BAAL as applied to places. It sometimes refers to Baal's worship there; sometimes it means that the place possesses some attribute denoted by the other part of the compound. It is a Canaanite not Hebrew term: applied to the men of Jericho while Canaanites (Joshua 24:11), "the men (baliy, possessors, occupants) of Jericho." Also "the men (baliy, occupants) of Shechem," the ancient city of the Hivite Hamor (Judges 9:2-51); the occupants of Keilah, bordering on pagandom (1 Samuel 23:11-12); Uriah the Hittite; "lords of the pagan" (Isaiah 16:8).
So strong was Israelite orthodox feeling against the name, that they altered names in which it occurred: Jerubbaal into Jerubbesheth, Merib-baal into Mephibosheth: compare Hosea 2:16. "At that day, saith Jehovah, thou shalt call Me Ishi, and shalt call Me no more Baali." Though both express "my husband," yet Baali by being used for the images of Baal whose name ought not to be taken up into the lips (Psalm 16:4), was to be renounced for the unambiguous Ishi.