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OT Theology #15 Idolatry in Israel [message #12476] Fri, 11 May 2018 11:18 Go to next message
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
Messages: 609
Registered: October 2006
Location: Canada
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Bro Freeman (as the professor teaching the course) gave an assignment to study Idolatry under the false Gods heading in a conservative Bible encyclopedia eg Wycliff


We are studying Baalism as representative of idolatry in Israel. Baalism was the most serious threat to Israel in its history. There were two times in Israels history when it was almost destroyed.
1. Esther and Hamen
2. Elijah and Baal

This is a very important subject. In the book of the kings there is 1/2 chap given to each king (other than David/Solomon). Then 6 chap to Ahab/Jezebel. The only explanation is the presence of Baalism.
It wasn't just a religion but under Ahab it became the state religion. This also explains the presence of strong prophets (Elijah/Elisha) and good kings (Asa/Jehoshaphat) at the same time.


Baalism - meaning

1. owner - eg. a bird baals his wings
2. a husband
3. lord or ruler - in the sense of diety
Eventually Baal became the name of one God who was worshiped by the Canaanites and philistines.

Asherah was the other of Baal
Ashtoreth was the consort of Baal
Istar,Astarte from Babylon and Venus from Rome - all refer to the same god

1 Kings 18 450 prophets of Baal 400 prophets of Asherah (the groves)It became the state religion. 1Kings 16/32 11Kings 11/18
They persecuted the true prophets

Re: OT Theology #15 Idolatry in Israel [message #12477 is a reply to message #12476 ] Fri, 11 May 2018 11:35 Go to previous message
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
Messages: 609
Registered: October 2006
Location: Canada
Senior Member
Two main aspects to Baalism

1. Sacrifices - this included human sacrifice.
2.Festivals - early spring,summer and fall. The goddess came into prominence here. The evergreen tree was her symbol.

Baalism was a fertility religion with sexual excesses. Worshiped in the groves of evergreen trees. Both male and female prostitutes were used in the temple. It was because of this filth and uncleanness that God had the Israelite's destroy them when they came into the land.

The worship of Baal was inseparably related to the growth of crops. In fall they when everything died they would weep mourn and cut themselves. In the spring when he (the crops) came alive they would rejoice. In the midst of all this was much sexual license.

The danger of Baalism came from 2 sources

1. It appealed to their flesh (like satanism does today). They could worship their god and satisfy their flesh (sexual license)

2.The necessary change that occurred when the nation moved into Israel. The command to drive out the Canaanites was so they wouldn't be thorns in their sides and they didn't succeed in that.
The necessary change was learning how to be farmers. There was much to learn and they learned both the farming and the Baalism from the Canaanites

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