Belial (also Belhor, Baalial, Beliar, Belias , Beliall, Beliel, Bilael, Belu; from Hebrew בְּלִיַּ֫עַל Bəliyyáʻal; also named Matanbuchus, Mechembuchus, Meterbuchus in older scripts) is an evil demon in the Bible, Christian apocrypha and Jewish apocrypha, and also a term used to characterize the wicked or worthless.
The etymology of the word is uncertain but is most commonly translated as "without worth". Some scholars translate it from Hebrew as "worthless" (Beli yo'il), while others translate it as "yokeless" (Beli ol), "may have no rising" (Belial) or "never to rise" (Beli ya'al). Only a few etymologists have assumed it to be a proper name from the start. In the Book of Jubilees, uncircumcised heathens are called "sons of Belial".
In the Goetia, Belial is said to be very respectful. Belial is also the demon of lies and guilt. As a Prince of Hell, he commands 80 Legions of Demons and is specifically the Prince reigning over the Northern Reaches of Hell. He controls the element of earth and reigns over the Earth demons. The other princes of Hell include Olias, Asmoday, and Vassago.
In the New Testament the word is used to refer to Satan when asked by St. Paul as to how Christ and Belial can agree. The passage in the Bible NIV states: "What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?" (2 Cor 6:15).
Since the Middle Ages he has been considered to be a powerful king of Hell that gives excellent familiars to his followers. As a demon he was said to have an agreeable aspect, and to induce to any type of sins, especially those related to sex and lust. Sebastien Michaelis states that Belial seduces by means of arrogance and his adversary is St. Francis of Paola; in this sense his name is translated as "Lord of Arrogance" or "Lord of Pride" (Baal ial).
In the Biblia Vulgata fewer allusions to this demon are made, referring to Belial as torrents of death, and to impious men as sons of Belial and men of Belial.
Belial is also mentioned in the Fragments of a Zadokite Work (which is also known as The Damascus Document (CD)), which states that during the eschatological age, "Belial shall be let loose against Israel, as God spoke through Isaiah the prophet." (6:9). The Fragments also speak of "three nets of Belial" which are said to be fornication, wealth, and pollution of the sanctuary. (6:10-11) In this work, Belial is sometimes presented as an agent of divine punishment and sometimes as a rebel, as Mastema is. It was Belial who inspired the Egyptian sorcerers, Jochaneh and his brother, to oppose Moses and Aaron. The Fragments also say that anyone who is ruled by the spirits of Belial and speaks of rebellion should be condemned as a necromancer and wizard.
Belial also plays a significant role in the Ascension of Isaias.
More recent adaptations have taken Belial in many ways, sometimes only using the name. The classic 1922 film Nosferatu says that the titular vampire originated from "Belial's seed," implying Belial's hand in the creation of vampires. One of the possessing demons in the later film The Exorcism of Emily Rose claims to be Belial, in this case possessing a small child.
The role-playing game In Nomine, based around angels and fallen angels, has Belial as Hell's Demon prince of Fire and the enemy of Gabriel, Archangel of Fire, something of a change from other versions of Belial which identify him more with earth of the four classical elements. In Aldous Huxley's Ape and Essence, the post-apocalyptic civilization of Los Angeles worships Belial.
Novels have done many interpretations of Belial as well. In Philip K. Dick's The Divine Invasion, Belial is The Adversary, whose influence around Earth obfuscates reality and interferes with Yah's powers. Steven Brust's To Reign in Hell features Belial as one of the Firstborn, an angel of the highest order that takes the form of a dragon.
In the video games Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy XII, Belial appears as one of the games Lucavi and Espers respectively, entitled "Belias the Gigas". In Final Fantasy Tactics, the character Weigraf turns into the Lucavi Belias once he is defeated. However in Final Fantasy XII, the player must collect him in order to progress through the Feywood. In both cases Belial must be defeated as a boss to progress the game.
The video game Odin Sphere, which is heavily based on Norse mythology, features a dragon named Belial as a boss character that regurgitates the armor of fallen soldiers to harm the player. For most of the game he is enslaved by magicians or elves.
In the video game Devil May Cry 4, one of the early bosses is "Berial" ('R's are interchangeable for 'L's when translating from Japanese). He appears as a flaming centaur and introduces himself as the "conqueror of the Fire Hell."
In the horror action-adventure video game Realms of the Haunting, Belial appears as one of the main antagonists of character Adam Randall.
It is not uncommon to use variants of the name as well; one example might be Be'lal in Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time fantasy series. In it, Be'lal is a member of the thirteen Forsaken, a rough analogue to demons in the world of the novels.
Belial was also in the manga and anime Angel Sanctuary as the Mad Hatter, a fallen angel and the Satan of Pride. She was in love with Lucifer, though her love was never returned, and because of such, she put a curse on him: the day he would love her would be when her feelings would change. She was once Raphael's assistant, but aided Lucifer in turning angels. Though she is female, she has the appearance of a man, and thus confuses many of the characters.
In the anime Kaze no Stigma (Stigma of the Wind) during the last episode the Character Lapis is trying to summon Belial, she says that she is attempting to become "human" through others' pain.
In Dungeons and Dragons, Belial is the former ruler of the fourth layer of the Nine Hells, Phlegethos. Like his classical self, he is described as a very lustful being.
In the Diablo video game series, Belial is one of the seven Great Evils. He is never seen in the games, but is described in the first game's manual as the Lord of Lies.
In Metalocalypse, Belial is one of the demons summoned by a Satanic priest. He later appears (albeit, with only his arm visible) to destroy the Church of Satan and kill its inhabitants.
Belial makes appearances in the Megami Tensei games, wherein he is depicted as a large, red-scaled, and winged demon wielding a trident. He also makes an appearance in the BloodRayne game (as Beliar), where he is a monster that keeps growing until it kills you.
In the Warhammer 40k universe, Belial is the company master of the veteran first company unit of the Dark Angels chapter, the Deathwing. In keeping with the Dark Angels theme other characters from the chapter are similarly named after darker archangels such as the chapter master Azrael named for the archangel of death and Sammael, a distortion of Samael.
SCHIEFERDECKER: Triumph, Belial Ist Nun Erleget. Auf, Auf, Mein Herz. in Te Domine Speravi. Weicht, Ihr Schwarzen Trauerwolken. Concertos: No. 9 in G; No. 13 in C
Nov 01, 2012; SCHIEFERDECKER Triumph, Belial ist nun erleget. Auf, auf, mein Herz. In te Domine speravi. Weicht, ihr schwarzen...
Belial in spangles: in November 1975 Barrie Bullen described the 1887 opening exhibition at Sir Coutts Lindsay's Grosvenor Gallery, which sparked a fierce debate about the decadence of British taste.(FROM THE APOLLO ARCHIVES)(Reprint)
Jun 01, 2009; It was one thing to identify the mood of Burne-Jones's pictures but it was another to interpret that mood. The most favourable...