Evidence concerning Moloch worship in ancient Israel is found in the legal, as well as in the historical and prophetic literature of the Bible. All of these nations rightly deserve the wrath of God to break upon us in terrible and righteous judgments for the abominable and detestable things we are doing in the sight of God. In the framework of the penalty clauses of some neo-Assyrian contracts, there is the threat that if one of the parties violates the contract, he will burn his son to Adad the king and give his daughter to Ishtar, or Belet-ṣēri. Molech worship is so detested by God that he warned Israel very sternly against it in Lev. The Bible contains the heart-breaking tale of child sacrifice practiced in the name of Molech (also spelled Moloch or Molek), a god of the Ammonites. (Jer. In place of a physical idol of Molech, we worship at the Molechs of choice and of pleasure (e.g.
The context has provided a clue to the meaning of both molchomor and מלכ אמר. The identification of Hadad-Baal with Moloch provides the background to Jeremiah 32:35, which fulminates against the bamot-altars of Baal in the valley of Ben-Hinnom where male and female children were burnt to Moloch, i.e., Baal-Hadad. ), was the first king to indulge in the worship of Moloch, it may be deduced that this was introduced through Assyrian influence, along with other practices such as the burning of incense on the roofs (II Kings 23:12), the sun chariots (23:11), and the tents for the Asherah (23:7).
Offerings, at least according to the Hebrew Bible, were to be reaped through either fire or war — and devotees can still be found today.
Although Moloch is not named in the Deuteronomy passage, it is likely that his cult was the object of the prohibition.
If it was completely eradicated by Josiah within the framework of his reform activities (II Kings 23:10), then Jeremiah's references to this worship (7:31, 19:1ff., 32:35) might apply to the days of Manasseh and also to the time of Josiah before the reform (see Y. Kaufmann , Toledot, 3 (1960), 382–90). This tradition is in keeping with the general rabbinic tendency to make biblical texts relevant to their audiences, who were more likely to be attracted to Greco-Roman cults and to intercourse with pagan women than to the sacrifice of humans to a long-forgotten god. A similar non-sacrificial tradition, perhaps more ancient, is found in the Book of Jubilees. In the Pentateuch, the laws of the Holiness Code speak about giving or passing children to Moloch (Lev. O. Eissfeldt, Kleine Schriften, 3 (1966), 335–9).
This is corroborated by evidence from the Assyrian-Aramean sphere where the epithet "King" is applied to the god Adad/Hadad, who is identified with the Canaanite-Phoenician Baal – was also called "King," cf. The image of Ishtar צלמיכם כוכב אלהיכם, is depicted here as having been carried under a canopy in a procession, a procedure attested in the Assyrian documents (cf.
Thus, sacrificing their children to Molech, besides breaking the first and second commandments, is firstly a violation of the sixth commandment against murder (Ex. Home > Skill Builders. However, the laws and warnings against the worship of the Moloch could hardly refer to these particular deities. 20:13). 18:21, 20:2–4) and the law in Deuteronomy speaks of "passing [one's] son or daughter through fire" (18:10).
In today's context, what is the Molech worship which is present in our day? 18:21 & 20:2-5, where Molech worship through children sacrifice is described as a profanation of God's name, and the punishment for Molech worship is DEATH! As the classical sources have it, the sacrifices of children at Carthage, a colony founded by Phoenicians on the coast of Northeast Tunisia, usually came after a defeat and a great disaster – a religious practice based upon an ancient mythological tradition. As already indicated above, the legal and historical sources speak about passing children to Moloch in fire. ; N.H. Tur-Sinai, Ha-Lashon ve-ha-Sefer, 1 (19542). Another expression occurring in the Punic inscriptions מלכאדם, turned out to be even more crucial for the understanding of the Hebrew molekh. In the Pentateuch, the laws of the Holiness Code speak about giving or passing children to Moloch (Lev. (Lev. ; O. Eissfeldt, Molk als Opferbegriff im Punischen und Hebräischen… (1935), 46ff.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Weinfeld, in: UF, 4 (1972), 133–54; M. Smith, in: JAOS, 95 (1975), 477–79; M. Held, in: ErIsr, 16 (1982), 76–77; B. Levine, JPS Torah Commentary Leviticus (1989), 258–60; R. Clifford, in: BASOR, 279 (1990), 55–64; A. Millard, in: DDD, 34–35; G. Heider, in: DDD, 581–85, incl. Meg.
As will be shown below, the introduction of the Moloch coincided with the introduction of the worship of the "queen of the heaven," although the latter persisted after the reform of Josiah whereas the Moloch cult seems to have perished following the reform.
If the classical reports are accurate, it could be maintained that there is no real connection therefore between the Phoenician-Punic child sacrifices which are sporadic and conditioned by crisis and the Moloch worship which was an institution or cult. and Akk. When Israel fell into idolatry, which incidentally if you read the OT sadly happens most of the time in their national history, one of the gods they worship is Molech, and thus they offer up their sons and daughters as human sacrifices to it. The child was then … In prophetic sources, Jeremiah 7:31 and Ezekiel 20:25–6 speak disapprovingly of sacrificing children to Yahweh (for the "bad statutes" referred to by Ezekiel, see Ex. ), Seeking Out the Wisdom of Ancients..Essays … M. Fox (2005), 21–36. Molech Worship in 21st Century Culture Editor's Update. Micah 6:7), on the one hand, and the Moloch cult which was an established institution with a fixed location (the Topheth), on the other. The common denominator of all these traditions is the understanding of Moloch worship as the transfer of Jewish children to paganism either by delivering them directly to pagan priests or by procreation through intercourse with a pagan woman.
It is true that the names Moloch (I Kings 11:7) and Milcom occur in the Bible in reference to an Ammonite god, and that deities by the name Malik/Muluk are attested to from the 18th century B.C.E. The fact that the Septuagint of the Pentateuch (which was the first to be translated by the Greek translators) translates molekh as "king" (archon) seems also to indicate that at the time of the translation of the Torah, the reading molekh instead of melekh was as yet unknown. Besides, it is methodologically unsound to explain a Hebrew word in the Bible on the sole basis of a late Aramaic word.
82:2-4), but instead through not objecting, they are strengthening the hand of the wicked. ADD. The word "king" was indeed a common attribute of the deities in the Phoenician-Punic sphere, e.g., Melkart ("king of the city," i.e., Tyre), מלכבעל, etc. Are we so afraid of being scorned by Man that we are willing to overlook the murder of babies? מלכבעל – "Baal is king." In today's context, what is the Molech worship which is present in our day?
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