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Bible Dictionaries

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary

Molech

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Molech (or Milcom) was the national god of the Ammonites, whose land bordered Israel’s territory east of Jordan. A well known feature of the worship of Molech was the sacrifice of children by fire, a practice that in Israel carried the death penalty (Leviticus 18:21; Leviticus 20:2-5; 2 Kings 23:10; Jeremiah 32:35).

When Solomon married an Ammonite wife, he built a shrine for Molech, though there is no record of his using it to offer child sacrifices. The shrine was not destroyed till the reign of Josiah, three hundred years later (1 Kings 11:5; 1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:10; 2 Kings 23:13).

In spite of the penalties and warnings, there were many occasions throughout Israel’s history when people were guilty of offering child sacrifices (Judges 10:6; Judges 11:30-31; Judges 11:39; 2 Kings 17:17; 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chronicles 28:1-3; Psalms 106:38; Jeremiah 7:31; Ezekiel 16:21; Ezekiel 20:31; Ezekiel 23:39). There is no record of child sacrifices by the Israelites after the Babylonian captivity.

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Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Molech'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/bbd/m/molech.html. 2004.

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