24 Facts About Moloch


Moloch is a name or a term which appears in the Hebrew Bible several times, primarily in the book of Leviticus.

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Traditionally, Moloch has been understood as referring to a Canaanite god.

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Since the medieval period, Moloch has often been portrayed as a bull-headed idol with outstretched hands over a fire; this depiction takes the brief mentions of Moloch in the Bible and combines them with various sources, including ancient accounts of Carthaginian child sacrifice and the legend of the Minotaur.

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Etymology of Moloch is uncertain: most scholars derive it from the root "to rule" but with the vowels of "shame", much like Ashtoreth, or as a qal participle from the same verb.

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Scholars who do not believe that Moloch represents a deity instead compare the name to inscriptions in the closely-related Punic language where the word refers to a type of sacrifice, a connection first proposed by Otto Eissfeldt .

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Each mention of Moloch indicates the presence of the article, or "the", therefore reading "the Moloch".

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In 2 Kings, Moloch is associated with the tophet in the valley of Gehenna when it is destroyed by king Josiah:.

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Moloch defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.

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Greek version with Moloch is quoted in the New Testament and accounts for the one occurrence of Moloch there .

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Notion that Moloch refers to a deity has been challenged for several reasons.

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Moloch is rarely mentioned in the Bible, is not mentioned at all outside of it, and connections to other deities with similar names are uncertain.

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None of the proposed gods Moloch could be identified with is associated with human sacrifice, the god Mlk of Ugarit appears to have only received animal sacrifice, and the sacrifice is never offered to a god name Mlk but rather to another deity.

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In 1935, Otto Eissfeldt proposed, on the basis of Punic inscriptions, that Moloch was a form of sacrifice rather than a deity.

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View that Moloch refers to a type of sacrifice was challenged by John Day and George Heider in the 1980s.

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Day and Heider argued that it was unlikely that biblical commentators had misunderstood an earlier term for a sacrifice as a deity and that Leviticus 20:5's mention of "whoring after Moloch" necessarily implied that Moloch was a god.

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Moloch's further argues that "whoring after Moloch" does not need to imply a deity as refers to both the act of sacrificing and the thing sacrificed, allowing an interpretation of "whor[ing] after the mlk-offering".

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Frendo, while he argues that Moloch refers to a god, accepts Stavrakopoulou's argument that the sacrifices in the tophet were originally to Yahweh.

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Minority of scholars, mainly scholars of Punic studies, has argued that the ceremonies to Moloch are in fact a non-lethal dedication ceremony rather than a sacrifice.

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In John Milton's Paradise Lost, Moloch is one of the greatest warriors of the fallen angels,.

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Flaubert described this Moloch mostly according to the Rabbinic descriptions, but with a few of his own additions.

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Chapter 13 describes how, in desperate attempt to call down rain, the image of Moloch was brought to the center of Carthage, how the arms of the image were moved by the pulling of chains by the priests, and then describes the sacrifices made to Moloch.

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Moloch is sometimes used to indicate something that demands immense sacrifice and subservience.

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Moloch had called from the depths of defeat the dark and savage furies latent in the most numerous, most serviceable, ruthless, contradictory and ill-starred race in Europe.

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Moloch had conjured up the fearful idol of an all-devouring Moloch of which he was the priest and incarnation.

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