Child sacrifice an abomination
2 Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land [a representative group] shall stone him with stones.
Or Giving Seed To Molech - v. 1-3
The term Molech is related to the Semitic word for king (Heb. melech). The god Molech became the god of vows and solemn promises, and children were sacrificed to him as the harshest and most binding pledge of the sanctity of a promise.
The Christadelphian Expositor
"Molech worship was expressly forbidden in the Mosaic law (Lev. 18: 2I: 20: 1-5). Nevertheless it was popularly observed in times of apostasy. Solomon built an altar to Molech in the Valley of Hinnom at Tophet (1 Kings11: 7). Both Ahaz and Manasseh offered their sons in sacrifice to Molech (2 Kings 16:3; 21:6).
Josiah, in his attempt to establish the Law of the Lord, desecrated the Hinnom Molech centre in order to render it useless for pagan religious practises (2 Kings 23:10).
The Molech cult was revived, however, and the prophecies of Jeremiah and Ezekiel afford
evidence that it continued to the time of the Exile (Jer. 7:29-34; Ezek. 16:20-21; 20:26,31; 23:37-39).
"The term Molech is related to the Semitic word for king (Hebrew melech).
It originally signified a counsellor. Its meaning is not far removed from Baal,'master'. The Palmyrenes had a deity whom they worshipped as Malach-baal. Milch-baal is a Phoenician personal name, and it is certain that the Baal whom Elijah challenged was the Baal of
Tyre, otherwise known as Melcharth.
'Molech worship included a practise which is described in Scripture as making a son or daughter pass through the fire. Some scholars have thought of this as a harmless rite of purification from which the child emerged unscathed. The testimony of Scripture, however, indicates that the child died as a result of this hideous rite. Ezekiel complains,
'. . .thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters . . . and these hast thou sacrificed . . . to be devoured . . . thou hast slain My children and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire' (Ezek. 16:20-21; cf 23:37).
The evidence is clear that children were slaughtered and burnt like other sacrificial victims.
Josephus says of Ahaz,
'He also sacrificed his own son as a burnt offering to the idols according to the custom of the Canaanites.'
Archaeologists have found hundreds of urns containing the bones of children from four to twelve years of age who had been burned alive" -
C. F. Pfeiffer, The Patriarchal Age.
The Valley of Hinnom, where the god Molech was set up, is called 'Tophet" in Scripture (Isa. 30:33; Jer. 7:32), which is derived from toph, "drums". It is suggested that during the frightful ceremony of presenting the children to the fires of Molech, drums were sounded in a hideous beating to drown out the screams of the children being offered.
This practise was sternly condemned by Yahweh, for such a frightful form of worship is not only completely unnatural, but the children so given, really belonged to Him (Num. 3:13), and from that seed must come the Redeemer (Gen. 3:15)...(1Tim. 2:15).
The Christadelphian Expositor
6 And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.
... though the prophets were true prophets of the future, they were not fortune tellers or conjurors.
Israel did not apply to them for knowledge of private affairs. The course of private affairs was sometimes predicted in the course of their work, as when Abijah told Jeroboam's wife that her sick son would not get better (1 Kings 14:12-13), or Elijah told Ahab of the bloody ending of Ahab and his wife because of their murder of Naboth (1 Kings 21:19), or Isaiah informed Hezekiah of his recovery and the lengthening of his days (Isaiah 38:4).
But in all such instances, it will be found that the incidents of private life when prophetically illuminated by the light of inspiration, were ingredients in a public situation of affairs in which God was speaking for the guidance of his people, and were never the subject of treatment for private behoof, as in the case of witches, familiar-spiritists, sorcerers and soothsayers, and other kinds of impostors.
Still less, were they made the occasion of extorting fees as in the case of various heathen practitioners. The two things were as far removed as light and darkness, both in character and treatment.
The prophets were "the messengers of the Lord of Hosts," whose messages were delivered "without money and without price." They were examples of righteousness to Israel and the appointed heirs of life eternal, as Jesus recognises.
The empirics and pretenders of all kinds, who professed magical powers and knowledge of the occult (a class who abounded among the neighbouring nations), are denounced throughout the prophets as evil men, whom Israel were not only forbidden to follow or consult, but commanded by the law of Moses to destroy.
The Christadelphian, June 1898
22 Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out.
All manner of ritual ordinances bore in upon them the stringency of their duty to keep these commandments. The regulation of their flesh eating reminded them that they, as God's people, were to the heathen what the clean animal was to the unclean, and taught them that they, being His, had to be holy like Him (Deut. 14: 2-21).
So also with their clothing: it could not be of mixed cloth, part wool, part linen, thereby symbolizing that they had to be wholly His, not half like Him and half like heathendom around them.
Law and Grace Ch 4
25 Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean.
From the fact that many, if not all, of the creatures classified as unclean are unwholesome, it has been argued that the law relating to them was a mere hygienic measure. Had this, however, been the object of the institution the word unwholesome, or one to that effect, would have been employed, for in no sense could the word "unclean" be substituted for "unwholesome."
These thoughts lead to the conclusion that the distinction God made between the animals was for some provisional end.
...Repeatedly were these Canaanitish nations denounced. Israel was taught to regard them as vile, abominable, unclean. Equally emphatic was the divine instruction respecting the character the Israelites were to exhibit.
... The unclean animals and the Canaanites bore to Israel exactly the same relation-both were offensive and defiling. On the other hand, the clean animals exhibited the condition and position of Israel-holy and separate. From this we may infer that the ordinance was designed to impress upon the children of Israel their favoured position, and the attitude it was necessary for them to assume in relation to the nations around, in order to secure the approval of God. The ordinance was thus a token and a symbol-a token of what God had done, and a symbol of what He expected Israel to do.
By this institution the enlightened Israelite was ever reminded of the important truths which it symbolised. In both his religious and domestic life, its requirements were entwined in a way that involved constant recognition. This is one of the many careful, impressive modes of God's instruction to His people, and indicates the great love He had for them.
The Christadelphian, Feb 1886.
26 And ye shall be holy unto me: for I Yahweh am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.
How emphatic the teaching of the appointments before us, that there would be death to those who defile the divine holiness.
How much needed is this lesson in a day like ours, when men are drifting further and further away from all reverence in divine directions. How much needed even among many who have been called to holiness, but of whom few seem adequately to realize the holiness of the calling to which they have been called. Paul gives the matter a pointed and practical application in 1 Cor. 3:17:
"If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is holy".
He had said "Ye are the temple of God", and again: "which temple ye are", It is this that gives point to the statement. And again:
..."Ye are the temple of the living God, as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them" (2 Cor. 6:16).
The lesson of the Mosaic shadow is plain in this bearing. Unholiness of body or spirit will evoke death: but the antitypical sacrifice brought in the hands in daily prayer, will ensure forgiveness if holiness is followed:
"without which no man shall see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14).
Law of Moses Ch 28