Any gods other than the Lord himself. Some of these divinities took the form of images, others were mythical. Some Israelites became involved in idolatrous worship of such gods. The book of Acts records attempts to deify human beings.
False gods associated with foreign nations in the OT
Ashtoreth, a goddess of war and fertilityJdg 2:12-13Ashtoreth, the consort of Baal, was associated with the evening star and was worshipped as Ishtar in Babylon and as Athtart in Aram. To the Greeks she was Astarte or Aphrodite and to the Romans, Venus. See alsoJdg 10:6; 1Sa 7:3-4; 1Sa 12:10; 1Sa 31:10; 1Ki 11:5,33
Baal, a Canaanite and Phoenician god of fertility and rainJdg 2:10-13Baal, meaning “lord”, was pictured standing on a bull, a popular symbol of fertility and strength. Baal was associated with Asherah and Ashtoreth, goddesses of fertility.
Baal-Zebub, a popular deity of the PhilistinesMt 12:24 pp Mk 3:22 pp Lk 11:15Beelzebub is the Greek form of the Hebrew name “Baal-Zebub”, meaning “lord of the flies”. See also2Ki 1:1-6,16-17
Bel, the chief deity of BabylonIsa 46:1Bel was another name for the sun god, Marduk. Nebo, the god of learning and writing was the son of Marduk. See alsoJer 50:2; Jer 51:44
Dictionary of Bible Themes Scripture index copyright Martin H. Manser, 2009. As Editor, Martin Manser wishes to thank all those who compiled or edited the NIV Thematic Study Bible, on which this work is based.
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