Religion Past and Present

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(1,042 words)

[German Version]

In the canonical context, the Old Testament creates the impression that the territories adjacent to Israel were dominated by a great god Baal whose orgiastic rituals had, for centuries, tempted Israel to forsake Yahweh and thus to break the first commandment. This picture, however, is the result of a retrospective projection from the monotheistic tendencies of a later period.

I. In the northwestern Semitic dialects, baʿal (in analogy to Akkadian belu[m]) designates the man who has the right to dispose of persons, animals and property at will; applie…

Cite this page
Koch, Klaus, “Baal/Baalat”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 25 October 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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