Moloch was one of the false gods that Israel would worship during its periods of apostasy. This false deity is associated with Ammon in 1 Kings 11:7, "Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon."
One of the practices of the cult that worshipped Moloch was to sacrifice their children. Of course, this was forbidden by God's word: Lev. 18:21 says, "Neither shall you give any of your offspring to offer them to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God; I am the Lord." (See also Lev. 18:21; 20:2-5; 2 Kings. 23:10; Jer. 32:35).
In some passages the reference is clearly to a deity to whom human sacrifice was made, particularly in the Valley of Hinnom on the SW of the Jerusalem hill (2 Ki. 23:10; Je. 32:35) at a site known as Topheth (‘fire pit’ in Syriac).1
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. I can't help but compare today's abortion massacre to the sacrifice of children by these ancient pagans. In both, innocent life is destroyed for the gain of the parent.
- 1. The New Bible Dictionary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.), 1962.