Meet Berith, The Great Duke Of Hell

Unless you're a demonologist or an extremely religious person, you're probably wondering: who is Berith? Known by a variety of names, including Beruth and Ba'al Berith, among others, Berith is a minor but essential figure in biblical history. Although he might not be as well-known as Abbadon - the archangel in charge of arranging aggressions against humans - Berith is a formidable and tricky demon worth researching. Serving a dual role as both the Duke of Hell and Satan's secretary, he is responsible for a variety of tasks, including formalizing Satan's pacts with mortals.

He can also form pacts of his own - if you have chicken blood and a magic ring, and are willing to part with your soul in return for conjuring Berith. Much like Pazuzu, the demon made famous by The Exorcist, Berith has a lot to offer those who enter into a contract with him. His gifts are numerous, but he isn't always straightforward about what's on offer - and no matter what, he'll take what you promised him. Because he's a demon who creates gold, he's known as the "Midas touch" demon, a friend to unscrupulous alchemists everywhere. 

Here's everything there is to know about Berith, the bureaucratic menace in red.


  • He Appears As A Crowned Soldier On A Horse
    Photo: Louis Breton, M. Jarrault / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    He Appears As A Crowned Soldier On A Horse

    Berith reportedly appears to humans as a soldier. Red is his color of choice, as he wears red garments and a golden crown. Berith also rides a noble red steed as his preferred mode of transport.

    Some believe his skin is red as well, mimicking the classic image of a red-skinned, pitchfork-wielding demon.

  • He Commands 26 Legions Of Hell
    Photo: Fra Angelico / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    He Commands 26 Legions Of Hell

    Berith is the Duke of Hell and commands 26 of its legions. As a noble, Berith is also able to bestow positions of power onto those who form contracts with him. He is apparently worshipped by a group known as the Sichemites.

    However, some of the literature differs regarding his role. According to Le Petit Albert, the 18th-century book of natural spells and invocations, Berith is not a demon, but merely a goblin or elf.

  • He Is The Demon Of Blasphemy And Deceit 
    Photo: J. W. Stimson / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    He Is The Demon Of Blasphemy And Deceit 

    Given that Berith is, in fact, a demon, he can be expected to harbor some nefarious motives. He tempts humans into committing all kinds of heinous acts, many of which include aggression towards other people. 

    In fact, this compulsion is part of the peril of entering into a contract with him. 

  • He Has Different Names In Different Cultures

    Berith isn't the only name for this demon, which can create confusion when referencing him. Depending on era, location, and context, he is addressed by a variety of names, including Balan, Bileth, Elberith, and more.

    Berith might also be the same figure as Baal-zebub, who was known as the "king of the flies." A small group of people worshipped him after the passing of Gideon. These worshippers carried an image of Baal-zebub with them so that they could celebrate him by kissing his picture.