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Molech, (or Molek) was the chief god of the Phoenicians, and Canaanites, mentioned as the god of the Ammonites, Western Semitic, probably known to the Israelites before King Solomon. Human sacrifices were offered to him, mainly firstborn children (see First Fruits), the victims were slowly burned to death in the outstretched arms of this idol, which were metal, hollow and could be heated on the inside. Some say they fell into the fire below. Manasech offered his son to Molech. Solomon erected an altar to this god on one of the summits of Mount Olivet. (1 Kings 11:7) This idol worshipping continued there and in Tophet until Josiah abolished it and defiled the altars. (2 Kings 23:30) Molech was also worshipped in Carthage, where at one times about 200 little boys were sacrificed in hopes of saving that city from siege. Molech was synonymous with the Hebrew god Moloch of the Vetus Testamentum to whom the Israelite children were sacrificed. A.G.H.
Smith's Bible Dictionary, Philadelphia,
A. J. Holman, Co., Revised Ed., p. 205
Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 168