In the OT the word in Hebrew denotes worthlessness (hence sons of Belial in AV of 1 Sam. 10: 27; ‘worthless fellows’, NRSV; ‘scoundrels’, REB). In the inter-testamental literature and Dead Sea scrolls, Belial becomes the name of the wicked one, and so in the NT a synonym for Satan (2 Cor. 6: 15).