Friday, March 25, 2011


Beelzebub (also known as Belzebud, Belzaboul, Beelzeboul, Baalsebul, Baalzebubg, Beelzebuth, Beelzebus; more accurately Ba‘al Zebûb or Ba‘al Zəbûb, Βεελζεβούλ, of Aramaic origin [by parody on בַּעַל Ba`al "Lord", and זְבוּב zĕbuwb "fly"], thus, the parody "Lord of the Flies." The name also later appears as the name of a demon or devil, often interchanged with Beelzebul.

Beelzebub as depicted in Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal (Paris, 1863). In ancient contexts, there appears to have been little, if any, meaningful distinction between Beelzebub and the Semitic god named Ba‘al. In Christian writings, either form may appear as an alternate name for Satan (or the Devil) or may else appear to refer to the name of a lesser devil. As with several religions, the names of any earlier foreign or "pagan" deities often became synonymous with the concept of an adversarial entity. The demonization of the ancient deity led to much of the modern religious personification of Satan, as the adversary of the God.

Ba‘al Zebûb might mean 'Lord of Zebûb', referring to an unknown place called Zebûb or 'Lord of flies' (zebûb being a Hebrew collective noun for 'fly'). This may mean that the Hebrews were denigrating their enemies' god by referring to him as dung. Thomas Kelly Cheyne suggested that it might be a corruption of Ba'al Zebul, 'Lord of the High Place'. The Septuagint renders the name as Baalzeboub, SeptuagintB as Baal myîan 'Baal of flies', but Symmachus the Ebionite may have reflected a tradition of its offensive ancient name when he rendered it as Beelzeboul (Cath. Ency.).


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