Although Beelzebub is considered all evil and is seated high in power in the hierarchy of hell, it can be safely said that this not so pretty character, the Devil Prince, is famously infamous for also being known as the ‘Lord of Dung’ or the ‘God of Filth’. The reason being, inclusive of the several different meanings of the name Beezlebub, the most widely known meaning of his name translates to ‘Lord of Flies’.
Let’s dig in more to find out what this character, form of Satan, originally stood for and if it has changed in any way in the modern times.
Characterization of Beezlebub throughout Time
As per the Hebrew bible the name comes from a Baal’Zebub, a deity worshipped by the people of Philistines. In the original Christian and biblical content, he is referred to as the demon known for being one of the 7 Princes of Hell and as the Prince of Demons he enjoys high rank in hell. However, in some texts it is just another name used for Satan.
If we were to focus on the Christian text, then according to the occultist Johan’s stories about him from the 16th century, he was of the Order of the Kobe. Beelzebub stood against and led a revolt against Satan as Lucifer’s chief lieutenant in hell. In this version Lucifer and Satan, contrary to the primary belief, are not the same person. Satan is a fallen angel whereas Lucifer the Emperor of Hell where the demon of the hour presides over the Order of the Fly.
Moving on to another story about him, he was amongst the three prominent fallen angels alongside Lucifer and Leviathan. He was seen to have been associated with two deadly sins. Some considered him to be part of the Sin of Pride while others theoretically saw him shackled in the Sin of Gluttony, although the stories are not clear neither hold any shred of truth.
Certain groups saw him as the supplication object by confessed witches and warlocks. But if we move on to understand the concepts within religious circles, he is accused and held responsible for being the demon who possessed people. This is perhaps the background story behind the incident of the famous Salem Witch Trials in the 16th century. His name, Beezlebub, was said to have come up several times. Reverend Cotton Mather, who fed to the people’s hysteria from his writings about witchcraft that led to the massacre, wrote a pamphlet that read ‘Beezlebub and his Plot’.
Present Image of Beezlebub
Judging from the type of image Beezlebub had, one can often feel uneasy about discussing him. Interestingly, his adaptation in the Japanese anime as a young delinquent boy, has changed the prior perception of the Lord of Dung into a less intimidating one.
Though the character has no resemblance whatsoever with the legend of the satanic character, media plays a lot in changing the popular perception any concept, or image of a person or perhaps demon, in this case.