Hieke, Thomas: Das Verbot der Übergabe von Nachkommen an den „Molech“ in Lev 18 und 20
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Person: Hieke, Thomas (Autor) 
Titel: Das Verbot der Übergabe von Nachkommen an den „Molech“ in Lev 18 und 20
Quelle: Die Welt des Orients. Bd. 41. H. 2. S. 147 - 167
Erscheinungsjahr:    2011
ISBN / ISSN: 0043-2547
Zeitschriftenaufsatz Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Sprache: Deutsch
Open Access:
Person der Universität:    Hieke, Thomas  In UnivIS suchen  
Einrichtung: Katholisch-Theologische Fakultät
DDC-Sachgruppe:    Bibel
DFG-Fachgebiet: Theologie
ID: 16640  Universitätsbibliothek Mainz
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Abstract: In this study I suggest a new understanding of the term la-molech (לַמֹּלֶךְ) in Lev 18:21 and Lev 20:1-5. After a brief overview of the pertinent terminology, usual interpretations are summarized: a term for a Canaanite deity; a term for a sacrifice; a dedication rite for children. The context of Leviticus 18 and 20, however, does not fit these interpretations. I therefore argue that the phrase “you shall not give any of your offspring to pass them over to Molech” may be read as a cipher or code. I understand the consonants l-m-l-k as a reference to pre-exilic stamp seals in Judaea containing the words: “for the king;” the Septuagint translation (ἄρχοντι) of Lev 18,21 points in the same direction. The reality behind the phrase is the priestly prohibition for the Jewish community to hand over any of their children to serve in the Persian army or the households of the Persian authorities. The children given as servants to foreigners are lost for the Jewish cult community. However, the priests could not express their opposition to this kind of collaboration with the Persian authorities directly without raising suspicion; hence, they used the well-known sequence of consonants lmlk. This interpretation fits both the context of Leviticus 18 and 20 which features family laws, and the socio-historical reality of Jewish life under Persian domination.
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