B ‘ l š m
m (Phoen), B ‘ l š m y n (Aram),
Ba-al-sa-me-me (akk) = Lord of the heavens, as St.Augustine says in his
Quaest.Hept.VII 16 par Dominus Coeli. This title was already from the 2nd
millennium given to the highest deities in Syro-Palestine, Anatolia
and the Sumero-Akkadian countries. In the 1st millennium BC it is a private
independent deity and became widespread in the Aramaic world from the 9th to
the 3rd century BC. In Phoenicia he was starting familiar with the
inscription of Yahimilk, King of Byblos in the 10th century BC, where he was
mentioned even befor Baalat Gubal and the other gods of Byblos (KAI 4 = TSSI,
III 6.3). In the 8th century BC we see the Phoenician inscription of
Karatepe, where he is the head of the gods, calling Azitawadu to ensure that
his consecration will continue (KAI 26 = TSSI III 15A, III, 18). In the Luvitic
version of this inscription he is the "god of thunder in the sky."
This is consistent with the treaty between Baal and Asarhaddon (7th century BC).
He will be accompanied by Baal Saphon and Baal Malage (AfO.Beih.9.p.109,
col.IV.10). Some contemporary authors recognize in him the Baal of Jezabel,
she seemed to see on the Carmel (1 Kings18), but also a greek ordination from
the 2nd-3rd century AD still refers to as the "Zeus Héliopolite of
Carmel" (IEJ 2 1952.p.118-124).