Belial is the devil.
The first time “Belial” appears in your Bible, he is found in Deut 13:13. If you refer to our question under “Bible Curiosities” on the number 13, you will find that the number 13 is a bad number. So, when you see a new word like “Belial” showing up in a verse numbered 13:13, you can be sure that it is a reference to something bad.
In fact, Belial is a reference to something bad. In 2 Cor 6:14-18, Paul instructed the Corinthians on the need for separation. In the passage, Paul contrasted exact opposites like light and darkness, and righteousness and unrighteousness, to illustrate the separation between things that have nothing in common. Accordingly, when he gave the antithesis for Jesus, he said, “And what concord hath Christ with Belial?” Therefore, we see clearly that as Jesus is the express image of God, Belial is the express image of the devil.
Belial shows up 17 times in the Bible. Every time but one, he is mentioned in connection with his children, like “the children of Belial” or “the daughter of Belial” or “the sons of Belial.” Therefore, just as Jesus gets much of his work done through the sons of God (Jn 1:12; Rom 8:14), the devil gets much his work done through “the children of Belial.” You knew that the devil has children, didn’t you (Jn 8:44; 1 Jn 3:10, 12)?
When we examine some of the verses mentioning the children of Belial, it becomes apparent that they are the devil’s crowd and that the children of God should have nothing to do with them, at all. They are involved in:
- Idolatry – In Deut 13:13, the children of Belial lead Israel to worship false gods. The consequence of this sin was capital punishment and the destruction of all the spoil and the city. See the warning in Col 3:5.
- Homosexuality – In Jud 19:22, the sons of Belial surrounded the house where a man and his concubine were guests. They wanted to “know” the man. Instead, they settled for his concubine to satisfy their lusts and killed her that night. The consequence of this sin was the near annihilation of the tribe of Benjamin. See the warning in Rom 1:21-28.
- Drunkenness – In 1 Sam 1:13-16, Eli believed that Hannah was a daughter of Belial because he thought she was drunk when she came to worship and sacrifice before the Lord. The consequence of this sin in the New Testament is weakness, sickness and death. See the warning in 1 Cor 11:20-21, 29-30.
- Fornication – In 1 Sam 2:12, 22-25, Eli’s sons were sons of Belial, who fornicated with the women who came to sacrifice to the Lord. The consequence of this sin was death (1 Sam 4:11). See the warning in 1 Cor 5:1-5.
- Scorn – There are several cases of this in the Bible. For example, in 1 Sam 10:27, the children of Belial despised Saul, their new king. In 1 Sam 25:17, 25, Nabal scorned David with his proud wrath. The consequence of this sin is judgment (Prov 19:29). Read the warnings about scorners in Proverbs.
- Covetousness – In 1 Sam 30:22, the men of Belial did not want to divide the spoil with the men who could not fight to recover their possessions from the Amalekites. They wanted all of the spoil for themselves. The consequence of this sin is to be pierced through with many sorrows (1 Tim 6:10).
- Lying – In 1 Ki 21:10, 13, the sons of Belial, bore false witness against Naboth to have him killed so that Ahab could possess Naboth’s vineyard. The consequence of this sin is to receive the same punishment as would have been sentenced against the other party had he been found guilty (Deut 19:16-21). See the reference to this in Rom 13:9-11.
As you can tell by observation, the children of Belial are still very active today. All of these abominable sins are being practiced inside and outside of churches. And the children of God must not follow the wicked practices of these children of the devil. According to 2 Sam 23:6-7, the sons of Belial will be burned in hell. See their destruction in Rev 21:8.
Hope this helps,
Pastor Bevans Welder