|Western Semitic / Canaanite / northern Israel, Lebanon / later Egypt
|vegetation deity and national god. Baal may have originated in pre-agricultural times as god of storms and Rain. He is the son of DAGAN and in turn is the father of seven storm gods, the Baalim of the Vetus Testamentum, and seven midwife goddesses, the SASURATUM. He is considered to have been worshiped from at least the nineteenth century BC. Later he became a vegetation god concerned with fertility of the land. From the mid-sixteenth century BC in the Egyptian New kingdom, Baal enjoyed a significant cult following, but the legend of his demise and restoration was never equated with that of OSIRIS. In the Greco-Roman period, Baal became åśśimilated in the Palestine region with ZEUS and JUPITER, but as a Punic deity [Carthage] he was allied with SATURNUS, the god of seed-sowing....
|Canaanite / Phoenician / northern Israel, Lebanon / Syrian coastal regions
|God of natural adversity. ot is the Canaanite representation of adversity in the natural world. He lives in a pit within the earth and is responsible for its annual death from drought and heat: he has scorched the olive, the produce of the earth and the fruit of the trees. He engages in the clåśśic confrontation with the Canaanite hero and national god, BAAL. Though the duel results in Baal's demise, his death is avenged by his twin sister ANAT, who slays Mot, then cleaves, winnows, burns and grinds him with a millstone, in what appears to be a ritual allied to the sowing of seed and harvesting (see OSIRIS). Baal is later restored. The conflict probably formed the basis of an annual ritual drama at the Canaanite New Year which was held in the autumn. In the texts Mot is the son of Il and his mother is AS'ERAH (ATHIRAT)....