Who or what is Belial? What is the biblical use of 'belial'?

The word belial is found twenty-six times in the Old Testament and doesn't refer to a specific person or being, but to an idea or character trait akin to wickedness or worthlessness. The literal meaning in Hebrew combines the word for "not" and "profit" or "benefit."

Some scholars believe the word is more related to the idea of being "without yoke" or more about rebelliousness or lawlessness. In the Old Testament, writers used the word to describe someone who is evil (Judges 19:22; 1 Samuel 2:12). In the New Testament, "Belial" is once used as a proper name for Satan (2 Corinthians 6:15).

In apocryphal Jewish writings, Belial has a story and is a specific being—an angel who followed Satan instead of God (see the Book of Jubilees). In the Sibylline prophesies, Belial is prophesied as the coming Antichrist. This may have been influenced by 2 Thessalonians 2:3, in which Paul describes the Antichrist as "the man of lawlessness."

In more recent literature, Belial is presented as a demon, such as in John Milton's Paradise Lost, and in other books and video games.

But, again, biblically belial is used to personify evil, as a descriptor for the Antichrist, and once as a name for Satan. Scripture does not indicate that Belial is the proper name of a specific demon.


Related Truth:

Who is Satan?

What are demons according to the Bible?

Who is the man of lawlessness Paul talks about in 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12?

The Book of Jubilees - What is it? Should the Book of Jubilees be in the Bible?

Who was the Beelzebub/Beelzebul that the Pharisees attributed Christ's work to?


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