Ba‛al (Biblical Hebrew בעל, pronounced [ˈbaʕal], also spelled Baal in English) is a Northwest Semitic title and honorific meaning "master" or "lord" that is used for various gods who were patrons of cities in the Levant, cognate to Akkadian Bēlu. A Baalist or Baalite means a worshipper of Baal.
"Ba‛al" can refer to any god and even to human officials; in some texts it is used as a substitutefor Hadad, a god of the rain, thunder, fertility and agriculture, and the lord of Heaven. Since only priests were allowed to utter his divine name, Hadad, Ba‛al was commonly used. Nevertheless, few if any Biblical uses of "Ba‛al" refer to Hadad, the lord over the assembly of gods on the holy mount of Heaven, but rather refer to any number of local spirit-deities worshipped as cult images, eachcalled ba‛al and regarded in the Hebrew Bible in that context as a false god.
Baʿal, (bāʾ-ʿayn-lām), is a Semitic word signifying "The Lord, master, owner (male), keeper, husband". Cognates include Standard Hebrew (Bet-Ayin-Lamed; בַּעַל / בָּעַל, Báʕal, Akkadian Bēl and Arabic بعل. The feminine form is Baʕalat (Hebrew בַּעֲלָה Baʕalah, Arabic بعلـة baʕalah)signifying "lady, mistress, owner (female), wife".
The words themselves had no exclusively religious connotation, they are a honorific title for heads of households or master craftsmen, but not for royalty. The meaning of "lord" as a member of royalty or nobility is more accurately translated as Adon in Semitic.
"Ba'al ul bayt" in modern Levantine Arabic is widely used to mean the head of the household,literally 'Master of the House' and has a somewhat jocular, semi-mocking connotation. In modern Levantine Arabic, the word Báʕal serves as an adjective describing farming that rely only on rainwater as a source of irrigation. Probably it is the last remnant of the sense of Baal the god in the minds of the people of the region. In Amharic, the Semitic word for "owner" or "husband,spouse" survives with the spelling bal.
Deities called Ba'al and Ba'alath
Ba'al with raised arm, 14th-12th century BC, found at Ras Shamra (ancient Ugarit), Louvre
Because more than one god bore the title "Ba'al" and more than one goddess bore the title "Ba'alat" or "Ba``alah," only the context of a text can indicate of which Ba'al 'lord' or Ba'alath 'Lady' a particularinscription or text is speaking.
 Hadad in Ugarit
Main article: Hadad
Further information: Baal cycle
In the Bronze Age, Hadad (or Adad) was especially likely to be called Ba'al, Hadad was far from the only god to have that title.[dubious – discuss]
In the Canaanite pantheon as attested in Ugaritic sources, Hadad was the son of El, who had once been the primary god of the Canaanitepantheon.
 Ba'al of Tyre
Melqart is the son of El in the Phoenician triad of worship. He was the god of Tyre and was often called the Ba'al of Tyre. 1 Kings 16:31 relates that Ahab, king of Israel, married Jezebel, daughter of Ethba’al, king of the Sidonians, and then served habba’al ('the Ba'al'.) The cult of this god was prominent in Israel until the reign of Jehu, who put an end to it (2Kings 10:26):
And they brought out the pillars (massebahs) of the house of the Ba'al and burned them. And they pulled down the pillar (massebah) of the Ba'al and pulled down the house of the Ba'al and turned it into a latrine until this day.
Some scholars claim it is uncertain whether "Ba'al" 'the Lord' refers to Melqart in Kings 10:26. They point out that Hadad was also worshipped in Tyre.However this position negates the real possibility that Hadad and Melqart are one and the same god, only having different names because of different languages and cultures, Hadad being Canaanite and Melqart being Phoenician. Both Hadad and Melqart are professed to be the son of El both carrying the same secondary position in the pantheons of each culture. This fact reveals them to be the same deity...
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