From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

( Jeremiah 49:1 MOLOCH or Melech , "king" of the people. Malcham,  Amos 5:26, Milcom,  1 Kings 11:5;  1 Kings 11:7, though originally the same as Moloch, assumed a modified character in time.) (See Malcham ; MILCOM.) Ammon's god, related to Moab's god Chemosh . The "fire god", worshipped with human sacrifices, purifications, and ordeals by fire, habitually, as other idols were occasionally; also with mutilation, vows of celibacy and virginity, and devotion of the firstborn. The old Canaanite "Moloch" is always written with the article the Moloch; to him children were sacrificed in Topher in the valley of the children of Hinnom. But Milcom's high place was on the Mount of Olives, and human sacrifices were not offered as they were to Moloch ( 2 Kings 23:10;  2 Kings 23:13.) Josiah defiled the sanctuaries of both. Milcom was related to Chemosh, which is called the god of Ammon in  Judges 11:24, though elsewhere the god of Moab ( Numbers 21:29).

Tophet appears again in Zedekiah's reign as the scene of child immolation to Moloch ( Jeremiah 32:35.) God sternly forbade any letting their seed pass through the fire to Moloch ( Leviticus 18:21;  Leviticus 20:2-5) on pain of death, which the people should execute; otherwise God Himself would. The passing through the fire may have been sometimes only a fire baptism for purification of the dross of the body; but  Psalms 106:37-38, shows that often expiatory human sacrifice was perpetrated, "they sacrificed their sons and daughters to "devils" ( Shedim , "destroyers", as Moloch was), and shed innocent blood ... unto the idols of Canaan" (compare  2 Chronicles 28:3;  Jeremiah 19:5). In this respect Moloch answered to Baal the Phoenician sun god, to whom also human burnt offerings were sacrificed; also to Chemosh, to whom Mesha sacrificed his son ( 2 Kings 3:27;  Micah 6:7;  Ezekiel 16:20;  Ezekiel 23:39). Kimchi (on  2 Kings 23:10) represents Moloch as a hollow brass humanlike body, with ox's head, and hands stretched forth to receive.

When it was thoroughly heated the priests put the babe into its hands, while "drums" ( Tophim from whence came Tophet) were beat to drown the infant cries, lest the parent should relent. The image was set within seven chapels: the first was opened to any one offering fine flour; the second to one offering turtle doves or young pigeons; the third to one offering a lamb; the fourth to one offering a ram; the fifth to one offering a calf; the sixth to one offering an ox; the seventh to one offering his son. Compare  Amos 5:26 margin, Sikut of Moloch, "the covert god."  Acts 7:43, "the tabernacle of Moloch" (like the sacred tent of the Carthaginians: Diodorus 20:65), the shrine in which the image was concealed; containing also possibly the bones of sacrificed children used for magic. The portable model "tabernacle" (compare Demetrius' silver shrines of Diana,  Acts 19:24) was small enough to escape Moses' notice. Amos calls Moloch "your Moloch" I am not your king but he, though ye go through the form of presenting Me offerings.

God similarly complains of their mocking Him with worship, while worshipping idols,  Ezekiel 20:89. Moses was aware of their clandestine unfaithfulness in general, while not knowing the particulars ( Deuteronomy 31:21-27). The Latin Saturn corresponds; to the Phoenician Saturn relatives were offered in an emergency (Sanchoniathon). So the Carthaginians, when besieged by Agathoeles, sacrificed to him 200 noble children (Diod. Siculus, 20:14) by placing them one by one in his hands in such a manner that each fell into a pit of fire. Moloch's priests took precedence of the princes, "Chemarim" ( Jeremiah 49:3;  2 Kings 23:5;  Hosea 10:5;  Zephaniah 1:4).(See Chemarim .) Hercules' priest, like Moloch himself, was called Melchart, "king of the city." Adrammelech, the Sepharvaite fire god, is related to Moloch. In  2 Samuel 12:31 for the Hebrew margin reading Malbeen , "brick-kiln," the Hebrew text has Μalkeen , "David led through Malkan," i.e. through the place where the Ammonites had burned their children to Moloch. He made their sin their mode of punishment; as they had done to the children, so he did to them.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [2]

מלכּ? , signifies king. Moloch, Molech, Milcom, or Melchom, was a god of the Ammonites. The word Moloch signifies "king," and Melchom signifies "their king." Moses in several places forbids the Israelites, under the penalty of death, to dedicate their children to Moloch, by making them pass through the fire in honour of that god,   Leviticus 18:21;  Leviticus 20:2-5 . God himself threatens to pour out his wrath against such offenders. There is great probability that the Hebrews were addicted to the worship of this deity, even before their coming out of Egypt; since the Prophet Amos,  Amos 5:26 , and after him St. Stephen, reproach them with having carried in the wilderness the tabernacle of their god Moloch,  Acts 7:43 . Solomon built a temple to Moloch upon the Mount of Olives,  1 Kings 11:7; and Manasseh a long time after imitated his impiety, making his son pass through the fire in honour of Moloch,  2 Kings 21:3-6 . It was chiefly in the valley of Tophet and Hinnom, east of Jerusalem, that this idolatrous worship was paid,  Jeremiah 19:5-6 , &c. Some are of opinion that they contented themselves with making their children leap over a fire sacred to Moloch, by which they consecrated them to some false deity: and by this lustration purified them; this being a usual ceremony among the Heathens on other occasions. Some believe that they made them pass through two fires opposite to each other, for the same purpose. But the word העביר , "to cause to pass through," and the, phrase "to cause to pass through the fire," are used in respect to human sacrifices in  Deuteronomy 12:31;  Deuteronomy 18:10;  2 Kings 16:3;  2 Kings 21:6;  2 Chronicles 28:3;  2 Chronicles 33:6 . These words are not to be considered as meaning in these instances literally to pass through, and that alone. They are rather synonymous with שרפּ? , to burn, and זבח , to immolate, with which they are interchanged, as may be seen by an examination of   Jeremiah 7:31;  Jeremiah 19:5;  Ezekiel 16:20-21;  Psalms 106:38 . In the later periods of the Jewish kingdom, this idol was erected in the valley south of Jerusalem, namely, in the valley of Hinnom, and in the part of that valley called Tophet, תפת , so named from the drums תפים תפּ? , which were beaten to prevent the groans and cries of children sacrificed from being heard,  Jeremiah 7:31-32;  Jeremiah 19:6-14;  Isaiah 30:33;  2 Kings 23:10 . The place was so abhorrent to the minds of the more recent Jews, that they applied the name ge hinnom or gehenna to the place of torments in a future life. The word gehenna is used in this way, namely, for the place of punishment beyond the grave, very frequently in oriental writers, as far as India. There are various sentiments about the relation that Moloch had to the other Pagan divinities. Some believe that Moloch was the same as Saturn, to whom it is well known that human sacrifices were offered; others think it was the same with Mercury; others, Venus; others, Mars, or Mithra. Calmet has endeavoured to prove that Moloch signified the sun, or the king of heaven.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [3]

A king, the god of the Ammorites. ( Acts 7:43) The Scriptures of God speak of Moloch upon several occasions in such a manner as make the subject very interesting to enquire into particulars concerning this horrid idol. The first account we meet with of this dunghill deity is in Leviticus, ( Leviticus 18:21.) where the Lord prohibits Israel from allowing of any of his seed to pass through the rite to Moloch. It should seem, that the method in those acts was simply passing through the flame; and as this carried with it an idea of much personal bravery, it is likely that the children of Israel were much disposed to rival their neighbours in this supposed act of courage. Hence the Psalmist laments this degeneracy of Israel, in  Psalms 106:1-48, from the sixth verse almost to the end. Hence the prophet Amos, ( Amos 5:25 and following verses, laments it also, And Stephen, the first martyr, charged it upon the Sanhedrim. ( Acts 7:42-43) That this horrid custom prevailed to a great degree is plain, from the relation we have of it, through many generations. Solomon built an high place for Moloch, ( 1 Kings 11:7) and Manasseh a long time after caused his son to, pass through the fire in honour of him. See  2 Kings 21:1-6. And in the valley of Tophet, the prophet Jeremiah speaks of those horrid transactions being carried on. ( Jeremiah 19:5-6, etc.)

But beside the Scripture account, the corresponding history of the times furnish accounts which are truly distressing to read. The idol itself was made of brass, we are told, in the shape of a man, with his arms extended to embrace. The whole figure was hollow, and when any sacrifice was to be made to Moloch, they heated the statue until it was nearly red hot, and the wretched victim was then brought and put into the arms of Moloch, where it remained until consumed. To stifle the cries of the unhappy sufferer from being heard, instruments of music were made use of, which continued playing until the poor victim had expired.

An historian of veracity, in addition to this sad account of human superstition, arising from our fallen state, tells us, that upon some occation where human sacrifices of this kind had not been so frequent as they supposed necessary, and fearing their dunghill god was displeased by way of atonement, they chose out two hundred of the noblest of their children, and made at once a sacrifice of them publicly. It is truly distressing to observe yet farther, that even to the present hour the custom of the East but too much favours this horrid practice. "The feast of fire," so called, and indeed the general plan among the worshippers of idols in the vast territory of Hindostan, afford but sad instances of the savage custom of those who immolate their children in this way.

I have been more particular in noticing, under the article of Moloch, the general subject of human sacrifices, by way of calling the reader's attention to the happy state of the revealed word of God. Oh, how blessed is it to discover, from the relation of such things, the preciousness of that one sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all, whereby "he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [4]

Moloch ( Acts 7:43) occurs in a quotation from  Amos 5:26. The Hebrew has ‘your king’; thus the Septuagintmay either be an explanatory gloss or represent another text. Moloch is spoken of in the OT as the god of the Ammonites, and is evidently the national deity, just as Chemosh is the god of Moab, and Jahweh the God of Israel, though the worship of other gods is not precluded. The Israelites regarded Moloch as an ‘abomination,’ and their temporary adoption of the worship of Moloch in the Valley of Hinnom gave rise to the ominous meaning attaching to ‘Gehenna.’

F. W. Worsley.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [5]

 Amos 5:26 Acts 7:43 1 Kings 11:7 2 Kings 23:10,13 Leviticus 18:21 20:2-5 1 Kings 11:5,33 Zephaniah 1:5

Webster's Dictionary [6]

(1): ( n.) The fire god of the Ammonites in Canaan, to whom human sacrifices were offered; Molech. Also applied figuratively.

(2): ( n.) A spiny Australian lizard (Moloch horridus). The horns on the head and numerous spines on the body give it a most formidable appearance.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [7]

Mo'loch. The same as Molech . See Molech .

Holman Bible Dictionary [8]

 Acts 7:3

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [9]

MOLOCH. See Molech.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [10]


Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [11]

Mo´loch, or rather Molech, is chiefly found in the Old Testament as the national god of the Ammonites, to whom children were sacrificed by fire. There is some difficulty in ascertaining at what period the Israelites became acquainted with this idolatry; yet various reasons render it probable that it was before the time of Solomon, the date usually assigned for its introduction. Nevertheless, it is for the first time directly stated that Solomon erected a high-place for Molech on the Mount of Olives and from that period his worship continued uninterruptedly there, or in Tophet, in the valley of Hinnom, until Josiah defiled both places . Jehoahaz, however, the son and successor of Josiah, again 'did what was evil in the sight of Jehovah, according to all that his fathers had done' . The same broad condemnation is made against the succeeding kings, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah; and Ezekiel, writing during the captivity, says, 'Do you, by offering your gifts, and by making your sons pass through the fire, pollute yourselves with all your idols until this day, and shall be enquired of by you?' . After the restoration, all traces of this idolatry disappear.

It has been attempted to explain the terms in which the act of sacrificing children is described in the Old Testament so as to make them mean a mere passing between two fires, without any risk of life, for the purpose of purification. This theory—which owes its origin to a desire in some Rabbins to lessen the mass of evidence which their own history offers of the perverse idolatries of the Jews—is effectually declared untenable by such passages as;;;; the last two of which may also be added to show that the victims were slaughtered before they were burnt.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [12]

he chief god of the Ammonites, the worship of whom, which prevailed among all the Canaanites, was accompanied with cruelties, human sacrifices among others, revolting to the humane spirit of the Jewish religion; originally it appears to have been the worship of fire, through which the innocent as well as the guilty have often to pass for the achievement of the noblest enterprises, which degenerated at length into selfish sacrifices of others for interests of one's own, into the substitution of the innocent for the guilty by way of atonement to the Deity!

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [13]

(Heb. Me'lek, מֶלֶךְ , King, as often; Sept. and N.T. Μολόχ ), the name of an Ammonitish idol (Amos 4:26;  Acts 7:43); usually called MOLECH (See Molech) (q.v.).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [14]

mō´lok  : A deity of the Ammonites, like the planet Saturn, a representative of the sun-god in the particular aspect of a god of time. See Astrology , 8; Molech .