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Bible Dictionaries

Morrish Bible Dictionary

Baal, Baalim

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The name signifies 'master, possessor;' and whether singular or plural it always has the article. The chief male god of the Phoenicians and the Canaanites, as ASHTORETH was the chief female goddess. The Israelites in coming into the land doubtless found temples, groves, altars and high places set apart to Baal: incense was offered and offerings burnt, and children were sacrificed to him, whilst a great retinue of prophets and priests was maintained in his service, as is manifest by its revival afterwards. Numbers 22:41 ; 1 Kings 18:22 ; Jeremiah 11:13 ; Jeremiah 19:5 ; Jeremiah 32:29 .

The children of Israel were soon led away to the worship of Baal, Judges 2:11,13 ; Judges 3:7 ; Judges 6:31,32 ; Judges 8:33 ; Judges 10:6,10 ; and though under Samuel they relinquished it, 1 Samuel 7:4 ; 1 Samuel 12:10 , yet after the division of the kingdom it was by Ahab fully established in Israel. 1 Kings 16:32 . Elijah however stood for Jehovah, and raised the question with Israel whether Jehovah was God, or whether Baal, and established the rights of Jehovah by fire from heaven. This led to the destruction of all the prophets of Baal, 1 Kings 18:17-40 ; but his idolatrous worship continued until the days of Jehu, who slew his worshippers and destroyed his house and images. 2 Kings 10:18-28 . It however revived again in Israel, and under Ahaziah and Athaliah extended also to Judah, and during the reigns of Ahaz and Manasseh worshippers of Baal are found there. 2 Kings 11:18 ; 2 Kings 16:3,4 ; 2 Kings 17:16,17 ; 2 Kings 21:3 . Thus did Satan succeed in leading aside to idolatry God's favoured people for whom He had done so much. Balaam's advice was only too successful, the women of Canaan being the snare that led to idolatry.

The word Baal is used in several compounds, at times referring to the god and in other cases to persons or places.

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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Baal, Baalim'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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