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BAALIS (Heb. בַּעֲלִיס), king of Ammon during the first half of the sixth century b.c.e. The name appears to be composed of the theophoric root "Baal" and a suffix of unclear meaning; it is ancient and appears in *Ugaritic documents in alphabetic writing as Bʿls and in syllabic writing as Baʿala-si. Although a connection has been made between the biblical Baalis and a stamp impression c. 600 b.c.e. from Ammonite territory reading lmlkmr ʿbd bʿlyšʿ this last, Baal-Yasha, is etymologicaly distinct from Baalis. The Bible mentions Baalis only once (Jer. 40:14), in connection with the murder of *Gedaliah, who had been appointed by the Babylonian king as governor of the Judean cities after the conquest of Jerusalem in 586 b.c.e. Johanan son of Kareah and some army officers warned Gedaliah that Baalis had dispatched Ishmael son of Nethaniah to murder him. For his motives, see *Ammonites and *Ishmael.


Bright, Hist, 310; Ginsberg, in: A. Marx Jubilee Volume (1950), 366ff.; Yeivin, in: Tarbiz, 12 (1940/41), 261–2, 265–6; W. Rudolph, Jeremia (Ger., 1947), 685ff. add. bibliography: S. Ahituv, Handbook of Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions (1992), 241.

[Bustanay Oded]

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