Leviticus 20:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Say to the Israelites: 'Any Israelite or any foreigner residing in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molek is to be put to death. The members of the community are to stone him.

New Living Translation
"Give the people of Israel these instructions, which apply both to native Israelites and to the foreigners living in Israel. "If any of them offer their children as a sacrifice to Molech, they must be put to death. The people of the community must stone them to death.

English Standard Version
“Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones.

New American Standard Bible
"You shall also say to the sons of Israel: 'Any man from the sons of Israel or from the aliens sojourning in Israel who gives any of his offspring to Molech, shall surely be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Say to the Israelites: Any Israelite or foreigner living in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech must be put to death; the people of the country are to stone him.

International Standard Version
"Tell the Israelis that when an Israeli or a resident alien who lives in Israel offers his child to Molech, he is certainly to be put to death. The people who live in the land are to stone him with stones.

NET Bible
"You are to say to the Israelites, 'Any man from the Israelites or from the foreigners who reside in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech must be put to death; the people of the land must pelt him with stones.

New Heart English Bible
"Moreover, you shall tell the children of Israel, 'Anyone of the children of Israel, or of the foreigners who sojourn in Israel, who gives any of his offspring to Molech; he shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Tell the Israelites: If Israelites or foreigners living among you give one of their children as a sacrifice to [the god] Molech, they must be put to death. The common people must stone them to death.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Moreover, 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 of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones.

New American Standard 1977
“You shall also say to the sons of Israel, ‘Any man from the sons of Israel or from the aliens sojourning in Israel, who gives any of his offspring to Molech, shall surely be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Likewise, thou shalt say to the sons of Israel, Any man of the sons of Israel or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel that gives any of his seed unto Molech shall surely die; the people of the land shall stone him with stones.

King James 2000 Bible
Again, you shall say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that gives any of his children unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.

American King James Version
Again, you shall say to the children of Israel, Whoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that gives any of his seed to Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.

American Standard Version
Moreover, 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 of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel: If any man of the children of Israel, or of the strangers, that dwell in Israel, give of his seed to the idol Moloch, dying let him die: the people of the land shall stone him.

Darby Bible Translation
Thou shalt say also to the children of Israel, Every one of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel, that giveth of his seed unto Molech, shall certainly be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.

English Revised Version
Moreover, 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 of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.

Webster's Bible Translation
Again thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed to Molech, he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.

World English Bible
"Moreover, you shall tell the children of Israel, 'Anyone of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners in Israel, who gives any of his seed to Molech; he shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones.

Young's Literal Translation
'And unto the sons of Israel thou dost say, Any man of the sons of Israel, and of the sojourners who is sojourning in Israel, who giveth of his seed to the Molech, is certainly put to death; the people of the land do stone him with stones;
Study Bible
Punishments for Disobedience
1Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2"You shall also say to the sons of Israel: 'Any man from the sons of Israel or from the aliens sojourning in Israel who gives any of his offspring to Molech, shall surely be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones. 3'I will also set My face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given some of his offspring to Molech, so as to defile My sanctuary and to profane My holy name.…
Cross References
Leviticus 18:21
'You shall not give any of your offspring to offer them to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God; I am the LORD.

Leviticus 20:1
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

Leviticus 20:27
'Now a man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritist shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones, their bloodguiltiness is upon them.'"

Leviticus 24:14
"Bring the one who has cursed outside the camp, and let all who heard him lay their hands on his head; then let all the congregation stone him.

Numbers 15:35
Then the LORD said to Moses, "The man shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp."

Numbers 15:36
So all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

Deuteronomy 21:21
"Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death; so you shall remove the evil from your midst, and all Israel will hear of it and fear.

1 Kings 11:7
Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon.

Jeremiah 32:35
"They built the high places of Baal that are in the valley of Ben-hinnom to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Ezekiel 20:26
and I pronounced them unclean because of their gifts, in that they caused all their firstborn to pass through the fire so that I might make them desolate, in order that they might know that I am the LORD."'
Treasury of Scripture

Again, you shall say to the children of Israel, Whoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that gives any of his seed to Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.

Whosoever

Leviticus 17:8,13,15 And you shall say to them, Whatever man there be of the house of …

giveth

Leviticus 18:21 And you shall not let any of your seed pass through the fire to Molech, …

Deuteronomy 12:31 You shall not do so to the LORD your God: for every abomination to …

Deuteronomy 18:10 There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or …

2 Kings 17:17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the …

2 Kings 23:10 And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom…

2 Chronicles 28:3 Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and …

2 Chronicles 33:6 And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley …

Psalm 106:38 And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their …

Isaiah 57:5,6 Enflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the …

Jeremiah 7:31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley …

Jeremiah 32:35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of …

Ezekiel 16:20,21 Moreover you have taken your sons and your daughters, whom you have …

Ezekiel 20:26,31 And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass …

Ezekiel 23:37,39 That they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands, and …

Acts 7:43 Yes, you took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god …

Moloch or Molech
The Rabbins describe this idol as made of brass sitting upon a throne of the same metal, in the form of a man, with the head of a calf, adorned with a royal crown, and his arms extended as if to embrace any one. When they offered any children to him, they heated the statue by a great fire kindled within, and the victim was put into his arms, and thus consumed. Others relate, that the idol, which was hollow, was divided into seven compartments within; in one of which they put flour, in the second turtles, in the third a ewe, in the fourth a ram, in the fifth a calf, in the sixth an ox, and the seventh a child, where all burnt together by heating the statue inside. The account which Diodorus gives of the statue of Saturn, to which the Carthaginians, descendants of the Canaanites, sacrificed their children, is very similar. For they had a brazen stature of Saturn, stretching out his hands towards the ground, in such a manner that the children placed within them tumbled down into a pit full of fire. To this account, Milton alludes in PARADISE LOST, B.1:392.

the people

Leviticus 20:27 A man also or woman that has a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, …

Leviticus 24:14,23 Bring forth him that has cursed without the camp; and let all that …

Numbers 15:35,36 And the LORD said to Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: …

Deuteronomy 13:10,11 And you shall stone him with stones, that he die; because he has …

Deuteronomy 17:5-7 Then shall you bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed …

Deuteronomy 21:21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he …

Acts 7:58,59 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid …

(2) Again, thou shalt say.--Better, And thou shalt say.

Whosoever he be.--Better, What man soever there be, as the Authorised Version renders this phrase in Leviticus 17:3. (See Note on Leviticus 17:8.)

That giveth any of his seed unto Molech.--It will be seen that whilst in Leviticus 18:21 the law about Molech worship follows the laws of incest, the reverse is the case here, where it precedes those laws.

The people of the land.--That is, the whole community (see Leviticus 4:27), who have selected the judges, and in whose name sentence is passed by the judges, are bound to execute the sentence.

Shall stone him with stones.--Lapidation was the first and the severest mode of capital punishment among the Hebrews, the three others being burning, beheading, and strangling. The Jewish canonists have tabulated the following eighteen cases in which death by stoning was inflicted: (1) of a man who has commerce with his own mother (chap 20:11); (2) or with his father's wife (Leviticus 20:12); (3) or with his daughter-in-law (Leviticus 20:12); (4) or with a betrothed maiden (Deuteronomy 22:23-24); (5) or with a male (Leviticus 20:13); (6) or with a beast (Leviticus 20:15); (7) of a woman who was guilty of lying with a beast (Leviticus 20:16); (8) the blasphemer (Leviticus 24:10-16); (9) the worshipper of idols (Deuteronomy 17:2-5); (10) the one who gives his seed to Molech (Leviticus 20:2); (11) the necromancer; (12) the wizard (Leviticus 20:27); (13) the false prophet (Deuteronomy 13:6); (14) the enticer to idolatry (Deuteronomy 13:11); (15) the witch (Leviticus 20:17); (16) the profaner of the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32-36); (17) he that curses his parent (Leviticus 20:9); and (18) the rebellious son (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). As the Mosaic legislation only directs that the lapidation is to take place without the precincts of the city (Leviticus 24:14; Numbers 15:36), and that the witnesses upon whose evidence the criminal has been sentenced to death are to throw the first stone (Deuteronomy 17:7), the administrators of the law during the second Temple decreed the following mode of carrying out the sentence. On his way from the court of justice to the place of execution a herald preceded the criminal, exclaiming, "So-and-so is being led out to be stoned for this and this crime, and so-and-so are the witnesses; if any one has to say anything that might save him, let him come forward and say it." Within ten yards of the place of execution he was publicly admonished to confess his sins, within four yards he was stripped naked except a slight covering about his loins. After his hands had been bound, he was led upon a scaffolding about twice the height of a man. Here wine mingled with myrrh was mercifully given him to dull the pain of execution, and from here one of the witnesses pushed him down with great violence so that he fell upon his back. If the fall did not kill him, the other witness dashed a great stone on his breast, and if this did not kill him, all the people that stood by covered him with stones. The corpse was then nailed to the cross, and afterwards burnt. Hereupon the relatives visited both the judges and the witnesses to show that they bore no hatred towards them, and that the sentence was just. Not unfrequently, however, the excited multitude resorted to lapidation when they wished to inflict summary justice. This description will explain why the Jews said to Christ that the woman had to be stoned, and why He replied to her accusers that he who is without sin should cast the first stone (John 8:5; John 8:7); why the Jews wanted to stone Christ when they thought He was blaspheming (John 10:31), and why they offered Him wine mingled with myrrh before his crucifixion (Matthew 27:34; Matthew 27:38; Mark 15:23).

Verses 2, 3. - The close connection between giving of his seed unto Molech and defiling my sanctuary, and profaning my holy name, is explained and illustrated by Ezekiel in the judgment on Aholah and Aholibah. "They have caused their sons, whom they bare unto me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them. Moreover this they have done unto me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my sabbaths. For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it; and, lo, thus have they done in the midst of mine house" (Ezekiel 23:37-39). Not only was the juxtaposition and combination of the worship of Molech and Jehovah an offense to him whose name is Jealous, but at the time that Molech-worship was carried on in the valley of Hinnom, idols were set up in the court of the temple itself, as we learn from the Book of Kings and from Jeremiah. "But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my Name, to defile it. 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! commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin" (Jeremiah 32:34, 35). And of Manasseh it is related, "He built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord said, In Jerusalem will I put my Name. And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. And he made his son pass through the fire" (2 Kings 21:4-6). Again thou shalt say to the children of Israel,.... The body of the people by their elders, and the heads of their tribes; for the following laws were binding on them all:

whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel; everyone of the people of Israel, of whatsoever age, sex, or condition of life: and not they only, but the strangers and proselytes; and not the proselytes of righteousness only, but the proselytes of the gate, who, as well as the others, were to shun idolatry, and other impieties and immoralities after mentioned:

that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; which Aben Ezra interprets of lying with an idolatrous woman, or a worshipper of Molech, the abomination or idol of the Ammonites, 1 Kings 11:7; of which see Leviticus 18:21; but more than that is here intended, or even than causing their seed or offspring to pass through the fire to Molech, as in the place referred to; more is meant by it than a lustration of them, or a dedicating them to Molech, by delivering them to his priests to lead them between two fires for that purpose, but even the sacrificing of them to him; and so the Targum of Jonathan seems to understand it, which is,"that makes (or sacrifices) of his seed Molech to be burnt in the fire:''for that the Phoenicians or Canaanites, whose customs the Israelites were in danger of imitating, and therefore cautioned against, did sacrifice human creatures, and these the dearest to them, even their beloved and only begotten children, to Saturn, is certain, as Porphyry (y) and Eusebius (z) affirm, or to Hercules, as Pliny (a), and both the same with Molech, or the sun:

he shall surely be put to death; by the hand of the civil magistrate, which death was to be by stoning, as follows:

the people of the land shall stone him with stones: that is, the people of the house of Israel, as both the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan; such as lived in that part of the country where the idolater lived, and where he committed the sin, or was condemned for it; of the manner of stoning; see Gill on Acts 7:58.

(y) De Abstinent. l. 2. c. 56. (z) De laudibus Constantin. c. 13. p. 646. Vid. Suidam in voce (a) Nat. Hist. l. 36. c. 5. 2. Whosoever … giveth any of his seed unto Molech—(See on [46]Le 18:21).

the people of the land shall stone him with stones, etc.—Criminals who were condemned to be stoned were led, with their hands bound, without the gates to a small eminence, where was a large stone placed at the bottom. When they had approached within ten cubits of the spot, they were exhorted to confess, that, by faith and repentance, their souls might be saved. When led forward to within four cubits, they were stripped almost naked, and received some stupefying draught, during which the witnesses prepared, by laying aside their outer garments, to carry into execution the capital sentence which the law bound them to do. The criminal, being placed on the edge of the precipice, was then pushed backwards, so that he fell down the perpendicular height on the stone lying below: if not killed by the fall, the second witness dashed a large stone down upon his breast, and then the "people of the land," who were by-standers, rushed forward, and with stones completed the work of death (Mt 21:44; Ac 7:58).20:1-9 Are we shocked at the unnatural cruelty of the ancient idolaters in sacrificing their children? We may justly be so. But are there not very many parents, who, by bad teaching and wicked examples, and by the mysteries of iniquity which they show their children, devote them to the service of Satan, and forward their everlasting ruin, in a manner even more to be lamented? What an account must such parents render to God, and what a meeting will they have with their children at the day of judgment! On the other hand, let children remember that he who cursed father or mother was surely put to death. This law Christ confirmed. Laws which were made before are repeated, and penalties annexed to them. If men will not avoid evil practices, because the law has made these practices sin, and it is right that we go on that principle, surely they should avoid them when the law has made them death, from a principle of self-preservation. In the midst of these laws comes in a general charge, Sanctify yourselves, and be ye holy. It is the Lord that sanctifies, and his work will be done, though it be difficult. Yet his grace is so far from doing away our endeavours, that it strongly encourages them. Work out your salvation, for it is God that worketh in you.
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