To Anu was assigned the control of the heavens, to Bel the earth, and to Ea the waters.
The chief god of the Palmyrenes was a solar deity, called Samas or Shamash (" sun "), or Bel, or Malak-bel,' whose great temple is still the most imposing feature among the ruins of Palmyra.
Malak-bel has been explained as " messenger of Bel "; but more probably Malak is the common Babylonian epithet malik given to various gods, and means " counsellor "; Malak-bel will then be the sun as the visible representative of Bel.
The union of the two orders, already suggested at the council of Lyons in 1245, was nominally achieved by the council of Vienne in 1311; but the so-called "union" was in reality the suppression of the Templars, and the confiscation of all their resources by the cupidity of Philippe le Bel.
Both Baal and Astarte were venerated in Egypt at Thebes and Memphis in the XIXth Dynasty, and the former, through the influence of the Aramaeans who borrowed the Babylonian spelling Bel, ultimately became known as the Greek Belos who was identified with Zeus.