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For the last time, I'm not Beelzebub. Do I look like a giant fly with an annoying accent to you? The name is Ba'al Hadad, the Divine King of the Canaanites. And I, have a favor to pay with your father's name on it.
Hadad to an angel.

Baal Hadad, simply known as Hadad, is the Canaanite God of rain, fertility, agriculture and thunder who is also one of the King of the Gods in the Canaanite Pantheon.

Overview

He was worshipped in many ancient Middle Eastern communities, especially among the Canaanites, who apparently considered him a fertility deity and one of the most important gods in their respective local pantheons. Fertility was envisaged in terms of seven-year cycles. Baal is a Semitic title that means Master or Lord.

Thanks to his huge reign of influence, Baal was designated as the universal god of fertility, and in that capacity his title was Prince, Lord of the Earth. He was also called the Lord of Rain and Dew, the two forms of moisture that were indispensable for fertile soil in Canaan. ut Baal was not exclusively a fertility god. He was also king of the gods, and, to achieve that position, he was portrayed as seizing the divine kingship from Yam, the sea god.

In his main myth of Canaan, the so-called Baal Cycle, Baal was locked in mortal combat with Mot, the god and personification of death and sterility. If Baal triumphed, a seven-year cycle of fertility would ensue; but, if he were vanquished by Mot, seven years of drought and famine would ensue with humans suffering as their crops would wither away. While the myths present a decisive conclusion to the conflict, some scholars assume it was believed to repeat in cycles.

Hadad has been connected to the great king Bael and with Beelzebub the false god of gluttony.

Appearance

As Baal Hadad, he was represented as a bearded deity, often holding a club and thunderbolt and wearing a horned headdress.

Personality

Powers and Abilities

History

Baal Cycle

The Baal Cycle is an cycle of stories about the god. The stories are written in Ugaritic, a Northwest Semitic language, and written in a cuneiform consonantal alphabet. The Myth of Baʿal Aliyan and The Death of Baʿal.

The Baʿal Cycle series of stories are summarized thus:

  • Yam wants to rule over the other gods and be the most powerful of all
  • Baʿal Hadad opposes Yam and slays him
  • Baʿal Hadad, with the help of Anath and Athirat, persuades El to allow him a palace
  • Baʿal Hadad commissions Kothar-wa-Khasis to build him a palace.
  • King of the gods and ruler of the world seeks to subjugate Mot
  • Mot kills Baʿal Hadad
  • Anat brutally kills Mot, grinds him up and scatters his ashes
  • Baʿal Hadad returns to Mount Saphon
  • Mot, having recovered from being ground up and scattered, challenges Baʿal Hadad
  • Baʿal Hadad refuses; Mot submits
  • Baʿal Hadad rules again

Myths and Legends

The chief Semitic god who governs over fertility. He is the god of Canaan and brother and consort to the goddess Anat, who saved him from Mot.
The Demonic Compendium.

Ugaritic texts tell of other fertility aspects of Baal, such as his relations with Anat, his consort and sister, and also his siring a divine bull calf from a heifer. All this was part of his fertility role, which, when fulfilled, meant an abundance of crops and fertility for animals and mankind. Hadad was equated with the Greek god Zeus; the Roman god Jupiter, as Jupiter Dolichenus; the Norse God Thor; the Indo-European Nasite Hittite storm-god Teshub; the Egyptian god Amun.

He was at least in part derived from the Sumerian god Iškur, but their character differed substantially; while Iškur represented the destructive power of storms, the western Semitic Baal was the master of life-giving rains vital for farmers.

In Syria, hail was seen as a phenomenon closely related to him. He was also the king of the gods, and, to achieve that position, he was portrayed as seizing the divine kingship from Yam, the sea god, described as a tyrannical ruler. Baal was probably also regarded as the source of royal authority for human kings, and myths and prayers depict him as an ally and protector of humans. In Ugaritic and Hebrew, Baal’s epithet as the storm god was He Who Rides on the Clouds. In the Baal Cycle he's frequently called "Aliyan Baal" or "Baal, the victorious". In Phoenician he was called Baal Shamen, Lord of the Heavens.

Like many deities of the ancient Near East, Hadad was always represented in a horned headdress. In art, he's often shown holding a club and thunderbolt or two clubs. While Mesopotamian depictions of the storm god and the famous Baal stele depict him as a typical bearded Near Eastern god, many Canaanite depictions are instead more similar to Egyptian warriror gods and beardless. Baal was also frequently associated with bulls. The bull was a widespread symbol of divinity in ancient Mespopotamia and areas infuenced by it. Other storm gods from cultures closely related to that of ancient Canaan, like Hurrian Teshub and Hittite Tarhunna, were depicted very similarly to Baal in art, and their myths shared many similarities as well. The Egyptian god Set in his generally positive aspect as a god of foreigners was also associated with Baal, taking his role in the Egyptian adaptation of the Yam narrative.

Baal is usually associated with the goddesses Ashtart (commonly called "the Face of Baal," indicating particularly close bond between these two deities), a western Semitic equivalent of Ishtar, and Anat, both of who are often interpreted as his consorts. Anat is also called Baal's sister, though it's unclear if they share the exact same parents, as in Ugaritic texts Baal calls two separate gods, El (the husband of Asherah) and Dagan, his fathers. Whether the two fathers were one and the same or if one of these was simply a courtesy title indicating superior status is a matter of scholarly debate, though cultic rather than mythical texts regard Dagan as separate from El.

The name Baal, or Ba'al, is used as a substitute of Hadad in some ancient texts and in common modern usage. This is possibly derived from the fact that in ancient Canaan only priests were allowed to utter the divine name, in much the same way as in Judaism where only priests were allowed to utter the name of God, so common people simply referred to him as Baal. It's also possible the title was eventually deemed to be integral to Hadad's cult it functionally became his main name.

Quotes

Our brotherhood dies here. We are adversaries, each upholding our own reason and contending for creation. As fate would have it, we are both beyond shedding tears. We need not hesitate to fight each other. So, let us now decide who is truly superior, brother. Challenge me with all your might!
Hadad to Mot.

Gallery

Trivia

  • The bull was the symbolic animal of Hadad, as of the Hittite deity Teshub, who was identical with him.
  • Many of the most famous biblical references to Baal, for example the tale of Jezebel, are related to the traditions of the cities of Sidon and Tyre, where the title of Baal was applied to deities other than Hadad.
  • He was one of the gods to be demonized into the Demon King Bael.
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