Satan as Melqart, King of Tyre (chpt 1B of Corrupting the Image 2)

When God told Ezekiel to “take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre,” in Ezekiel 28, He was talking about far more than a mere human king;[i] He was using one of Satan’s many titles: Melqart. Melqart (mlkqrt), literally means “king of the city”, and here, specifically Tyre.

“Melqart was considered by the Phoenicians to represent the monarchy, perhaps the king even represented the god, or vice-versa, so that the two became one and the same.”[ii] King of the ‘City’ could also be interpreted as a euphemism of the underworld, called “the great city, iri.gal, Akkadian Irkallu, in the Mesopotamian tradition.” [iii]

We do not know the given name of Satan, but God revealed enough key places for us to trace his titles back to a singular entity. For instance, George A. Barton writes in his study, On the Pantheon of Tyre, that“Baal of Tyre was called Melqart (king of the city), we learn from the Phoenician portion of a bilingual inscription from Malta. The Greek portion of the same inscription shows that Melqart was identified with the Greek Herakles.”[iv] Melqart was also known as Baal, Ninurta, Enlil, Adon and Eshmun, thus, Satan. Historians such as “Josephus Flavius refer to Melqart and Heracles interchangeably.” [v]

The word Heracles (Hercules) comes from Ήρα (Hera) and Κλέος (fame). [vi] The fame part reminds us of the Nephilim, the mighty men (הַגִּבֹּרִ֛ים hagibborim) who were “the men of renown”(Gen 6:4 ESV), and also the people at Babel said, “Let us make a name for ourselves” (Gen 11:4). Therefore, Hercules (Heracles) was another name for Satan.

Likewise, the King of Tyre that God denounces in Ezekiel 28 is considered by most scholars to be the same god with whom Elijah was battling on Mt. Carmel. [vii] In fact, Elijah mocks the god for sleeping “and must be awakened” which were “elements of and allusions to the practice of the ‘awakening’ of Melqart”[viii] which provides further proof of them being the same.

Every year, the Phoenicians celebrated Heracles’ ‘awakening’ (εγερσις) which was considered “the greatest festival of Melqart: the god, burnt with fire, as the Greek hero, was brought to life by means of a hierogamic rite with his divine partner Astarte, through the participation of a particular celebrant, the mqm ‘lm, ‘awakener of deity’.” [ix] In other words, through a “sacred” sexual act, the god was thought to come back to life. The once dead, but then alive again god sounds very much like the “the beast who was, is not, and will ascend out of the Abyss” (Rev 17:8) from John’s visions.

The famous historian Herodotus of the 5th century BC once visited Melqart’s temple and reported that there was “a tomb inside, supporting the theory that, involved as he was in the founding mythology of the city, perhaps Melqart was based on a historical person.”[x] (See next page, Figure 5). The theme, according to Herodotus was that “the Tyrian people paid homage as if to a hero. i.e. as if to one who had died, one who was originally mortal,” [xi] who was deified and became a cosmic lord who grants prosperity.[xii]

In part two, we will explore the theme of the deified hero Nimrod, founder of cities, who was known as the son of Enlil (Satan). In fact, Satan and Nimrod were so closely linked in the ancient world that they were often used interchangeably. Melqart / Heracles was considered the son of Saturn or Zeus, depending on the legend.

Figure 1 Votive Statue of Melqart by Carole Raddato (CC BY-NC-SA).

The interpretario Graeca which existed from the fifth century BC made the connection between Melqart and Baal long before modern scholars. It states:

Heracles was identified with Melqart, whose name means “king of the city”, and who was called the ‘Baal of Tyre’ a west Semitic god who was the primary deity of the Phoenician city of Tyre, and later of its major colony at Carthage. The Carthaginian triad of deities consisting of –‘Baal Shamen,’ Astarte and Melqart became known through their Hellenistic counterparts of Zeus, Asteria and Heracles  … The Samaritans worshipped Melqart as Zeus Xenios on Mount Gerizim (2 Macc 6:2) (Emphasis Mine). [xiii]

Many of us grew up hearing the legends of Zeus and Hercules, yet we never heard about the fact that the real entity behind the legends demanded child sacrifice. It was “extensively practiced in Carthage and ‘made its way into Israel from Phoenicia during periods of religious syncretism.’” [xiv] There is some debate as to how often such an abomination was practiced, though the famous ANE scholar William Albright notes that “the practice was extensive in the Phoenician colonies.” [xv]

Figure 2 Artist’s rendition of Molech.

Sadly, King Solomon led Israel to worship those syncretisms of Satan. He set up “high places to this ‘king’” Milcom, god of deified dead kings, and permitted child sacrifice which continued for hundreds of years. King Josiah, king of Judah shortly before the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem, tried to stop the terrible practice:

He defiled Tophet, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire to Molech (2 Kgs 23:10). Then the king defiled the high places that were east of Jerusalem, which were on the south of the Mount of Corruption, which Solomon king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the people of Ammon (2 Kgs 23:13). (See Appendix 6 Abominations of Babylon).

It is incredible, but all roads lead back to Satan. The dragon, Enlil (Satan), is the same deceptive spirit behind the Greek hero Heracles (Roman Hercules), Baal and Melqart. The same spirit is behind the “the Greek Asklepios, who took over many attributes of Semitic healer gods.”[xvi] We know Asklepios as the snake symbol used in the modern medical practice. While this does not mean that we should not go to doctors, it does reveal the philosophical underpinnings of medicine.

Melqart / Heracles were gods located on the Mediterranean whose origins are in Mesopotamia, the land of Shinar. “Archaeological evidence from Mesopotamia suggests that the figure of Heracles is found as early as the middle of the third millennium.” [xvii] Archaeologists found on Akkadian cylinder seals “a hero probably named Ninurta (the son of Enlil the storm god) … shown conquering lions, bulls, snakes, and even a seven-headed snake.” [xviii]

We do not want to get ahead of ourselves, since we will explore Nimrod in greater detail in part two. Nevertheless, we will just note here that Nimrod and Ninurta were the same person. Ninurta, according to the mythology, was the son of Enlil whom we have learned was Satan. Hence, we see the connection between Nimrod (Ninurta) and Melqart and Satan. Moreover, “in Sumerian representations a hero is fitted out, like the later Greek Heracles, with a club, bow and lion-skin.” [xix] Everywhere we turn, we find Satan or the deified Nimrod as the hero extraordinaire. Indeed, “Heracles’ quest for the apples of Hesperides is similar to the quest for immortality in the popular epic of Gilgamesh.” [xx] Interestingly, Heracles was known as a Master of Animals in the Greek traditions, a trait suggestive of his dragon qualities[xxi] and reminiscent of Satan’s qualities as a cherub.

Satan’s ancient disguises are many and elaborate. As we have seen, looking for “Lucifer” in the ancient world is a fruitless endeavor. However, now that we have the key of Satan = Enlil, we have been able to chip away at some of Satan’s masks and have discovered he was everywhere. He was known as Enlil, Baal, Melqart, Heracles / Hercules and dozens of other titles; and, he was the god who exacted a terrible price from his worshipers. His strategy and quest for world domination are just as real today as when he was openly worshipped by the masses millennia ago. We also peeled back one of the masks which gave us a preview of how Satan deified Nimrod, known in the ancient world as his son. The next disguise we will unmask is Satan, the great dragon.


[i] “It is generally admitted that the figure of Melqart and the forms of his cult are reflected in Ezekiel’s oracle against the king of Tyre (Ezek 28: 1-19). This passage consists of two different sections (vv 1-10 and 11-19) both referring to the same personage.” Melqart The Dictionary Of Deities And Demons In The Bible, Eds. K. Van Der Toorn, Bob Becking nd Pieter W. Van Der Horst (Boston, 1999). Pg. 564-566

[ii] https://www.ancient.eu/Melqart/

[iii] Melqart The Dictionary Of Deities And Demons In The Bible, Eds. K. Van Der Toorn, Bob Becking And Pieter W. Van Der Horst (Boston, 1999). Pg. 564-566

[iv] On the Pantheon of Tyre Author(s): George A. Barton Source: Journal of the American Oriental Society , 1901, Vol. 22 (1901), Pg. 115-117 Published by: American Oriental Society Stable URL: http://www.jstor.com/stable/592422 This content downloaded from 184.96.236.153 on Fri, 28 Aug 2020 05:40:31 UTC

[v] https://www2.uned.es/geo-1-historia-antigua-universal/RELIGION-FENICIA/melqart.htm

[vi] Heracles The Dictionary Of Deities And Demons In The Bible, Eds. K. Van Der Toorn, Bob Becking And Pieter W. Van Der Horst (Boston, 1999). 402-404

[vii] Melqart The Dictionary Of Deities And Demons In The Bible, Eds. K. Van Der Toorn, Bob Becking And Pieter W. Van Der Horst (Boston, 1999). Pg. 564-566

[viii] Ibid.

[ix] The Dictionary Of Deities And Demons In The Bible, Eds. K. Van Der Toorn, Bob Becking And Pieter W. Van Der Horst (Boston, 1999). MELQART

[x] https://www.ancient.eu/Melqart/

[xi] Melqart The Dictionary Of Deities And Demons In The Bible, Eds. K. Van Der Toorn, Bob Becking And Pieter W. Van Der Horst (Boston, 1999). Pg. 564-566

[xii] Ibid.

[xiii] Heracles The Dictionary Of Deities And Demons In The Bible, Eds. K. Van Der Toorn, Bob Becking And Pieter W. Van Der Horst (Boston, 1999). 402-404

[xiv] TWOT Tophet.

[xv] Ibid.

[xvi] Amar Annus, The God Ninurta in the Mythology and Royal Ideology of Ancient Mesopotamia, State Archives of Assyria Studies, Volume XIV Helsinki 2002. Pg. 142.

[xvii] Heracles The Dictionary Of Deities And Demons In The Bible, Eds. K. Van Der Toorn, Bob Becking And Pieter W. Van Der Horst (Boston, 1999). 402-404

[xviii] Ibid.

[xix] Heracles The Dictionary Of Deities And Demons In The Bible, Eds. K. Van Der Toorn, Bob Becking And Pieter W. Van Der Horst (Boston, 1999). Pg. 402-404

[xx] Ibid.

[xxi] F. A. M. Wiggermann, Mesopotamian Protective Spirits The Ritual Texts – Styx & PP Publications Groningen 1992. Pg. 161