Jews of New Testament times used ‘Beelzebul’ as a name for Satan, the prince of demons (Matthew 10:25; Matthew 12:24-27).
The name Baal-zebub or Beel-zebul comes from a Phoenician god worshiped at Ekron in Old Testament times (2 Kings 1:2-16 ). While the original meaning of the name is unknown, the Old Testament form (Baal-zebub) means “Lord of the flies,” probably because the locals believed this god could protect them from disease-carrying flies.
In Jesus’ day, this god is derisively called Beel-zebul meaning “lord of dung.” Satan was called Beelzebul, because he was lord of unclean spirits or demons.
Jesus’ enemies accused him of casting out demons by invoking Beelzebul (Mark 3:22) and even of being his embodiment (Matthew 10:25). Jesus, rejecting this calumny, pointed out that the expulsion of demons was Satan’s defeat, heralding the arrival of God’s kingdom (Luke 11:20-22 ).
New Testament Usage
Mat 10:25; Mat 12:24; Mat 12:27; Mar 3:22; Luk 11:15; Luk 11:18; Luk 11:19.
Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology: Beelzebub ; Gods and Goddesses, Pagan
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Beelzebul
Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Beelzebub
Fausset Bible Dictionary: Beelzebul
Holman Bible Dictionary: Beelzebub
Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Beelzebub or Beelzebul
Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Beelzebul
Morrish Bible Dictionary: Beelzebub
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Beelzebub
McClintock and Strong: Beelzebub
The Jewish Encyclopedia: Beelzebub
Gotquestions: Who was Beelzebub?
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Background & History
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