Author Topic: Whatever happened to Molech?  (Read 3509 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Whatever happened to Molech?
« on: November 07, 2022, 08:30:02 PM »
Molech game up in a discussion. I decided to do some biblical research on it.

The Hebrew consonants מלך [MLK] generally refer to "king" or "ruling as king." A feminine form is "queen".

The pointing for the gods name, Molech/Moloch occurs in Leviticus 18:21; 20:2, 3, 4, 5; 1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:10; Possibly Isaiah 57:9 (it is sometimes "king" there); Jeremiah 32:35. 1 Kings 11:5; 11:33; 2 Kings 23:13 have the name "Milcom" as the name of the God of the Ammonites.

In checking the LXX, in nearly all of these verses, "Molech" (and "Milcom") disappear.

In all five texts in Leviticus, the LXX uses ἄρχων = "ruler".
In 1 Kings 11:5, 11, 33; and Jeremiah 32:35, the LXX uses βασιλεύς = "king"
Only in 2 Kings 23:10 does the LXX transliterate: Μολοχ. (It also uses this word in Amos 5:26 where the Hebrew has "king." This is used when Luke quotes the passage in Acts 7:43.)

For a flavor of what difference this makes, here is the New English Translation of the Septuagint rendering of Leviticus 20:2-5:

You shall also speak to the sons of Israel: If any of the sons of Israel or of the guests who have come in Israel - whoever gives any of his offspring to a ruler, by death let him be put to death; the nation in the land shall stone them with stones. And it is I who will set my face against that person and will utterly destroy him from his people, because he has given of his offspring to a ruler, to defile my holy things and to profane the name of those consecrated to me. But if the natives of the land should by an oversight overlook with their eyes away from that person when he gives his offspring to a ruler in order not to kill him, then I will set my face against that person and his family and will utterly destroy him from among his people, him and all who are like-minded in going out to commit fornication with the rulers.

What might this version say about the type of allegiance folks give to rulers, e.g., the president (regardless of what party)?

Or, as a meme I copied: "Over the next six days don't let the elephants and donkeys make you forget that you belong to the Lamb."
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Matt Hummel

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Re: Whatever happened to Molech?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2022, 08:48:17 PM »
Molech? Oh yeah. He found that making a go of it as a Ancient Near Eastern deity wasn't doing it for him, so he now is a political consultant for the DNC.
Matt Hummel


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Coach-Rev

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Re: Whatever happened to Molech?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2022, 11:24:42 AM »
Didn't know anything happened to him/her/it (whatever their preferred pronoun is today).  All I know is that there are an awful lot of children still being sacrificed to him today.
"The problem with quotes on the internet is that you can never know if they are genuine." - Abraham Lincoln

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Fletch1

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Re: Whatever happened to Molech?
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2022, 10:58:58 AM »
From Introduction to Luther’s SC.
Note: The fact that the Bible is written in human language does not imply fallibility or error. Here, the incarnation guides our thinking. Jesus was true man, without sin, and true God. So also, the Bible is truly human, without error, and truly divine, the very Word of God in the words of men (Hebrews 4:15 and 2 Peter 1:20--21). For this reason, the Bible's truthfulness should not be questioned or denied (as happens, for example, with historical criticism). 

Charles Austin

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Re: Whatever happened to Molech?
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2022, 11:10:53 AM »
So long as the Bible’s truthfulness need not include matters of history, cosmology, and in some cases, biology. Because the Bible is not intended to be a history book, a book on astronomy, or a medical text.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, New York and New Jersey. LCA/LWF staff. Former journalist  Writer for many church publications.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Whatever happened to Molech?
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2022, 11:25:30 AM »
So long as the Bible’s truthfulness need not include matters of history, cosmology, and in some cases, biology. Because the Bible is not intended to be a history book, a book on astronomy, or a medical text.
What would be an example of the Bible lacking truthfulness on matters of biology?

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Whatever happened to Molech?
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2022, 11:38:04 AM »
From Introduction to Luther’s SC.
Note: The fact that the Bible is written in human language does not imply fallibility or error. Here, the incarnation guides our thinking. Jesus was true man, without sin, and true God. So also, the Bible is truly human, without error, and truly divine, the very Word of God in the words of men (Hebrews 4:15 and 2 Peter 1:20--21). For this reason, the Bible's truthfulness should not be questioned or denied (as happens, for example, with historical criticism).


Can you point me to the so-called inerrant Bible? Every Bible I have (except the KJV) has footnotes indicating possible errors in manuscripts and/or possible errors in translating.


Even with "Moloch," translators aren't sure if it should be the god, Moloch, in Isaiah 30:33 and 57:9, or translated, "king." Some translations, like the NRSV has footnotes letting readers know that there is some confusion about translating the Hebrew word. Others, like the ESV, don't inform readers about the options.
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Whatever happened to Molech?
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2022, 11:39:58 AM »
So long as the Bible’s truthfulness need not include matters of history, cosmology, and in some cases, biology. Because the Bible is not intended to be a history book, a book on astronomy, or a medical text.
What would be an example of the Bible lacking truthfulness on matters of biology?

Leviticus 11:6


The idea that it is a man's "seed" that is planted in a woman to produce offspring.
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

peterm

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Re: Whatever happened to Molech?
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2022, 11:44:37 AM »
So long as the Bible’s truthfulness need not include matters of history, cosmology, and in some cases, biology. Because the Bible is not intended to be a history book, a book on astronomy, or a medical text.
What would be an example of the Bible lacking truthfulness on matters of biology?
At the risk of opening a can of worms, I'll take a shot at this....

In my opinion, guided by readings of Luther and other theologians both ancient and modern, some of which my brothers in the LCMS would dismiss, Genesis 1 and 2 are perfect examples of what Charles is thinking about (though he can correct me if I'm wrong.)  We spend way too much time arguing creation Vs. Evolution, and the length of days mentioned in Genesis 1, and whether or not Adam and Eve are just two people, or representative of all humankind (which seems to be what Genesis 2 is pointing toward) when the larger pint and greater Biblical truth is that God is the creator of all things, not how many days it took or how long each day was, or whether creation started with just 2 people, or many.
Rev. Peter Morlock- ELCA pastor serving two congregations in WIS

peter_speckhard

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Re: Whatever happened to Molech?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2022, 12:10:53 PM »
It isn’t just that God created everything. Of equal importance in Gen.1-3 is the explanation of how a good and gracious God created a good world, which is not what we experience. In other words, the last enemy to be defeated is death, which came through sin. Other places in Scripture back this up, and the Gospel hinges on the truth of it. It isn’t quibbling about how to measure hours before the sun was created or whether Adam and Eve had bellybuttons. It is crucial to the nature of man’s relationship with God, to understanding the nature of death, and believing in a good Creator despite the experience of pain and death.

Fletch1

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Re: Whatever happened to Molech?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2022, 12:27:47 PM »
So long as the Bible’s truthfulness need not include matters of history, cosmology, and in some cases, biology. Because the Bible is not intended to be a history book, a book on astronomy, or a medical text.

What is the reference point from which you make that assertion?  And, how do you determine the truthfulness of that reference point? 

John_Hannah

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Re: Whatever happened to Molech?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2022, 12:28:50 PM »
It isn’t just that God created everything. Of equal importance in Gen.1-3 is the explanation of how a good and gracious God created a good world, which is not what we experience. In other words, the last enemy to be defeated is death, which came through sin. Other places in Scripture back this up, and the Gospel hinges on the truth of it. It isn’t quibbling about how to measure hours before the sun was created or whether Adam and Eve had bellybuttons. It is crucial to the nature of man’s relationship with God, to understanding the nature of death, and believing in a good Creator despite the experience of pain and death.

It seems to me that all that is true regardless of exactly how God went about his creation.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

peterm

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Re: Whatever happened to Molech?
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2022, 12:31:25 PM »
It isn’t just that God created everything. Of equal importance in Gen.1-3 is the explanation of how a good and gracious God created a good world, which is not what we experience. In other words, the last enemy to be defeated is death, which came through sin. Other places in Scripture back this up, and the Gospel hinges on the truth of it. It isn’t quibbling about how to measure hours before the sun was created or whether Adam and Eve had bellybuttons. It is crucial to the nature of man’s relationship with God, to understanding the nature of death, and believing in a good Creator despite the experience of pain and death.

I have no quarrel with this at all, that was my point.
Rev. Peter Morlock- ELCA pastor serving two congregations in WIS

Dave Benke

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Re: Whatever happened to Molech?
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2022, 12:43:57 PM »
It isn’t just that God created everything. Of equal importance in Gen.1-3 is the explanation of how a good and gracious God created a good world, which is not what we experience. In other words, the last enemy to be defeated is death, which came through sin. Other places in Scripture back this up, and the Gospel hinges on the truth of it. It isn’t quibbling about how to measure hours before the sun was created or whether Adam and Eve had bellybuttons. It is crucial to the nature of man’s relationship with God, to understanding the nature of death, and believing in a good Creator despite the experience of pain and death.

I have no quarrel with this at all, that was my point.

Which is way the Gospel of John initiates the incarnation - "in the beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.....In Him was life."  I see your and John H's and Peter's post stating the same thing, which is evidenced in Luther's explanation of the First Article.  "I believe that God made me and all creatures."  Punkt.

Dave Benke
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Whatever happened to Molech?
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2022, 12:46:19 PM »
It isn’t just that God created everything. Of equal importance in Gen.1-3 is the explanation of how a good and gracious God created a good world, which is not what we experience. In other words, the last enemy to be defeated is death, which came through sin. Other places in Scripture back this up, and the Gospel hinges on the truth of it. It isn’t quibbling about how to measure hours before the sun was created or whether Adam and Eve had bellybuttons. It is crucial to the nature of man’s relationship with God, to understanding the nature of death, and believing in a good Creator despite the experience of pain and death.


Genesis 3 - after the Fall, points to death as a rest from our hard labors. Many of the folks I've been with who were suffering and or frustrated with their limited life in old-age, were looking forward to death and the end of such suffering.
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]