Belphegor

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For other uses, see Belphegor (disambiguation).
Belphegor illustration from the Dictionnaire Infernal

In demonology, Belphegor (or Beelphegor, Hebrew: בַּעַל-פְּעוֹרbaʿal-pəʿōr - Lord of the Gap) is a demon, and one of the seven princes of Hell, who helps people make discoveries. He seduces people by suggesting to them ingenious inventions that will make them rich. According to some 16th-century demonologists, his power is stronger in April. Bishop and witch-hunter Peter Binsfeld believed that Belphegor tempts by means of laziness.[1] Also, according to Peter Binsfeld's Binsfeld's Classification of Demons, Belphegor is the chief demon of the deadly sin known as Sloth in Christian tradition.[2]

Belphegor originated as the Assyrian Baal-Peor, the Moabitish god to whom the Israelites became attached in Shittim (Numbers 25:3), which was associated with licentiousness and orgies. It was worshipped in the form of a phallus. As a demon, he is described in Kabbalistic writings as the "disputer", an enemy of the sixth Sephiroth "beauty". When summoned, he can grant riches, the power of discovery and ingenious invention. His role as a demon was to sow discord among men and seduce them to evil through the apportionment of wealth.[citation needed]

The palindromic prime number 1000000000000066600000000000001 is known as Belphegor's Prime, due to the superstitious significance of the numbers it contains. Belphegor's Prime consists of the number 666, on either side enclosed by thirteen zeroes and a one.

According to De Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal, Belphegor was Hell's ambassador to France. Consequently, his adversary is St Mary Magdalene, one of the patron saints of France. Belphegor also figures in Milton's Paradise Lost and in Victor Hugo's The Toilers of the Sea.[citation needed]

Popular culture[edit]

  • Belfegore is an early-1980s Gothic band from Germany whose second album, produced by Conny Plank, features an instrumental song called "Belfegore." An earlier 4-track EP also features an instrumental called "Belfegore," though it is markedly different in tempo and timbre. The band had a video on MTV and opened for U2.
  • Belphegor is an early-1990s blackened death metal band from Salzburg, Austria. The band also has an eponymous song: Belphegor - Hell's Ambassador, which describes the role of the demon Belphegor as a bringer of ingenious inventions.
  • Belfagor arcidiavolo aka Il demonio che prese moglie ("The devil who got married") is a short story written in the 16th century by Niccolò Machiavelli.
  • Belphegor is one of The Seven Sisters of Purgatory, high-class furniture of the Golden Witch Beatrice. She is modelled after Benon, a servant that used to work with Sayo Yasuda while she lived as a servant on Rokkenjima.
  • Belphégor is a 1927 crime novel by Arthur Bernède, which was made into a serial directed by Henri Desfontaines. Belphegor, Phantom of the Louvre is a remake from 2001.
  • Belphegor appears as a recurring demon in the Shin Megami Tensei series of occult-themed RPGs. The demon is depicted as a purple skinned demon sitting on a toilet.
  • In the Digimon franchise, the cards in particular, Belphemon is based on Belphegor, and is one of the 7 Demon Lords.
  • Ottorino Respighi's opera of 1923 is called Belfagor, and is partially based upon Machiavelli's short story.
  • The official English title to the Vocaloid song Gift from the Princess who Brought Sleep, featuring Hatsune Miku, is called "Belphegor's Gift". The song is part of a series inspired by the seven sins.
  • Belphegor also appears in the Square Enix video game Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light and Bravely Default as a boss and optional boss respectively, along with the other 6 Princes of Hell
  • Belphegor is a minor demon in the urban fantasy series 'Agent of Hel' by Jacqueline Carey. The lead character, Daisy Johanssen, was fathered by Belphegor (also described as an incubus) and a mortal mother, and she is described as a hell-spawn "since he totally took advantage of my mom's teenaged naivete to knock her up when she accidentally summoned him with a Ouija board"[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wendy Doniger (1999). Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions. ISBN 0-87779-044-2. 
  2. ^ Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology, By Rosemary Guiley, p. 28-29, Facts on File, 2009.
  3. ^ Autumn Bones (Roc, October 2013), ISBN 978-0-451-46518-4, p. 60