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Leviticus 18:21

Context
18:21 You must not give any of your children as an offering to Molech, 1  so that you do not profane 2  the name of your God. I am the Lord!

Leviticus 20:2-5

Context
20:2 “You are to say to the Israelites, ‘Any man from the Israelites or from the foreigners who reside in Israel 3  who gives any of his children 4  to Molech 5  must be put to death; the people of the land must pelt him with stones. 6  20:3 I myself will set my face 7  against that man and cut him off from the midst of his people, 8  because he has given some of his children to Molech and thereby defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. 9  20:4 If, however, the people of the land shut their eyes 10  to that man 11  when he gives some of his children to Molech so that they do not put him to death, 20:5 I myself will set my face against that man and his clan. I will cut off from the midst of their people both him and all who follow after him in spiritual prostitution, 12  to commit prostitution by worshiping Molech. 13 

1 tn Heb “And from your seed you shall not give to cause to pass over to Molech.” Smr (cf. also the LXX) has “to cause to serve” rather than “to cause to pass over.” For detailed remarks on Molech and Molech worship see N. H. Snaith, Leviticus and Numbers (NCBC), 87-88; P. J. Budd, Leviticus (NCBC), 259-60; and J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 333-37, and the literature cited there. It could refer to either human sacrifice or a devotion of children to some sort of service of Molech, perhaps of a sexual sort (cf. Lev 20:2-5; 2 Kgs 23:10, etc.). The inclusion of this prohibition against Molech worship here may be due to some sexual connection of this kind, or perhaps simply to the lexical link between זֶרַע (zera’) meaning “seed, semen” in v. 20 but “offspring” in v. 21.

2 tn Heb “and you shall not profane.” Regarding “profane,” see the note on Lev 10:10 above.

3 tn Heb “or from the sojourner who sojourns”; NAB “an alien residing in Israel.”

4 tn Heb “his seed” (so KJV, ASV); likewise in vv. 3-4.

5 tn Regarding Molech and Molech worship see the note on Lev 18:21.

6 tn This is not the most frequently-used Hebrew verb for stoning (see instead סָקַל, saqal), but a word that refers to the action of throwing, slinging, or pelting someone with stones (רָגָם, ragam; see HALOT 1187 s.v. רגם qal.a, and B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 136).

7 tn Heb “And I, I shall give my faces.”

8 sn On the “cut off” penalty see the notes on Lev 7:20 and 17:4.

9 tn Heb “for the sake of defiling my sanctuary and to profane my holy name.”

10 tn Heb “And if shutting [infinitive absolute] they shut [finite verb].” For the infinitive absolute used to highlight contrast rather than emphasis see GKC 343 §113.p.

11 tn Heb “from that man” (so ASV); NASB “disregard that man.”

12 tn The adjective “spiritual” has been supplied in the translation to clarify that this is not a reference to literal prostitution, but figuratively compares idolatry to prostitution.

13 tn Heb “to commit harlotry after Molech.” The translation employs “worshiping” here for clarity (cf. NAB, NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT). On the “cut off” penalty see the note on Lev 7:20.



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