This is the theory first advanced by Anderson in his Constitution, and subsequently developed more extensively by Doctor Oliver in all his works, but especially in his Landmarks.
As history, the doctrine is of no value, for it wants the element of authenticity.
That is to say, the people there abandoned the worship of the true God, and by their dispersion lost all knowledge of His existence, and of the principles of truth upon which Freemasonry is founded.
Hebrew, He was the chief divinity among the Phoenicians, the Canaanites, and the Babylonians. It was among the Orientalists a comprehensive term, denoting divinity of any kind without reference to class or to sex.
The Sabaists understood Baal as the sun, and Baalim, in the plural, were the sun, moon, and stars, "the host of heaven.'' Whenever the Israelites made one of their almost.
When the people saw the fire come down and consume the offering, they acknowledged the weakness of their idol, and falling on their faces cried out, Jehovah hu hahelohim, meaning Jehovah, He is the God.
And Hosea afterward promises the people that they shall abandon their idolatry, and that he would take away from them the Shemoth hahbaalim, the names of the Baalim, so that they should be no more remembered by their names, and the people should in that day "know Jehovah."Hence we see that there was an evident antagonism in the orthodox Hebrew mind between Jehmah and Baal.
In brief, Baal seems to have been wherever his cultus was active, a development of the old sun worship.
In Hebrew, which the writer of Genesis connects with, balal, meaning to confound, in reference to the confusion of tongues; but the true derivation is probably from Bab-El, meaning the gate of Et or the gate of God, because perhaps a Temple was the first building raised by the primitive nomads.
A labial or lip-made consonant standing second in most alphabets, and in the Hebrew or Phoenician signifies house, probably from its form of a tent or shelter, as in the illustration, and finally the Hebrew z, having the numerical value two.
When united with the leading letter of the alphabet, it signifies Ab, meaning Father, Master, or the one in authority, as applied to Hiram the Architect. The Hebrew name of the Deity connected with this letter is ..., Bakhur.
The latter was, however, worshiped by the Jews, whenever they became heterodox, and by all the Oriental or Shemitic nations as a supreme divinity, representing the sun in some of his modifications as the ruler of the day.
In Tyre, Baal was the sun, and Ashtaroth, the moon.
Exterior to the walls was a wide and deep trench lined with the same material.