While researching another issue, I inspected 2 Kings 1:2

  • וישלח מלאכים ויאמר אלהם
    • then he sends tasked-men/representatives and telling them
  • לכו דרשו
    • to go summon
  • בְּבַעַל זְבוּב
    • in Baal Zvuv
  • אֱלֹהֵי עקרון
    • gods of Akron
  • אם אחיה מחלי זה
    • if I shall live beyond this injury

I realise that translations interpret that Baal Zevuv as a person and that the phrase {בְּבַעַל זְבוּב אֱלֹהֵי עקרון} is translated {Baal Zebub god of Akron}.

I dispute those translations, mainly and solely based on the grammar.

  • {אלהים elohim} is used in the Hebrew of the Bible in two ways.

    1. A reference reserved for the singularity of the Almighty.
    2. For all others, is used as plural "gods"
  • The phrase does not say {מבעל זבוב = from Baal Zvuv} or {את בעל זבוב = datively-directed at Baal Zvuv}. But says {בבעל זבוב = in Baal Zvuv}.

  • {אלהי} is the adjunctive form of {אלהים}.
  • Since in Gen 2, {מלאכת} = {commission/committed-task}, therefore {מלאך} should not be "angel" or "messenger" but "commissioner" or "tasked-person".

Question: Could you please argue against my opinion that in 2 Kings 1:2, Baal Zvuv is not a person?

This is a grammatical question. A technical rather than a spiritual question. I am requesting for arguments in form of grammatical analysis to demolish my opinion, for arguments that is unfavourable to this opinion.

If possible provide cross-reference to other passages in the Hebrew of the Bible - for example perhaps the usage and structure somewhere else proves that {ב} can be used as {from} rather than as {in}.

If you quote "established authors/authorities", their opinions you quote should be based on grammatical analysis and logic, not on ethereal inspiration/revelation.

For example,

Akron is already the place, how could Baal Zvuv be the place.

BTW, this is not a question on the grammar of the greek text of the septuagint. Therefore, quoting the septuagint will not help with understanding the Hebrew text. (And since my religion rejects the septuagint).

  • 1
    Baal Zebub is known from extra-biblical sources to have been an ANE god, so semantic arguments are not going to change this. Jan 27, 2017 at 20:39
  • Extra biblical sources written after books of kings? My motivation is to INVALIDATE those so-called extra-biblical sources, and post-malakhi sources.
    – Cynthia
    Jan 29, 2017 at 6:49
  • Ther Book of Kings was written towards the end of the monarchy and completed during the Babylonian Exile. However, see the Jewish Encyclopedia: "Name of a god of the Philistine city of Ekron, mentioned only in connection with the illness of Ahaziah, king of Israel, in 842 B.C. (II Kings i. 2, 3, 6, 16)" Not the extra-biblical sources I had in mind but from this, Baal Zebub was clearly known to the Deuteronomist, author of Kings. Jan 29, 2017 at 8:50
  • "clearly known" ? How?
    – Cynthia
    Feb 1, 2017 at 8:43
  • Cynthia: 2 Kings 2:2,3,6 Feb 1, 2017 at 20:32

1 Answer 1


It is not necessary to understand בְּבַעַל זְבוּב (bĕbaʿal zĕbûb) as referring to the name of place rather than the name of a god.

According to Gesenius,1 sometimes the verb דָּרַשׁ (dāraš) takes an object prefixed with the preposition ב. For example, in 1 Sam. 28:7, to indicate that Saul would enquire of the witch, it is written, וְאֶדְרְשָׁה בָּהּ (wĕʾedrĕšâ bāh)—“and I shall enquire of her.” Likewise, in 1 Chr. 10:14, it is written, וְלֹא דָרַשׁ בַּיהְוֶה (wĕlōʾ dāraš bayhweh)—“and he did not enquire of Yahveh.” Neither of these would be intelligible if understood as indicating places.


Gesenius, Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm. Gesenius’s Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures. Trans. Tregelles, Samuel Prideaux. London: Bagster, 1860.


1 p. 209

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