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Baalzebub or Baal-Zebub or Beelzebub or Beel-Zebul (Hebrew בעל-זבוב, "Lord of the Flies") occurs twice in the Bible:

  1. As a pagan god and patron of the Philistine city of Ekron.(II_Kings 1:2 ), whom Ahaziah of Israel sent messengers to consult after he injured himself in a fall.
  2. As the chief demon during the time of Jesus Christ. (Matthew 12:24-27 , Mark 3:22 , Luke 11:15-18 ) When onlookers observe Jesus driving a demon out of a man, they whisper that He is calling on "Beelzebub, chief of the demons" for help. Jesus points out the obvious failure of logic: that if Satan drives out Satan, then Satan cannot stand.

Etymology and Meaning

The name literally means "Lord of the Flies." Usually this means that he drives away flies, but sometimes, according to legend, he sends them.

Whether the Old Testament and New Testament references are to one and the same entity is unsettled.

In Popular Culture

"Beelzebub" also appears in popular culture as a direct reference to Satan, in at least two famous theatrical stage productions and in a number of far less memorable works in other media. However, the title of this personage ("Lord of the Flies") appears at the title of a novel and 1963 motion picture about a group of schoolboys stranded on a jungle island in the southern Pacific Ocean after their war-evacuation flight crashes. When one of the schoolboys stumbles upon the flyblown corpse of the pilot of the doomed flight, the boys fail to recognize him for who he is and start worshiping his corpse as a pagan god--and attempt to offer one of their number to this "god" as a human sacrifice.

Related References

See Also