BAAL-ZEBUB (bay' uhl-zee' buhb) Deity's name meaning, “lord of the flies.” In 2 Kings 1:2, a Philistine deity from which the Israelite King Ahaziah sought help after injuring himself in a fall. Though the Philistines themselves may have used this name, it is more probable that it is intentionally used to distort the god's actual name. The problem of identification is further complicated by references in the New Testament. Jesus is reported to have used the name Beel-zebub in reference to the prince of demons (Matthew 10:25). Beel-zebub is clearly a variation of Baal-zebub. However, the Greek text of the New Testament has Beelzebul. The meaning of Beelzebul is disputed. One suggestion is “lord of the dwelling.” A second, and more likely possibility is “lord of dung.” Regardless of the exact meaning of the name, Jesus clearly used it in reference to Satan. See Baal; Philistines; Satan.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.