On Wed, 11 Jan 2017 13:34:09 -0800, Robert snip
Post by Robert
What is the relationship between God and Belial? None. In the old days
you would have been struck dead for something like that.
According to the Hreberew bible, a creatioon of your god.
According to others, maybe not.
No spell check, Robert can't read it. It does not agree with his
BELIAL בליעל 'wickedness'
I. In the manner of other ancient peoples, the Hebrews regularly
personified physical forces and abstract concepts: some-times describing
them mythically as divin-ities. This holds for some OT depictions of בליעל.
In 2 Sam 22:5 nahale biliyya'al 'tor-rents of Belial' in the sense of
'treacherous waters', are parallel to misbire mawet 'Breakers of Death':
i.e., 'deadly waves'. The personification of death (with mot cf. Ugaritic
־·Mot, god of death) indicates here a similar personification of
wickedness, treachery, or the like, as Belial. In the Psalms recension of
the same text (Ps 18:5), heble mawet 'bonds of Death', stands in
parallelism with nahale beliyya'al 'torrents of Belial'. These same
torrents are referred to later in the poem (2 Sam 22:17 = Ps 18:17) as
'mighty waters' (mayyim rabbim): a term with mythic associations (MAY
1955). The Hebrew tradition of personi-fication is widened in the Vulgate,
which transliterates, rather than translates. Belial in eight Hebrew
passages (Deut 13:13; Judg 19:22; 1 Sam 1:16; 2:12; 10:27; 25:17; 2 Sam
16:7; Nah 1:15 (2:1). In 1 Kgs 21:13 Vulgate reads diabolus (GASTER
II. In most of its OT attestations, beliyya'al functions as an emotive term
to describe individuals or groups who commit the most heinous crimes
against the Israelite religious or social order, as well as their acts
(MAAG 1965; ROSENBERG 1982:35-40). Such crimes include: inciting one's
fellows to worship foreign gods (Deut 13:14); per-jury (I Kgs 21:10, 13;
Prov 19:28); breach of hospitality (Judg 19:22; 1 Sam 25:17); lcsc-majesty
(1 Sam 10:27); usurpation (2 Sam 16:7-8; 20:1); abuse of -Yahweh's
sanctuary by female drunkenness (1 Sam 1:13-17); and the cultic
misappropriation and sexual harassment of women by priests (1 Sam 2:12-22).
Refusal to lend money on the eve of the Sabbatical year (Deut 15:9) falls
into the category of heinous deeds because it indicates lack of faith in
the di-vine ability to provide.
Grammatically, the term reveals some though not all features of
personification. On the one hand, in its twenty-seven occur-rcnees, (none
in the tetrateuch) btliyya'al, like the proper names of individuals, is
never attested in the plural. On the other hand, unlike true proper names
of persons, the vocable takes the definite article in the construct chains
Ή habbiliyya'al 'scoun-drcl, worthless individual', (1 Sam 25:25; 2 Sam
16:7) and its plural 'anSe habbiliyya'al 'scoundrels'(l Kgs 21:13).
Recent studies on Belial (HALAT 128; LEWIS 1992:654-656) show that there is
no unanimity with regard to its etymology. The rabbis of late antiquity
explained binS beliyya'al punningly as bine belt 'ol 'child-ren without the
yoke'; that is: those who had thrown off the yoke of heaven (b. Sank 111b).
The medieval Jewish poet and phil-osopher Judah Halevi explained the term
etymologically as a compound of the nega-tion bili and the third-person
imperfect jus-sive of CLH 'ascend'; and semantically as a wish or prayer
that malevolence should not prosper (WEISER 1976:258). Modem scholar-ship
has added several other suggestions. One suggestion is a modification of
Halevi's thesis: i.e. the wicked arc those who do not ascend from the
underworld (CROSS & FREEDMAN 1953:22) This explanation is effectively
refuted by EMERTON (1987: 214-217) who cautions that in OT conceptions even
the righteous do not ascend from the underworld. (Ps 30:4 docs not refer to
actual death, but to recovery from illness. The same holds for Ps 107:18,
cf. v 21). Another interpretation connects the term with the verb BL'
'swallow', followed by afformative lamed (MANDELKERN 1896:202). Although
this suggestion has the merit of calling attention to the fact that the
sometimes depicted as 'swallowers' of the righteous (Isa 49:19; Hab 1:13;
Prov 1:12; Lam 2:16; Cf. Ps 124:3), it must be recalled that God is
likewise depicted as a 'swal-lower' (Ps 55:10; Job 2:3).
It has also been claimed that the term actually consists of two homonyms
with dif-fercnt etymologies: biliyya'al I 'under-
world', composed (as above) of hi and '111, that is, the place from which
none ascend; beliyya'al II 'wickedness': composed of the negation followed
by a cognate of Arabic wa'ala 'honour', 'lineage' (TUR-SINAI 1954: 134.)
This ingenious solution does not carry conviction because there is no need
to iso-late 'death' semantically from 'malevo-Icncc'. Note the pairing of
hammawet and hard', death and evil, in Deut 30:15. Also, the fact that none
of the Arabic speaking medieval Jewish commentators such as Qiinhi, ibn
Ezra or Saadia suggested a con-ncction with wa'ala (which is not the
com-mon Arabic word for 'honour') counsels caution. Alternatively the word
has been linked with Arabic balaga 'denounce', followed by afformauve lamed
(DRIVER 1934:52-53). This last suggestion is most unlikely (LEWIS
The most likely explanation of the term derives it from the negation belt
followed by a noun *ya'al, related to the root ΥΊ. 'to be worthy, to be of
value' (see e.g. PEDERSEN 1926:413; GASTER 1973). It will be recalled that
Biblical Hebrew and Ugaritic provide structural parallels in words in which
the first element is a negation and the second a noun. Note for example.
Ugaridc blmt 'immortality', literally, 'without death', or bilima
'nothingness' (GASTER 1973; cf. analogously, 'al-mdwet 'dcathlessncss'.
[Prov 12:28]). The objection sometimes raised (TUR-SINAI 1954; ROSENBERG
198:235) that 'useless, worthless', is not a strong enough term to
characterize bine beliyya'al is con-tradicted by internal biblical
evidence. Thus bal-vo'ilfl, 'they arc ineffectual*, is applied to idols
(Isa 44:9; cf. Itbilti ho'il in 44:10 ibid). In addition, forms of the verb
YU pre-ceded by the negation 16' synonymous with bal, are used regularly to
foreign gods (1 Sam 12:21; Isa 44:9; Jer 2:8.11; 16:19) as well as idol
manufacturers (Isa 44:10. cf. Hab 2:18) and false prophets (Jer 23:32). The
same construction is applied to -·'lies' (Jer 7:8); and to ineffec-tual
military allies (Isa 30:5-6). Thus bene biliyya'al arc 'worthless men' and
a bat biliyya'al (1 Sam 1:16) is a 'worthless woman'. These worthless
characters are apparently not different from bine-'awla 'the wicked' (2 Sam
7:10; 3:34; 1 Chr 17:9). In fact, the Peshitta often translates biliyya-'al
by 'wl' 'wickedness' (Judg 19:22; 20:13; 1 Sam 30:22: 2 Sam 16:7; 22:5;
23:6; Pss 18:5; 30:22:41:9; 101:3).
Further confirmation of this philological analysis may be adduced from
Palestinian Jewish Aramaic in which worthy individuals arc termed bnwy
dhnyyh, that is 'bcncficicnt ones', 'useful people', while their opposite
numbers are קיקופדנמרניא, an Aramaic loan-word from Greek κακοπράγμονες
'evil doers' (LIEBERMANN & ROSENTHAL 1983: xxxiv).
III. In pseudepigraphic literature, Belial is especially well-attested
(LEWIS 1992:655) as the proper name of the -·Devil, the powerful opponent
of God, who accuses people and causes them to sin. This dualism is rooted
in Zoroastrianism, the religion of the succcsive Iranian empires within
whose borders vast numbers of Jews lived for a millennium, in which Drug
'falsehood', 'wickedness', (personified already in the inscriptions of
Darius the Great [522-486 BCE]) is opposed to ASa 'righteousness',
'justice', likewise personified, one of the bounteous immortals (GASTER
1973:429; BOYCE 1982:120). The regular form in the Pseudcpigrapha, Beliar,
and once, (Testa-ment of Levi 18:4) Belior. may be a punning explanation of
the Devil's name as 'light-ness' (belt ,dr) because, in opposition to God's
way, Belial's is the way of darkness (T Levi 19:1). It may be observed
that, according the Zoroastrian creation account, the Bundahishn, Ohrmezd
(Ahura Mazda) dwells in endless light (asar rosnih) while Ahreman (Angra
Mainyu) dwells in endless darkness (asar tarigih).
Belial is very well attested in Hebrew texts from Qumran: especially in the
War Scroll (1QM) and the Thankgiving Scroll (1QH). They describe an ongoing
struggle between good and evil. On the human plane, the Teacher of
Righteousness represents the forces of ־»light and the good; while his
opponent, the wicked priest, represents the forces of darkness and evil.
This same struggle is depicted mythically as a battle on high between the
angel ־»Michael and Belial (SCmFFMAN 1989:50). The present age is the time
of Belial's rule (mmi/t bly'l). He is the leader of 'people of the lot of
Belial' 'niy gwrl bly'l who arc opposed to 'nSy gwrl 7 'the people of the
lot of God' (IQS 1:16-2:8). In this literature too, Belial leads the forces
of darkness and malevolence (LEWIS 1992:655). .According to one Qum-ran
text (CD 4:12-15), the coming of Belial would not be permanent. After a
momentous struggle, God would eventually bring about the permanent
annihilation (kit 'wltnytn) of Belial and all of the forces of evil, both
human and angelic (1QM 1:4-5, 13-16).
The association of Belial with darkness is found in Belial's single
attestation in the New Testament (2 Cor 6:14-15): "What partnership can
righteousness have with wickedness? Can light associate with dark-ness?
What harmony (symphonesis) has -·Christ with Beliar or a believer with an
In Sybillinc Oracles 3:63-64, a text roughly comtcmporary with 2
Corinthians, it is prophesied that Beliar will come ek Sebastendn. Inasmuch
as Latin 'Augustus' was rendered in Greek by 'Scbastos', the verse has been
construed as reference to the diabolical character of Nero, descendent of
Augustus (COLLINS 1983:360, 363).
M. BOYCE, A History of Zoroastricinistn 1-2 (Leiden 1975, 1982); J. J.
COLLINS in J. H. Charlesworth (ed.). T he Old Testament Pseudepigrapliy I
(Garden City 1983); F. M. CROSS & D. N. FREEDMAN, A Royal Psalm of
Thanksgiving: II Samuel 22 = Psalm 18, JBL 72 (1953) 15-34; G. R.
DRIVER, Hebrew Notes, ZAW 52 (1934) 51-
66; J. A. EMERTON, Shcol and the Sons of Belial, EncJud 4 (Jerusalem 1973)
H. KOSMALA. The Three Nets of Belial, AST/ 4 (1965) 91-1 13; T. LEWIS,
Belial, A8D 1 (1992) 654-656; S. LIEBERMAN & E. S. ROSENTHAL, Yerushalmi
Neziqin (Jerusa-lem 1983); V. MAAG, Belija'al im Altcn Testament, 7Z 21
(1965) 287-299; S.
MANDELKERN, Hekal Haqqodesh (Leipzig 1896); H. MAY, Some Cosmic
Connotations of Mayitn Rabbim, 'Many Waters', JBL 74 (1955) 9-21; J.
PEDERSEN, Israel, its Ufe and Culture (London 1926); R. ROSEN-BERG, The
Concept of Biblical 'Belial', Pro-ceedings of the Eight World Congress of
Jewish Studies 1 (Jerusalem 1982) 35-40; L. SCHUTMAN. The Eschatological
Community of Qumran (Atlanta 1989): N. H. TUR-
SINAI, בליעל. EncMiqr 2 (Jerusalem 1954) 132-133: A. WEISER, IbN Ezra
Hattorah le-Rabbenu Avraham ibn Ezra 3 (Jerusalem 1976).
S. D. SPERLING
Are you going to answer walksalone's question. You know, this one.
Now, where is that message ID where you claim I called you a liar?
"Aristotle was once asked what those who tell lies gain by it. Said he,
"That when they speak truth they are not believed."