February 26 – Who is Molech?

February 26
Leviticus 19:1-20:21
Mark 8:11-38
Psalm 42:1-11
Proverbs 10:17

Leviticus 19:2 – The theme of the book of Leviticus is stated – if it sounds familiar, we’ve seen it often. Holy is used 95 times in Leviticus, and this is the second time we’ve seen the phrase “Ye shall be holy.”

Leviticus 19:10, 14, 15 – How does God want His people to treat the poor, the stranger, the deaf, the blind? Interestingly in many forms of Islam the Zakat is a state-collected tax on the rich for the benefit of the poor. Here in Leviticus 19:9-10 and in Deuteronomy 26:12 we see a personal obligation as opposed to a tax.

Leviticus 19:28 – In debates about whether it is appropriate for Christians to get tattoos, this verse comes up. While the KJV does not use the word ‘tattoo,’ that is because the word was not invented until 1769 when Captain Cook landed in Tahiti (the KJV was written in 1611, 150 years earlier). Interestingly almost all Bible versions in recent years translate ‘qaaqa’ (Strong’s Hebrew 7085) as tattoo. By the way, this is the only time this word is used in the Bible.

Leviticus 19:37 – 45 times in Leviticus you will find the phrase “I am the LORD.” In many cases, it seems to be the answer to “Why?” If you don’t like God’s answer to “Why?” – Joshua 24:15 deals with that.

By Joachim Menant – Glyptique Orientale, fig. 95 (p. 152);, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4664980

Leviticus 20:2-5 – Rarely in the Bible do we see commands that have the death penalty. Only 60 times in the Old Testament do we find the phrase “put to death.” This chapter contains more “death penalty” judgments than any other chapter in the Bible.  Not only is Molech one of the few death penalty commands, but this is one of the few commands to “stone him” (in contrast to burning, beheading, or strangulation according to the Mishneh).  “The people – many –  shall stone him.  Israel must unite to eliminate this plague.”  BTW we read about Molech yesterday in Leviticus 18:21, and we’ll read about Molech when Solomon builds an altar for Molech (possibly on the Mount of Olives in 1 Kings 11:7) that seems to have been moved to the Hinnom Valley when 300 years later (in  2 Kings 23:10) Josiah finally destroys the altar. So why would people sacrifice to Molech?

“A couple sacrificed their firstborn by burning the child on a metal idol of Molech, believing that Molech would ensure financial prosperity for the family and future children….Today’s Molech is the abortion industry, sacrificing babies for the idol of financial greed, veiled in the hopes of the development of new cures through biomedical research.” – Charles Patrick, SWBTS

By Charles Foster – Illustrators of the 1897 Bible Pictures and What They Teach Us http://associate.com/photos/Bible-Pictures–1897-W-A-Foster/page-0074-1.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11785813

Mark 8:25 – Why did it take two steps for Jesus to heal the blind man? The best explanation I’ve found comes from ChedSpellman.com, a professor at Cedarville.

[Jesus] says “Do you not yet see or understand? Having eyes do you not see? and having ears do you not hear? (8:17-18). Jesus is saying, Open your eyes and see what is right in front of you! His point is that, though they have physical eyes, they still are in some sense blind to who Jesus really is.

Seen in this context, Mark’s placement and record of this miracle is brilliant. They see a blind man, who Jesus then leads by the hand out of the city where Jesus heals him. The first time, the man can only see slightly, his vision is blurred. Then Jesus did it again, and the “man looked intently” and was healed and could then “see everything clearly”. This is essentially a parable that Jesus is acting out for his disciples….His point is that his disciples are blinded to who he really is though he is demonstrating his power to them day by day right in front of their eyes. Their understanding is coming, but it is coming in stages.

The passage following confirms Mark’s textual strategy. Right after this healing, Peter finally “sees” and confesses Jesus’ identity, that Jesus is “the Christ.” But then, Jesus begins to tell them that the Messiah must suffer, which they don’t fully understand. They see, but not clearly.

Mark 8:36 – This cartoon summarizes it well:


And from Earl Martin, here’s a great way to memorize the verse:


Psalm 42:1 – This verse inspired the song As the Deer.

Proverbs 10:17 – A great verse to teach your students – and anyone that needs to be corrected.

Share how reading thru the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

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