2Co 6:15 What harmony exists between the Messiah and Beliar, or what do a believer and an unbeliever have in common?

"Belial aka Beliar" is a Hebrew word meaning something like "worthlessness one":


בְּלִיַּעַל belı̂ya‛al bel-e-yah'-al From H1097 and H3276; without profit, worthlessness; by extension destruction, wickedness (often in connection with H376, H802, H1121, etc.): - Belial, evil, naughty, ungodly (men), wicked. Total KJV occurrences: 27

†בְּלִיַּ֫עַל S1100 TWOT246g GK117527 n.[m.] worthlessness (cpd. בְּלִי not, without and יַעַל worth, use, profit)—בּ׳ Dt 13:14 + 20 times; בְּלִיָּ֑עַל ψ 101:3 + 5 times;—the quality of being useless, good for nothing. 1. abstr. אִישׁ (ה)בליעל, אַנְשֵׁי הבליעל, worthless, good-for-nothing, base fellows 1 S 25:25; 2 S 16:7; 20:1; 1 K 21:13; Pr 16:27; = בֶּן־ב׳ 1 S 25:17, בְּנֵי ב׳ Dt 13:14; Ju 19:22; 20:13; 1 S 2:12; 10:27; 1 K 21:10, 13; 2 Ch 13:7; בַּת ב׳ 1 S 1:16 (drunken woman); עֵד ב׳ base witness Pr 19:28; דְּבַר ב׳ base, wicked thing ψ 41:9 (yet cf. 3 infr.), 101:3 (add prob. also 1 S 29:10, so 𝔊 We Dr); דָּבָר … ב׳ (elliptical and in apposition) Dt 15:9. 2. concr. elliptical of אישׁ ב׳ 2 S 23:6 Jb 34:18; כָּל־אִישׁ רַע וּבְלִיַּעַל 1 S 30:22; אָדָם בְּלִיַּעַל Pr 6:12. 3. ruin, destruction: so ψ 41:9 according to De Che al., but v. supr.; יֹעֵץ ב׳ counsellor of ruin Na 1:11; ב׳ alone a man of ruin, destroyer Na 2:1; נַחֲלֵי ב׳ floods of destruction (|| שְׁאוֹל) 2 S 22:5 = ψ 18:5.

Brown, F., Driver, S. R., & Briggs, C. A. (1977). Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (p. 116). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

The LXX translates it with παρανομοι:

Deu 13:13  Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;

(Brenton) (Deut 13:13) Evil men have gone out from you, and have caused > >all the inhabitants of their land to fall away, saying, Let us go and worship other gods, whom ye knew not,

(LXX) (Deut 13:13) Ἐξήλθοσαν ἄνδρες παράνομοι ἐξ ὑμῶν καὶ ἀπέστησαν πάντας τοὺς κατοικοῦντας τὴν πόλιν αὐτῶν λέγοντες Πορευθῶμεν καὶ λατρεύσωμεν θεοῖς ἑτέροις, οὓς οὐκ ᾔδειτε,

Paul seems to allude to this passage in 2 Thess 2:

2Th 2:3 Do not let anyone deceive you in any way, for it will not come unless the rebellion [ἀποστασία, "falling away"] takes place first and the man of sin, who is destined for destruction, is revealed. 2Th 2:4 He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god and object of worship. As a result, he seats himself in the sanctuary of God and himself declares that he is God.

Modern OTs do not treat Belial as a proper name but rather as a common noun but Paul transliterates Belial as a name.

Does Paul consider the "man of sin" to be a person named "Belial"?


The question has jumped from 2 Corinthians ch. 6 and makes an invalid association with the "man of sin" of 2 Thess. 2:3 which is not meant in 2 Cor. 6. The verse is dealing with comparisons of opposites and being unequally yoked with unbelievers. It should not be lifted away from its companion verses of 14 and 16.

"14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. " (NKJV)

The "light", "Christ" and "believer" are equals, as "darkness", "Belial", and "unbeliever" are equals. Belial is only used this once in the NT.

Gr. Belial, Strong's 955: "955 Belíal (transliterated from the OT 1100 /glṓssa, "worthless, vile, wickedness") – Belial, an appellation of Satan which stresses his deep-seated wickedness – "the one who is utterly worthless because vile."

It is the opposite of the person of Christ, and therefor should be thought of as the person of the Adversary (Satan). But, in context Belial stands for all unbelievers, just all believers are in Christ.

To be ministrants of God (vs. 4) they could not walk with the wicked ones, the idolatrous unbelievers.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown commentary on vs. 15:

"Belial—Hebrew, "worthlessness, unprofitableness, wickedness." As Satan is opposed to God, and Antichrist to Christ; Belial being here opposed to Christ, must denounce all manner of Antichristian uncleanness [Bengel].

he that believeth with an infidel—Translate, "a believer with an unbeliever." Source: here.

The "man of sin" of 2 Thess. 2:3 was speaking of a specific man, not of a type. The entire subject of 2 Thess. chap. 2 was the coming of Christ, and you will notice that it was spoken in the contemporary historical setting of the first century A.D.

2 Cor. 2:7,

"for the secret of the lawlessness doth already work, ..." (YLT)

Paul wrote the words in a letter to those living in the first century AD. The "man of sin", or the "lawlessness" was already at work in their time, so the falling away of verse 3 was about to happen when the letter was written. It involved the revealing of a particular man who would be working / acting under the influence of the Adversary / the devil with power and lying deceptions.

A full and complete discussion of that particular "man of sin" is beyond this question, and would be considered by the moderators as off topic. You can find much information on the contemporary historical aspect of the coming of the Lord, which is the subject of 2 Thess. chap. 2, at my site: ShreddingTheVeil.

  • This response barely extends past information already provided by the question itself, and what little else it offers is just speculation. Belial is mentioned in other texts of the time period, so a developed answer should touch on those.
    – user2910
    Jun 26 '17 at 14:35
  • I was attempting to be brief. Maybe the added material will be of some help.
    – Gina
    Jun 27 '17 at 11:52
  • Hi Gina. I did a search of your site and did not find any reference to Belial, Beliar or Man of Sin.
    – Ruminator
    Jul 18 '18 at 13:23
  • Ruminator, I was trying to point out the contemporary historical perspective of the writings of the new testament which is the subject of most of the posts at my site, & which is also the background setting for 2 Thess. ch. 2. I think I have side comments in one or two of my posts about the "man of sin", tho I can't remember where. But, I don't have a specific post on that individual, as I do not think we can identify him with info we have now. It is enough to know that whoever he was he was a Jew, and he lived at the time the book was written.
    – Gina
    Jul 18 '18 at 21:57

2 Corinthians 6:

15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?

Belial Βελιάρ G955, this word appears exactly once in the Bible, including the LXX OT.
It comes from the Hebrew word בְּלִיַּעַל beliyyaal H1100. In LXX, H1100 is translated as worthless, etc., and it is not transliterated. In MT and LXX, it is not considered to be a proper name.

By the time of the Dead Sea scrolls, things changed:

In The War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness,[20] one of the Dead Sea scrolls, Belial is the leader of the Sons of Darkness:

You made Belial for the pit, angel of enmity; in darkness is his domain, his counsel is to bring about wickedness and guilt. All the spirits of his lot are angels of destruction, they walk in the laws of darkness; towards it goes their only desire.[21]

It is used as a proper name here.

Does Paul consider the "man of sin" to be a person named "Belial"?

If not, Paul would have used it at least as a personification.

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