Wednesday, November 23, 2011



Common epithets of Ba`al
# Most High Prince/Master - ´al´iyn. b`l, ´al´iyanu ba`lu
# Conqueror of Warriors - ´al´iy. qrdm, ´al´iyu qarradima
# Mightiest, Most High, Supreme, Powerful, Puissant - ´al´iyn, ´al´iyanu, aleyin, eleyin, aliyin, eliyan, elioun
# Warrior - dmrn, damaron, Demarous (Greek)
# Hadd, Haddad, Hadad, Hadu, Adad, Addu - hdd
# Prince, Master of the Earth - zebul ba`al ´aretz or zubulu ba`lu ´aretsi
# Pidar, uncertain meaning, possibly Bright, Flash - pdr, Pidar
# Rider on the Clouds - rkb `rpt, rakab arpat or rakibu `arpati
# Thunderer - r`mn, rimmon or re`amin

Gapen & Ugar, Vineyard and Field, Baal's pages or messengers - gepanu wa ugaru

Baal, on a stone stela from Ugarit, striding forward, carrying his lightning staff Ba`al is the god most actively worshipped in Canaan and Phoenicia, the Storm God, source of the winter rain storms, spring mist, and summer dew which nourish the crops. Therefore He is considered responsible for fecundity, particularly of the Earth, for the growth of vegetation, and for the maintenance of life. None the less, He is NOT a god of vegetation. While the word "ba`al" means simply "master" or "owner," He is considered a prince. Among His other epithets are Rider of the Clouds, Prince, Master of the Earth ( c.f. the Qabalistic phrase Melek ha´Aretz, King of the Earth). Ba`al is an executive force, dynamic, and able to accomplish what He sets out to do. Ba`al is often depicted striding forward, wearing a horned helmet and short wrap kilt, carrying a mace and spear or lightning-bolt staff. Another of His names is Re`ammin, meaning Thunderer. He is also called ´Aleyin, meaning "Most High," "Mightiest," "Most Powerful," or "Supreme," which some scholars have misinterpreted as the name of a son of Ba`al. As a weather god, His home is in the Heights of Tsaphon, Mount of the North. Remnants of His worship survive in the Jewish prayerbook in late spring prayers for dew and late fall prayers for rain.

In fact Ba`al is the son of Dagan/Dagnu, Himself a god of agriculture and storms, and not actually a son of ´El. Through a series of conflicts and competitions with other gods, Ba`al achieves a position subordinate only to ´El among gods. However, He defers to ´Asherah and often enlists Her favors when He must approach ´El. He also relies upon His sister `Anat, who is may be His mate, although not His wife. At times He transforms into a bull and She into a heifer, to stress their fertility, and together they "bring forth seventy, even eighty calves," i.e., many progeny. He is never called "The Bull," however, which title is limited to ´El. Ba`al's assistants are Gapen and Ugar, whose names mean, respectively, "Vineyard" and "Grain Field," again stressing Ba`al's relationship with the fertile, life-giving earth.

While embodying royal power and authority, Ba`al is not aloof nor beyond the menace of evil. He is continually threatened yet triumphant, as in the story of His continual conflict to sustain Order against Chaos with the god Yahm and to sustain Life against Death with Mot (Mawet/ Mavet in Hebrew), the god of drought, blight, sterility, and decay.

Ba`al is also identified as Hadad, an Akkadian and Babylonian god of the sky, clouds, and rain, both creative, gentle showers and destructive, devastating storms and floods. Like the Canaanite Ba`al, Hadad holds and hurls thunder-bolts. Haddad rides a bull.

His home, the Mountain Divine Tsapan, is known in Hittite as Mount Hazzi dkhursân khazi, in Akkadian as ba`litsapûna, in Greek as Kasios and in Latin as mons Casius, in modern Arabic as Jebel ´el-Aqra` and in Modern Turkish as Keldag. It stands 5660 feet (1780 meters) in height, the peak lying about 25 miles to the north of Ugarit and 2.5 miles from the coast. Tsapan is well-suited as home of the great storm-god, as this mountain receives the heaviest annual rainfall on the Levantine coast at over 57 inches. Being close to the holy mountain was so important that there were other Mount Tsaphons near distant Phoenician settlements in Egypt and in Spain.

Because, as with ´El, the name Ba`al is a title more than a name, there are numerous "Ba`al's." Among them are:

Ba`al Lebanon, Master of the Cedars
Ba`al Tsaphon, Master of the North or northern districts
Ba`al Adir, Master-of-Help
Ba`al Kaneph, Winged Ba`al
Ba`al Moganim, Master of the Shields
Ba`al Marpah´a, Master of Healing
Ba`al Shamim, Master of the Heavens.

During the long period of trade and exchange between the Canaanites/ Phoenicians with the Egyptians, Ba`al was associated with several Egyptian gods. One is Amon, the ram headed god of fertility, agriculture, air or breath of life, whose name means "hidden," just as Ba`al is sometimes hidden among the clouds. There may also be a relationship between Amon and Ba`al Hammon. As Ba`al Hammon/Khamon, He is the chief Carthaginian god of sky and vegetation, depicted as a bearded older man with curling ram's horns, perhaps a merging of ´El and Ba`al. As Ba`al Qarnaim/ Karnayin, Master of the Horns or the Two-Horned Ba`al, He is a ram-horned god of twilight and the setting sun.

Some scholars related Ba`al to the Egyptian Osiris, considering both as dying-resurrecting gods. While Osiris has an effect on this world with the annual fertilizing floods of the Nile, He is never quite resurrected, rather going to the Netherworld where He reigns. More importantly, while Osiris was known to the Canaanites - the head of Osiris after His dismemberment was said to have floated to the Phoenician city of Byblos - there is no evidence that the Egyptians or Canaanite-Phoenicians ever equated the two.

Another Egyptian god scholars sometimes associate with Ba`al is Ra/ Re, solar god, creator, and sovereign lord of the sky; as Ra-Horakte He is chief god of the Ennead, the nine most high deities. Reborn each dawn in the East, He dies at dusk after sailing westward across the sky in His boat. However, Ba`al was NEVER a solar god, even though faulty attributions of the Victorian and Edwardian eras have assigned Him this association, perpetuated by some Neopagans. Some of the confusion is attributable to a late Hellenistic syncretic deity worshipped as Heliogabalus, a blending of Ba`al with the Greek sun god Helios and some Persian deities.

In fact, the deity with whom the Egyptians themselves particularly identified Ba`al was Seth/ Set, whose position varied during Egypt1s long history. Most of the time He was not evil personified, but a turbulent desert storm god, and there were pharaohs who bore His name. The Greeks on the other hand, called Ba`al Zeus Demarous kai Adodos, while ´El was equated instead with Kronos.

The name Ba`al is cognate with Bel, a Babylon and Assyrian deity. The Sumerian god Enlil became incorporated with Bel, which eventually became a title of Marduk, defeater of Tiamat whose name is possibly cognate with Yam, the Sea Serpent who Ba`al defeats.

Early in Canaanite studies, some scholars believed that ´El and Ba`al were in conflict for control of the pantheon. A careful reading of the myth shows that this is not true, which is current scholarly thought. There is conflict, as Ba`al must vanquish those in competition with Him for the important executive position. But ´El remains throughout the ultimate authority, whom Ba`al must petition for permission to build His palace. ´El has dominion over all Creation, while Ba`al controls the fertility of the Earthly realm.

Yea, also Ba`al will make fertile with His rain,
with water He will indeed make fertile harrowed land;
and He will put His voice in the clouds,
He will flash His lightning to the earth.

From: here
Baal (also called Baal-Zephon(Saphon), Hadad, Pidar and Rapiu (Rapha?) - 'the shade')

The son of El, the god of fertility, 'rider of the clouds', and god of lightning and thunder. He is 'the Prince, the lord of earth', 'the mightiest of warriors', 'lord of the sky and the earth' (Alalakh). He has a palace on Mt. Zephon. He has a feud with Yam. His voice is thunder, his ship is a snow bearing cloud. He is known as Rapiu during his summer stay in the underworld.

He upbraids the gods for their cowardice when they intend to hand him over to Yam's messengers and attacks them but is restrained by Athtart and Anat. Kothar-and-Khasis gives him the magic weapons Yagrush (Chaser) and Aymur (Driver). He strikes Yam in chest and in the forehead, knocking him out. Athtart rebukes Baal and calls on him to 'scatter' his captive, which he does. In a alternate version of this episode, he slays Lotan (Leviathan), the seven-headed dragon. The battle may have been representative of rough winter sea-storms which calmed in the spring and which were preceded and accompanied by autumn rains which ended summer droughts and enabled crops to grow.

After his victory he holds a feast and remarks on his lack of a proper palace, instead retaining residence with El and Athirat. He sends messengers to Anat to ask her to perform a peace-offering that he might tell her the word which is the power of lightning and seek lightning on the holy Mt Zephon. She does so and he welcomes her. Hearing his complaints Anat leaves to petition El for a new palace for Baal. Rejected, Baal dispatches Qodesh-and-Amrur to Kothar-and-Khasis with a request to make a silver temple set with which to bribe Athirat. He and Anat view Athirat with trepidation keeping in mind past insults which he has suffered at the hands of the other gods. He and Anat ask Athirat to ask El for permission to build a more extravagant house and Athirat's request is granted. Gathering cedar, gold, silver, gems, and lapis at Mt. Zephon, he calls Kothar-and-Khasis, feeding him and instructing him on how to build the palace. He doesn't want a window, for fear of Yam breaking through or his daughters escaping, but Kothar-and-Khasis convinces him to allow its inclusion so that he might lightning, thunder, and rain through it.

At its completion he holds a feast, takes over scores of towns and allows the window to be built. He threatens to ask Mot to invite any of Baal's remaining enemies to come for a visit and at night, binds the lightning, snow and rains. He sends Gupn and Ugar to Mot to invite him to acknowledge his sovereignty at his new palace. He sends messengers to Mot to carry this message to him and they return with a message of such weight that Baal declares himself Mot's slave. He hopes to ameliorate Mot by having Sheger and Ithm supply live sheep and cattle for the god to feast upon. Fearing Mot he seeks Shapshu's advice and sires a substitute on a cow. He (or possibly his substitute) dies and remains in the underworld for seven years. El dreams that he is alive again but he is absent. Ashtar attempts to take Baal's place, but can not. Shapshu searches for him. Baal returns and fights Mot's allies, the sons of Athirat and the yellow ones. After seven years, Mot returns, demanding one of Baal's brothers lest he consume mankind. Baal rebuffs him and they fight tooth and nail. Shapshu separates the two declaring that Baal has El's favor and Baal resumes his throne.

You're missing a relief of Baal.
As Baal-Hadad, he sends monstrous creatures to attack the handmaidens of Yarikh, and of Athirat of the Sea. He hunts the horned, buffalo-humped creatures which were birthed by the handmaidens at the advice of El. During the hunt he is stuck in a bog for seven years and things fall to pot. His kin recover him and there is much rejoicing.

Once when he was out hunting, Anat followed him. He spotted her, fell in love and copulated with her in the form of a cow. She gave birth to 'a wild ox' or a 'buffalo', telling him of the event on Mt. Zephon. This is probably not their only affair. (See also Theology 100 Online Glossary - Baal, Encyclopedia Mystica - Baal)

Gapn (vine)
Baal's page and messenger to both Anat and Mot.
Radmanu (Pradmanu)
a minor servitor of Baal.
Ugar (cultivated field?)
Baal's other page and messenger to both Anat and Mot. He is possibly the patron city-god of Ugarit.
Pidray 'daughter of the mist','daughter of light(ning)'
Baal's daughter. She is sometimes a love interest of Athtar.
Tallay ='she of dew', 'daughter of drizzle'
Baal's daughter.
Arsay = 'she of the earth', 'daughter of [ample flows]'
Baal's daughter.
Baal's daughter.

From: here
The antiquity of the worship of the god or gods of Baal extends back to the 14th century BCE among the ancient Semitic peoples, the descendants of Shem, the oldest son of Biblical Noah. Semitic is more of a linguistic classification than a racial one. Thus, people speaking the same or similar languages first worshiped Baal in his many forms. The word Baal means "master" or "owner". In ancient religions the name denoted sun, lord or god. Baal was common a name of small Syrian and Persian deities. Baal is still principally thought of as a Canaanite fertility deity. The Great Baal was of Canaan. He was the son of El, the high god of Canaan. The cult of Baal celebrated annually his death and resurrection as a part of the Canaanite fertility rituals. These ceremonies often included human sacrifice and temple prostitution.

Baal, literal meaning is "lord," in the Canaanite pantheon was the local title of fertility gods. Baal never emerged as a rain god until later times when he assumed the special functions of each. Although there is no equivalent in Canaan of the sterile summer drought that occurs in Mesopotamia, the season cycle was marked enough to have caused a concentration on the disappearing fertility god, who took with him the autumn rain clouds into the neither world.

After defeating the sea god Yam, and building a house on Mount Saphon, and taking possession of numerous cities, Baal announced that he would no longer acknowledge the authority of Mot, "death." Baal not only excluded Mot from his hospitality and friendship, but also told him that he could only visit the deserts of the earth. In response to this challenge, Mot invited Baal to his abode to taste his fare, mud. Being terrified and unable to avoid the dreadful summons to the land of the dead, Baal coupled with a calf in order to strengthen himself for the ordeal, and then set out. El and the other gods donned funeral garments, poured ashes on their heads, and mutilated their limbs, while Anat, aided by the sun goddess Shapash, brought the corpse back for burial. El placed Athtar, the irrigation god, on the vacant throne of Baal, but Anat bitterly missed her dead husband. She begged Mot to restore Baal to life, but her pleas went without avail, and Anat's attempts to interest the other gods in helping her were met with cautious indifference. Thus, Anat assaulted Mot, ripping him to pieces "with a sharp knife," scattering his members "with a winnowing fan," burning him "in a fire," grinding him "in a mill," and "over the fields strewing his remains." El, in the meantime, had a dream in which fertility returned, which suggested that Baal was not dead. Afterwards, he instructed Shapash to keep watch for him during her daily travels. In the due course of time Baal was restored, and Athtar fled from his throne. Yet Mot was able to arrange another attack, but on this occasion all of the gods supported Baal, and neither combatant could gain the victory. Finally El intervened and dismissed Mot, leaving Baal in possession of the field.

The above myth, fragments of which are on the Ras Shamra tablets, relates to the alteration of the seasons. Baal is the god of rain, thunder, and lightening. "At the touch of his right hand, even colors wilt." Yam, the owner of salt water, gave place to Baal as the genius of rainfall and vegetation, a displacement that left Mot as sole contender under the mighty El. Torrid heat, sterility, the arid desert, death, the neither world: these were Mot's irresistible realm till Anat threshed, winnowed, and ground the harvested corn, the fecundity of Baal's land, just as the siding of El with the resurrected rain god ensured the continuation of the annual cycle. A parallel of the magical rites can be found in Psalms, where "they that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that go forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bearing sheaves with him." This is sympathetic magic the tears shed were expected to induce drops of rain.

Baal was the son of El, or Dagon, an obscure deity linked by the Hebrews with the Philistine city of Ashdod. Dagon was perhaps associated with the sea, as a coin found in the vicinity portrays a god having a fish tail. Although Baal personally overcame Yam, it is uncertain whether or not he fought Lotan, the Leviathan of the Old Testament, but it is known that Anat "crushed the writhing serpent, the accused one of the seven heads." Another echo of the Mesopotamian thought patterns are nestled in these reasons advanced by Baal for needing a "house." His food offerings were too meager for a god "that rides on the clouds." As far apart as Carthage and Palmyra were temples dedicated to Baal-Hammon, "the lord of the altar of incense," whom the Greeks identified with Cronos. On Mount Carmel it was the prophet Elijah who discredited King Ahab's belief in the power of Baal, when at his request "the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice," and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. Afterwards Elijah had the people slay "the prophets of Baal," thereby assuring the survival of the worship of Yahweh in Israel.

The worship of Baal extended from the Canaanites to the Phoenicians who also were partially an agricultural people. Both Baal and his cohort Ashtoreth, or Astarte, who is equivalent to the Greek goddess Aphrodite, were both Phoenician fertility symbols. Baal, the sun god, was fervently prayed to for the protection of livestock and crops. Priests instructed the people that Baal was responsible for droughts, plagues, and other calamities. People were often worked up into great frenzies at the prospects of displeasing Baal. In times of great turbulence human sacrifices, particularly children, were made to the great god Moloch.

Since the Phoenicians also were superb ship builders the religion and cults of Baal spread throughout the Mediterranean world. The worship of Baal was found among the Moabites and their allies Midinites during Moses' time. It was also introduced to the Israelites.

The religion of the god Baal was widely accepted among the ancient Jews, and although it was put down at times, it was never permanently stamped out. Kings and other royalty of the ten Biblical tribes worshiped the god. The ordinary people ardently worshipped this sun god too because their prosperity depended on the productivity of their crops and livestock. The god's images were erected on many buildings. Within the religion there appeared to be numerous priests and various classes of devotees. During the ceremonies they wore appropriate robes. The ceremonies included burning incense, and offering burnt sacrifices, occasionally consisting of human victims. The officiating priests danced around the altars, chanting frantically and cutting themselves with knives to inspire the attention and compassion of the god.

In the Bible Baal is also called Beelzebub, or Baalzebub, one of the fallen angels of Satan.

From: here
Other sites:
Baal, God of Thunder
Wikipedia --website devoted to the god, with info.

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