Belphegor illustration from the Dictionnaire Infernal.
|Siblings||Lucifer, Mammon, Leviathan, Satan, Asmodeus, Beelzebub|
In demonology, Belphegor (or Beelphegor, Hebrew: בַּעַל-פְּעוֹר Beʿl-peʿor - 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.
Bishop and witch-hunter Peter Binsfeld believed that Belphegor tempts by means of laziness. 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.
Belphegor originated as Baal-Peor, the Moabite 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", the counterpart 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.
Belphegor also figures in John Milton's Paradise Lost and in Victor Hugo's Toilers of the Sea. Belfagor arcidiavolo by the Italian diplomat Niccolò Machiavelli was first published in 1549 and regales how the demon comes to earth to find a mate. This story became the initial source material for Ottorino Respighi's opera Belfagor which premiered at La Scala in Milan in 1923.
In popular culture
- Belphegor is a recurring playable demon in the Megami Tensei series, often appearing as sitting on a toilet
- Wendy Doniger (1999). Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions. Merriam-Webster. p. 287. ISBN 0-87779-044-2.
- Rosemary Guiley (2009). Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology. Facts on File. pp. 28–29.
- Bridget LaMonica (October 18, 2019). "Supernatural Season 15 Episode 2 Review: Raising Hell". Den of Geek. Retrieved August 23, 2020.