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Baal was a god worshiped by Phoenicians

Canaanites[1] too. He was part of a pantheon with yhwh, called the elohim.  literal translation "the lords".  Also, the name often used in the OT for God.  El was the chief god of the elohim and the father of yhwh, baal, and the rest of the gang. El was the god of israel.  In fact, israel is a theophoric of el[2].  That is, the name israel includes their god's name. Isra'el. You will notice, many jews pronounce it that way.

Similarly, Jerusalem is a theophoric for the god [wiki]Shalim[/wiki] - the god of dusk and twilight.  Also associated with the morning star, lucifer. ouch.

Additionally, there was more than one yhwh and el.  El Shaddai, El Elyon, etc.  El of the mountain.  El of the valley.  They were local gods who had priests all over the place.  It was josiah who consolidated them and declared all the others[3] to be foreign gods.  That way he had control over the high priest and had less resistance to his rule.     

I feel if more people knew this stuff then judaism and xianity would be seen by more people as obviously mythology.

edit - shalem -->shalim  + wiki link
 1. that is, the people who became jews
 2. and conspicuously, not yhwh
 3. Baal and Mrs yhwh aka Asherah
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