and means, Lord, master, owner, husband, king or God. Baal was a title that could be used for any God. When Baal the supreme god of the local pantheon is usually referred to. He is usually a mountain, weather and fertility god. Baal was often equated with the Babylonian weather god Adad.

  • 7.1 Primary Sources
  • 7.2 secondary literature

Baal in Syria - Palestine

The evaluation of the writing tablets from Ebla yielded about 500 deities. Partial Sumerian and Hurrian gods name were adopted. Centuries later, about 50 prominent deities in Syria are still occupied. Dagon as Lord ( bel ) of the gods has been a leading task here.


The deepest insight into the world of the gods of Canaan give practically completely discovered cuneiform archives of around 1200 BC, destroyed city of Ugarit, capital of the Bronze Age city-state. The panels were holding, among other epics, myths, prayers, gods and sacrificial lists, ceremonial texts and regulations.

The longest cycle of myths from Ugarit deals with Baal. Baal, a weather god, the wind, clouds and rain was dominated. As he ended the drought, he is the donor of fertility.

As a god of thunder, who hurries over the clouds that has the Clouds " as calves before him hertreibt " and thunder and lightning, it is dynamic, powerful and fight vigorously. It is represented along border with a raised arm with which he hurls lightning. However, the assignment of characters in the " Striding God" to specific deities is usually not possible.

The water, bread, wine, oil, herbs ( food for cattle ) and its prosperity responsible God is in a rural culture of particular importance. The motives of the quoted hymn can be found in Psalm 65 of the Bible for Yahweh.

In the Ugaritic texts, Baal is called Zabul (prince ), Lord of earth and called Wolkenreiter.

General worship of Baal

In Ugarit, development was taken from Ebla and Ugarit asked a related uniqueness is: The deceased kings are divinized and get your own cult. Thus they reached the same rank as the god Baal itself

According to S. Moschati a triad of husband, wife and youthful son was worshiped in each Phoenician city. You have locally different name. The goddess Ashtoreth / Astarte / Tanit ( rabat ) was considered as the wife of Baal. Again, there are different local names: Astarte of Sidon, Lebanon Astarte, Ba ʿ alat - Gebal, Ba ʿ alat of Tyre

In Bel Palmyra was mainly worshiped as a triad along with the moon god and the sun god Aglibol Jarchibol.

Name forms

At the name of Baal often additions were appended (eg town or name). A few examples:

City or region

Baal -gad - Baal - Hazor - Baal -peor - Baal of Sidon - Baal Byblos - Baal of Tyre - Baalbek


Baal - Lebanon - Baal Zaphon - Zelbul Baal - Baal Carmel - Baal Qarnaim

Town God

Baal Melkarth / Tyre in Tyre - Baal Eshmun / Sidon Sidon - Baal - Hammon in Carthage - Baal of Byblos


Adon (Lord) - ha Melech ( King )

Other Names additives

Baalberith ( Mr. d Federal ) in Shechem - Baal - Zebub ( Lord d fly ) in Ekron - Baal Hammon ( Mr. d incense ) - Baal of Amano

Baal in Egypt

Baal was first mentioned in the New Kingdom under Amenhotep II. He had a sanctuary in Memphis and there was the nickname Safon.

In the Ramesside Baal came as a warlike, powerful god in the Egyptian royal ideology; the king epithets have since been as starkmütig as Baal, great in horror as Baal, Baal in person, roar like that of Baal in heaven, as Baal, the power has allocated over his enemies.

Baal functions and representations have been so completely changed in Egypt: He was equated with Seth: Seth as Baal and Baal as Seth. Typical Asian features of the Egyptian representation are: conical hat, bull horns and a typical apron. The attributes as divine beard, vital signs and scepter were adapted to the Egyptian environment.

Only his capacity as a weather god remained.

Baal in the Bible

In the Bible the term Baal is used interchangeably as a name for a number of local deities; However, the word Baal appears more often in his non-religious meaning. Sometimes Yahweh himself as "Baal" seems to be addressed (in the sense of " master " ), which is why is crucial that name is mentioned after the word for Lord, lord or god.

In the story of Abraham we read casually from Baal worship (eg (1 Mos 14.5 EU) ). At Sinai, in the legislation for the people of Israel an active affront is offered to Baal worship already. (Ex 34, 12-14). In addition, the alleged child victims were an occasion not to tolerate this cult. As is clear from the Bible, some Israelites were influenced by the cult of Baal.

Baal was worshiped especially in northern Israel over hundreds of years, which, inter alia, to by the criticism of the biblical prophets can prove to the practice.

The ancient reports of child sacrifice to Baal are highly controversial. The Romans accused the Carthaginians of child murder in Molochkult. Today, it is more likely from a Roman propaganda against Carthage.

Bible references to Baal: 4 Mos. 25.3 and 5, 5 Mos. 4.3, Ric. 2.13, Ric. 6:31-33, 1 Kings. 16.31-32, 1 Kings. 18.19-26, 1 Kings. 19:18, 1 Kings. 22.54, 2 Kings. 1.2 to 6, 2 Kings. 1.16, 2 Kings. 10.18-28, 2 Kings. 17:16, 2 Kings. 21.3, 2 Kings. 23:4-5, Jer. 2.8, Jer. 7.9, Jer. 11:13, Jer. 11,17, Jer. 12,16, Jer. 19.5, Jer. 23:13, Jer. 23,27, Jer. 32,29, Jer. 32:35, Hos. 2.10, Hos. 2.18, Hos. 13.1, Rom. 11.4

At the beginning of inscriptions translations, it was assumed that the name of God YHWH appears in personal names as theophores element in certain people's names. But Interim studies could not confirm this assumption.

This deity was later in Christianity to the demons Baal.


The name Baal lives in Balthasar and Hannibal ( Phoenician for " Baal is gracious " ) continues. The word Beelzebub or Baal Zebub ('Lord of the Flies " ) goes back to Baal in the New Testament and provides a name for the devil dar. In the year 218 AD was trying to Baal of Emesa, Elagabalus, as a kingdom to God of the Roman Empire to introduce; the deity was in Rome a great temple, the Elagaballium built, but after the assassination of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus in 222, the plan, which was encountered in the city of Rome population incomprehension canceled.

Baal is also found as part of place names, such as:

  • ' Ain Baal ( Baal's eye, Lebanon )
  • Baalbek ( بعلبك )
  • Onu- Ba ( today Huelva, Spain)