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I mean, children are okay sacrifices, but why them in particular? Children play host to pure souls that have yet to live a life in a mortal body. These souls are harder to convert into demons than regular souls. Plus, I run the risk of that soul escaping and being eaten by another demon or something. I vastly prefer the souls of adults. Malleable like clay and easier to influence so they share my ideals.
Moloch.

Moloch was a fallen angel-turn-demon and a Prince of Hell.

Overview

He was a pagan fertility deity, turned false deity, mentioned in varied theological writings; the most famous of which would be the Christian Bible. He appears in the Old Testament as a god that Moses forbade the Israelites to worship. Moloch worship was practiced by the Canaanites, Phoenician and related cultures in North Africa and the Levant. Moloch is said to be a Demon under Lucifer's command and was the one to give the Oath system in Hell, which later on, was called Moloch's oath.

Moloch took the form of the god of the Moabites, Chemosh, portrayed as a bronze statue with a calf’s head adorned with a royal crown and seated on a throne. His arms were extended to receive the child victims sacrificed to him. Milton wrote that Moloch was a frightening and terrible demon covered with mothers' tears and children's blood.

Rabbis claim that in the famous statue of Moloch, there were seven kinds of cabinets. The first was for flour, the second for turtle doves, the third for an ewe, the fourth for a ram, the fifth for a calf, the sixth for a beef, and the seventh for a child. It is because of this, Moloch is associated with Mithras and his seven mysterious gates with seven chambers. When a child was sacrificed to Moloch, a fire was lit inside the statue. The priests would then beat loudly on drums and other objects so that the cries would not be heard.

Appearance

He is depicted as a massive humanoid bull, with demonic features.

Personality

He is often described as a rash, irrational and murderous demon, who wants to continue to wage war against God and Heaven. Moloch is often disregardful of his own tumulous predicaments, which is evident when he deemed it imperative to take the fight to God even after they were banished and punished for their transgressions.

Although, this was likely because he himself enjoyed the thrill of war so much and was the reason why his suggestion was overruled, likely on the account that Satan recognized that Moloch was more brawn than he is brain and is a fallen angel attributed to warfare and lives for the thrill of combat.

Moloch finds particular pleasure in making mothers weep; he specializes in stealing their children.

Power and Abilities

As a fallen cherub, he is naturally superior to the lesser fallen angels that fell to Hell and wears the title of King among the legions of the damned. Moloch is a demon of warfare, and thus is highly skilled in combat to where he was among the leading charges in Lucifer's faction of rebel angels during the War in Heaven. Moloch's skill and power is shown when he fought against Dante and was noted to give the son of Sparda quite the enjoyable bout, only to be overwhelmed by the mighty devil slayer.

According to some 16th century demonologists, Moloch's power is stronger in October.

History

Past

He is listed among the chief of Lucifer's angels, and is given a speech at the parliament of Hell, where he argues for immediate warfare against God. He later becomes revered as a pagan god on Earth. As a result of a disaster in the wake of the times, the spirit of Moloch had transformed himself into darkness by becoming matter.

On Earth

Moloch is presented as a foreign deity who was at times illegitimately given a place in Israel’s worship as a result of the syncretistic policies of certain apostate kings. The laws given to Moses by God expressly forbade the Jews to do what was done in Egypt or in Canaan. “You shall not give any of your children to devote them by fire to Moloch, and so profane the name of your God”.

Yet kings such as Ahaz and Manasseh, having been influenced by the Assyrians, are reported to have worshipped Moloch at the hilled site of Topheth, outside the walls of Jerusalem. This site flourished under Manasseh’s son King Amon but was destroyed during the reign of Josiah, the reformer. “And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the sons of Hinnom, that no one might burn his son or his daughter as an offering to Moloch”.

Prophecy

According to the mystical prophecy "Anung Un Rama, Urush Un Rama", Moloch is one of named casualties in a civil war within the ranks Hell, which was started when the cambion Hellboy killed a weakened and crippled Satan using the legendary Twin Blade. With the highest leadership gone, the countless legions of lesser demons turn against the infernal nobles and brutally killed them. Moloch is one of many casualties, alongside Astaroth, Suriel, Uziel, Amdusias, Beelzebub, Behemoth and Leviathan.

However, it is unknown if this prophecy was true or a false prophecy created by Nyarlathotep.

Myth and Legends

Much like Bael and Mammon, the figure of Moloch was likely based on Pre-Christian deities that were altered into demons with the rise of a monotheistic belief system. Medieval and modern sources tend to portray Moloch as a bull-headed humanoid idol with arms outstretched over a fire, onto which the sacrificial child is placed. This portrayal can be traced back to medieval Jewish commentaries, which connected the biblical Moloch with depictions of Carthaginian sacrifice to Cronus (Baal Hammon) found in sources such as Diodorus, with George Foote Moore suggesting that the bull's head may derive from the mythological Minotaur. John S. Rundin suggests that further sources for the image are the legend of Talos and the brazen bull built for king Phalaris of the Greek city of Acragas on Sicily. He notes that both legends, as well as that of the Minotaur, have potential associations with Semitic child sacrifice.

The vocalization Molek occurs eight times in the Masoretic Text, predominantly (five times) in Leviticus:

Leviticus 18:21 "And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD."
Leviticus 20:2: "Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones."
Leviticus 20:3: "And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name."
Leviticus 20:4: "And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not"
Leviticus 20:5: "Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people."
Two further occurrences connect the practice with Tophet, a place of sacrifice in the Valley of Hinnom (Gehenna, which later acquired the connotation of "Hell"):
2 Kings 23:10: "And he (King Josiah of Judah) defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech."
Jeremiah 32:35: "And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin."
The practice of "passing through fire" (`abar ba-'esh עָבַר בָּאֵשׁ‎) associated with the name Moloch in the citations above also occurs without reference to Moloch in Deuteronomy 18:10–13, 2 Kings 16:3 and 21:6 and Ezekiel 20:26,31 and 23:37.
Isaiah 30:33 has the vocalization melek ("king"), but this is widely accepted as an omission of the Masoretic correctors: "For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it."
On the other hand, while 1 Kings 11:7 has the vocalization Molek, in "Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon", this is widely accepted as an error for Malkam (Milcom), the specifically Ammonite idol.

Etymology

The etymology of Moloch is uncertain: most scholars derive it from the root mlk "to rule" but with the vowels of bōšet "shame" (first advanced by Abraham Geiger in 1857) or as a qal participle from the same verb. R. M. Kerr criticizes both theories by noting that the name of no other god appears to have been formed from a qal participle, and that Geiger's proposal is "an out-of-date theory which has never received any factual support". Paul Mosca similarly argued that "The theory that a form molek would immediately suggest to the reader or hearer the word boset (rather than qodes or ohel) is the product of nineteenth century ingenuity, not of Massoretic or pre-Massoretic tendentiousness".

Scholars who do not believe that Moloch represents a deity instead compare the name to inscriptions in the closely-related Punic language where the word mlk (molk or mulk) refers to a type of sacrifice, a connection first proposed by Otto Eissfeldt (1935). Eissfeldt himself, following Jean-Baptiste Chabot, connected Punic mlk and Moloch to a Syriac verb mlk meaning "to promise", a theory also supported as "the least problematic solution" by Heath Dewrell (2017). Scholars such as W. von Soden argue that the term is a nominalized causative form of the verb ylk/wlk, meaning "to offer", "present", and thus means "the act of presenting" or "thing presented". Kerr instead derives both the Punic and Hebrew word from the verb mlk, which he proposes meant "to own", "to possess" in Proto-Semitic, only later coming to mean "to rule"; the meaning of Moloch would thus originally have been "present", "gift", and later come to mean "sacrifice".

Equivalents

Later commentators have compared these accounts with similar ones from Greek and Latin sources speaking of the offering of children by fire as sacrifices in the Punic city of Carthage, a Phoenician colony. Cleitarchus, Diodorus Siculus and Plutarch all mention burning of children as an offering to Cronus or Saturn, that is to Baal Hammon, the chief god of Carthage. It has been suggested that the practice of child sacrifice may have been exaggerated in Roman post-war propaganda in order to make their arch-enemies seem cruel and less civilized.

Diodorus also relates that relatives were forbidden to weep and that when Agathocles defeated Carthage, the Carthaginian nobles believed they had displeased the gods by substituting low-born children for their own children. They attempted to make amends by sacrificing 200 children of the best families at once, and in their enthusiasm actually sacrificed 300 children.

Freeman in The History of Sicily from the Earliest Times (1894) states that the Carthaginian nobles had acquired and raised children not of their own for the express purpose of sacrificing them to the god. The author states that during the siege, the 200 high-born children were sacrificed in addition to another 300 children who were initially saved from the fire by the sacrifice of these acquired substitutes.

Quotes

I'm the demon who was imbued with the role of the [Tyrant] and the duty of governing over the bloodied sacrificial altars. I can assure you, my position isn't one to desire.
Moloch.
First MOLOCH, horrid King besmear'd with blood
Of human sacrifice, and parents tears,
Though, for the noyse of Drums and Timbrels loud,
Their children's cries unheard that passed through fire
To his grim Idol. Him the AMMONITE
Worshipt in RABBA and her watry Plain,
In ARGOB and in BASAN, to the stream
Of utmost ARNON. Nor content with such
Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart
Of SOLOMON he led by fraud to build
His Temple right against the Temple of God
On that opprobrious Hill, and made his Grove
The pleasant Vally of HINNOM, TOPHET thence
And black GEHENNA call'd, the Type of Hell.

Gallery

Trivia

  • What qualifies Moloch as a villain, in our modern use of the term, was the hefty price the entity demanded from its followers. These sacrifices were namely a fiery killing of human life, often children, which would be burnt alive in the long feared ritual of human sacrifice.
  • The name Moloch results from a dysphemic vocalisation in the Second Temple period of a theonym based on the root mlk, "king". There are a number of Canaanite gods with names based on this root, which became summarily associated with Moloch, including biblical Malkam "Great King", which appears to refer to a god of the Ammonites, as well as Tyrian Melqart and others.
  • Moloch has been used figuratively in English literature from John Milton's Paradise Lost to Allen Ginsberg's "Howl", to refer to a person or thing demanding or requiring a very costly sacrifice.
  • It is likely that the motif of stealing children was inspired by the traditional understanding that babies were sacrificed to Moloch.
  • Moloch is still worshipped today by the Bohemian Club at the Bohemian Grove in the shape of a giant owl. His worship involves a ritual known as the "Cremation of Care".
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