Beelzebub

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Morrish Bible Dictionary [1]

βεελζεβούλ. The meaning of this word is much disputed, some associate it with Baal-Zebub 'lord of the fly,' in the O.T., but others believe it to be a term of contempt, signifying 'lord of dung.' The Jews, who blasphemously charged the Lord with casting out demons by Beelzebul (as it should be spelled), call him 'the prince of the demons,' which sufficiently explains their meaning to be that the one who was the head of those demons enabled the Lord to cast them out.  Matthew 10:25;  Matthew 12:24,27;  Mark 3:22;  Luke 11:15,18,19 . The Lord shows the folly of supposing that the same evil one who was seeking to build up a kingdom should be at the same time the means of pulling it down. He also denounces the dreadful blasphemy of saying that the work done by the Holy Spirit was accomplished by the influence of Satan: this blasphemy against the Holy Spirit was the sin that should never be forgiven. Cf. also  2 Kings 1:2 .

People's Dictionary of the Bible [2]

Beelzebub ( Be-Ĕl'Ze-Bŭb ), Lord Of Filth, or Of Flies. A name of contempt applied to Satan, the prince of the evil angels. Beelzebub, in the original Greek, is, in every instance, "Beelzebul." See margin of Revised Version. This name is not so much a contemptuous corruption of Baalzebub, the god of Ekron, as it is a designation Of Idols; hence Beelzebul = the idol of idols, I.E., the chief abomination, was used as an appellation of the prince of devils.  Matthew 10:25;  Matthew 12:24;  Matthew 12:27;  Mark 3:22;  Luke 11:15-27.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [3]

"the prince of the devils,"  Matthew 12:24 . This name is derived from Baal-zebub, an idol deity among the Ekronites, signifying lord of flies, fly-baal, fly-god, whose office was to protect his worshippers from the torment of the gnats and flies with which that region was infested,  2 Kings 1:2,3,16 . It is also sometimes written Beel- sebul, which signifies probably the dung-god. The Jews seem to have applied this appellation to Satan, as being the author of all the pollutions and abominations of idol-worship.

Holman Bible Dictionary [4]

 Matthew 12:24 Mark 3:22 Luke 11:15-26

Smith's Bible Dictionary [5]

Be-el'zebub. See Beelzebul .

Easton's Bible Dictionary [6]

 Matthew 10:25 12:24,27 Mark 3:22

Webster's Dictionary [7]

(n.) The title of a heathen deity to whom the Jews ascribed the sovereignty of the evil spirits; hence, the Devil or a devil. See Baal.

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [8]

See Pagan Gods And Goddesses

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [9]

 Matthew 10:25 . See Baalzebub .

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [10]

BEELZEBUB . See Baalzebub.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [11]

(See Baalzebub .)

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [12]

See Baal-Zebub

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [13]

( Βεελζεβούλ , BEELZEBUL) is the name assigned ( Matthew 10:25;  Matthew 12:24;  Mark 3:24;  Luke 11:15 sq.) to the prince of the daemons. It is remarkable that, amid all the daemonology of the Talmud and rabbinical writers, this name should be exclusively confined to the New Testament. There is no doubt that the reading Beelzebul is the one which has the support of almost every critical authority; and the Beelzebub of the Peshito (if indeed it is not a corruption, as Michaelis thinks, Suppl. p. 205), and of the Vulgate, and of some modern versions, has probably been accommodated to the name of the Philistine god BAAL-ZEBUB (See Baal-Zebub) (q.v.). Some of those who consider the latter to have been a reverential title for that god believe that Beelzebul is a wilful corruption of it, in order to make it contemptible. It is a fact that the Jews are very fond of turning words into ridicule by such changes of letters as will convert them into words of contemptible signification (e.g. Sychar, Beth-aven). Of this usage Lightfoot gives many instances (Hor. Hebr. ad  Matthew 12:24).

Beelzebul, then, is considered to mean בִּעִל זֶבֶל , i. q. Dung-God. Some connect the term with זְבוּל , Habitation, thus making Beelzebul = Οἰκοδεσπότης ( Matthew 10:25), The Lord Of The Dwelling, whether as the "prince of the power of the air" ( Ephesians 2:2), or as the prince of the lower world (Paulus quoted by Olshausen, Comment. in  Matthew 10:25), or as inhabiting human bodies (Schleusner, Lex. s.v.), or as occupying a mansion in the seventh heaven, like Saturn in Oriental mythology (Movers, Phoniz. 1, 260). Hug supposes that the fly, under which Baalzebub was represented, was the Scarabaeus pillularius, or dunghill beetle, in which case Baalzebub and Beelzebul might be used indifferently. (See Baalim); (See Fly).

"A few months since a peasant man found near Ekron, five miles southwest of Ramleh, on the great maritime plain of Philistia, a stone seal about one inch square on the face, bearing a peculiar device,and which I purchased for a trifle; not considering it of any great value. Since then many antiquarians, to whom impressions were sent, have pronounced the device an image of Beelzebub, the great Fly-god, and the only one ever discovered. He is represented as a man of the Assyrian type, with short beard and four wings. In his hands he holds two apes or monkeys, denoting, perhaps, his office as prince of devils"' (De Hass, Travels in Bible Lands, p. 424).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [14]

bē̇ - el´zē̇ - bub (in the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) is an error (after the Vulgate) for Beelzebul (Revised Version margin) Βεελζεβούλ , Beelzeboúl  ; Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek, Βεεζεβούλ , Beezeboúl ): In the time of Christ this was the current name for the chief or prince of demons, and was identified with Satan (which see) and the Devil (which see). The Jews committed the unpardonable sin of ascribing Christ's work of casting out demons to Beelzebul, Thus ascribing to the worst source the supreme manifestation of goodness ( Matthew 10:25;  Matthew 12:24 ,  Matthew 12:27;  Mark 3:22;  Luke 11:15 ,  Luke 11:18 ,  Luke 11:19 ). There can be little doubt that it is the same name as Baalzebub (which see). It is a well-known phenomenon in the history of religions that the gods of one nation become the devils of its neighbors and enemies. When the Aryans divided into Indians and Iranians, the Devas remained gods for the Indians, but became devils ( daevas ) for the Iranians, while the Ahuras remained gods for the Iranians and became devils ( asuras ) for the Indians. Why Baalzebub became Beelzebul, why the b changed into l , is a matter of conjecture. It may have been an accident of popular pronunciation, or a conscious perversion (Beelzebul in Syriac = "lord of dung"), or Old Testament zebhūbh may have been a perversion, accidental or intentional of zebhūl (= "house"), so that Baalzebul meant "lord of the house." These are the chief theories offered (Cheyne in EB  ; Barton in Hastings, ERE ).

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