At the end of September, people visiting the Colosseum in Rome were greeted by one of the most hideous idols of the ancient world — Moloch.
The full-sized replica of the idol was the one used in the 1914 silent movie Cabira.
The idol was installed as part of an exhibit on Carthage’s history called Carthago: The immortal myth. The idol, that was set up on September 27, 2019, will be displayed at the entrance of the Colosseum until March 29, 2020.
The idol was particularly hideous because its was used to sacrifice live children.
Life Site News, a Catholic-based news site, reported that the setting up of the idol at the entrance to the Colosseum was particularly disturbing because in 1749 Pope Benedict the XIV declared the Colosseum a sacred site to remember the thousands of Christians that the Romans slaughtered in the Colosseum.
One Catholic family visiting the Colosseum were shocked to be greeted by Moloch. Alexandra Clark told Life Site News:
“We were so excited the day we decided to go to the Colosseum. But the moment we got there the sight that greeted us was horrifying! Standing guard over the entrance was the colossal pagan statue of Moloch. It was placed in that prime spot so that everyone that entered into the Colosseum had to pass it.”Alexandra Clark, Life Site News
Since they were visiting the Colosseum to honor the death of the martyrs, she felt that Moloch was mocking their deaths.
However, the replica portrayed in the Cabira movie wasn’t a completely accurate depiction because it has the arms of the idol stretched outward. In fact, ancient descriptions state the arms were in front of the idol.
The Greek historian Diodorus Siculus said the large idol had a fire lit inside it. The arms of the idol were in front and put at an angle so the child would roll into the fire when placed on its arms. Siculus noted that it was forbidden for the parents to mourn the death of their child.
Ancient Jewish writers noted that by the time the children were sacrificed the arms of the idol made of brass were red-hot. During the sacrifice the priests would bang drums as loud as they could to drown out the screams of the children.
The Bible had a few things to say about this idol that went by various names — Moloch, Chemosh and Kronos — depending on the culture.
But perhaps the most disturbing description was made by the prophet Ezekiel who wrote:
37 for they have committed adultery and blood is on their hands. They committed adultery with their idols; they even sacrificed their children, whom they bore to me, as food for them.Ezekiel 23:37 NIV
Notice that Ezekiel said the people were sacrificing their children “as food” for the idols. The Bible also states that there were demons or evil spirits behind these ancient idols as one passage grammatically connects idols with demons (Deuteronomy 32:16-17).
The ancients believed they were feeding these idols through the sacrifice. Food of course is necessary for keeping up our strength, so could these type of sacrifices actually strengthen the demonic?
We may actually have an example of this happening in the Bible. Israel had allied with Judah and Edom to attack the King of Moab. The three combined armies had defeated the Moab army, forcing Mesha, the Moabite King, to flee back to his castle with tattered remains of his army down to 900 men.
As the Israeli army numbering in the thousands gathered for the final assault, Mesha went up on the wall and sacrificed his eldest son. We are not exactly sure what happened next, but we are told that the Israeli army experienced a “great wrath” and withdrew (2 Kings 3:27).
The wrath the Israeli army experienced certainly didn’t come from the 900 men cowering inside the castle.
As Solomon fell away from God, he allowed a version of the Moloch idol (Chemosh) to be set up inside of Israel (1 Kings 11:7), a sign of the spiritual decline in the country. We also know in the end times, there will be a rise in demonic attacks directed at Christians.
Is this a sign of the times?