Beelzebub The Fallen Angel

Beelzebub (Beelzeboul) is known in demonology as one of the seven princes of Hell. In Jewish and Christian lore, also known as Syrian god who became demonized as one of the Fallen Angel. According to the Kabbalah, Beelzebub was the prince of demons who governed the nine evil hierarchies of the underworld. Also known as Baal-zebub, “the lord of the flies,” the name is a distortion of Baal-zebul, the chief Canaanite or Phoenician god meaning “lord of the divine abode” or “lord of the heavens.” Beelzebub has always been considered a demon of great power, and sorcerers have conjured him at great risk. Most depictions show him as an enormous fly.

The source for the name Beelzebub is in 2 Kings 1:2-3, 6, 16, written Ba‘al Zəbûb, referring to a deity worshipped by the Philistines. Beelzebub is commonly described as placed high in Hell's hierarchy. According to the stories of the 16th-century occultist Johann Weyer, Beelzebub led a successful revolt against the Devil, is the chief lieutenant of Lucifer, the Emperor of Hell, and presides over the Order of the Fly. Similarly, the 17th-century exorcist Sebastien Michaelis, in his Admirable History (1612), placed Beelzebub among the three most prominent fallen angels, the other two being Lucifer and Leviathan, whereas two 18th-century works identified an unholy trinity consisting of Beelzebub, Lucifer, and Astaroth. John Milton featured Beelzebub seemingly as the second-ranking of the many fallen angels in his epic poem Paradise Lost, first published in 1667.

From John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress (1678)

In the Testament of Solomon, Beelzebub is the Prince of Demons, and he is summoned and subdued by King Solomon with the help of his magical ring. Solomon commands Beelzebub to explain the manifestation of demons, and he promises to bring to the king all unclean spirits bound. He tells Solomon that he lives in the Evening Star (Venus). He alone is the Prince of Demons because he was the highest-ranking angel in heaven, and he is the only one left of the heavenly angels who fell. He was accompanied by another fallen angel (Abezethibou), who was cast into the Red Sea.

One day, Solomon sets Beelzebub to cutting blocks of Theban marble for his temple. All the other demons cry out. Solomon tells the demon that if he wishes to obtain his release, he will tell the king about other “heavenly things.” Beelzebub says that Solomon can strengthen his house by doing the following: burn oil of myrrh, frankincense, sea bulbs, spikenard, and saffron, and light seven lamps during an earthquake. Lighting the seven lamps at dawn will reveal the heavenly dragons pulling the chariot of the sun. Solomon does not believe him, and he orders the demon to continue cutting marble and producing other demons for interrogation.

Beelzebub also was among the demons blamed for the demonic possession cases. In 1566, he tormented a young girl named Nicole Obry in Laon, France. Her daily exorcisms before huge crowds were used by the Catholic Church, embroiled in religious struggles with the French Huguenots, as examples of the church’s power over the devil. Through Obry, Beelzebub claimed the Huguenots as his own people, gleefully noting that their supposed heresies made them even more precious to him. The demon was exorcised through repeated administration of holy waters.

Beelzebub also was blamed for the bewitchment of nuns at Loudon, Louviers, and Aix-en-Provence in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, leading to the fiery deaths of his accused lieutenants, Father Louis Gaufridi and Father Urbain Grandier.  

One of the demon’s most notorious appearances in the 20th century was as the possessing devil of Anna Ecklund. He entered the young woman at the behest of her father Jacob, angry that Anna would not engage in incestuous sex with him. The demon left on December 23, 1928, in a terrible roar of “Beelzebub, Judas, Jacob, Mina (Anna’s aunt and Jacob’s mistress)” followed by “hell, hell, hell” and a terrible stench.


The Encyclopedia of Angels by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

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