God of flies, supposed to ward off flies from his votaries. One of the gods of the Philistines. (See Achor .) The Greeks had a similar deity, Zeus Apomyios. The Jews, by way of reproach, changed Beelzebub into Baal Zeboub (q.v.), and placed him among the dæmons. Milton says he was next in rank to Satan, and stood
With Atlantean shoulders, fit to bear The weight of mightiest monarchies.
One next himself in power, and next in crime, Long after known in Palestine, and named Beëlzebub.
Paradise Lost, i. 79-81.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894