Ethbaal of Phoenicia

The other most well-known ruler of Tyre was Ithobal or Eth-Baal, the priest king. After King Hiram's death his descendants fell into trouble; for these hardy, reckless Phoenicians were not easy people to rule. Each city was, like the Italian cities of the middle ages, a community wherein every man thought for himself. Each merchant adventurer had learned self-reliance of body and of mind, and valued his independence as his dearest possession. Hence there were constant tumults. Kings were recognized as very necessary leaders and defenders of the city, but many a king was slain in civic quarrels. Eth-Baal, gained the throne by slaying his predecessor, who had in his turn slain an earlier king only eight months before. Eth-Baal, who had been high-priest of the city, stopped the tumults by adding his religious influence to his kingly power. His reign was long and important. He built cities, and checked the advance of the Assyrians. He entered into alliance with the Kingdom of Israel, and his daughter Jezebel married the Israelite king and brought her father's Phoenician religion, "Baal worship," into Palestine.

The prolonged drought, which the Bible tells us afflicted Israel in Jezebel's day, was felt in Phoenicia also. King Eth-Baal performed a great religious ceremonial to escape the drought, leading his people in procession about Tyre and offering up the terrible Phoenician sacrifice of living children, to avert the wrath of the gods.

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Read about Ethbaal of Phoenicia in the The Story of the Greatest Nations and the Worlds Famous Events Vol 1

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