From Academic Kids

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A woodcarving of Belial and some of his followers from Jacobus de Teramo's book Buche Belial (1473)

Belial (also Belhor, Baalial, Beliar, Beliall, Beliel) is the name for a demon in the Old Testament. He has been identified with Satan, both as a minion of Satan and sometimes as another name for Satan himself. He is also identified with Samael and called "the angel of lawlessness" and "the ruler of this world". Belial is also considered the father of idolatrous nations. According to the Book of Jubilees, uncircumcised heathens are considered to be "sons of Belial".

Belial is considered the source of the seven spirits of seduction that enter men at birth, the source of impurity and lying, and the spirit of darkness.

The etymology for his name is unclear. Some scholars translate it from Hebrew as "worthless" (Beli yo'il), while others translate it as "yokeless" (Beli ol) , "may have no rising" (Belial) or "never to rise" (Beli ya'al). Only a few etymologists have assumed it to be a proper name from the start. [1] (


Belial in Judaism

In the Old Testament, Belial is mentioned several times, referring to him as father of pagan nations, rivers of destruction, rivers of death, and impious men are considered the sons of Belial.

The Dead Sea scroll entitled The War of the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness credit Belial as the uncontested ruler of the dark hosts.

The fact that in Judaism Belial claimed to be the Messiah made some Christians of the 1st Century think he was the Antichrist.

Belial in Christianity

In early Christian writings, Belial was identified first with an angel of confusion and lust, created after Lucifer. Paradoxically, some apocrypha credit Belial as being the father of Lucifer and the angel that convinced him to wage a rebellion in Heaven against God, and that Belial was the first of the fallen angels to be expelled. Belial is referred to as Satan when asked by St. Paul as to how Christ and Belial can agree."

Since the Middle Ages he has been considered to be a powerful king of Hell that gives excellent familiars to his followers, and rules fifty to eighty legions [2] ( of demons, though no mention is made of this in the Pseudomonarchia Daemonum. As a demon he was said to have an agreeable aspect, and to induce to any type of sins, especially those related to sex and lust. Sebastian Michaelis states that Belial seduces by means of arrogance and his adversary is St. Francis of Paola; in this sense his name is translated as "Lord of Arrogance" or "Lord of Pride" (Baal ial).

In the Biblia Vulgata fewer allusions to this demon are made, referring to Belial as torrents of death, and to impious men as sons of Belial and men of Belial.

Belial in Apocrypha

Belial plays heavily in Christian apocrypha and pseudepigrapha. In addition to his appearance in the Book of Jubilee, Belial appears in other texts as well.

  • The Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs states "he will be opposed to the Messiah, bound by him, cast into the fire forever and the souls captured by him will be freed by force from his power."
  • The Sibylline Oracles cast Belial as the seducer who, feigning to be the Messiah, will appear among the Samaritans and lead them into error by means of his power, but "will be burnt up by heavenly fire carried along by the sea to the land to destroy his powers."

Belial also plays a significant role in the Ascension of Isaias.

Belial in Demonology

The Satanic Bible states Belial is one of the Four Crown Princes of Hell (specifically, the North Crown), and that "Belial means 'without a master' and symbolizes true independence, self-sufficiency, and personal accomplishment." [3] ( Belial represents the earth element, is the Master of Mankind and the Champion of Humanity, and represents the carnal and base urges of mankind.

Offerings, sacrifices and gifts must be made to honour Belial, or he will not answer the truth to what the conjurer demands. Gilles de Rais attempted to raise Belial and Beelzebub by using the dismembered remains of children as sacrifices. [4] (

Belial is listed as the eighty-sixth spirit of the Ars Goetia.

Belial in Fiction

Belial (or a likeness thereof) figures in many works of fiction, both medieval and modern. Among these are:

Medieval fiction

  • In Jacobus de Teramo's Buche Belial (1473), Belial was depicted with a man's body with talons instead of feet, and having ,a man's head with the horns and ears of a bull and the tusks of a boar; he keeps the door of Hell.
  • In Book II of Paradise Lost, author John Milton depicts Belial as one who realizes that the war against Heaven has been lost by the hosts of Hell, and hopes that God will forgive them and allow them to return to heaven. [5] (

Modern fiction

  • French author Victor Hugo referred to Bellial as "the Infernal Ambassador to Turkey".
  • The title of the novel and play Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse is a play on the name "Beliar".
  • In the Capcom videogame series Darkstalkers, a demon named Belial is said to be one of the rulers of Makai, as well as the father of the succubi Morrigan and Lilith Aensland. Whether the demon in question is meant to be the Belial of legend or a name inspiration only is unclear.
  • In the Robert Jordan book series, The Wheel of Time, one of the characters known as the Forsaken is named Be'lal.
  • Manga-ka Kaori Yuki's twenty volume series Angel Sanctuary features Belial as the seductively perverse fallen angel Mad Hatter, demon retainer to Lucifer who bears the karmic weight of the sin of Pride. She is portrayed as androgynously beautiful, but in actuality a breastless woman who did not wish to become either sex - therefore halting her body's growth with drugs.

See also

The Lesser Key of Solomon

External Links

Catholic Encyclopedia entry on Belial (

Belial entry at Jewish (

Occultopedia entry on Belial (

DJPS entry on Belial ( fr:Belial nl:Belial sv:Belial es:Belial


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