Balthazar



Origin: Akkadian
Gender: Male
Meaning: "Ba'al protect the King"
Pronunciation: BAHL-tha-zar
Other forms: Baltazar, Baltasar, Baldassare

The Three Wise Men have been given many different names. Syrian Christians name them as Larvandad, Gushnapash, and Hormisdas, while those from Ethiopia call them Hor, Karsudan, and Basanater. Armenians have Kagpha, Badadakharida, and Badadlilma. Most of the time us Westerners cite them as Caspar, Balthazar, and Melchior.

They are either scholars or Kings. Caspar is from India, Melchior from Persia, and Balthazar is Arabic. I've decided we will talk more in-depth about Balthazar, a favorite of mine. The name Balthazar comes from the Akkadian Bel-Sarra-Usur by way of the Hebrew Belshazzar, and means "Ba'al protect the King". For those of you unaware, Ba'al was a God from the Ancient Near East, and is usually referred to as a demon in Christian mythology. Beelzebub was originally called "Ba'al Zəbûb", and as Ba'al means "master", or "lord", the meaning of this name is "Lord of the Flies".

There is not just one Ba'al, however. There were many different cults devoted to deities called Ba'al, and they are referred to as "false gods" in the Bible. Ba'al was even used as the name for the Lord of Israel by early Hebrews.

The Three Wise Men, or Magi, knelled before Jesus out of respect. We kneel when entering a church, or pew, the same way you would kneel before a King. The three gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, were all common gifts to be given to Kings. Gold represents a kingship on Earth, frankincense represents a deity, and myrrh represents death, or mortality.

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