Belial בליעל
(1,721 words)

I. Name

In the manner of other ancient peoples, the Hebrews regularly personified physical forces and abstract concepts: sometimes describing them mythically as divinities. This holds for some OT depictions of בליעל. In 2 Sam. 22.5 naḥălê bĕliyyaʿal ‘torrents of Belial’ in the sense of ‘treacherous waters’, are parallel to mišbĕrê māwet ‘Breakers of Death’: i.e., ‘deadly waves’. The personification of death (with môt cf. Ugaritic Mot, god of death) indicates here a similar person…

Cite this page
S. D. Sperling, “Belial בליעל”, in: Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible Online, Edited by: Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking, Pieter W. van der Horst. Consulted online on 19 January 2019 <>

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