Molech in the Holy Bible & in our world…
Tuesday, November 12th, 2019
ACP — A Crooked Path
Compiled and posted by administrator of A Crooked Path
One of the largest cults in the world, the church of Rome, has authorized the erection and placement of the pagan god, Molech at the entrance to the Roman Colosseum, which is operated by the Vaticanus.
Vati meaning Latin
Leviticus 20:2 | View whole chapter | See verse in context Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.
Leviticus 20:3 | View whole chapter | See verse in context And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name.
Leviticus 20:5 | View whole chapter | See verse in context Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.
1 Kings 11:7 | View whole chapter | See verse in context Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.
2 Kings 23:10 | View whole chapter | See verse in context And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.
Jeremiah 32:35 | View whole chapter | See verse in context And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.
Who was the Canaanite god Molech?
Molech was an ancient god worshiped by the people neighboring Israel during Old Testament times. While much about Molech’s nature and origin are uncertain, the Bible mentions Molech on eight occasions, providing some context regarding the problems associated with this ancient god.
The first mention of Molech is in Leviticus 18:21 in which the Lord commanded, “You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.” The worship of Molech clearly involved ritual child sacrifice, something God’s people were not to practice. This act was punishable by death according to Leviticus 20:2 which states, “Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death.”
Further, child sacrifice to Molech was considered profanity against God’s holy name. Leviticus 20:3 says, “I myself will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given one of his children to Molech, to make my sanctuary unclean and to profane my holy name.” Not only were those who sacrificed their children to be stoned to death, those who ignored such a sacrifice would be abandoned by God (Leviticus 20:5).
Yet this clear and stern warning from the Lord did not end the practice of Molech worship among the Israelites. Even King Solomon participated. First Kings 11:7 says, “Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem.” In addition, this verse connects Molech worship with the Ammonites, one of the groups God elsewhere condemns for pagan worship.
King Josiah would later take the law’s command against Molech worship very seriously. Second Kings 23:10 says, “And he defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, that no one might burn his son or his daughter as an offering to Molech.” Apparently this area of Judea had become a location of Molech worship among God’s people by this time. Yet Josiah’s determination to apply God’s laws to society ended child sacrifice for a time.
The final mention of Molech in the Old Testament is found in God’s words to Jeremiah. “They set up their abominations in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin” (Jeremiah 32:34-35).
Molech represents the most repulsive of acts in God’s sight, the ritual sacrifice of children to a pagan god, which was condemned in the strongest way by the Lord, including punishment by death.
MOLECH, mō’ lĕk (מֹּ֑לֶכְ, הַמֹּ֖לֶכְ; LXX ἄρχων, G807, “ruler,” in Lev 18:21; 20:2-5; ὁ βασιλέυς αὐτῶν, “their king,” in 1 Kings 11:7 [11:5 in LXX]; ὁ Μολόχ, in 2 Kings 23:10; ὁ Μολόχ βασιλέυς, and ὁ Μολόχ βασιλέυς, “The King, Moloch,” in Jer 32:35 [39:35 in LXX]. The meaning is uncertain).
1. Meaning. Most scholars accept one of two meanings for “Molech.”
Some contend that molech is a generic noun denoting a particular type of sacrifice, “a votive offering.” This view is based primarily on the use of mlk in a number of Punic and Neo-Punic inscrs. dated roughly from the 4th to the 1st cent. b.c. from N Africa and engraved upon stelae which commemorated a sacrifice. The word mlk occurs alone or compounded with expressions, the most remarkable of which are mlk’mr and mlk’dm. Several stelae, dated from the end of the 2nd cent. or beginning of the 3rd cent. a.d., bear an analogous Latin inscr. vocalized molchomor which is evidently a transcription of the Punic mlk’mr. Thus one can reckon molk as the vocalization of the first element.
O. Eissfeldt then showed that the word had a ritual sense denoting a sacrifice made to confirm or acquit a vow. Probably mlk’mr and mlk’dm mean respectively “offering of lamb” and “offering of man,” and refer to the sacrifice of an infant, or of a lamb substitute. Furthermore, although these inscrs. and texts are of late date, R. Dussaud read mlk’mr on a stele from Malta of the 7th or 6th cent. b.c.
Moreover, Sanchuniathon as quoted by Porphyry through Philo (De Abstinentia, ii, 56), a text also taken up by Eusebius (Praep. Ev., iv, 16, 6), said that the Phoenicians sacrificed children at a much earlier date, and Quintus Curtius (His. IV., iii, 23, tr. H. Bardon in the Budé Collection) said explicitly that this rite was transmitted from Phoenicia to Carthage. Although mlk never appears with a sacrificial meaning in the Phoen. inscrs., this silence is explicable because Quintus Curtius also said the practice had been in abeyance for centuries before the founding of Carthage. The Ras Shamra texts, roughly contemporaneous with the period in which Philo places Sanchuniathon, may use mlk for a type of sacrifice but the texts are not decisive (cf. C. H. Gordon, glossary No. 1119). More compelling is the mention of mlkm at the end of a list of divinities among the first alphabetic tablets discovered in 1929. A tablet from excavations in 1956 contained the same list in syllabic Akkad. in which mlkm is represented by “the Maliks” (pl. form), and these mlkm come among a group of cult objects or actions which are divinized. It is possible, then, that the mlkm gods are divinized molk sacrifices.
The major objection to this view is the statement in Leviticus 20:5 which condemns those who “prostitute themselves by following Molech.” Here Molech must be a divinity and not a sacrifice. On the contrary the references to “Molech” in all the Biblical texts can be understood as a divine name.
The term traditionally has been explained and recently has been defended to be a deliberate misvocalization of the title “King,” “the King” (Melech, hammelek) for the god of the Ammonites by inserting the vowels of boshet “shame” (cf. Ashtoreth). This title is a divine epithet which enters into the composition of many Phoen. and Heb. names, where it changes places with proper names of divinities. The epithet is found also under the forms muluk and malik in the name lists of Mari at the beginning of the second millennium b.c. Accordingly, it may be construed as an alternate form of Milcom. J. Gray argued that the proper name of the god was Athtar, an astral deity.
2. The cult. It usually is assumed that the cult of Molech involved sacrificing the children by throwing them into a raging fire. The expression “passed through [the fire] to Molech” (Lev 18:21; 2 Kings 23:10; Jer 32:35) normally is so interpreted for these three reasons: (1) it is assumed that the same rite is mentioned in 2 Kings 16:3; 21:6; 23:6; Isaiah 30:33; Jeremiah 7:31; 19:5; Deuteronomy 12:31; (2) this rite is abundantly verified among the Canaanites in both literary texts and artifactual evidence; and (3) whereas 2 Kings 23:10 informs us that Josiah “defiled Topheth (‘incinerator’), in the valley of the sons of Hinnom that no one might make his son or daughter pass through the fire to the Molek,” Jeremiah 7:31 says: “they have built the high place of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn (śrp) their sons and their daughters.” The verbal connections between these two passages are so close that “to burn” seems to be equivalent “to pass through the fire.”
N. H. Snaith, however, contended that the disputed expression means the children were given up by the parents to grow up and be trained as temple prostitutes. His best evidence is that in Leviticus 18 the writer throughout the whole chapter is concerned with illegal sexual intercourse, and esp. so in vv. 19-23. Moreover, the phrase was so interpreted in the Talmud. The apparently foreign insertion in Leviticus 18:21 is difficult to explain (cf. R. de Vaux, Studies in Old Testament Sacrifice , 87, n. 137). On the other hand, the rabbis also luridly describe a statue of Moloch according to the first view.
Bibliography G. F. Moore, “The Image of Moloch,” JBL XVI (1897), 161-165; J. Carcopino, “Survivances par substitution des sacrifices d’enfants dans l’Afrique Romaine,” Révue de l’Histoire des Religions, CVI (1932-B), 592-599; O. Eissfeldt, “Molk als Opferbegriff im Punischen und Hebräischen und das Ende des Gottes Moloch,” Beiträge zur Religionsgeschichte des Altertums, III (1935); R. Dussaud, Comptes-rendus de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, I (1946), 376f.; W. Kornfeld, “Der Moloch,” Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes, LI (1948-1952), 287-313; W. F. Albright, Archaeology and the Religion of Israel (1953), 162-164; K. Dronkert, De Molochdienst in Het Oude Testament (1953); A. Berthier and R. Charlier, Le Sanctuaire punique d’El-Hofra à Constantine (1955); E. Dhorme, “Le Dieu Baal et le Dieu Moloch,” Anatolian Studies, VI (1956), 57; J. Hoftijzer, “Eine Notiz zum punischen Kinderopfer,” VT, VIII (1958), 288-292; J. G. Février, “Essai de reconstruction du sacrifice Molek,” JA (1960), 167-187; R. de Vaux, Studies in Old Testament Sacrifice (1964), 73-90; N. H. Snaith, “The Cult of Molech,” VT, XVI (1966), 123f.; J. Gray, I and II Kings: A Commentary (1970), 275ff.
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