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Ronnie James Dio, of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, recalls his grandmother referring to Moloch when she made the sign for the 'evil eye', index finger and pinky finger extended, that he then popularized during concerts and has now become the universal sign of heavy metal in pop culture[citation needed].

This cannot be sourced, as it is from VH1's "Rock Docs: Metal", a TV special with no webpage (AFAIK). -- 08:08, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

The ancients would heat this idol up with fire until it was glowing, then they would take their newborn babies, place them on the arms of the idol, and watch them burn to death.[citation needed]

I removed this as it is 1) stated earlier up in the article, and 2), a word for word quote from the Watchtower magazine, a religious pamphlet distributed by the Jehovah's Witnesses and it's neutrality is *severely* lacking in this case. The wording of the paragraph in the section it was in was sticking out like a sore thumb (sorry, I can't think of a more literary way to put that) and really seemed tacked on by someone with a religious agenda. If this is inappropriate, please switch it back, and apologies from me.

This article on Moloch is missing citation of sources. All information below - numbered for quick reference - should state sources and page numbers:


1. Paul G. Mosca, in his thesis described below, translates Cleitarchus' paraphrase of a scholium to Plato's Republic as: There stands in their midst a bronze statue of Kronos, its hands extended over a bronze brazier, the flames of which engulf the child. When the flames fall upon the body, the limbs contract and the open mouth seems almost to be laughing until the contracted body slips quietly into the brazier. Thus it is that the 'grin' is known as 'sardonic laughter,' since they die laughing.

2. Diodorus Siculus (20.14) wrote: There was in their city a bronze image of Cronus extending its hands, palms up and sloping toward the ground, so that each of the children when placed thereon rolled down and fell into a sort of gaping pit filled with fire.


3. Like some other gods and demons found in the Bible, Moloch appears as part of medieval demonology, as a Prince of Hell. This Moloch finds particular pleasure in making mothers weep; he specializes in stealing their children. According to some 16th century demonologists, Moloch's power is stronger in December.


4. In Bertrand Russell's A Free Man's Worship, Moloch is used to describe a particularly savage brand of religion: The savage, like ourselves, feels the oppression of his impotence before the powers of Nature; but having in himself nothing that he respects more than Power, he is willing to prostrate himself before his gods, without inquiring whether they are worthy of his worship. Pathetic and very terrible is the long history of cruelty and torture, of degradation and human sacrifice, endured in the hope of placating the jealous gods: surely, the trembling believer thinks, when what is most precious has been freely given, their lust for blood must be appeased, and more will not be required. The religion of Moloch — as such creeds may be generically called — is in essence the cringing submission of the slave, who dare not, even in his heart, allow the thought that his master deserves no adulation. Since the independence of ideals is not yet acknowledged, Power may be freely worshipped, and receive an unlimited respect, despite its wanton infliction of pain.


5. In Karel Čapek's War with the Newts, the Newts counter Christian attempts at conversion by turning to a god of their own creation named Moloch: At a later period and almost universally the Newts themselves came to accept a different faith, whose origin among them is unknown; this involved adoration of Moloch, whom they visualized as a giant Newt with a human head; they were reported to have enormous submarine idols made of cast iron, manufactured to their orders by Armstrong or Krupp, but no further details ever leaked out of their cultic rituals since they were conducted under water; they were, however, believed to be exceptionally cruel and secret. It would seem that this faith gained ground rapidly because the name Moloch reminded them of the zoological "molche" or the German "Molch," the terms for Newt.


6. A temple at Amman (1400–1250 BC) excavated and reported upon by J.B. Hennessy, shows possibility of animal and human sacrifice by fire.

-Djkenney (talk) 23:06, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Translation please[edit]

Many parts of this article are not only argumentative but need to be translated into idiomatic English.

Article rewrite by Jallan[edit]

Two year Review of Article[edit]

This article has gone DOWNHILL since the Jallan rewrite. It needs to be re-written. It is pretty awful.--Blue Tie 22:44, 24 June 2006 (UTC

The whole section on Molech in popular Culture is worthess. Peope will NOT read this article to find that stuff. If anything, they will hear the name Molech in popular culture and look up what it ACTUALLY means, not all the places the name turns up. That section should GO!
The section about the Bohemian Grove is nonsense. Having now just wasted an hour and a half watching the expose film, I can guarantee that the only connection between the Bohemian Grove ceremony depicted there and Molech is that Molech was an idol and there was a fire associated with him. But that was true of many many many many gods, including the God of the Bible sometimes. The name Molech is not used in the Bohemian Grove ceremony, it is only the fundamentalist Christian editor trying to make a claim who makes this accusation, but with almost no evidence for it. Indeed, his evidence rests almost exclusively upon his interpretation of a cartoonish drawing of the "Cremation of Care" which is DEFINITELY NOT represented as though it were a child and, in fact, is not specifically human, but is rather an anthropmorphicly represented concept of "Dull Care". Like Love or Hate. The voice of Dull Care is not that of a child but is that of a fully mature (deep booming voice) man. The figure is not "Molech". It is "The owl of Bohemia". And the whole ceremony is far more druidic than anything else. Even the Christian researcher admits that. This whole section should go. It is irrelevant to the Molech article.

--Blue Tie 15:33, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Uhm, it's just that the owl of Bohemian grove (logo and the idol statue) as well as the owl on the US senate grounds (seen from the air) both are representations of Moloch or Molech. This is no christian conspiracy theory, however, I guess/know you will not believe that... I'm from Norway myself, and two owls can also be observed here in Oslo, as ornaments on a building located very close to the kings castle. I even suspect the owl often used as symbol of education/universities, represents the same thing. Then again, I'm just a 'crazy' conspiracy nut, so I guess you can just ignore me... (I'm not saying this should go into the article, though, I'm just saying its the truth... so sue me ;) -- A-ixemy 23:42, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Original Entries under this Heading[edit]

User:Jallan has done an outstanding rewrite here. more than a rewrite. This sets a Wikipedia standard. Wetman 05:42, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I undid Trc's revert: the annihilation of so much work (a complete rewrite) requires an explanation longer than 200 characters. Trc, you are welcome to explain your reversion more fully on this talk page. —No-One Jones 17:31, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I recognize that the version prior to Jallan's edit was a mishmash. But it strikes me as unlikely that so much was wrong with the previous content, and that so much is correct about the new content. The new content is akin to a short journal article, proposing ideas and theories, leading the reader along with operative phrases rather than reporting on what different paradigms suggest. I get the sense of paradigm replacement based on novel approaches to the subject matter. The section "Pure fiction" is gratuitous, the icing on the cake: after casting doubt about earlier interpretations, a fiction is referred to, giving the article's overall outline that delicious sense of a glorious modern reproof of the past. Trc | [msg] 06:16, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)

It is unfortunately not unlikely that old theories long debunked or very suppositious continue to be repeated as fact and get into tertiary works, including Wikipedia. That happens in every area of knowledge. Anyone who thinks any of the material I left out or that I deprecated in my discussion is welcome to put it back, but to put it back along with trustworthy citations supporting it. I've no philosphical bias against an earlier source than Flaubert for mechanical arms or evidence for a "Moloch cult" outside of the Bible references or a Carthaginian connection if someone can provide evidence. Anyone is welcome to attempt to improve my discussion.

But neither my approach or paradigms presented were novel. The paradigms are standard ones and I reported on their implications and on criticisms made of them.

Outside of the molk sacrifice, all this is very old. My discussion is little different from that in the Moloch article in the 1899 Encyclopædia Biblica, just a going over the necessary material. See Encyclopaedia Biblica: Minni - Mordecai]. See also the 1908 [Catholic Encyclopedia: Moloch] which also disassociates Moloch from Milcom and cites the theory that the sacrifices were made to Yahweh, though it argues against this, quite possibly correctly. I've no stake one way or the other. But the theory should be mentioned as readers will find it in various soruces. Neither of those older encyclopedia articles so much as bothers to acknowledge suppositious attempts to connect Moloch with Melqart or with Carthaginians. Such ideas were never unworthy of being raised as a conjecture, but have never been supported by any evidence.

Indeed the 1899 Encyclopædia Biblica notes that there is no evidence anywhere for a Moloch cult outside of Jerusalem. The only discovery since 1899 to change that is the finding in 1928 that there was such a thing as a molk sacrifice which provided a possible new interpretation, an interpretation which became the scholary consensus interpretation and may still be the most common scholarly interpretation. This should not be new or novel in 2004.

But *Sigh!* see [Encyclopedia Mythica: Moloch] for nonsense still repeated without citation as it was in the previous version in the Wikipedia, including Flaubert's mechanical arms and the Carthage connection. The bogus material floats from tertiary reference to tertiary reference, no-one checking (or if checking, simply finding the same bogus material elsewhere). Pointing out that one source of such accounts of Moloch is Flaubert's novel rather than scholarship is, I think, important, not gratuitous. See, for example [From Infant Sacrifice to the ABC's] which discusses in part the attempts of historians to undo the vivid pictures which Flaubert raised.

It is gratuitous to revert a Wikipedia entry in any area of knowledge with which one is unfamiliar except on grounds of vandalism. A "sense of novel approach" should be verified. Is the approach a novel approach by the writer? Or is it only novel to a reader who is unfamiliar with normal and longstanding mainstream scholarship in a particular area? jallan 17:25, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Ezekiel passage[edit]

Ezekiel 20.35 even suggests that Yahweh himself at some point had commanded the sacrifice of children in order to defile his people:

Moreover I gave them laws which are not good and rules by which they cannot live: When they set aside every first issue of the womb, I defiled them by their very gifts – that I might render them desolate, that they might know that I am Yahweh.

The relevant verses, in some bibles at least, are Ez 20:25-26. This section of the new version is problematic because it does not take into account the understanding of how the Scriptures mean. What this verse means, rather than implying that God commanded the sacrifice of children, is that God permitted the sacrifice, and other pagan practices, so that the people should discover their rebellion against "my statutes". Ez c. 20 is filled with remonstrations about how the people are not observing the statutes, despising "my ordinances that bring life to those who keep them". But this portion of the new edit implies quite the reverse, that God actually wanted to defile His people. This is, I think, an example of a misuse of Scripture to editorialize. Let me emphasize, however, something that may have gotten lost in all this: I fully accept the inclusion of these new points of view. I reverted to encourage a better integration. I see now we shall have to work at this the other way. I am not sore or unhappy about this. I agree that User:jallan has provided some important new material. I didn't intend to imply otherwise. In any case, I consider this quoted passage, above, to be such a misuse of the Scripture cited that I have removed it from the article. Trc | [msg] 20:46, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Quite correct: the passage is Ezekiel 20:25-26. Correct it in the entry, please. The relevant context is what this verse meant to the writer and his original hearers, and perhaps to the 7th-6th century BC editors of Ezekiel. What it means to anyone since is material for the entry Ezekiel, not Moloch. What it means to any of us is not Wikipedia material, period. Please restore suppressed information, and set it in historical context if needed. Wetman 21:21, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)
It must be the height of philological speculation to suppose than an excerpted verse can magically mean the opposite of absolutely everything around it. Misuse of text is wrong in any context. Trc | [msg] 02:18, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The Ezekiel passage is quoted in the Moloch article in the 1899 Encyclopædidia Biblica as the strongest evidence for the theory that the offerings were considered to be to Yahweh (along with Jeremiah 7.31). Both passages are also cited in the Moloch aritlce in the 1908 Catholic Encyclopedia which reponds rather weakly (in my opinion): "But this position is to say the least improbable. The texts appealed to may well be understood otherwise, and the prophets expressly treat the cult of Moloch as foreign and as an apostasy from the worship of the true God." It is cited in 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica: Moloch] with the comment: "Note, also, the attitude of Ezekiel in xx. 25 seq., 31, references which cannot be explained away." The article The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Molech; Moloch] treats it rather strangely, remarking:

That this prophet regarded the practice as among the "statutes that were not good, and ordinances wherein they should not live" (Ezekiel 20:25) given by God to His people, by way of deception and judicial punishment, as some hold, is highly improbable and inconsistent with the whole prophetic attitude toward it.

It is not clear what this means, quoting parts of the passage and paraphasing part of it and then adding "as some hold". This article shows itself elsewhere quite aware of the theory that infants were sacrificed to Yahweh. It also brings in bogus Moloch-worship in connection to Carthage. Not a good article in any case.
Three different Rabbinical interpretations of the Ezekiel passage appear at [1]. The interpretation by Rashi accords with the most obvious meaning, disliked by TRS, but the writer finds this inconvincing as not in accord with his own theology and prefers another interpretation. That would not be a reason to suppress Rashi's interpretation and the writer does not do so.
There is a discussion at [2] which covers in part John Day's treatment favorably but also discusses the Ezekiel passage in respect to the problem of the people's belief (and apparently Ezekiel's beliefs) that commands which Ezekiel saw as bad came from Yahweh. Note, John Day believes Moloch is not Yahweh, but that still does not answer the problems with that passage.
In short, the passage has been long used in support of the theory that the offerings of children lmlk was understood as commanded by Yahweh. It has long been in general a problem pasage. But those who feel that it is being misinterpreted do not suppress it. It is dishonest to present a theory that has been held and still is held and suppress its strongest supporting argument. On could respond by citing the Catholic Encyclopedia response (which seems to me weak). But add it with a citation if you will. But do not suppress.
The inclusion is not editorializing by me. I am presenting various theories that are held along with evidence for and against. The Ezekiel passage is cited as part of a common argument that children were sacrificed to Yahweh and normally used as support for that argument, indeed one of the main sources for that argument. My own POV, as much as I have one, is that the evidence is confused, there are good arguments as well as weaknesses in various positions, and that one should present all sides ... though of course full discussion would be a book length article.

Your particular POV on a Biblical passages is not grounds to suppress it when cited with a different interpretation, especially when it is normally cited in the Moloch context by sources usually considered reputable, sometimes very much supporting the POV that the sacrifices were to Yahweh. Even when when that interpretation is rejected the Ezekiel passage is still cited in discussion.

I don't believe that anything I have included in this article, including the Ezekiel passage, is non-standard for discussion of Moloch. I have tried to present the vanilla arguments and give enough information to allow them to be understood. One obviously cannot agree with all sides. Moloch cannot easily be at once Yahweh, an entirely different god, the name of a kind of sacrifice. Passing through fire cannot be at the same time a human sacrifice or an initiation ceremony. But people do hold different views and the task of the article is to explain these views and give their history.

It should be obvious now that your original feeling that this material was novel was incorrect. Please let the normal statements used as arguments stand, regardless of the positions.

I am restoring the passage with some reasonable weasel words to make it clearer that this is the expounding of a point of view that is held, not necessarily everyone's interpretation. jallan 03:22, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I have rearranged the "Offerings to Yahweh" section with some additions and changes to partly absorb Trc's last additions as follows:

Trc inserted:

A more standard interpretation is that the prophet was, in all likelihood, implying the concept of slaughter. In some modern presentations, this segment of Isaiah is given as poetry, and thus more likely to use imagery.

I have accordingly provided the older interpretation explicitly. In fact only one line of the passage is interpreted differently. I omitted the reference to poetry because Mosca's translation is in verse form as a reader should be able to see. Also, it is obvious that Isaiah is using imagery, regardless of interpretation. My earlier account used the word imagery and I've now added it a second time if that helps. But I don't see anyone thinking that the reader should imagine Yahweh creating a physical hearth somewhere and physically placing the King of Assyria on it. By any reasonable interpretation the passage is metaphorical.

Trc inserted:

His use of Ez 20.25–26 is at odds with the remainder of Ez c.20, in which Yahweh is clearly shown to be remonstrating with the Israelites for having "despised my ordinances that bring life to those who keep them". A more standard interpretation of vv. 25–26 is simply that Yahweh permitted the people to defile themselves. Bibles tend to indicate in footnotes to this section that the theological language of the time had a tendency to attribute to Yahweh actions for which the people themselves bore responsibility.

It is not Mosca's use of those verses that is at odds with the remainder of Ezekiel 20 but the verses themselves. Nothing is clearly shown or there would not be so many interpretations of this passage, none of which, in my opinion, is compelling and some rather obviously an attempt to explain away the passage rather than explaining it. As to what Bibles tend to indicate in footnotes ... I find no such notes in a quick check of various Bibles, ... possibly not looking in the proper Bibles. But such a statement is absurd as a counter to any theory. "Gee, some Bibles somewhere in their notes, right next to Archbishop Ussher's dates, give a counter-theory; so you should believe it." As to the theory itself, I'm unaware of any such tendency in the Tanach for Yahweh to be portrayed saying he did something which he did not do in those accounts, which humans did. Of course atheists would quite accept such a theory, that since there was no Yahweh he indeed had nothing do with anything that is claimed for him, it all being either being imaginary or a mixture of human activity and natural causes.

In any case since Trc insists on concrete indication that the Ezekiel text has been intepreted otherwise, I have placed a number of other common interpretions of the passage along with sources. This somewhat burdens the article, but perhaps at some future time they might become the nucleus of a separate article Ezekiel: statutes that were not good with a link from here.

I have also added to the external links. jallan 03:30, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)

"It is not Mosca's use of those verses that is at odds with the remainder of Ezekiel 20 but the verses themselves." This is strained reasoning, as the verses occur in a context that should be taken into account. Bible notes are prepared by scholars of various kinds, and are not irrelevant. Your new paragraph containing extra interpretations is a help. Trc | [msg] 04:46, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Flaubert novel[edit]

The section describing Flaubert's novel is in grave danger of elimination. The only sentence connecting it meaningfully to the article is the very last one, for which no example is provided. It seems unlikely that a work of fiction has been considered a source of information by anyone. I think it is added as a zingy extra, intended to lend a dashing flavor to the article. The fact is that Flaubert does not define Moloch. Trc | [msg] 04:51, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I find the section(s) on Flaubert's novel, and on Moloch in popular culture in general, essential to a complete treatment of Moloch. Indeed, for me, the information provided (in these sections) was of particular interest. It is in this regard that I make the following comment: [TRC] states above that "It seems unlikely that a work of fiction has been considered a source of information by anyone." If this statement is to be considered valid reasoning for removing the section on Flaubert's novel, then what about the Bible? Clearly both the Old and New Testament are works of fiction, and yet they are considered by many a source of information - are they not? Just because certain prose is fictional does NOT mean that it contains no information. Flaubert's novel IS information pertinent to the subject of Moloch and should be retained. (talk) 08:08, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

First, the post you're responding to is over 6 years old. Second, please don't copy from Microsoft Word to Wikipedia, the formatting gets screwy.
Flaubert's novel was written as fiction in the 1800s (and any historical understanding he had would be outdated by now), while the books of the Bible were intended to be believed on some grounds and were contemporaneous with the Moloch cult. To view Flaubert as a source and calling the Bible into question to justify use of his work is like viewing "Shakespeare in Love" as a source on Shakespeare's life and questioning the use of writings by Shakespeare's rivals and employers as a source on his life. Ian.thomson (talk) 15:25, 23 October 2010 (UTC)


Could this be "El Molek" that is "l" before "mlk" acting as the definite article. Thus "passing through the fire lmlk" could mean passing through the the fire of Molek.

El is a definite article in Romance languages, not Semitic ones. (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 00:17, 19 September 2008 (UTC).

For the Wikipedia reader[edit]

Could this entry now be given an opening paragraph that approximately answers the average reader's question: "Who or what was Moloch?" with the briefest sense of where interpretive disagreement lies? Then the interested reader might continue, into the entry as it exists. --Wetman 19:45, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

problem section[edit]

The following section (now in the popular culture section of the article) seems problematic to me:

Compare ancient Moloch worship (offering one's children as a burnt sacrifice) to modern suicide-attack tactics of blowing one's self up with explosives within the same region in which, historically, the inhabitants have worshipped Moloch, and that there is strong documentation of parents encouraging their children to "pass through the fire" caused by self-detonation by explosives worn on the body. This seems to indicate that although his name is no longer used, the old habits remain, much as in the same manner in which European Christians (and their American progeny) continue ancient Pagan practices in Christmas and New Year's observances (evergreen trees, mistle-toe, etc).

Apart from the fact of the odd placement within the pop culture context, the linkage of ancient and modern behaviours seems tenous, speculative and implicitly racialist in tone; some ancient Jews are thought to have worshipped Moloch, but there is no suggestion of similar behaviour as a carry-over of ancient practises by modern Israelis, nor is there any explanation of how this alleged motivation of suicide bombers in the Levant could explain similar behaviour outside the areas where Moloch was worshiped (such as Iraq, Chechnya, Indonesia etc).--Centauri 05:20, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Though well written, this looks like (a) a highly personal viewpoint with no citable references, (b) a thinly veiled anti-Palestinian message (e.g. "the old habits remain") and (c) an anonymous user. I'm removing. --Air 09:55, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)


Problems with this addition by -Ril-:

"Morlocks (based heavily on Molochs) feature as technologically advanced, but physically weak, enemies, in the famed novel The Time Machine by H.G.Wells"

  1. "based heavily on Molochs" - what does this mean? Moloch is a god (singular) with no physical representation.
  2. "technologically advanced" - no, H.G.Wells' Morlocks are technologically backward.
  3. "physically weak" - no, Morlocks are physically strong.
  4. "enemies" - of whom exactly?

The link between Morlock and Moloch has been pointed out in one or two places but I don't see a point of any depth.

In any case I think speculation on the origins of Wells' Morlocks should be in Morlocks, not here. I'm moving it. --Air 18:21, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)

If In the video game Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, the boss-character Moloch... has a place in the pop culture section, I'd say Morlocks do, but I agree the sentence above is weak. --zippedmartin 02:46, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

More meanings[edit]

Moloch or "moloch horridus" is also the scientific name of a kind of horned lizard also known as thorny devil. See e.g.

I put a mention of that on the disambig when I overhauled the article. See thorny devil. Sam Spade 08:58, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Bohemian Grove[edit]

I removed the prominent mention of this from the opening paragraph but didn't touch the section itself. Surely it's enough to have a long section on the naive and spurious identification with "Moloch" (made by the film crew?) of the mumbo-jumbo antics at Bohemian Grove, which simply mark the start of their "care-free" retreat. The owl is too familiar as an emblem of Wisdom to need identifying; laid before it, slips of paper on which Bohemian Club participants have written their secret worries and fears are ceremonially immolated. Putting a reference to this in the opening paragraph gives it unwarranted prominence. --Wetman 20:03, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Ok. I gave it prominence because of its current nature (one of the best aspects of the wiki). In 10 years or so if Alex Jones gets forgotten and some new breakthru interpretations of the Molech concept comes out, I would assume it would take his special status on the cutting edge of Molech info. Sure, it sounds wacky, but such wacky theories regarding freemasons were of signifigance historically, even resulting in an anti-masonic political party in the united states, and anti-mason persecutions in europe. Sam Spade 20:15, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
"Interpretations?" You dispute these claims then, Sam? GeorgeC 20:20, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Sure, I think nearly everyone disputes all these claims. Don't you? Its irrelevant tho, since my opinions are not notable in the context of the article. Sam Spade 20:22, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I didn't imply that they were. I don't have a problem believing them given the well-documented flirtation with astrology and occultist activities in the White House. GeorgeC 04:53, 11 January 2006 (UTC), just maybe the journalists are confusing Moloch with Mammon. The connections to Moloch are too tenuous to be presented in the opening paragraph, but I didn't touch the section itself. --Wetman 10:48, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Alex Jones definitely means Molech, the dull care ceremony involved binding a child on an alter in early years, and currently the burning of one in effigy. Here is a link, which has various information, as well as some video clips www.infowarscom/bg_order_of_death.html [Unreliable fringe source?]. You may also want to read Bohemian grove, Skull and bones, bilderberg group and etc... if you want to know more. Sam Spade 10:56, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

The Bohemian Grove section should be flagged for neutrality.

The Bohemian Grove section should GO! Just because one person improperly associates the Bohemian Grove with Molech does NOT mean that wikipedia should accept that is valid. This is an egregiously bad edit and should be removed. --Blue Tie 15:37, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

they worship molech at bohemian grove, there are interviews pics and VIDEOS to back it up!!!

I have see the Bohemian Grove videos as well, and I truley believe in its validity. It should be in the article nuetrally. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:33, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Why was this removed?[edit]

The idol Moloch that devours its follower's children has appeared in at least two modern works of art. In Fritz Lang's 1927 dystopian film Metropolis, the hero, Freder, when he first witnesses the proletariat workers horrible conditions and watches an accident occur, has a delusion where the enormous machines of the city become anthropomorphic, with flaming mouths. The workers carry their children to the machines and cast them in, and Freder calls "Moloch!", recognizing the ancient god.

Is the above inaccurate? Sam Spade 22:59, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
I based it on a recent viewing of the new restoration of Metropolis. It is merely descriptive. I'll reinstate it. --Wetman 10:41, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Please do, I found it to be a portrayal of Molech in significant contemporary art (as opposed to video games ;) The wording was rather nice as well, and I think it added to the article. Sam Spade 12:12, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Added piece in popular culture section.[edit]

I added the following,

"Moloch was a member of the Spookhouse organization along with your character, The Stranger, in the 1999 PC game, Nocturne (Game). He was portrayed as a large red demon with three horns (his top right horn was broken off) framing his face, two torn and shredded wings on his back, and hoofed feet. He fought other supernatural threats alongside humans because his fellow demons cast him out of hell centuries before (he claims to have been cast out of Heaven as well). He drew his power from heat and blood (nonhuman as they don’t have enough blood to satisfy him), had great physical strength, the ability to make people’s eyes see a normal man instead of a demon, and could even create a duplicate of himself, so as to throw off pursuers."

My first time adding something so big; is it alright? --Gero 16:10, 10 February 2006 (UT

Gero, your add was ok, for that section but the section itself is worthless. It should go. What possible reason can exist for that virtually useless collection of information? --Blue Tie 15:39, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
For what reason is Moloch's appearance in Golden Sun: The Lost Age, that Mortal Kombat game, ADOM, or any number of other appearances worth mentioning? I admit looking back at what I wrote, the section is too long, but it shouldn't go. It should just be shortened. ...And done. --Gero 05:50, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Gero, first, let me be very clear, I was not criticizing your edit. You were fine, though I think your new version is even better. I was not criticizing any edit in particular. But I felt that the section regarding popular culture just did not belong. However, with the removal of the previous section, the popular culture section does not look quite so bad.--Blue Tie 02:25, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
In that case, I apologize if my responce came across as too sharp. I was under the impression that you were attacking my edit; "virtually useless collection of information" would be quite harsh after all. As it is, I simply misunderstood you. Again, sorry. --Gero 19:55, 13 July 2006 (UTC)


Was the sacrifice named molchomor? analogy with the (Ukrainian) Holodomor? What language are you referring to? Matttoothman (talk) 04:55, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Rabbinical History =[edit]

The author of that bit is jumping to conclusions by saying what the Tanakh said about Moloch was just 'jewish legends'- he gets this out of the lack of archeological evidence regarding bull shaped things called 'moloch' from that period. However, in the next paragraph someone has pointed out that in Carthage, they found child sacrifice associated with the Phonecian gods dating back to the 8th century bc. Moloch/Milqart/Baal are related gods and belong to the same religion of the Phonecians, aka Caananites. To say that the writers of the Tanakh just made it up is ridiculous and unfounded.

Moved Popular Culture References[edit]

I have moved popular culture section to its own page, but included a summary and a link. Reason: References to video games and novels distracts from the more scholarly information related to the ancient deity. I think the link is sufficient for the more curious while those who are interested in popular references can go directly to that page. --Blue Tie 23:55, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

- I can't edit Wiki to save my life, but Blue Tie is not correct at top of article about readers being unlikely to seek popular culture references. I can not find any link to a separate page for this information as asserted above, and the article is missing the piece I was seeking : Donny Most (Ralph Malph from tv's Happy Days) portrayed Moloch on an episode of CHIPS in the 70's. (talk) 16:44, 25 April 2008 (UTC)Richard

Conspiracy theory?[edit]

I found this article in Category:Conspiracy_theories but it seems to have nothing to do with that category. Should it be removed? Walter Siegmund (talk) 23:33, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

I removed this article from Category:Conspiracy_theories. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 03:07, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Well its association with the Bohemian grove and the Illuminati seem to make it conspiracy theory related, in my oppinion. (talk) 23:41, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

By that logic, the article Apollo 11 should go in Category:Conspiracy_theories since some people believe the moon lands were fake.

Ginsberg and Howl[edit]

It seems odd that Ginsberg gains no mention in this article, when the phrase Moloch is used dozens of times in the poem Howl, and likely remains one of the first associations one can make with this word. (talk) 02:47, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Just noting that "Moloch" turns up in the poem doesn't add much; it's the kind of thing that gets cleaned off periodically from those "Trivia" sections. But why not add a solid referenced paragraph on what has been said in print of Ginsberg's use of "Moloch" in "Howl"? That would be a useful addition. --Wetman (talk) 05:33, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
It used to be in here as part of "Molech in popular culture". However, that section was moved to its own page on the grounds that it was considered to be a separate issue from the historical god "molech" and the scholarly material covering that matter. The article "Molech in Popular culture" contained many other references, chiefly in video games but also movies. Later, it was reviewed by a large number of editors. The question was, whether "Molech in Popular Culture" should be deleted, kept or merged back into this article. I argued to keep it. But consensus deemed it to be not worthy of inclusion in wikipedia at all. I would suggest that you start an article on "Howl" if one does not exist and then link to this article. I would not suggest that you add Howl to this article... it does not belong. --Blue Tie (talk) 20:03, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Sexual Guidelines[edit]

Look, sorry for this, but isnt the first mention of Moloch (or Molech in the "Sunrise Good News Bible") first found in Levticus 18.21 as "do not hand over any of your children to be used in the worship of Molech, because that would bring discrace on the name of God, the Lord". Incase you havent read the bible, the whole of Leviticus 18 is calles Forbidden Sexual Practices. Just saying that it is logical to think that it has something to do with child sex or perhaps (going back to the article saying that it was to do with a red hot idol placed in the childs hands) some tourture to do with a childs reproductive reagons such as a red hot idol being placed between a naked childs legs. Just a thought. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tnecromancer (talkcontribs) 18:01, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

The reason this verse is in the middle of a group of sexual sins is because Molech was not a god but a form of sacrifice made to Jehovah. This verse was a condemnation of sacrificing children resulting from unwanted pregnancies to Jehovah. (Oh, you committed a sexual sin and got pregnant with an unwanted child? Well you still can't sacrifice (MLK) the resulting baby to Jehovah.) I completely reject the religious fanatics on this site who see Molech as some god that Jews just randomly sacrificed children to while still worshiping Jehovah - insane. I'm something of a Bible fantatic and I'm working on a paper for this topic but so far I've filled 3 pages with history and Bible references so I see it as getting too large for this topic. The fact that this verse appears in a chapter of sexual sins originally peaked my curiosity, I had a suspicion as to why it was put there and started researching the topic years ago. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:01, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

I disagree with both of these viewpoints. To begin, lists of laws in Leviticus often contain "out of category" laws, or at least appear to. In the particular case of Lev 18, most of the far left scholarship I've read concerning Lev 18 views the passage as "things the original inhabitants did that you as the people of God will not do," rather than the laws being lumped together solely because of their relevance to sexual practices. As for Hebrews sacrificing to other gods while worshiping Yahweh, it was incredibly common. The Pre-Exilic period, especially the time before David, was virtually defined by Israel (and Judah to a lesser degree) swinging between poles of radical monotheism and near complete apostasy with times of "mixed worship" in between. At times, the Jerusalem temple itself would have been more like a pantheon than a temple devoted solely to Yahweh. This is not the view solely of "religious fanatics" but of most OT scholars, liberal and conservative. It is my impression that what liberal scholars disagree with the "fanatics" do so by suggesting Israel practiced more polytheism and not less. Finally, it is a grave error to enforce upon Semitic Hebrew the literalness of Greek or Romantic languages. Hebrew, much like many modern Asian languages, is highly idiomatic, relying heavily on imagery rather than technical terms. We see phrases like "raised hand/fist/arm" to imply rebellion or "nostrils flared" to imply someone was angry quite commonly. It is unlikely that contemporary Hebrews who read "to pass through fire" would have viewed it as anything but immolation (this likelihood increases the later any redaction is viewed to have taken place. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DefiningEternity (talkcontribs) 17:55, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

See also[edit]

The obvious linguistic connections with malik and malakh are omitted. Would mention of them elicit howls of denial? Why is this article still so resolutely without references to professional literature? I'd stick one of those "No References" tags on it, if I were a tagger. --Wetman (talk) 03:15, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Moloch & Melek[edit]

The article currently says there was no difference in the spelling of Moloch & melek (king) but I was under the impression, from certain authors, the Moloch was an older spelling for king that was "מולך" (with a letter vau) and Melek came about by dropping the vau in ancient times (before the spellings in the bible) to form just "מלך" for an non-pagan interpretation of the word as "lord". (talk) 10:37, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Phoenician uses Adonai lord rather than Melik king Rktect (talk) 22:08, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Image caption say "description from Old testament". Needs citation[edit]

The image caption showing a moloch altar says that it's a depiction based on a description from the old testament. I'm fairly versed in the old testament, and know of no such description. The article includes a description from rabbinical tradition which matches the image, my guess is that this is the true source of the image.

I'm going to remove the caption until someone can find a proper citation in the old testament. --Ecnassianer (talk) 20:31, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Additionally, it might be proper, if the mention claim in article of the temple ruins found in Amman, Jordan, the coordinates maybe should be listed. - Thank-you--Anaccuratesource (talk) 18:14, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

including, but not limited to[edit]

"Including, but not limited to" is lawyer-speak and is unnecessary since "including" implies additional items already. --Unimath (talk) 16:12, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Egyptian Moloch?[edit]

I'm a little suspicous of the reference to a Moloch in Egypt; the citation is mentioned as questionable, and is to what looks to be a rather general and not necessarily accurate book. To my knowledge there is no Egyptian god called Moloch; further, Egyptian appears to contain no letter "l" (generally, this is replaced with 'r', or 'nr' in later texts - I can't think of a mrk or <mnrk either), and the root m-l-k isn't used for kingship in Egyptian, either - the term nsw or nsw-bity is more typical. Can anyone confirm the point? (talk) 21:29, 12 November 2009 (UTC)Nefertum

It doesn't say that Moloch was an Egyptian god as in the Egyptians were the original worshippers, but that Moloch was worshipped in Egypt. Egypt and Canaan were right smack dab next to each other, and deities tended to cross borders then as now. Ian.thomson (talk) 22:00, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Moloch being merely a title ("king") but not an Egyptian word, the reference does needs some citation of a "Moloch" worshiped in Egypt, perhaps confined to the Late Period of ancient Egypt. For now, let's remove "Egypt" from its prominent place in the opening. --Wetman (talk) 00:49, 13 November 2009 (UTC)


"Milkom" redirects here. This is disingenuous, as Milkom and Molech are not necessarily the same god. Milkom is attested as the god of the Ammonites, whereas Molech is associated with human sacrifice; identification of them as the same god depends on one passage of the Masoretic text in I Kings that does not agree with the LXX or with other biblical references. Milkom should be a separate article.-- (talk) 00:24, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

And what might that article consist of? Ian.thomson (talk) 00:29, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

It would be a short article, consisting simply of the identification of the deity, references to him in both the Bible and in Ammonite ostraca, and his apparent identification with El in Ammonite theology (based on the fact that while Milkom is attested as the national god, "-El" is predominant element in Ammonite theophoric names).-- (talk) 03:42, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

"god of Abortion"?[edit]

Some Catholics, I think Peter Kreeft is one, have called Moloch, "the god of abortion." Might this be notable? -- (talk) 17:28, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Forms and Grammar, a removal for lack of citation.[edit]

The "Forms and Grammar" section concluded with a paragraph commenting on other interpretations (copied below). I removed this paragraph because it does not cite its source. Worse, and perhaps more telling, one of the scriptures cited is not relevant to the author's intent in providing it, namely as examples in the OT of "passing through fire," for Deuteronomy 12:31 uses "burn" as the verb and not "pass." Further, the original author seems to be insisting on a literal meaning for the Hebrew "pass through the fire." Without an academic source cited, it seems this is an individual mistaking an idiom for a literal meaning (like thinking "what's up" is a question about items which may or may not be elevated).

Other references to Moloch use mlk only in the context of "passing children through fire lmlk", whatever is meant by lmlk, whether it means "to Moloch" or means something else. It has traditionally been understood to mean burning children alive to the god Moloch. But some have suggested a rite of purification by fire instead, though perhaps a dangerous one. References to passing through fire without mentioning mlk appear in Deuteronomy 12:31, 18:10-13; 2 Kings 21.6; Ezekiel 20.26,31; 23.37. So the existence of this practice is well documented. For a comparable practice of rendering infants immortal by passing them through the fire, indirectly attested in early Greek myth, see the entries for Thetis and also the myth of Demeter as the nurse of Demophon.

Edit made by Definingeternity

Maybe we can get some edits to pull this bit together rather than just blanking it. Deleting isn't editing.-Wetman (talk) 02:37, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
So in the mean time we leave up information without citation? Especially considering that the Deut 12:31 scripture doesn't even pertain to what they seem to claim it pertains too, would it not be better to remove the information until such time as its original poster or a new party can cite the information? It seems if we just leave the information in place we are enabling people who don't cite sources by removing the burden of citation from them and placing it on the community. -Definingeternity
I've added a citation for the "ritual" view, reformatted the text to better incorporate the Greek examples and the traditional view, and added a short paragraph following with the rebuttal, including the citation for the article. -

DefiningEternity (talk) 19:43, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

I am happy to work towards a more comprehensible text, providing I can understand the intention myself. The sentence that starts Some have responded to... makes no sense to me. Can someone please explain it? Rumiton (talk) 12:01, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Certainly. It seems to me that the section in question ends with a view of the Moloch sacrifices that may not be the view of the consensus on the issue or at the least does not represent that there is a divided view. If I may be quite frank, some of the views on the Hebrew the original compiler takes in order to get "pass through flame" as the meaning of the text rather than "to burn" is, not to be inflammatory, a bad reading of the Hebrew. In my experience, a Hebrew professor might take "to pass through flame" as a preliminary translation but would be unhappy if the idiom was not further translated (though my professors are from the dynamic equivalence school of thought on translation). As to the phrase itself, "Some have responded to," I wanted to make clear that the final view in the text was not the universally held view. I thought at the time that it would be less controversial a wording than "Those who hold this view have failed to account for..." It may be that a new section is required to deal with the discussion.DefiningEternity (talk) 18:04, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Cabiria Poster Image[edit]

The film and novel Cabiria are based on a novel by Italian author Gabriele D'Annuzio. Apparently not even the authors of the Cabiria page are aware of this, despite the fact that D'Annuzio's name appears on posters. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:53, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

The middle of the article could be Moloch in literature[edit]

There's enough and very little if any has any relation to the Ancient Near East. In ictu oculi (talk) 11:10, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

And this belongs in Moloch in popular culture?[edit]

  • The British sludge metal band Moloch took their name from the Moloch mythos.
  • Moloch played a heavy role in Jeff Lindsey's third Dexter book, Dexter in the Dark.
  • Moloch features in season one, episode 8 "I, Robot... You, Jane" of the television series Buffy: The Vampire Slayer.
  • In The Mortal Instruments, a series of novels, there is a demon species called a Moloch Demon.
  • In the PC game Disciples 2: Dark Prophecy, Moloch is a unit on the Legion of the Damned faction, the third level of evolution of the unit Devil.
  • Moloch is a demon in the Felix Castor novels written by Mike Carey.
  • Moloch is a vision of a demon-machine in the 1927 film Metropolis directed by Fritz Lang.
  • Moloch is an evil System Lord in Stargate SG-1. In this portrayal he demands all female children be burnt alive at birth.
  • Moloch is featured as a Djinn summon in the Game Boy Advance game Golden Sun: The Lost Age and its sequel Golden Sun: Dark Dawn for the Nintendo DS.
  • Moloch is one of the names given to Corky Laputa in Dean Koontz's novel The Face.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's novel Job: A Comedy of Justice the main characters join a church pastored by "Reverend Dr. M. O. Loch".
  • Appears in the song "Molochwalker" off the album Noctourniquet, performed by the The Mars Volta.
  • Appears in Video Game Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance as a three eyed oni creature.
  • In the PC game Nethack, Moloch's Temple has four stacked unaligned altars and Priests of Moloch. The High Priest of Moloch holds the main quest item, the Amulet of Yendor, at the bottom of Gehennom.
  • Moloch is a class of enemy ship in the PC Game Freespace 2
  • Moloch is featured as a playable character in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon.
  • Moloch is an Epic Creature character in the MMORTS game Lord of Ultima.
  • In the comic series Watchmen, there is an old supervillain of the costumed vigilantes known as "Moloch the Mystic" (a.k.a. Edgar William Jacobi) whom had retired due to old age and terminal cancer.
  • Moloch von Zinzer is a supporting character in the webcomic Girl Genius.[1]
  1. ^

........This is already duplicated anyway. In ictu oculi (talk) 10:40, 29 September 2012 (UTC)


I've been trying to build this article into something that gives an actual account of scholarly literature on the topic, but so far I have stashed this away under "modern interpretation". In my view, the entire article is to be based on "modern interpretations" (i.e. scholarly literature) on its topic. But, as is common practice on Wikipedia, the article as it stands begins with a quote-dump of biblical text and classical authors. I don't know if this is the case because people actually want this, or just because it's the cheapest way to produce at least some sourced material when starting the page. In my opinion, we can lose the dump of bible passages, as Wikipedia articles on biblical topics aren't supposed to double as a biblical concordance, and instead give some structure to the various aspects of academic debate. But in case people actually want the full text of relevant Bible passages dumped on them, I have structured them properly, distinguishing Masoretic Molek from LXX Molokh and the extended Malkam ("Milcom"). --dab (𒁳) 15:20, 21 February 2016 (UTC)

Scholastic Gibberish[edit]

I went to a pretty pretentious college, but I have no idea how to interpret the phrase "dysphemic vocalisation of a theonym based on the root mlk "king"". The link to dysphemism is offensively unhelpful. Can someone tell me what on earth this means? If so, I will rewrite it in English.

  • A dysphemism is "a derogatory or unpleasant term used instead of a pleasant or neutral one."
  • A theonym is "the name of a god". It derives from the Greek term "theos" (god).
  • The term "mlk" is a Semitic term for "king". We have a main article "Malik" which covers the term and its variations: "Melik, Malka, Malek or Melekh"

The name "Moloch" seems to be a variation of Malik. It may have been used by the Hebrew writers as an insulting term for another people's deity. Instead of pronouncing the actual name of the deity, they modified it to a derogatory term. Dimadick (talk) 23:16, 16 December 2016 (UTC)