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    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: in Phoenicia as Baal (1 Kgs. 16:31); by Moabites, etc., as Baal-peor (Num. 25:1–3, 17–18); at Shechem as Baal-berith (Judg. 8:33; 9:4); at Ekron as Baal-zebub (2 Kgs. 1:2). Baal is by some identified with Bel of Babylon and Zeus of Greece. The word Baal expresses the relation between lord and slave. Becoming utterly abominable from its associations, its use was abjured and Bosheth (shame) was substituted in names compounded with it. (Compare Ishbosheth and Jerubbesheth, which was also a name for Gideon.) The prophets call Baal “the Shame” (Jer. 11:13; Hosea 9:10). Ashtoreth was the goddess generally worshipped along with Baal.

    Compounds of Baal with a second word denote (1) an attribute of the god, (2) the place or manner of his worship, or (3) something that a place possesses.