Belial, the Northern Crown Prince of Satanism

By Vexen Crabtree 2001 Jun 05

Belial - Hebrew - worthless one

Strength
Lust
Power
Materialism

Without a master
Self preservation
Common sense
Self dependence

Belial means "without a master", and symbolizes true independence, self-sufficiency, and personal accomplishment. Belial represents the earth element.

"The Satanic Bible"
Anton LaVey (1969)
Book of Belial: introduction

Master of the Earth
Belial is the carnal side of man, the lust, sex, pleasure and therefore the principal drives that make living worthwhile. People derive all the principal emotions of the higher ego from Belial: Pride comes from self control and suppression of the Belial, strength, pleasure and independence come from embracing it. Belial is the Master of the Earth, the force that holds Humankind by its balls, any security or stability are results of lessons learnt from dealing with this Crown Prince.

Belial is the champion of simply being human, for the flesh, the material and the carnal. In essence, a reverence for Belial affirms how "good" the flesh/humanity is. Unrestrained by law or morality; lawless; immoral; dissolute; lewd; lascivious, Unrestrained; uncurbed; uncontrolled; unruly; riotous; ungovernable; wanton; profligate; dissolute; lax; loose; sensual; impure; unchaste; lascivious; immoral, dissolute indulgence in sensual pleasure.

Vexen's notes: The most boring of the Four Crown Princes. Its history and origins are most likely more in mistranslation and then assumption than in description or insight. Anton LaVey and others have delighted in the obscure past of Belial.

1. Christian Mythology

Dictionary of Demons:

The name Belial is taken from the Hebrew for 'worthless one' (e.g. 1 Samuel 10:27, 2 Corin. 6:15). Arguing from such references, theologians are inclined to see Belial as merely one of the many faces of Satan. The references in Judges 19:22 and the like have led to the suggestion that Belial is merely the tutelary spirit of licentiousness. Certainly in modern day demonology at least he has been transformed to fit Milton's vision of him as the most lewd demon in Pandaemonium, as well as being representative of Sloth. Among the schoolmen of the medieval period it was argued (on slender evidence) that Belial was one of the fallen Virtues.

In popular demonologies this is the demon who is said to have been created immediately after Lucifer himself; he appears as an angel in a fiery chariot, but his intention is to deceive all, including those who conjure him.

He is one of the seventy-two Spirits of Solomon and, as one of the Enochian Demons, he is described as a 'King, appearing as a beautiful angel ... speaking fair, distributing prefrements ... '

In popular modern use the 'sons of Belial' are lawless or rebellious people, probably a reference to Deuteronomy 13. In the poetry of William Blake Belial remains a god, linked specifically with the horrors of Sodom and Gomorrha, an 'obscure Demon of Bribes and secret Assassinations' (Milton f.37 1. 30) - a somewhat personalized view of this favorite of the grimoires.

"Dictionary of Demons" by Fred Gettings (1988)

Folklore, Mythology and Legend:

One of the synonyms for Satan or one of the minor devils; principally, the Antichrist: as used in the Old Testament, a modifying genitive signifying worthlessness or recklessness, e.g., "sons of Belial" as in the story of the Benjamite war (Judg.19). Hence, the underworld (Sheol) and the personification of wickedness. Belial may perhaps be a modification of the Babylonian Belili, a deity connected with the underworld in the Ishtar-Tammuz story.

"Folklore, Mythology and Legend" by Funk & Wagnalls (1984)

The Catholic Encyclopedia:

Found frequently as a personal name in the Vulgate and various English translations of the Bible, is commonly used as a synonym of Satan, or the personification of evil. This sense is derived from II Cor., vi, 15, where Belial (or Beliar) as prince of darkness is contrasted with Christ, the light. It is clear in the Vulgate and Douay translations of III Kings, xxi, 10 and 13, where the same Hebrew word is rendered once as Belial and twice as "the devil". In the other instances, too, the translators understood it as a name for the prince of evil, and so it has passed into English. Milton, however, distinguishes Belial from Satan, regarding him as the demon of impurity.

In the Hebrew Bible, nevertheless, the word is not a proper name, but a common noun usually signifying "wickedness" or "extreme wickedness". Thus, Moore renders "sons of Belial" as "vile scoundrels" (Judges 19:22); most prefer "worthless fellows". In some cases belial seems to mean "destruction", "ruin"; thus in Ps. xii, 9 (Heb.), the word is parallel to the thought of utter destruction and seems to mean the same. In Ps., sviii, 5, it is parallel to "death" and "Sheol"; some understand it as "destruction", Cheyne as "the abyss". The etymology of the word is doubtful; it is usually taken to be a compound meaning "worthlessness." Cheyne suggest an alternate that means "that from which no one comes up", namely the abyss, Sheol. St. Jerome's etymology "without yoke", which he has even inserted as a gloss in the text of Judges, xix, 22, is contrary to Hebrew philology.

Belial, from meaning wickedness or Sheol, could develop into a name for the prince of evil or of darkness; and as such was widely used at the beginning of our era. Under the names Beliar, Berial, he plays a very important rôle in apocryphal literature, in the "Ascension of Isaias", the "Sibylline Oracles", and the "Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs". He is the prince of this world and will come as Antichrist; his name is sometimes given also to Nero, returning as Antichrist.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume II
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02408a.htm

Church of the Latter Day Saints reference:
Sometimes translated wicked (2 Sam. 23:6); sons of Belial. i.e., wicked men (Deut. 13:13; Judg. 19:22; Judg. 20:13; 1 Sam. 1:16; 1 Sam. 2:12; 1 Sam. 10:27; 1 Sam. 25:17,25; 1 Sam. 30:22; 2 Sam. 16:7; 2 Sam. 20:1; 1 Kings.21:10,13; 2 Chr. 13:7; 2 Chr. 6:15).

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) [web1913]
Belial \Be"li*al\, n. [Heb. beli ya'al; beli without + ya'al profit.]
An evil spirit; a wicked and unprincipled person; the personification of evil. What concord hath Christ with Belia ? --2 Cor. vi. 15. {A son} (or man) {of Belial}, a worthless, wicked, or thoroughly depraved person. --1 Sam. ii.

12. From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary [easton]: Belial worthlessness, frequently used in the Old Testament as a proper name. It is first used in Deut. 13:13.

In the New Testament it is found only in 2 Cor. 6:15, where it is used as a name of Satan, the personification of all that is evil. It is translated "wicked" in Deut. 15:9; Psa. 41:8 (R.V. marg.); 101:3; Prov. 6:12, etc.

The expression "son" or "man of Belial" means simply a worthless, lawless person (Judg. 19:22; 20:13; 1 Sam. 1:16; 2:12).

From Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary (late 1800's) [hitchcock]: Belial, wicked, worthless.

http://www.pantheon.org/mythica/articles/b/belial.html
The Encyclopedia Mythica

Belial is the evil spirit of darkness and godlessness in the Jewish myth of old Palestine. In the Old Testament there is mentioning of Belial-men: they are those who oppose to law and order. Belial can also be compared with Satan.

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By Vexen Crabtree 2001 Jun 05
Last Updated: 2010 Oct 21
http://www.dpjs.co.uk/belial.html

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References: (What's this?)

The Bible (NIV). The NIV is the best translation for accuracy whilst maintaining readability. Multiple authors, a compendium of multiple previously published books. I prefer to take quotes from the NIV but where I quote the Bible en masse I must quote from the KJV because it is not copyrighted, whilst the NIV is. [Book Review]

Gettings, Fred
Dictionary of Demons (1988). Quotes from 1989 hardback reprint. Published by Guild Publishing.

LaVey, Anton. (1930-1997)
The Satanic Bible (1969). Published by Avon Books Inc, New York, USA. Anton LaVey founded the Church of Satan in 1966.

© 2013 Vexen Crabtree. All rights reserved.

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