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BEECHWORTH—BEELZEBUB

curacy he was for fifteen years rector of Yattendon, Berkshire. From 1900 to 1903 he lectured on pastoral and liturgical theology at King’s College, London, and was chaplain of Lincoln’s Inn, where he became preacher in 1903. He became a canon of Westminster in 1902, and examining chaplain to the bishop of Carlisle in 1905. As a poet he is best known by his share in two volumes—Love in Idleness (1883) and Love’s Looking Glass (1891)—which contained also poems by J. W. Mackail and J. Bowyer Nichols. He was a sympathetic editor and critic of the works of many 16th and 17th century poets, of Richard Crashaw (1905), of Herrick (1907), of John Milton (1900), of Henry Vaughan (1896). Under the pseudonym of “Urbanus Sylvan” he published two successful volumes of essays, Pages from a Private Diary (1898) and Provincial Letters and other Papers (1906). His works also include numerous volumes of sermons and essays on theological subjects.


BEECHWORTH, a town of Bogong county, Victoria, Australia, 172 m. by rail N.E. of Melbourne. Pop. (1901) 7359. The town is the centre of the Ovens goldfields, and the district is mainly devoted to mining with both alluvial and reef working, but much of the land is under cultivation, yielding grain and fruit. The water supply is derived from Lake Kerferd in the vicinity, which is a favourite resort of visitors; the scenery near the town, which lies at an elevation of 1805 ft. among the May Day Hills, being singularly beautiful. The industries of Beechworth include tanning, ironfounding and coach-building.


BEEF (through O. Fr. boef, mod. boeuf, from Lat. bos, bovis, ox, Gr.βοῦς, which show the ultimate connexion with the Sanskrit go, gāus, ox, and thus with “cow”), the flesh of the ox, cow or bull, as used for food. The use of the French word for the meat, while the Saxon name was retained for the animal, has been often noticed, and paralleled with the use of veal, mutton and pork. “Beef” is also used, especially in the plural “beeves,” for the ox itself, but usually in an archaic way. “Corned” or “corn” beef is the flesh cured by salting, i.e. sprinkling with “corns” or granulated particles of salt. “Collared” beef is so called from the roll or collar into which the meat is pressed, after extracting the bones. “Jerked” beef, i.e. meat cut into long thin slices and dried in the sun, like “biltong” (q.v.), comes through the Spanish-American charque, from ccharqui, the Peruvian word for this species of preserved meat. For “Beefeater” see Yeomen of the Guard.


BEEFSTEAK CLUB, the name of several clubs formed in London during the 18th and 19th centuries. The first seems to have been that founded in 1709 with Richard Estcourt, the actor, as steward. Of this the chief wits and great men of the nation were members and its badge was a gridiron. Its fame was, however, entirely eclipsed in 1735 when “The Sublime Society of Steaks” was established by John Rich at Covent Garden theatre, of which he was then manager. It is said that Lord Peterborough supping one night with Rich in his private room, was so delighted with the steak the latter grilled him that he suggested a repetition of the meal the next week. From this started the Club, the members of which delighted to call themselves “The Steaks.” Among them were Hogarth, Garrick, Wilkes, Bubb Doddington and many other celebrities. The rendezvous was the theatre till the fire in 1808, when the club moved first to the Bedford Coffee House, and the next year to the Old Lyceum. In 1785 the prince of Wales joined, and later his brothers the dukes of Clarence and Sussex became members. On the burning of the Lyceum, “The Steaks” met again in the Bedford Coffee House till 1838, when the New Lyceum was opened, and a large room there was allotted the club. These meetings were held till the club ceased to exist in 1867. Thomas Sheridan founded a Beefsteak Club in Dublin at the Theatre Royal in 1749, and of this Peg Woffington was president. The modern Beefsteak Club was founded by J.L. Toole, the actor, in 1876.

See J. Timbs, Clubs and Club Life in London (1873); Walter Arnold, Life and Death of the Sublime Society of Steaks (1871).


BEELZEBUB, Beelzebul, Baalzebub. In 2 Kings i. we read that Ahaziah ben Ahab, king of Israel, fell sick, and sent to inquire of Baalzebub, the god of the Philistine city Ekron, whether he should recover. There is no other mention of this god in the Old Testament. Baal, “lord,” is the ordinary title or word for a deity, especially a local deity, cf. such place names as Baal Hazor (2 Sam. xiii. 23), Baal Hermon (Judges iii. 3), which are probably contractions of fuller forms, like Beth Baal Meon (Josh. xiii. 17), the House or Temple of the Baal of Meon. According to these analogies we should expect Zebub to be a place. No place Zebub, however, is known; and it has been objected that the Baal of some other place would hardly be the god of Ekron. These objections are hardly conclusive.

Usually Zebub is identified with a Hebrew common noun zebub = flies,[1] occurring twice in the Old Testament,[2] so that Baalzebub “is the Baal to whom flies belong or are holy. As children of the summer they are symbols of the warmth of the sun, to which ... Baal stands in close relation. Divination by means of flies was known at Babylon.”[3] There are other cases of names compounded of Baal and an element equivalent to a descriptive epithet, e.g. Baalgad, the Baal of Fortune.[4] For the “Fly-god,” sometimes interpreted as the “averter of insects,” cf Ζεὺς ἀπόμυιος, μυίαγρος, and the Hercules μυίαγρος. Clemens Alexander speaks of a Hercules ἀπόμυιος as worshipped at Rome. It has been suggested that Baalzebub was the dung-beetle, Scarabaeus pillularius, worshipped in Egypt.

A name of a deity on an Assyrian inscription of the 12th century B.C. has been read as Baal-zabubi, but this reading has now been abandoned in favour of Baal-sapunu (Baal-Zephon).[5] Cheyne considers that Baalzebub is a “contemptuous uneuphonic Jewish modification of the true name Baalzebul.”[6]

In the New Testament we meet with Beelzebul,[7] which some of the versions, especially the Vulgate and Syriac, followed by the Authorized Version, have changed to Beelzebub, under the influence of 2 Kings. In Matt. x. 25, Christ speaks of men calling the master of the house, i.e. Himself, Beelzebul.[8] In Mark iii 22-27,[9] the scribes explain that Jesus is possessed by Beelzebul[10] and is thus enabled to cast out devils. The passage speaks of Beelzebul as Satan and as the prince of the demons.

The origin of the name Beelzebul is variously explained. (a) It is “a phonetic corruption, perhaps a softening of the original word”; as Bab-el-mandel is a corruption of Bab-el-mandeb. (b) Zebul is from zebel, a word found in the Targums in the sense of “dung,” so that Beelzebul would mean “Lord of Dung,” a term of contempt. The further suggestion has been made that zebul itself in the sense of “dung” is a term for a heathen deity, cf. the Old Testament use of “abomination” &c. for heathen deities, so that Beelzebul would mean “Chief of false gods,” and so arch-fiend. (c) Zebul is found in 1 Kings viii. 13 in the sense of “height,” beth-zebul—lofty house, and in Rabbinical writings in the sense of “house” or “temple,” or “the fourth heaven”;[11] and Beelzebul may equal “Lord of the High House” or “Lord of Heaven.” This view is perhaps favoured by Matt. x. 25, “if they have called the lord of the house Beelzebul.” It appears, however, that Rabbinical writings use yōm (day-of) zebul for the festival of a heathen deity; and Jastrow connects this usage with the meaning “house” or “temple,” so that the meaning “Lord of the False Gods” might be arrived at in a different way.

The names Zebulun, ’Izebel (Jezebel), suggest that Zebul may be an ancient name of a deity; cf. the names בעל אזבל (B‘L ’ZBL), שמזבל (ShMZBL) in Punic and Phoenician

  1. So Clarendon Press, Hebrew Lexicon, p. 127, with LXX.
  2. Eccl. x. 1; Isaiah vii. 18.
  3. Baethgen, Beiträge zur semitischen Religionsgeschichte, p. 25, cf. pp. 65, 261.
  4. Josh, xii. 7.
  5. Art. “Baalzebub,” Black and Cheyne’s Ency. Bibl.
  6. With various spellings (e.g. Belzebul, and in XB, Beezebul), all variants of Beelzebul. Cf. Deissmann, Bible Studies, 332.
  7. There is a variation of reading, which has been held to support the view that the passage means that men reproached Jesus with His supposed connexion with Beelzebul; cf. A. B. Bruce, in loco.
  8. And in the parallel passages, Matt. xii. 22-29; Luke xi. 14-22.
  9. Cf. John vii. 20, viii. 48, 52, x. 20.
  10. Swete, in loco.
  11. Jastrow, Dict. of the Targumim. &c., sub voce.