Molech, Popular Ancient God of Child Sacrifice

Molech (also Moloch, Molekh, Molok, Molek, Molock, Moloc) is an ancient Semitic god associated with child sacrifice, who was popular with the Canaanites and many other Middle Eastern peoples.

Offering to Molech. Original caption from 1897 ‘Bible Pictures and What They Teach Us,’ by Charles Foster: ‘This is an idol named Molech. A great many people used to pray to this idol. It had the head of a calf, and was made of brass, and it was hollow inside. There was a place in the side to make a fire in it. When it got very hot the wicked people used to put their little children in its arms. The little children were burned to death there. This man in the picture is just going to put a little child in the idol’s arms. Other men are blowing on trumpets and beating on drums, and making a great noise, so that no one can hear the poor little child cry.'” width=”450″ height=”” /> Offering to Molech. Original caption from 1897 ‘Bible Pictures and What They Teach Us,’ by Charles Foster: ‘This is an idol named Molech. A great many people used to pray to this idol. It had the head of a calf, and was made of brass, and it was hollow inside. There was a place in the side to make a fire in it. When it got very hot the wicked people used to put their little children in its arms. The little children were burned to death there. This man in the picture is just going to put a little child in the idol’s arms. Other men are blowing on trumpets and beating on drums, and making a great noise, so that no one can hear the poor little child cry.’
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Some scholars suggest that Yahweh’s insistence that the Israelites owe their firstborn son to him means that Yahweh required human sacrifice:

Exodus 22:29 Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.
30 Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me.

The below verses from Exodus suggest a suitable sacrificial substitute for the firstborn son—a redemption—was preferred, or required, by Yahweh.

Exodus 13:2 Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.

12 That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD’S.
13 And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.

15 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.

Whatever the truth about Yahweh and child sacrifice, Bible verses clearly show Yahweh’s displeasure with child sacrifices made to Molech. In between verses forbidding sex with menstruating women and lying carnally with your neighbor’s wife, and denouncing man-to-man sexual relations and bestiality, Yahweh says:

Leviticus 18:21 And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.

Leviticus 20:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 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.
3 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.
4 And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not:
5 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.

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