The 2001 Translation Translator NotesNote

BaAl, BeEl, Bel, and El

Throughout the Ancient Scriptures of IsraEl (OT) you will read of Gods, people, and places with names that start with BaAl, BeEl, and Bel. These terms mean the Lord, the Master, or the Owner, and they refer to various gods of nations, not necessarily to a particular god. Rather, this word was just a title for a God, and the God’s name (or the place that he/it represented) follows the title, such as BeEl Phegor (as found at Numbers 25:3). And where people just called their god BaAl (or BeEl), they were referring to the lord or god of a particular city or land. Also, where a person’s name includes one of these terms (such as, BelShazzar), it usually means that the person was named after a local god (in this case, Shazzar).

Of course, having the title BaAl or BeEl in a name doesn’t necessarily imply that a person is a worshiper of a pagan god, for several faithful worshipers of Jehovah also had that title as part of their names. For example, the faithful Judge Gideon came to be known as JeroBaAl (meaning ‘May BaAl Defend Himself’), because of his action in cutting down an altar to BaAl. Also, one of King Saul’s grandsons (through faithful JoNathan) was named MeriBaAl (meaning ‘Opposer of BaAl’), one of King David’s faithful warriors was named BaAlJah (meaning ‘Lord Jehovah’), and David named one of his sons BaAlJada (meaning ‘Lord Knows’).

By the way, BaAl is pronounced Bah-ahl and BeEl is pronounced Beh-el, not Bayel or Beel.
So you will usually find them spelled as BaAl or BeEl herein to remind you of the proper pronunciation.
The reason why it is in two syllables is that it is a combination of two words, ‘The Lord.’
Also notice that the difference in the vowels is probably due to variations in the local pronunciation, or it could have been a spelling choice of later Hebrew translators, since there were no vowels specified in the original writings.

In places where we find the letters ‘El’ at the beginning of a name or place; this is usually just a shortened version of the Hebrew word Elohim, meaning God. So whereas many Bibles show the Greek word ‘Baithelbereth’ (as found at Judges 9:46) as ‘Bethel Bereth,’ we have translated it as ‘the House of God Bereth.’ For ‘Beth (or Baith)’ means ‘the house (or temple) of,’ ‘El’ means ‘God,’ and ‘Bereth’ is that God’s name.

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