Not only did I grab the dictionary off the shelf to look up the Webster's definition, I also grabbed my bible off my desk. The story of Elijah vs. the worshipers of Baal is actually my second favorite bible story, right behind the talking donkey. The picture below is one of many interpretations of Baal. But first of all, Webster's Dictionary:
n. a false deity
Short and sweet, it means it is a fake god. And why? It is because of the story of Elijah on Mount Carmel, and this amazing story:
Elijah on Mount Carmel
1 Kings 18:25-39
25. Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire."
26. So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. "O Baal, answer us!" they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.
27. At noon Elijah began to taunt them. "Shout louder!" he said. "Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened."
28. So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed.
29. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time fof the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.
30. Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come here to me." They came to him, and he repaired the alter of the LORD, which was in ruins.
31. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, "Your name shall be Israel."
32. With the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs *approx. 13 quarts* of seed.
33. He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, "Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood."
34. "Do it again," he said, and they did it again. "Do it a third time," he ordered, and they did it the third time.
35. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.
36. At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O LORD, God of Abraham, Issac and Israel, let it be known today that you are the God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.
37. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts bakc again."
38. Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
39. When the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The LORD-he is God! The LORD-he is God!"