In a message dated 5/4/2004 5:01:06 PM Eastern Daylight Time, [log in to unmask] writes:

As far as the
origin of the diety "Bel", he (she?) was worshiped by the Phoenicians as a
Sun god and honored with a temple in the ancient city of Palmyra on the
ancient trade route from Tyre and Beruit to Mesopotamia.

   That's from Semitic Ba'al "Lord", not PIE *bhel- "shine," which is the source of the Celtic god.

David Fickett-Wilbar