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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 7332 child sacrifice
7332 child sacrifice

7332 child sacrifice

Child sacrifice is unconditionally condemned in Scripture. The few cases in which it is known to have taken place are probably due to the influence of Israel’s pagan neighbours.

Laws forbidding child sacrifice

Lev 18:21 Molech was the god of the Ammonites. See also Ex 22:29 to be interpreted with reference to Ex 13:12-16 and Ex 34:19,22; Dt 18:10

Instances of child sacrifice

2Ki 3:27; 2Ki 16:3 pp 2Ch 28:3; 2Ki 17:17,31; 2Ki 21:6 pp 2Ch 33:6; 2Ki 23:10 Josiah’s reforms involved desecrating Topheth, where child sacrifices were offered; Isa 57:5; Jer 7:31

Arguments against child sacrifice

Child sacrifice is the idolatrous practice of the nations Dt 12:31 See also Lev 20:2-5; Ps 106:35-38; Jer 32:35; Hos 13:2

It defiles God’s people Eze 20:26 See also Eze 20:31

It defiles God’s sanctuary Eze 23:37,39

It incurs God’s anger Jer 19:4-5; Eze 16:20-21,36-37; Hos 13:2

God’s unique command to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac

Ge 22:1-2 This was a test of obedience for Abraham. The following verses dispel any idea that God desires human sacrifice; Heb 11:17 These verses may allude to the story of Abraham and Isaac, especially Ge 22:16: Jn 3:16; Ro 8:32

See also

1025God, anger of
7435sacrifice, in OT
8747false gods
8752false worship