“For he is a god”—I Kings 18: 27.



THE name of the heathen god Baal, including its various compounds, is used in the Bible scores of times.  It need not surprise you to learn that a chapter on this subject may be incorporated in a book on the Second Coming of Jesus.  Idol worshippers do not believe an idol itself to be a god.  Most of them believe that there are many gods, and their con­ception of these gods is that they are living beings, but far away and unapproachable by man.  They think the idol to be only a mediator.  Hence, when one idol or altar has been demolished, another may be erected in its place, while the god himself remains unchanged.  In the mind of idol worshippers, there is one god of the sun, another of the moon, another of the wind, another of love, another of judgment, and so on to an endless variety.  They believe further that each of these gods once lived on earth and walked with men, that later they were re­ceived up into the heavens, and that they now rule over human destinies.  Julius Caesar accepted divine titles and honors while he lived, and was worshipped after he was dead.  Augustus Caesar was accepted as a god, both before and after his death.  Marcus, Aurelius, Domitian, Nero, and a host of others were styled “gods” while they lived, and were worshipped after they were dead.  In like manner, in the mind of the heathen, all the gods once lived on earth, but have been received into the heavens, and now occupy the offices of gods.

This idea concerning the gods originated in God’s promise of a Redeemer (Gen. 3: 15).  All nations have received in­spiration in some way from this promise, and so the heathen, as well as God’s people, believe that the gods once walked with men.  The promise of the Second Coming of Jesus is also







mixed in with heathen Mythology; so the heathen believe that there is coming a day when the gods will again walk on earth with men.  Thus the heathen’s conception of their gods is in some points similar to the Christian’s conception of Christ; and it is just here that many heathen gods become antichrists.

     From the many passages of Scripture in which Baal is mentioned, it is evident that such was the conception of that heathen god.  Elijah, in speaking of Baal, said, “He is a god.”  That is, you take him (not it) to be a god.  Baal is a person who once lived on earth, and the heathen believed that he was a god, while he lived, and that he was worthy of divine honors after his death.  Thousands of temples and altars were erected to his worship during the time of Israel’s kingdom, as was true in the case of the Caesars and others in later years.  Many people believed that Baal was born on earth as the promised Redeemer, and they worshipped him as the Redeemer; and thus he is the antichrist of the Old Testament.

     Baal was thought to be the “sun god,” or “god of fire.”  Hence, we read that Ahaz and others made their sons to “pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen” (2 Ki. 16: 3; 2 Chr. 28: 3).  This abominable prac­tice consisted of the offering of children in sacrifice to Baal.  When Elijah would prove to the people whether the Lord or Baal be the God, he said, “The God that answereth by fire, let him be God.”—1 Kings 18: 24.  Elijah desired to show the people that Baal was not the God that they supposed him to be.  However, Elijah not one time denied Baal’s existence.  It is clear that he recognized the fact that Baal is a god, but not the true god.  So much is said in the Bible concerning him, that we are prone to inquire after him; and so the question arises: Who is Baal?

     “Baal” is a contraction of the Hebrew word “Balal,” meaning “to confound.”  It is from this same word that “Babel” is derived.  So, in fact, “Baal” and “Babel” come from the same word in the Hebrew.  At once, it becomes evi­-






dent that Baal, inasmuch as he was once a man, was a Babylo­nian.  Just as we are called Americans, from the name of the continent on which we live; just as others are called British, others, French, etc.; so this man was called “Baal,” because he was in some way connected with Babel.  If, then, we accept Baal as being a man who was once connected with Babel, who, from among the Babylonians, is he most likely to be?  Surely, the only logical conclusion is that he is no other than the found­er of Babel.  It is a mistake to suppose that the growth of idolatry was gradual.  Its rise was sudden.  It was brought into existence to counteract the religion of the true God.  Its originator was no other than Nimrod.  This man established a system of idol worship, and instituted divine honors in his own behalf.  His purpose from the first was to counteract Noah’s religion.  He set himself up in contrast with Noah’s God.  His people believed him to be a god, and they gladly rallied to his standard and worshipped him in preference to all others.  Nimrod died, but the seed he sowed has lived till this very day; and there are so many points of similarity between him and Baal that it is reasonable to suppose that the heathen god Baal is no other than the Babylonian Nimrod.

     In Chapter XXIII we brought to light many points of simi­larity between Nimrod and the final Antichrist, and we are now about to learn that Baal, the antichrist of the Old Testament, can be identified to be Nimrod and the final Antichrist of the last days.

     Nimrod said, “Let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach to heaven.”  Here was the beginning of the “high places” of which we read so much in the Old Testament, in connection with idol worship.  (See 1 Ki. 11:7; 2 Ki. 23: 15.)  We also read about the “groves” in connection with idol worship, and especially in connection with the worship of Baal (1 Ki. 15: 13; 16: 33; 18: 19; 2 Kings 17: 16; Jud. 3: 7; 2 Chr 14: 3).  The word “grove” in the revised version is “Asherah.”

     “The word signifies a tree, or a tall piece of timber carved







in the shape of a tree, with various images in the carving to represent the different things concerning the idol Baal and his wife, Ashtoreth, or Astarte.

     “In later years when Manasseh was the king of Judah he went into Baal‑worship, and built an asherah, or one of these Baal trees, in the very temple in Jerusalem.

“This asherah or tree idol of Baal is exactly what we see in the totem pole of the Indians in Alaska and some other localities.  I have seen several of these totem poles, and we have one here in Los Angeles in the Indian village as a curiosity.

“It is built of wood about forty feet high and nearly the size of a flour barrel, with images carved from top to bottom representing the heads of lizards, serpents, foxes, vultures, turtles or fish, and all sorts of grotesque forms of wild beasts.

“These totem poles are worshipped by the Alaskan In­dians, and I am sure that these poles have been built in all past generations by these tribes who long ago doubtless came from Phoenicia or Sidon, or some Eastern country, and brought their form of idolatry along with them.”—Dr. Watson, in Way of Faith.

We can now see that the “groves” connected with idol worship in the Old Testament were great images erected in honor of Baal’s wife.  This takes us back to the original plan in the days of Nimrod.  This man instituted idolatry first, and ordained himself the object of all worship.  He closely allied his wife with himself in his idolatrous schemes.  In a previous chapter we have shown that the “name” to be placed on the top of Nimrod’s tower was an image of his own wife, Semira­mis.  Thus in the very beginning of the plan of idolatrous wor­ship there was an anti‑god who set himself up against the true Christ; while the wife of this anti‑god was placed at the head of the ecclesiastical organization to counteract the church of God, the idols themselves being made in the image of this woman, with a dove on her head, with wings spread upward






like the horns of the new moon.  This image, in the language of the time, would be called “Sema‑Rama.”  The original plan of idolatrous worship was launched upon the world.  Centuries came and went.  Idolatry continued.  In the days of the Assyrian kingdom, we find the “Sema‑Rama,” the Dove‑goddess, to be the ensign of the Assyrian princes.  This symbol naturally and almost necessarily took the place of a god, and in time became the holy mother, the great heavenly protectress, the giver of prosperity and greatness to all who rallied under it.  Ashtaroth, or Astarte, is identified as Ishtar, or Nana, among the Assyrian gods in inscriptions.  Her image has the crescent moon on her head.  She partly represents the planet Venus, partly the moon, the “queen of heaven” (Jer. 7: 18; 44: 17‑19).  Her worship was very licentious and abominable.  Ashtaroth (Jud. 10: 6) was the name of the goddess herself, while Asherah was “the grove,” the image or symbol of the goddess.  Hebrew, “Asher,” or “yashar,” means “to be straight, a straight stem of a tree, living, or fixed upright.”  The active and passive powers of nature, generative and re­ceptive, suggested the idea of the male and female deities, Baal and Astarte.  The earliest worship of apostasy was that of the sun and moon.  Naturally this worship was grafted to the idols, Baal being the sun god, and Astarte being the moon goddess (2 Kings 23: 5).  “Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees near unto the altar of the Lord thy God, which thou shalt make thee.  Neither shalt thou set thee up any image; which the Lord thy God hateth.”—Deut. 16: 21, 22.  The word “image” is “statue, or pillar,” in the margin.  The pillar was a symbol of Baal, as the tree was a symbol of Astarte; a stone marking his strength as the male, and a tree her fruitfulness.

     Baalim is the plural form of Baal, and it is used to express the various aspects of Baal, as different localities viewed him.  Baal, being the father and at the head of all false worship, of course, there were many aspects in which he was worshipped.






     The name of the Babylonian god “Bel” is only another contraction of the word “Babel.”  Bel is mentioned many times in connection with the history of Babylon and it is folly to think that he is any other than Baal.  The monuments of ancient Babel testify that the founder of Babel was worshipped as “Bilu Nipru,” or Bel Nimrod, i.e., “the god of the chase.”  In course of time the cognomen “Nimrod” was dropped, and he became known as only “Bel.”  This makes it clear that Nimrod, Baal, and Bel are all one and the same.

     Now, if we were right in our identification of Nimrod and the final antichrist, we can see that the one who first instituted false worship has been at the head of all idolatry through the ages of the world, and that he will appear again at the end of this age to lead in the world’s final rebellion against right­eousness.

     Anything connected with Baal is an abomination in God’s sight.  Those who would follow Jehovah must separate them­selves entirely from everything pertaining to the nature of Baal.  God’s people are commanded to abstain from the practi­cal use of this name.  “Make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.”—Ex. 23: 13.  It was in obedience to this command that the orthodox feeling against this name among the Israelites became so strong that they altered names in which it occurred.

     Baal was the god of the Midianites.  Gideon took ten men and threw down the altar of Baal by night.  When the Midian­ites arose the next morning they found the altar of Baal thrown down.  “And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing?  And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing.  Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it.  And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him let him be put to death while it is yet






morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar.  Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his, altar.”—Jud. 6: 29‑32.  This was indeed an appropriate name for Gideon, in one sense, for Baal, being a god, should have been able to have plead for himself; but it was a violation of Ex. 23: 13, therefore the orthodox Israelites changed his name to Jerubbesheth (2 Sam. 11: 21).  Merib­baal was the son of Jonathan (1 Chron. 8: 34), but his name was changed to Mephibosheth (2 Sam. 4: 4), because it con­tained the name of “Baal.”  Reuben changed the name of Baal‑meon (Num. 32: 38), for the same reason.

     Baal means lord, in the sense of owner, possessor.  “At that day, saith the Lord, thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.”—Hos. 2: 16.  Although each of these words mean about the same, Baali is applied to Baal, the Anti­christ of the Old Testament, and hence Jehovah refuses to be called by that name.  So in many Scriptures we find that the very name of this heathen god is an abomination in God’s sight.

This name is applied in the Bible to many localities.  When applied to places it sometimes refers to Baal’s worship there; sometimes it means that the place possesses some attribute denoted by the other part of the compound.

     The city Baal‑Gad (Josh. 11: 17) derived its name from “Baal”; and from “Gad,” the Babylonian god of fortune, Bel, standing for the planet Jupiter.  The Arabs called it “the greater good fortune;” and “Meni,” the planet Venus, stood for “the lesser good fortune.”  “But ye are they that forsake the word, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that god, and that furnish the drink offering unto that Meni.”—Isa. 65: 11. (Margin.)  In this verse the idea of the male and the female antichrist is mentioned.  Gad is only another name for Baal, the male god; while Meni stands for Venus, the female goddess.







     Baal‑Hamon means “the lord of a multitude.”  At this place Solomon had a vineyard with a multitude of vines.

     Baal‑Hazor means “Baal’s village.”  This is the place where Absalom had a sheep farm, and to this place he invited all the sons of David to feast at his sheepshearing, Amnon (2 Sam. 13: 23).

     Baal Perazin means “lord of breaches.”  It is so called because Jehovah there broke forth on David’s enemies, the Philistines, as a breach of waters (2 Sam. 5: 20).  Formerly this was a high place of Baal’s idol, but henceforth it was to be known as the place where Jehovah burst forth upon David’s idolatrous foes.

     There are a host of other places bearing this same name.  All of them received the name from Baal, of course.  All of these things go to show what a great god the people thought Baal to be.

     Belial means “worthlessness, recklessness, lawlessness.”  It is not strictly a proper name, but seems to be used by way of personification.  It is found in the Bible many times.  It is derived from “Bel.”  Belial, standing in contrast to Christ, denotes all Anti‑christian pollutions personified.

     It is a fact that about all the principal deities of heathen mythology can be traced back to Nimrod as their origin.  We have space to mention only a few of them.

     First, we mention Dagon.  This was the national god of the Philistines (Jud. 16: 93).  He is represented as half man and half fish.  He is the divine principle supposed to produce the seeds of all things from moisture.  Philo says that Dagon means “fruitfulness, the seed‑producing.”  Eusevius tells us that Dagon was the god of husbandry, seeds and harvests.  All of these things connect closely with heathen mythology concerning Baal, the sun god, or the giver of light and heat‑producing seed.  Dagon is identified with Oannes, the half fish god of the Babylonians.  Some of the ancient pictures of both of them still remain, in which each is presented as a great fish outside,







but within the fish, and joined to it as its more vital interior, is a giant, standing upright in great dignity, with one hand lifted up as if calling for attention.  Both are said to have arisen out of the sea, hence their fish nature.  Here we are reminded of Antichrist, who is to rise out of the sea (Rev. 13: 1) in the last days, and who, like Dagon, is to have a double nature, for he will be a spirit incarnated.  Oannes is fabled to have taught the Babylonians the secrets of wisdom, especially the elements of culture, civilization, and law, organizing them into a pros­perous commonwealth.  An ancient bit of history speaks of him thus: “He grew not old in wisdom, and the wise people with his wisdom he filled.”  This identifies both Oannes and Dagon very closely with Nimrod.  Nimrod was the noted founder of idolatry, and it seems that, although he is now dead, he has always been in the lead of idolatrous practices, and it need not surprise you if he rises again as the final Antichrist.

     When once we accept as truth these thoughts that I am pre­senting, how beautifully all the Bible says about these gods harmonizes.  We read: “When the Philistines took the Ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.  And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the Lord.  And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again.  And when they arose early on the morrow morn­ing, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground be­fore the ark of the Lord; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him.  Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon’s house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day.  But the hand of the Lord was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the coasts thereof.  And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with






us; for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god.”— 1 Sam. 5: 2‑7.  We see here the effect that the presence of the Ark of God had upon the image of Dagon, and we can not help but notice the analogy between this contrast and the contrast of Christ and the Antichrist.

     Next we wish to mention Diana of the Ephesians.  She is identical with Astarte, of whom we spoke above.  She repre­sented the generative and nutritive powers of nature.  The lower part of her image was a rude block covered with mystic inscriptions and animals.  It was believed that this image fell from heaven as a aerolite perhaps.  Thus we see the similarity between this image and the image of Astarte, wife of Baal, and that of Semiramis, wife of Nimrod.

     There was a temple of Diana at Ephesus.  It was founded 580 B. C., and burned in 356 B. C. by Erastratus, a young man.  He burned it that his name might be memorialized.  This temple was reckoned as one of the seven wonders of the world.  It was rebuilt in the reign of Alexander the Great.

     No bloody sacrifices were allowed in this temple.  Games were celebrated at Ephesus in honor of Diana, and her worship was the tie that united politically Ephesus and other places.  This closely identifies her religion with that of Antichrist.  There was a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines for Diana, and by this occupation he was gaining great wealth.  Paul came through his section preaching the gospel of Christ; so, of course, there was a great stir about that way.  Demetrius called together the workmen of like occupation, and said: “Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth.  Moreover, ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath per­suaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: so that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her mag­nificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world






worshippeth.  And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.”—Acts 19: 25‑28.  Then the whole city was set into confusion, and they took Paul and his companions and rushed them to the theatre.  Here they had a great commotion, and cried for about two hours: “Great is Diana of the Ephe­sians.”  The town clerk quieted them, and said: “Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and the image which fell down from Jupiter?  Seeing then that these things can not be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet and to do nothing rashly.”  When idolatry was intro­duced a woman was placed at the head of the church, and so we find traces of the female deity through the ages.

     Another god that was always prominent in heathen myth­ology was Bacchus, the god of wine.  He figures among the Greek and Roman gods as the great overflowing, healing and directing power.  This name is derived from Bar‑chus, mean­ing the son of Cush.  Turning to Gen. 10: 8, we learn that Nimrod was the son of Cush.

     Still another god prominent in Roman mythology was Phaethon.  He was the sun god.  Tradition connects him with the plains of Shinar.  Thus he is identified with both Baal and Nimrod.

     Thus we might go on almost to an endless variety with these heathen gods, and show that the history of the most of them can be traced back to Nimrod.  However, I think that I have carried the argument far enough to establish the end sought, viz., that Nimrod, the founder of idolatry, has led in idolatrous worship through the ages, and that he will be the final Antichrist at the end