- (Beliar)One of the most important and evil DEMONs, who is deceptively beautiful in appearance and soft in voice, but full of treachery, recklessness, and lies. The 68th of the 72 SPIRITS OF SOLOMON, Belial is dedicated to creating wickedness and guilt in humankind, especially in the form of sexual perversions, fornication, and lust. St. Paul considered him to be chief of demons. Belial’s name may be derived from the Hebrew term beli ya’al, which means “without worth.” In Hebrew lore, Belial was the next angel created after LUCIFER and was partly of the order of angels and partly of the order of virtues. He was evil from the start, one of the first to revolt against God. After his fall from heaven, he became the personification of lies and evil. Belial’s name is sometimes a synonym for SATAN or the ANTICHRIST. In the Old Testament, the phrase “sons of Belial” refers to worthlessness and recklessness.In the Testament of Solomon, a pseudepigraphical text, Belial danced before King SOLOMON and was among the demons who worked under the king’s command, ruled by Solomon’s magical ring.In the Dead Sea Scrolls, Belial is described as the leader of the Sons of Darkness, the chief of all devils, dedicated to destruction.In a Qumrun text called the Testament of Amran (Q543, 545–48), Belial is one of the WATCHERS, whose three titles are Belial, Prince of Darkness, and King of Evil. He is empowered over all darkness and his every way and every work are darkness.JOHANN WEYER said Belial commands 80 legions of demons and serves as infernal ambassador to Turkey. According to the magical grimoire the Lemegeton, sacrifices and offerings are necessary to invoke him. He appears as a beautiful angel riding a chariot pulled by firebreathing dragons, and he speaks sweetly. He will break his promises to magicians, but those who manage to gain his true favor are handsomely rewarded with good FAMILIARs and other favors, such as preferences for senatorships or political offices.FURTHER READING:- Eisenman, Robert, and Michael Wise. The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered. London: Element Books, 1992.- Hyatt, Victoria, and Joseph W. Charles. The Book of Demons. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1974.- The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. Vols. 1 & 2. Edited by James H. Charlesworth. 1983. Reprint, New York: Doubleday, 1985.
Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology. Rosemary Ellen Guiley. 2009.