🔼The name Beelzebub: Summary
- Lord Of The Fly, Lord Of The Flies
- From (1) the verb בעל (ba'al), to be lord, and (2) the noun זבוב (zebub), fly.
🔼The name Beelzebub in the Bible
Beelzebul is the English transliteration of the Greek word for Baal-zebub, and Beelzebub is a bit of a hybrid of the two. Beelzebub, or Beelzebul or Beelzeboul, is the New Testament name for satan, a.k.a. the devil (Matthew 10:25).
The name Beelzebub is used 7 times in the New Testament; see full concordance.
🔼Etymology of the name Beelzebub
The Greek name Beelzebub consists of two elements. Firstly the common Hebrew word Baal, meaning owner, husband:
The verb בעל (ba'al) means to exercise dominion over; to own, control or be lord over. The ubiquitous noun בעל (ba'al) means lord, master and even husband, and its feminine counterpart בעלה (ba'ala) means mistress or landlady.
God is obviously called 'lord' all over the Bible and the sin of the Baal priests (1 Kings 18:40) was not that they called upon some other deity but rather their incessant howling of the word 'lord' without any further responsibility or effects (see Matthew 7:21 and 11:4-5).
The second part of the name Beelzebub comes from the Hebrew noun זבוב (zebub), meaning fly:
The verb זבב (zbb) means to zip aimlessly to and fro. Noun זבוב (zebub) describes the fly.
Beelzebub literally means Lord Of The Fly but in this case, the singular should be interpreted with an English plural (for instance: the phrase "king of the Amalekites" would in Hebrew be written as "king of the Amalekite").
Beelzebub means Lord Of The Flies but since flies accept no central rule, it's an empty or even mock title.
Also see our article on the pseudo-name Lucifer.