Pentecostalism: New Outpouring or Ancient Heresy? – The Pagan Worship of Baal and Dionysus and Modern Pentecostalism

47.   Jezebel, the Phoenician Queen of apostate Israel — was the daughter of Ethbaal (or "With-Baal"), king of Sidon.   She married Ahab, the apostate king of Israel, who then himself "served Baal and worshipped him."   First Kings 16:30-3lf.

48.   Keil and Delitzsch comment that Baal was "the principal male deity of the Phoenicians and Canaanites…called by the Babylonians Bel….   As the sun-god, [he] was worshipped as the supporter and first principle of psychical life and of the generative and reproductive power of nature.   See at Judges 2:13.   ‘And Ahab made ’eth-hâ’àshêrâh’ — i.e. the Asherah belonging to the temple of Baal (First Kings 16:33) — see at Judges 6:25 and Exodus 34:13 — an idol of Astarte (see at chapter 14:23)."5

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49.  "Matsêbôth are not actual images of gods, but stones set up as memorials….   As the matsêbôth of the Canaanites were dedicated to Baal, so were the ’àshêrîm to Astarte, the female nature-deity of those tribes."  

50.   ’Àshêrâh means "an idol of the Canaanite nature-goddess….   The name ’àshêrâh was transferred from the idol to the goddess of nature (cf. [First Kings] 15:13 & 18:19 and Second  Kings 21:7 etc.), and was used of the Phoenician Astarte ([First Kings] chapter 16:33 and Second Kings 13:6 & 17:16 etc.) — just as ’àshêrôth in Judges 4:7 alternates with ’àshêrôth in Judges 2:13.

51.   "These idols [even] the Israelites…associated with the worship of Jehovah” — by way of later syncretism!   “The male qedêshîm [or ‘sodomites’] had emasculated themselves in religious frenzy, in honor of the Canaanitish goddess of nature — and were called ‘Galli’ by the Romans.   (Cf. the Archigallus, alias Attis the high priest of the Greeks’ Cybele or the great mother-goddess.)

52.   "They [the male qedêshîm] were Canaanites who had found their way into the land of Judah, when idolatry gained the upper hand….   They appear here as ‘strangers’ among the Israelites — and travelled about in all directions, begging for the Syrian goddess….   Even in the time of Augustine [A.D. 400], they went about asking for alms in the streets of Carthage, as a remnant of the Phoenician worship."6   For Augustine’s Carthage, like Phrygia, was a colony of Phoenicia.

53.   Keil and Delitzsch give also a good description of the behaviour of the priests of Baal and Astarte on Mount Carmel.   It reminds one very much of the rites of the later Montanists (who, as newly-baptized recruits to Christianity just before then still worshipping Astarte, derived much of their ritual from this early Canaanitish and Phoenician Paganism).

54.   So too (though without knowing this!) do modern Pentecostalists.   See paragraphs 432-36 below.   For modern Pentecostalism is largely a revival of Montanism.

55.   Comment Keil and Delitzsch: "The prophets of Baal…called solemnly upon Baal from morning to noon….   No answer had been received before noon….   The priests of Baal did actually begin therefore to cry louder than before — and scratched themselves with swords and lances, till the blood poured out ‘according to their custom.’

56.   "Statements made by ancient authors concerning the processions of the strolling bands of the Syrian goddess (state):  ‘A discordant howling opens the scene.   They then rush wildly about, in perfect confusion….   One of them, who surpasses all the rest in frenzy, begins to "prophesy" with sighs and groans….   The Galli…cuts himself with swords….   The climax of the Bacchi-antic (or Dionysian) dance in the case of the priests of Baal…, was the "prophesying."’"7

57.   Rev. Professor Dr. J.R. Lumby tells us in his Cambridge Bible comment on First Kings 18:19-29 that "Jezebel had introduced the female as well as the male divinity — so that nothing might be wanting to the complete observance of the worship to which she had been trained at home (in Phoenicia)….   One part of the heathen worship consisted of a dance

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