The title Bel was given by the Babylonians to their idol Marduk (or Merodach) to show that he was their chief god. Bel-Marduk is equivalent to the Canaanite deity Baal. In Mesopotamian mythology, Bel won kingship among the gods by defeating Tiamat, the goddess of chaotic waters. His ascension symbolized Babylon's political dominance of the region. But prophets of Judah foretold the fall of Bel along with Babylon: Jeremiah speaks of a time when "Babylon is taken, Bel is put to shame, Merodach is dismayed" (Jer. 50:2).

In Bel and the Dragon, a second-century B.C. addition to the book of Daniel, the foolishness of the Babylonian belief that "Bel is a living God" (Bel 6) is revealed by Daniel. The Babylonians, according to this tale, set a feast each day before their idol and believed that Bel came at night to consume it. But one night Daniel secretly sifted ashes on the floor of the temple, and the next morning he pointed out priests' footprints to the king, proving the food had been secretly carried away.

{E2 Dictionary of Biblical People}

A unit for some logarithmic quantities. It is dimensionally equal to the number one, and scales by decimal logarithms. The symbol is B.

What that means is that a value of 2 B is ten times bigger than one of 1 B, and 3 B is ten times bigger than 2 B, and so on.

The bel is named after Alexander Graham Bell, who worked on early versions of the microphone and telephone. It has been around for many years, mainly in the form decibel (symbol dB), such that 30 dB is ten times more than 20 dB, 80 dB is ten times more than 70 dB, and so on.

The decibel was used for the measurement of loudness. It has now been adopted for use with the SI for any quantity where a decimal logarithmic scale is appropriate. It is important to specify the reference level, because these are not absolute magnitudes but scalars.

The use of the units bel and decibel was agreed on by the CIPM (International Committee for Weights and Measures) in 1998 to be presented to the 21st CGPM (General Conference) in 1999. I have not been able to locate confirmation that the CGPM accepted them, but normally I think with CIPM acceptance it's a shoo-in. It does not become an SI unit in the strict sense, but is officially approved for use with the SI.

At the same time they were to adopt the new unit neper, a natural logarithm, as an SI unit.

Also a title in the Belgariad, and Mallorean trilogies by David Eddings. The title is given to one of the disciples of the god Aldur who has attained mastery of sorcery by succesfully using the Will and the Word. The prefix "Bel" is added to the beginning of the sorcerer's original name, for example:
Garath => Belgarath
Garion => Belgarion
Din => Beldin
Makor = Belmakor

you get the idea.

The prefix "Pol" is used in much the same way for female disciples who have attained mastery of sorcery as well. But that is another story.

Bel (bel), n.

The Babylonian name of the god known among the Hebrews as Baal. See Baal. Baruch vi. 41.


© Webster 1913

Bel (?), n. [Hind., fr. Skr. bilva.]

A thorny rutaceous tree (Ægle marmelos) of India, and its aromatic, orange-like fruit; -- called also Bengal quince, golden apple, wood apple. The fruit is used medicinally, and the rind yields a perfume and a yellow dye.


© Webster 1913

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