In 2016, the Institute of Digital Archaeology (IDA) announced it was producing full-scale (48′ high) replica of the Arch of Baal that it would put on display in cities around the world. Produced with 3-D printers in China, IDA decided to produce a replica after ISIS destroyed the original arch in 2015 that were part of a Baal temple found in Palmyra, Syria.
At the end of September, 2018, the Baal arch was set up in the National Mall in Washington, DC in sight of the US capital.
Since the arch was actually a gateway to the ancient Baal temple, when news surfaced of its arrival in Washington some Christians were concerned it might give the demonic a unique ability to influence US society.
Baal was one of the major ancient deities of the Middle East that was constantly trying to seduce Israel away from Jehovah. He was considered a fertility god and god of the weather and was often portrayed with a thunderbolt in his hand.
The Bible is clear that these ancient idols had demonic roots and when people worshiped these deities they were actually worshiping demons:
“They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods;
With abominations they provoked Him to anger.
17 They sacrificed to demons, not to God,
To gods they did not know,
To new gods, new arrivals
That your fathers did not fear.” Deuteronomy 32:16-17 NKJV
It may be just coincidence but the arch was unveiled in Washington, DC on September 26, 2018 during the time that the Senate was holding hearings about the sexual accusations made against US Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The hearings which have been front page news for the past few weeks have been very controversial and divisive in America.
Would the demonic want to influence this decision?
One of the darkest times in Israel involved the arrival of a Phoenician princess named Jezebel who had married Ahab, the King of Israel, to solidify a peace treaty. At this point in history, Israel and Judah were now separate nations.
Though Ahab remained king within a few months it was clear that Jezebel was running Israel and she led the country down the path of debauchery and idol worship (1 Kings 21:25).
It may be just a coincidence, but when Jezebel showed up she brought with her 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah, a female goddess considered the main consort of Baal (1 Kings 18:19).
Was it also a coincidence that temples for these two gods were set up in the capital cities of Israel — Baal at Samaria and the Asherah temple at Ahab’s main palace in Jezreel (1 Kings 16:32-33; 1 Kings 18:19)?
If the demonic was associated with idol worship, setting up temples in Israel’s major political centers could potentially maximize their influence.
Which leads to the obvious question: Was Jezebel’s ability to control Israel solidified by the demonic associated with these idols?
There are many stories about the evil influence that Jezebel had in Israel, but there is one that may have relevance to what recently happened in Washington, DC.
Near Ahab’s palace in Jezreel, was a vineyard owned by a man named Naboth. It was a prosperous vineyard and it caught Ahab’s attention and he approached Naboth about selling it. In fact, Ahab offered Naboth a better and larger vineyard in return, which is strange when you thing about it (1 Kings 21:1-16).
But Naboth refused stating it was part of his inheritance. It was the land his family received when Israel entered the promised land. The land was first divided up between the tribes and them by families.
Enraged Ahab returned to the palace where Jezebel found the king sulking in bed. When she found out what happened, Jezebel told Ahab she would fix the situation (v 9).
But it was how she did it that is of interest. Jezebel exerted control over the courts and politicians of that day.
8 So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, placed his seal on them, and sent them to the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city with him. 9 In those letters she wrote:
“Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 10 But seat two scoundrels opposite him and have them bring charges that he has cursed both God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death.”
Jezebel ordered the elders of the gate and nobles of the city to find men to make false accusations against Naboth. They accused him of cursing God and king which resulted in Naboth being stoned, allowing Ahab to seize the prized vineyard.
The nobles represented the political leaders and the elders at the gate were actually the judges who oversaw Israel’s court system:
18 “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which the Lord your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment. (Deuteronomy 16:18 NKJ)
Also referred to as the elders at the gates, these judges typically sat at the city gates and people would approach them to make decisions about legal matters (Deuteronomy 25:7; Joshua 20:4; Ruth 4:1, Deuteronomy 21: 18-20).
So we see that Jezebel was actively manipulating the justice and political system to gain control of Naboth’s vineyard.