Monday, June 3, 2013

Barbara Walker: Baal-Hadad

tCanaanite Lord of the Hunt, slain by priestesses of Asherah, who buried him in a bog (earth-womb) and resurrected him after seven years, the standard term of kingship in primitive Palestine.1 He was mated to Asherah as Lady of the Pomegranate at Hadad-Rimmon, and his name was borne by two biblical kings, Ben-hadad and Hadad-ezer (Zechariah 12:11).
1. Hooke, M.E.M., 87.
[Walker, "Baal-Hadad"] 
A sampling of the source - Hooke's Middle Eastern Mythology (the sample including every line including the word "seven" or "year" or "king" or "kingship") - shows that he nowhere says anything about the standard term of kingship in primitive Palestine. In addition, her restatement of the story of Baal-hadad is severely misleading:
In this myth the handmaidens of the goddess Asherah, the Lady of the Sea, and of Yarikh, the moon-god, are sent to entreat the help of El against the attacks of monstrous creatures sent by Baal which are devouring them like worms. El tells them to go into the wilderness and hide themselves, and there give birth to wild beasts with horns and humps like buffaloes. Baal-Hadad will see them and chase after them. They do so and Baal is seized with desire to hunt the creatures to which they have given birth. But the chase proves disastrous to the god; he is caught by the monsters and disappears for seven years, sunk in a bog and helpless. During his absence things fall into chaos on earth. [Hooke, pp. 86-87]

It would also have been relevant to point out that both the biblical kings were kings of neighbouring nations, so their names cannot be seen as indicative regarding the beliefs of the biblical authors.

Walker, Barbara. Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets; again, page numbers are omitted as the articles are in alphabetic order.
Hooke, S.H., Middle Eastern Mythology, pp. 86, 87, available on

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