Baal (also Baʿal ) is an ancient name for various deities in the Western Semitic ( Syrian and Levantine ) area and means: lord , master , owner , husband , king or god . Baal was a title that could be used for any god.
Baal is commonly referred to as the supreme god of the local pantheon . He is mostly a mountain , weather and fertility god . The Babylonian weather god Adad was often equated with Baal .
Baal in Syria-Palestine
The evaluation of the tablets from Ebla showed around 500 deities. Some Sumerian and Hurrian god names were adopted. Centuries later there are still about 50 outstanding deities in Syria. Dagān as lord (bel) of the gods has a leading role in this.
The cuneiform archives of around 1200 BC, which were almost completely found, give the deepest insight into the gods of Canaan . Chr. Destroyed city of Ugarit , capital of the eponymous Bronze Age city-state. The tablets recorded epics, myths , prayers , lists of gods and sacrifices, ceremonial texts and regulations.
The longest cycle of myths from Ugarit deals with Baal. Baal was a weather god who ruled wind, clouds and rain. By ending the drought, he is the giver of fertility .
As a thunderstorm god who rushes over the clouds, who drives the clouds "like calves" and has thunder and lightning , he is dynamic, powerful and fierce. He is shown walking with a raised arm, with which he holds the thunder club, while he carries the lightning spear in his left hand. The assignment of figures of the "striding God" to certain deities is usually not possible.
The God responsible for water, bread, wine, oil, herbs (food for the cattle) and their prosperity is of particular importance in a peasant culture. The motifs of the quoted hymn can also be found in Psalm 65 of the Bible for YHWH . ( Ps 65,7-13 LUT )
In the Ugarit texts, Baal is referred to as Zabul (prince), lord of the earth and as a cloud rider.
General worship of Baal
In Ugarit, a development from Ebla was adopted and represented a uniqueness related to Ugarit: the deceased kings are deified and given their own cult. With that they achieved the same rank as the god Baal himself.
According to S. Moscati , a triad of man, wife and young son was worshiped in every Phoenician city . They have different names locally. The goddess Ashtoret / Astarte / Tanit ( rabat ) was considered the wife of Baal. Here too there are different local names: Astarte of Sidon , Astarte of Lebanon , Baʿalat-Gebal , Baʿalat of Tire
In Palmyra , Bel was mainly worshiped as a Triassic together with the moon god Aglibol and the sun god Jarchibol .
Additions (e.g. city or name) were often added to the name Baal. Some examples:
- City or region
- Baal-Gad - Baal-Hazor - Baal-Peor - Baal- Gebal - Baalbek - Baal Ugarit
- Baal Lebanon - Baal Zaphon - Baal Karmel - Baal Qarnaim
- City gods
- Baal Eschmun of Sidon - Baal Melkart of Tire
- Adon (Lord) - ha Melech (the King)
- Other additions to names
- Baal-Berit (Lord of the Covenant) in Shechem - Baal-Sebub (Lord of the Flies) in Ekron - Baal Hammon (Lord of the Incense Altars) - Baal des Amanos - Baal Zebul (Exalted Lord)
Baal in Egypt
|Baal in hieroglyphics|
( Bˁr )
Baal is mentioned for the first time in the New Kingdom under Amenhotep II . He had a shrine in Memphis and was nicknamed Safon there.
In the Ramesside period , Baal penetrated the Egyptian royal ideology as a warlike, powerful god; Since then epithets such as “strong-hearted like Baal”, “great in terror like Baal”, “Baal in person”, “roar like that of Baal in heaven”, “like Baal, who has power over his enemies” have been assigned to the king .
Baal's functions and representations were 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 such as god's beard, signs of life and scepter were adapted to the Egyptian environment.
Only his quality as a weather god was retained.
Baal in the Bible
In the Bible , the term Baal is used synonymously as a name for a number of local deities; however, the Hebrew word Baal also appears in the Bible with its non-religious meaning lord, owner, husband .
According to the biblical report, the Israelites came into contact with the Baal cult during the desert wandering ( 4 Mos 25.3 EU ). A sharp contrast is usually emphasized in the stories. On the other hand, names containing Baal show that in the early days of Israel worship of YHWH and Baal were not perceived as opposites: Saul named his first son Jonathan ( J (H) W (H) gave a gift ), another Ishbaal ( Baal's husband ). David called a son Adonijah My Lord is JH (WH) ), another Beeljada ( Baal has recognized , 1 Chr 14.7 EU ).
Baal was venerated for centuries, particularly in northern Israel (cf. e.g. 1 Kings 16.32 EU ); Both the Elijah legends and the book of Hosea , on the other hand, polemicize and instead demand monolatric veneration of YHWH. Hos 2.18 EU suggests that the word Baal (according to its original etymology) had previously also been used as a title for YHWH himself (which the prophet opposes for several reasons). Its worship in northern Israel can be at least partially explained by the cultural and religious influence of Tire.
The prophetic criticism also encounters the charge of burning children as sacrifices for Baal ( Jer 19.5 EU ), which was similarly raised by the Romans against the Carthaginians . The historicity of the ancient reports about child sacrifices for Baal and the interpretation of the archaeological evidence in the Phoenician-Punic area is, however, controversial.
Bible passages about Baal:
- Moses and history books: 4 Mos 25.3 + 5 EU , 5 Mos 4.3 EU , Ri 2.13 EU , 6.31–33 EU , 1 Kings 16.31–32 EU , 18.19-26 EU , 19 , 18 EU , 22.54 EU , 2 Kings 1.2–6 EU , 1.16 EU , 10.18–28 EU , 17.16 EU , 21.3 EU , 23.4–5 EU
- Jeremiah: Jer 2.8 EU , 7.9 EU , 11.13 EU , 11.17 EU , 12.16 EU , 19.5 EU , 23.13 EU , 23.27 EU , 32.29 EU , 32, 35 EU , 46.1 EU , 50.2 EU , 51.44 EU
- Other prophets: Dan 14.1-22 EU , Hos 2.10 EU , 2.18 EU , 13.1 EU , Bar 6.41 EU
- New Testament: Rom 11.4 EU .
The name Baal lives on in Balthasar and Hannibal (Phoenician for "Baal is gracious"). The word Beelzebub or Baal-Sebub ("Lord of the Flies") also goes back to Baal and is a name for the devil in the New Testament (cf. later also the demon Baal ). In the year 218 AD attempts were made to introduce the Baal of Emesa , Elagabal , as the realm god of the Imperium Romanum ; A large temple, the Elagaballium , was built for the deity in Rome , but after the murder of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus in 222 the project, which had met with incomprehension among the urban Roman population, was canceled.
Baal can also be found as part of place names, e.g. B .:
- 'Ain-Baal (Eye of Baal, Lebanon)
- Baalbek (بعلبك)
- Baalshmay (Lord of Heaven, Lebanon) بعل شمي
- Onu-Ba (now Huelva , Spain)
- ↑ Hebrew בַּעַל / Baʕal , akkad. Bēlu (m) , Bēl , ugarit. , phoeniz.-pun. and amurr. Ba'lu (m) , Bal , samaritan. Bāl , aram. Be'lu , from the 19th dynasty Egypt. B'r , Greek Βηλος , in the Septuagint and in Josephus Βααλ , Latin Belus , in Hieronymus Baal , arab. Ba'lu , old south Arab. B'L , Ethiop . Bā'el . See Rudolf Meyer, Herbert Donner (Ed.): Wilhelm Gesenius, Hebrew and Aramaic Concise Dictionary on the Old Testament . 18th edition, Springer, Berlin et al. 1987, ISBN 3-540-18206-3 (Delivery 1), p. 162 .; Ludwig Köhler, Walter Baumgartner (ed.): Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros . Brill, Leiden 1953, p. 137; G. Johannes Botterweck, Helmer Ringgren (Ed.): Theological dictionary to the Old Testament. Volume I: 'b - glh . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart et al. 1973, column 706 ff.
- ↑ Ephraim Stern: Archeology of the Land of the Bible. Volume 2, New York 2001, ISBN 0-385-42450-7 , p. 76.
- ↑ André Caquot: At the roots of the Bible. In: World and Environment of the Bible. Book 1: Ugarit - City of Myth. Katholisches Bibelwerk eV, 2002, pp. 37–42.
- ↑ Thomas Staubli: The Baal Myth. In: World and Environment of the Bible. Book 1 Ugarit - City of Myth. Katholisches Bibelwerk eV, 2002, pp. 43–48.
- ^ Martin Klingbeil: Yahweh Fighting from Heaven. God as Warrior and as God of Heaven in the Hebrew Psalter and Ancient Near Eastern Iconography (= Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis. Volume 169). Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 1999.
- ↑ See also Moloch cult .
- ↑ See on Tofet and Tanit .
- Bêl-Marduk's suffering and triumph . In: Hugo Gressmann (Hrsg.): Old oriental texts and images on the Old Testament . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin et al. 1926, pp. 320–322. (Babylon.)
- Baal cycle , Baal, the water dispenser and Keret epic . In: Otto Kaiser (Ed.): Texts from the environment of the Old Testament . Old Series, Volume III: Wisdom Texts, Myths and Epics. Delivery 6: Myths and Epics IV. Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Gütersloh 1997, ISBN 3-579-00083-7 , pp. 1091-1253. (ugarit.)
- Songs and prayers to Baal and Marduk . In: Otto Kaiser (Ed.): Texts from the environment of the Old Testament . Old series, volume II: Religious texts , delivery 6: Songs and prayers II. Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Gütersloh 1991, ISBN 3-579-00071-3 , pp. 819–823. (ugarit.)
- Poems about Baal and Anat . In: James B. Pritchard (ed.): Ancient Near Eastern Texts relating to the Old Testament . Princeton University Press, Princeton 1992, ISBN 0-691-03503-2 , pp. 129-142. (ugarit.)
- Sacrificial meal in honor of Sapan and Ba'al . In: Otto Kaiser (Ed.): Texts from the environment of the Old Testament . Old series, volume II: Religious texts , delivery 3: Rituals and incantations II. Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Gütersloh 1988, ISBN 3-579-00068-3 , pp. 321–322. (ugarit.)
- Baal as the god of thunderstorms . In: Walter Beyerlin (ed.): Religious history text book on the Old Testament . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1985, ISBN 3-525-51659-2 , pp. 238-239. (ugarit.)
- Sparagmos and Omophagy . Manfried Dietrich , Oswald Loretz : Studies on the Ugaritic texts I: Myth and ritual in KTU 1.12, 1.24, 1.96, 1.100 and 1.114 . Ugarit-Verlag, Münster 2000, ISBN 3-927120-84-7 , p. 234. (ugarit .; Anat consumes Baal's flesh and blood)
- The Karatepe inscriptions . In: Walter Beyerlin (ed.): Religious history text book on the Old Testament . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1985, ISBN 3-525-51659-2 , pp. 257-260. (bilingual hieroglyphic Luwian building inscription on a Baal statue)
- First and second amulet from Arslan Tash . In: Walter Beyerlin (ed.): Religious history text book on the Old Testament . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1985, ISBN 3-525-51659-2 , pp. 264-266. (Incantation texts in an aram.-Phoenician mixed dialect)
- The Egyptians and the Gods of Asia . In: James B. Pritchard (ed.): Ancient Near Eastern Texts relating to the Old Testament . Princeton University Press, Princeton 1992, ISBN 0-691-03503-2 , pp. 249-250. (Egypt.)
- Cosmogony of Berosus and Cosmogony of Damascius . In: Hugo Gressmann (Hrsg.): Old oriental texts and images on the Old Testament . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin et al. 1926, pp. 137-138. (Greek)
- Emma Brunner-Traut : The great religions of the ancient Orient and antiquity. W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-17-011976-1 .
- Hartmut Gese : The religions of Old Syria, Altarabia and the Mandaeans (= The religions of mankind . Volume 10.2). W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart et al. 1970.
- Hans Wilhelm Haussig (Ed.): Gods and Myths in the Middle East (= Dictionary of Mythology . Department 1: The ancient civilized peoples. Volume 1). Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1965, pp. 253-264.
- Dirk Kinet: "Baal let his holy voice ring out ..." The theological result of the religious texts from Ugarit. In: World and Environment of the Bible. Katholisches Bibelwerk eV
- Kay Kohlmeyer among others: Land of Baal. Syria - Forum of Peoples and Cultures. Philipp von Zabern, Mainz am Rhein 1982, ISBN 3-8053-0576-1 (exhibition catalog).
- Herbert Niehr: Ba'alšamem. Studies on the origin, history and reception history of a Phoenician god . Peeters, Leuven 2003, ISBN 90-429-1273-1 .
- Herbert Niehr: Religions in Israel's Environment (= The New Real Bible. Supplementary Volume 5). Echter, Würzburg 1998.
- Daniel Schwemer: The weather gods of Mesopotamia and Northern Syria in the age of the cuneiform cultures. Materials and studies according to the written sources. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2001, ISBN 3-447-04456-X .
- Sebastian Grätz: Baal. In: Michaela Bauks, Klaus Koenen, Stefan Alkier (eds.): The scientific biblical lexicon on the Internet (WiBiLex), Stuttgart 2006 ff., Accessed on April 4, 2016.