One of my earliest interest in the paranormal was not vampire but demonology. My attraction to history leads to legends and folklores. A common mistake is Beelzebub who is not the King of Hell.
Infernal Dictionary It’s a Thing
Beelzebub the prince of demons’ story starts like this. In the year 1818, a quite unique dictionary went under publication in two separate volumes. Between the years 1818 and 1863, that book went through reprints six individual times, and many changes applied.
The gathering of superstitions mixed with discoveries from multiple legends, folklores, and bibles, created not only demonology but the Dictionnaire Infernal.
The dictionary is a universal library revolving around characters described in books, legends, and folklore. It speaks of manifestation and magic happening in Hell.
The occult sciences are the main interest when it comes to the dictionary describing grimoires, traditions, and mysterious beliefs from obscure origins.
The work itself found its inspiration in people like Voltaire, among others. Its primary goal is reassuring anyone reading that believing in God means something we lack to understand.
“To deny that there are sorrows and rewards after death is to deny the existence of God. Since God exists, it must be necessarily so. But only God could know the punishments meted out to the guilty or the place that holds them. All the catalogs made here before are only the fruit of a more or less disordered imagination. Theologians should leave the poets the depiction of Hell, and not themselves seek to frighten minds with hideous paintings and appalling books.”Collin de Plancy
The Dictionary On Second Thought
Collin de Plancy, someone whose work inspired the dictionary and showed to be a skeptic of faith, changed over time. In 1830 de Plancy became a loyal Roman Catholic to the detriment of his followers.
This radical change had the author of the dictionary revise his work according to the theology revolving around Roman Catholicism.
His work, in collaboration with the French priest named Jacques Paul Migne, went through publication and received authenticity from the Roman Catholic Church. The book titled, Dictionary of the Occult Sciences or Theological Encyclopaedia is a popular book for research.
While the Dictionnaire Infernal reflects the thoughts of de Plancy with rationalism meeting faith depicting the evidence of people accepting to believe without evidence. He compares two different fortune-teller work, chiromancy, and cartomancy.
One based on the physiology of an individual and the other on cards. One is unique, while the other would give twenty different outcomes if meeting with twenty different tarot readers. Beelzebub the prince of demons is only the start of the history of demonology.
A Falling God Reborn
Beelzebub comes from the Philistine mythology, and the name is, of course, a translation of the original written language. Back in those days, Beelzebub was a God to the Philistine people who worshipped in the city of Ekron, also known as Accaron. It was a period in time part of the five towns found in Philistine.
The once God suffered a hard fall when rebranded as a demon in Abrahamic religions. In fact, the name itself, Beelzebub, has an association with the God Baal. Baal is an ancient god found around antique Egypt based on a sun belief.
Beelzebub then became part of Baal to be one. Many religions merged over the centuries.
The beliefs misplaced and guided to the desire of a handful of people. It was to give a bad reputation to what was once right in the eyes of others. Beelzebub is one of them.
Meet The Prince of Hell
People often mix Beelzebub and Satan. Nevertheless, those two separate individuals are quite different and aren’t the same. In Christianity, Beelzebub can be another usage for the word demon but not Satan. To be more precise, Beelzebub is actually one of the seven princes of Hell.
The demon Beelzebub according to demonology, has the capability of flying, henceforth the nickname Lord of the Flies. However, if we look into the Testament of Solomon, his name appears written as Beelzebul yet still retains the title of a prince of Hell or demons.
It mentions that Beelzebul formerly led Heaven’s angels related to the Hesperus star—the Venus planet known as Evening Star. If written Beelzebul, the name can have an association with Lucifer, but if written Beelzebub, it does not, and again, both are two different identities.
Beelzebul’s association with destruction is causing worship from men to weaken priests. Some believe that Beelzebul spread emotions such as lust, jealousy, resulting in murders and wars.
King Solomon, in the testament of the same name, supposedly written by his hand, mentions Beelzebul as enslaved by the King to build his temple, which is part of the Old Testament in the bible.
Is it A Multiple Personality Disorder Maybe?
Beelzebub’s description has him as part of the high hierarchy of Hell. In the 1700s, an occultist named Johann Weyer describes Beelzebub as a chief lieutenant to Lucifer—The Emperor of Hell. Beelzebub is the overlord of the Order of the Fly. He is one of the three most prominent fallen angels among Leviathan and Lucifer.
However, when John Milton wrote his classic poem Paradise Lost published in 1667, an unholy trinity saw the light of day consisting of Beelzebub, Astaroth, and Lucifer. In his view, Beelzebub would be the first in command after Lucifer.
“Than whom, Satan except, non higher sat.”John Milton
Beelzebub the prince of demons has many faces and secrets according to various sources.
The greatest sin associated with Beelzebub is his pride. However, when looking at Peter Binsfeld’s work, Beelzebub’s association was with gluttony. Another job, this time by Francis Barrett, asserted that Beelzebub was the prince of false gods.
The Controversy of All Controversies
The accusation of possession by demonic presences can be both an insult and used as a way to insult and degrade people in many religious gatherings. Some people like Pharisees rose the possibility that Jesus himself used Beelzebub’s demonic powers to heal people, Luke 11:14—26.
Beelzebub’s list of possession accusations goes a long way. One of them being Sister Madeleine de Demandolx de la Palud. In the year 1611, her relationship with Father Jean-Baptiste Gaufridi had traumatic aftermath leading to her execution. Her reputation forever tarnished as a witch among nuns.
Following those possessions, the priest himself accused Beelzebub of influencing the horrifying Salem Witch Trial in the State of Massachusetts.
In fact, the mention of the name Beelzebub was often and repetitive. The Salem Witch Trials was a case of mass hysteria on an individual level surpassing all others in North America and Europe.
This led to the pamphlet bearing the name Of Beelzebub and His Plot by Cotton Mather.
Beelzebub Is Not Satan
The history of Beelzebub is a captivating one but quite different than Satan or Lucifer. Highly ranked in Hell doesn’t mean the fallen angel rules over the realm.
Demonology is a sector I most enjoy, and while many believe Beelzebub to be a synonym of Satan and Lucifer is wrong, this little article shows the difference.
I believe Beelzebub is one of the most exciting demons in theology, legends, and folklore.
Beelzebub’s reputation throughout history proves to be quite mysterious. Whether one believes in Heaven and Hell or not, no one can argue the fascinating story of the once fallen angel, Beelzebub the prince of demons.