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Is a Temple of Baal coming to a city near you?


Temple of Baal in Palmra, Syria. Photo: oriana.italy/Flickr/Creative Commons

Temple of Baal in Palmyra, Syria. Photo: oriana.italy/Flickr/Creative Commons

According to an article in the New York Post, next month the Institute of Digital Archaeology (IDA) will unveil a full-sized replica of the Temple of Baal in New York City and London, England with plans to build 1,000 more in other cities.

The IDA is a project sponsored by the University of Oxford, Harvard University and Dubai’s Museum of the Future.

According to the Post, the temple in New York will be installed as part of an UNESCO’s World Heritage event in April.

Standing 48′ tall, these Baal arches are being built in China using 3-D printers. The altars will be set up in prominent locations — Times Square in New York and Trafalgar Square in London.

They will replicate the arches of a 2,000-year-old Baal Temple located in Syria destroyed by ISIS in August, 2015.

Baal was a Canaanite god that Israel encountered several times after they entered the Promised Land. This god was supposedly in charge of the weather and fertility.

The Baal gods went by different names which at times represented their locations, i.e. Baal-peor represented the Baal temple at Peor. At Philistia, Baal went by the name Baal-zebub (“Baal of the flies”) (2 Kings 1:2–3). We see a reference to this god in the New Testament when the pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub the ruler of the demons (Luke 11:15).

Because of the weather association, Baal is often portrayed with a thunderbolt in his hand.

During times of apostasy, Israel would often turn back to Baal worship.

One of those times occurred after the Israeli King Ahab married a Phoenician princess — Jezebel. She set up full-fledged Baal worship in Israel and brought along with her 450 prophets of Baal and 400 hundred prophets of Asherah — Baal’s main consort (1 Kings 18:19).

When this happened, the prophet Elijah challenged Jezebel’s 450 prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel to a contest to see whose God could lite an altar on fire (1 Kings 18:20-46).

Elijah was essentially playing to what these prophets believed was Baal’s strength. Starting a fire with a thunderbolt would have been a simple task for a god who walked around with a thunderbolt in his hand.

But this confrontation on Mt. Carmel revealed another aspect of Baal worship — self-mutilation — which the god’s devotees did to show their devotion to Baal. At Mt Carmel, the prophets of Baal cut themselves with knives to curry Baal’s favor.

28 So they cried with a loud voice and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until the blood gushed out on them. (1 Kings 18:28 NASV)

However, Jehovah ruled the day and Israel turned against the prophets of Baal and eventually Jezebel.

The Canaanites also believed Baal was the god of fertility who controlled the productivity of crops and animals. According to their beliefs Baal was married to another goddess who went by the name Asherah or Ashtaroth (Judges 2:12-14; Judges 3:7).

They believed if Baal and his wife had sex at the right time, then the Canaanites would have good crops.

To entice these two gods to copulate, they would hold orgies at the Baal temples where they had representations of Baal and the female deity. The orgies were done openly and the whole community was invited to participate with every form of sex on display.

Archaeological work at Ras-Shamra revealed that one of Baal’s consorts was his sister Anat revealing even incest was on the table.

25 While Israel remained at Shittim, the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab. For they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel joined themselves to Baal of Peor, and the Lord was angry against Israel. (Numbers 25:1-3 NASV)

These religious activities legitimized every form of illicit sex. So when the Bible says that the Israel played the harlot, this was both literal and spiritual.

A second element that shows up in Baal worship was child sacrifice. The prophet Jeremiah referenced this particularly hideous practice:

Because they have forsaken Me and have made this an alien place and have burned sacrifices in it to other gods, that neither they nor their forefathers nor the kings of Judah had ever known, and because they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter My mind; therefore, behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when this place will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-hinnom, but rather the valley of Slaughter. (Jeremiah 19:4-6 NASV)

In desperate times they would make human/child sacrifice to gain Baal’s approval. This despicable act is mentioned several times throughout the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 18:10; 2 Kings 16:3; Isaiah 57:5) and each time God soundly condemned this despicable practice.

A third thing associated with Baal was his ability to control the weather. Of course, this was tied to rain for crops.

In almost every way our modern culture is demonstrating the characteristics associated with Baal. Pornography and the public display of sex is pouring into our homes through TV and the internet. Over 58 million children have been killed through abortion since the Roe vs Wade court case and today there is even a growing obsession with the weather — global warming.

The Baal temples are just a sign of the times.

In his vision of the end-times recorded in the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John wrote warnings to seven churches that some believe represent events Christians will be battling before Christ’s second coming.

To the Church of Thyatira, John specifically warned of the return of the spirit of Jezebel — the Phoenician princess who set up Baal worship in Israel and brought in the prophets of Baal and Asherah:

20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:20 NASV)

Sources:

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2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Is a Temple of Baal coming to a city near you? | edcarlson79

  2. i pray not. It/he has been preached against literally in the Bible. It would be like building a temple and alter to satan. that is, after all, who baalzebub was/is. it seems like people these days in general dont even know who to pray to, and completely leave the one true God out of their lives altogether.

    Like

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