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Old Testament Hebrew Lexical Dictionary
Strong's #01167 - בַּעַל
1) owner, husband, lord
1b) a husband
1c) citizens, inhabitants
1d) rulers, lords
1e) (noun of relationship used to characterise — i.e., master of dreams)
1f) lord (used of foreign gods)
Jeff Benner, Ancient Hebrew Research Center Used by permission of the author.
בַּעַל with suff. בַּעְלִי, בַּעְלָהּ; pl. בְּעָלִים, const. בַּעֲלֵי; with suff. 3 sing. בְּעָלָיז Exodus 21:29, 34 Exodus 21:34, 36 Exodus 21:36 -22:1014 ; Ecclesiastes 5:12 and בְּעָלֶיהָ Job 31:39; Ecclesiastes 7:12 sometimes used for the singular (like אֲדֹנָיז his lord, compare Lehrgb. 663); but with suff. 3 pl. בַּעֲלֵיהֶן Esther 1:17, 20, as a plural.
(1) lord, master, possessor, owner ([“frequent in the Phœnician dialect; see Monumen. Phœn. p. 348”] Aram. בַּעַל, בְּעֵל, ܒܥܶܠ, id.; Arab. بَعْلُ in the idiom of Arabia Felix, lord, master, elsewhere husband; Ethiop. በዕል፡ compare also Sansc. pàla, lord [according to Lee, Bala]). Used of the master and owner of a house, Exodus 22:7; Judges 19:22 of a field, Job 31:39 an ox, Exodus 21:28; Isaiah 1:3 of money lent, i.e. a creditor, Deuteronomy 15:2 of the master of a family, Leviticus 21:4 בַּעֲלֵי גוֹיִם “lords of the nations,” Isaiah 16:8, said of the Assyrians, the conquerors of the nations; according to others, of their princes.
(2) a husband (Arab., Syr., Ch., id. [“compare Sansc. pati, lord, also husband”]), Exodus 21:22; 2 Samuel 11:26 בַּעַל אִשָּׁה one who has a wife, Exodus 21:3 בַּעַל נְעוּרִים a husband to whom a wife was married in his youth, Joel 1:8. i.q. κουρίδιος πόσις, Il. v. 414.
(3) lords of a city, a name given to the inhabitants; בַּעֲלֵי יְרִיחוֹ Joshua 24:11 שְׁכֶם Judges 9:2, seq.; בַּעֲלֵי יָבֵשׁ גִּלְעָד 2 Samuel 21:12 who also are called in 2 Samuel 2:4, 2 Samuel 2:5, אַנְשֵׁי י׳ נ׳. Some moderns incorrectly render it princes, nobles, led perhaps into this mistake by the words, Judges 9:51, כָּל־הָאֲנָשִׁים וְהַנָּשִׁים וְכֹל בַּעֲלֵי הָעִיר, where also LXX. πάντες οἱ ἡγούμενοι τῆς πόλεως. But it should be rendered “all the men and women, and all they of the city,” the latter again comprehending the former.
(4) lord or possessor of a thing, is often applied to him to whom that quality belongs; a common circumlocution for adjectives is thus formed in the Hebrew (see אִישׁ No. 1, k, אָב No. 8), as אַיִל בַּעַל הַקְּרָנַיִם a two-horned ram, Daniel 8:6, 20 בַּעַל כְּנָפַיִם winged, poetically used of a bird, Ecclesiastes 10:20 אִישׁ בַּעַל שֵׂעָר a hairy man, 2 Kings 1:8 בַּעַל הַחֲלֹמוֹת a dreamer, one who has dreams, Genesis 37:19 בַּעַל דְּבָרִים one who has forensic causes, Exodus 24:14 comp. Isaiah 50:8 “masters of my covenant, of my oath,” joined in league with me, Genesis 14:13; Nehemiah 6:18 בַּעַל הַלָּשׁוֹן master of tongue, charmer, Ecclesiastes 10:11 בַּעַל נֶפֶשׁ greedy, Proverbs 23:2 compare 29:22. Proverbs 16:22, מְקוֹר חַיִּים שֵׂכֶל בְּעָלָיו “prudence is a fountain of life to its owner,” i.e. to him who is endowed with it; Proverbs 1:19, 17:8 Ecclesiastes 8:8, לֹא יְמַלֵּט רֶשַׁע אֶתִ־בְּעָלָיִו “wickedness does not deliver its owner,” i.e. the wicked person; Ecclesiastes 7:12; Proverbs 3:27, אַל־תִּמְנַע־טוֹב מִבְּעָלָיו “withhold no good from its owner,” from him to whom it is due, to whom it belongs, i.e. the needy.
(5) With art. הַבַּעַל; with pref. בַּבַּעַל, לַבַּעַל Baal, i.e. Lord; κατʼ ἐξοχὴν, the name of an idol of the Phœnicians, especially of the Tyrians: it was their domestic and principal deity, also worshipped with great devotion together with Astarte, by the Hebrews, especially in Samaria (see אֲשֵׁרָה, עַשְׁתֹּרֶת ), Judges 6:25, seq.; 2 Kings 10:18, seq. Hence בֵּית הַבַּעַל the temple of Baal, 1 Kings 16:32 נְבִיאֵי הַבַּעַל prophets of Baal, 1 Kings 18:22, 25 1 Kings 18:25שְׁאָר הַבַּעַל remains of the worship of Baal, Zephaniah 1:4 pl. הַבְּעָלִים statutes of Baal, Judges 2:11, 3:7 8:33 10:10 1 Samuel 7:4, 12:10, etc. The worship of this God by the Phœnicians and Pœni is shewn amongst other things by the Phœnician proper names, as אֶתְבַּעַל (which see), Jerombalus (יְרֻבַּעַל), and by those of the Pœni, as Hannibal (הַנִּבַעַל “grace of Baal”), Hasdrubal (עַזְרוּבַעַל “aid of Baal”), Muthumballes (מְתוּבַעַל “man of Baal”), etc. Amongst the Babylonians the same deity was called in the Aramean manner בֵּל Belus (see that word) for בְּעֵל; amongst the Tyrians themselves his full name appears to have been מַלְקֶרֶת בַּעַל צֹר (Inscr. Melit. Bilingu.) Malkereth (i.e. “king of the city,” for מֶלֶךְ קֶרֶת), lord of Tyre; the Greeks, from some supposed resemblance of emblems, constantly called him (see the cited inscription) Hercules, Hercules Tyrius; see my more full remarks in Germ. Encyclopædia, vol. viii. p. 397, seq., arts. Baal, Bel, Belus. Many suppose (see Münter, Religion der Babylonier, p. 16, seqq.; [“Movers’ Phönizier, i. p. 169, seq.”]) that the sun itself was worshipped under this name; but that it was not this luminary but the planet Jupiter, as the ruler and giver of good fortune, that is to be understood by this name, I have sought to shew by many arguments in my Comment. on Isa. vol. ii. p. 335, seq., and in Encyclop. 1. 1. p. 398, seq.; this is acceded to by Rosenmüller, Bibl. Alterthumskunde, i. ii. p. 11, et passim [“Yet I would not deny that בַּעַל with certain attributes, as בַּעַל חַמָּן (see חַמָּן ) is also referred to the sun”]. From particular cities devoted to his worship he received particular epithets; such as
(a) בַּעַל בְּרִית [Baal-berith], lord and guardian of covenants, worshipped by the Shechemites, Judges 8:33, 9:4 compare 46 Judges 9:46, as if Ζεὺς ὅρκιος, or Deus fidius [“According to Movers loc. cit. ‘Baal in covenant with the idolaters of Israel’ ”].
(b) בַּעַל זְבוּב [Baal-zebub], worshipped by the Philistines of Ekron, as if the fly-destroyer, like Ζεὺς Ἀπόμυιος of Elis (Pausan. v. 14, § 2), and Myiagrus deus of the Romans (Solin. Polyhist. c. 1), 2 Kings 1:2.
(c) בַּעַל פְּעֹר [Baal-peor] of the Moabites; see פְּעֹר.
(6) Inasmuch as it denotes the possessor of a thing, it is applied also to the place which has any thing, i.e. in which any thing is and is found, and it is of the same power as בַּיִת No. 5. So in the proper names of towns.
(a) בַּעַל 1 Chronicles 4:33 [Baal], perhaps the same town as בַּעֲלַת בְּאֵר (“having a well”), on the borders of the tribe of Simeon. Joshua 19:8.
(b) בַּעַל גַּד [Baal-Gad], so called from the worship of Gad (i.e. “Fortune”), situated at the foot of Hermon near the source of the Jordan, prob. i.q. בַּעַל חֶרְמוֹן letter e. It is a great mistake to suppose, as some do, that this city is to be sought for where the remarkable ruins of the city of Baalbec or Heliopolis stand: as to which see Thes. p. 225.
(c) בַּעַל הָמוֹן [Baal-hamon], (“place of a multitude,” i.q. בַּעַל אָמוֹן sacred to Jupiter Ammon), a town near which Solomon had a vineyard, Song of Solomon 8:11. The town of Βελαμών (Alexand. Βαλαμών), situated in Samaria, is mentioned Jdt_8:3.
(d) בַּעַל חָצוֹר [Baal-hazor], (“having a village”), a town or village near the tribe of Ephraim, 2 Samuel 13:23 perhaps i.q. חָצוֹר Nehemiah 11:33, in the tribe of Benjamin.
(e) בַּעַל חֶרְמוֹן [Baal-hermon], a town with a mountain near it, at the foot of Hermon, 1 Chronicles 5:23; Judges 3:3 compare letter b.
(f) בַּעַל מְעוֹן [Baal-meon], (“place of habitation”), see מְעוֹן בַּעַל בֵּית p. 117, A.
(g) בַּעַל פְּרָצִים [Baal-perazim], (“place of breaches”), a place or village near the valley of Rephaim, 2 Samuel 5:20; 1 Chronicles 14:11 compare Isaiah 28:21.
(h) בַּעַל צְפוֹן [Baal-zephon], (“place of Typhon,” or, “sacred to Typhon”), a town of the Egyptians near the Red Sea, Exodus 14:2, Exodus 14:9; Numbers 33:7. The name suits very well the site of this city in the uncultivated places between the Nile and the Red Sea, which were regarded as the abode of Typhon or the evil demon of the Egyptians. See Creuzer, in Comment. on Herodotus, i. § 22; Symbol. i. 317, seq.
(1) בַּעַל שָׁלִשָׁה [Baal-shalishah], 2 Kings 4:42, the name of a town, probably situated in the region of שָׁלִשָׁה near the mountains of Ephraim (1 Samuel 9:4).
(k) בַּעַל תָּמָר [Baal-tamar], (“place of palm trees”), Judges 20:33.
(l) בַּעֲלֵי יְהוּדָה (“citizens of Judah”), 2 Samuel 6:2 a town which is elsewhere called בַּעֲלָה (“city”), and Kirjath-Jearim, compare 1 Chronicles 13:6 see בַּעֲלָה No. 2,.
(7) proper names of men are
(a) בַּעַל [Baal]
(α) 1 Chronicles 5:5.
(β) 8:30 9:36.
(b) בַּעַל חָנָן [Baal-hanan], (“lord of benignity”), pr.n.
(α) of a king of the Edomites, Genesis 36:38; 1 Chronicles 1:49 (β) of a royal officer, 1 Chronicles 27:28.
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