Reading Matthew 12:24, "But when the Pharisee's heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the PRINCE OF THE DEVILS." (emphasis mine) Verse 26 and 27 go on to say, (Jesus speaking now) "And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges."
Point being, Satan and Beelzebub seem to be thought of as one and the same. (see Mark 3:22 and Luke 11:15 as well) As familiar as we are with Satan, Beelzebub is not as well known. Lets take a look where he came from.
Baal was the main God of the indigenous people of Canaan. Baal meant Lord, Master, Prince, or "one who exercises dominion." In the 2nd Book of Kings, chapter 1, we read about Ahaziah, King of Israel, having injured himself in a fall, sending messengers to Baalzebub the god of Ekron, to see whether or not he was going to recover from his "disease."
Verse 3, "But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and say unto them, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron?" Basically, HEY! why aren't you coming to me with your problem instead of a rival? God isn't happy with Ahaziah and insures that he will "surely die." (verse 16)
Understand that Baalzebub appears no where else in the Old Testament. Baal appears everywhere, as a stand alone rival to Yahweh (Numbers 25:3--Jeremiah 23:13) as well as places and peoples names. (Baalpeor--Baalhamon--Baalhazor--Baaltamar--Baalgad/Jerubbaal--Eshbaal) But Baalzebub shows up only in 2nd Kings chapter 1. How did this local god become the prince of the devils?
Between the 3rd and 1st century BC, the Hebrew scriptures were translated to Greek. (the Septuagint) Between 390-405 AD Jerome translated the Greek into Latin. (the Vulgate) Here's what happen to the word Baalzebub: Hebrew: Ba'al Z'vuv Greek: Beelzeboul Latin: Beelzebub.
The devil is in the details but this Beelzebub seems to be a demonic fraud.
To Be Continued