‘Shall I Offer My Eldest Son?’ (Mi. 6:7). Cover Image

‘Shall I Offer My Eldest Son?’ (Mi. 6:7).
‘Shall I Offer My Eldest Son?’ (Mi. 6:7).

Author(s): Edward Lipiński
Subject(s): Jewish studies, Theology and Religion
Published by: Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II - Wydział Teologii
Keywords: molk-sacrifice; first-born; substitution offer; cultic use of nātan; ‘am hā’āreṣ; gēr;

Summary/Abstract: Leaving aside the speculations about the alleged god Molech, who does notbelong to the Bible, but only to the history of biblical studies, the article deals witha few passages referring to child sacrifices. Starting from Mi. 6:7, which shows that the molk-offering was a particular form of Yahwistic cult, practiced in the 8th-7th centuries B.C., a distinction is made between an old belief that the first-born should be ‘given’ to the deity and the accomplishment of an unfortunate vow. Among the passages examined are Ex. 22:28-29; 34:19, and Judg. 11. More attention is paid to Lev. 20:2-5 and to Isa. 30:33, where the image of a sacrificed victim ready to be burnt is applied to Assyria. Since the question cannot be studied historically without using non-biblical sources, the article also refers to related Phoenician, Punic, and Latin texts. It examines the etymology of the words molek and tophet, as well as the particular meaning of gēr in the 8th-7th centuries B.C.

  • Issue Year: 5/2015
  • Issue No: 62/1
  • Page Range: 95-109
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: English, Polish