All posts tagged: Molech

An Israeli sunset Credit: Israel Nature Photographers/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does an ancient archaeological discovery tell us something about ‘spiritual warfare’?

There is a strange story in the Old Testament talking about a battle that took place between Israel and Moab. Found in 2 Kings 3, we are told that Israel had the kingdom of Moab in subjection. As a vassal, the Moabites paid an annual tax to Israel of 100,000 lambs and the wool from 100,000 sheep. The reason was obvious, we are told that Mesha, the King of Moab, was a breeder of sheep (verse 3) and had obviously developed a unique breed that was in demand. By this time, Israel had split apart into two nations, Samaria (Israel) and Judah. King Ahab of Israel had just died and King Mesha decided this was an opportune time to break free from Israel’s domination. Undoubtedly, Israel became aware of the problem when Mesha refused to pay the tribute. So Jehoram, the new King of Israel contacted King Jehoshaphat of Judah and an unnamed King of Edom to help Jehoram bring Moab back into submission. Obviously, it was in everyone’s best interest to keep Moab under …

Don't pass your children through the fire. Photo Jasonyurgelevic/Flickr

As food for them?

The prophet Ezekiel uttered a strange prophetic word condemning Israel’s practice of sacrificing their children: 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) Ezekiel was referring to the worship of Molech, a god found among the Canaanites and Phoenicians. It went by different names — Molech, Kronos and Chemosh are a few. King Solomon in his downward spiral even set up an idol to these gods in a high place in Israel (1 Kings 11:7). Leviticus 18:21 condemned the practice and gave more information:  “and thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech.” Diodorus Siculus, an ancient Greek historian, reported it as an idol with arms sticking out in front at a bit of an angle. The families would place their child on the arms and the baby or infant would roll down into a fire inside the idol. The historian adds the …