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Children of Waste

Belial, from a Hebrew word that was formed from the combination of two other Hebrew words, pronounced bel-ee, meaning failure, and yaw-al, meaning to be valuable, was a term of scorn meaning to waste one's worth. The word is used in the Old Testament (see The Older Testament) to describe people who were rebellious and lawless. In the New Testament, it's used only once, for Satan.

"Thou didst blaspheme God"

Lawless, rebellious people were referred to as "sons of Belial" or "daughters of Belial." The examples of "children of Belial" provided in the Holy Scriptures below involve idol worshippers, drunkards and homosexuals:

Belial

"Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known" (Deuteronomy 13:13 KJV)

"Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him." (Judges 19:22 KJV)

"And Hannah [Hannah was briefly mistaken for a drunken "daughter of Belial" - she was actually a very righteous woman] answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before The Lord. Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto." (1 Samuel 1:15-16 KJV)

That the term "sons of Belial" was used in a figurative sense is made evident in this example in which the rebellious and wicked sons of Eli were called "sons of Belial" in the same sentence:

"Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not The Lord." (1 Samuel 2:12 KJV)

Before she was widowed and married King David, Abigail's husband Nabal was a "son of Belial"

"for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him" (1 Samuel 25:17 KJV)

It was a "man of Belial" that incited the other Israelite tribes, other than Judah, to not be loyal to King David:

"And there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew a trumpet, and said, We have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel. So every man of Israel went up from after David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah clave unto their king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem." (2 Samuel 20:1-2 KJV)

Jezebel, a "daughter of Belial" if there ever was one, had two "sons of Belial" make false testimony against Naboth so that she could acquire his vineyard by murder:

"And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die."

"And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them. They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died." (1 Kings 21:9-13 KJV)

In the New Testament, the identity of "Belial" is made evident - Satan:

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?" (2 Corinthians 6:14-15 KJV)

Fact Finder: What other names are related to Satan?
See Baal-zebub and Beelzebub


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