I recently checked the 2013 edition of the scriptures for an entry in the Bible Dictionary that should have been corrected.
This is what I gave them as feedback on the site form that asks for it:
“Baal. Possessor, lord. The Sun-god and the male or generative principle in nature. He was worshipped with different ideas and rites (compare the plural Baalim) in different places”
Ok, that was current when British Egyptologists dominated religious studies — in the 1800s. Since then we know that Baal had two hammers, thunder and lightning. He rode in the clouds. He was banished by the summer drought, the god of irrigation was a pretender to his throne and he returned in majesty with the winter storms.
He was clearly an Indoeuropean Storm god such as Jupiter, Zeus or Thor. Thus when the heavens are sealed against rain, it is a reproof to the worship of Baal, not an affirmation of his power. When the challenge is to bring fire out of heaven on the mountain tops (which is where lightning strikes most often in Israel) it was a challenge directly to him.
I’d like to suggest that this entry be cleaned up.
A better example of a current entry on Baal can be found here.
After 1929 it was pretty clear just who Baal was. To quote from the Britannica:
In Ugaritic and Old Testament Hebrew, Baal’s epithet as the storm god was He Who Rides on the Clouds. In Phoenician he was called Baal Shamen, Lord of the Heavens.
Knowledge of Baal’s personality and functions derives chiefly from a number of tablets uncovered from 1929 onward at Ugarit (modern Ras Shamra) …
—- bless their hearts.
- What errors have you found in the manuals or scripture helps?
- Have you given feedback about a mistaken or outdated entry?