The god Molech and human sacrifices
Source document: Religio. 1999, vol. 7, iss. 1, pp. -28
ISSN1210-3640 (print)2336-4475 (online)
License: Not specified license
The sacrifice to Molech in ancient Israel constitutes a special problem, on which much has already been written. There is still controversy about the origin, nature and backround of the cult. -- In view of the evidence from Syro-Palestinian and Phoenician areas it is probable that a ritual including human, particularly child sacrifice was practised in times of crises and as part of foundation rituals. -- With regard to the question whether the term Molech refers to a certain god or whether it means a type of sacrifice most scholars now believe that molk as a general term for sacrifical offering confined to the Punic inscription must be distinguished from the name of Syro-Palestinian deity known as Malik, Milku or Molek. The god was worshipped as an underworld deity in Mari, Ugarit, Israel and Ebla. He was closely associated with the cult of the dead, and included offerings to deified ancestors.