Deuteronomy 12:31
You shall not do so to the LORD your God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hates, have they done to their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
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12:5-32 The command to bring ALL the sacrifices to the door of the tabernacle, was now explained with reference to the promised land. As to moral service, then, as now, men might pray and worship every where, as they did in their synagogues. The place which God would choose, is said to be the place where he would put his name. It was to be his habitation, where, as King of Israel, he would be found by all who reverently sought him. Now, under the gospel, we have no temple or altar that sanctifies the gift but Christ only: and as to the places of worship, the prophets foretold that in every place the spiritual incense should be offered, Mal 1:11. Our Saviour declared, that those are accepted as true worshippers, who worship God in sincerity and truth, without regard either to this mountain or Jerusalem, Joh 4:21. And a devout Israelite might honour God, keep up communion with him, and obtain mercy from him, though he had no opportunity of bringing a sacrifice to his altar. Work for God should be done with holy joy and cheerfulness. Even children and servants must rejoice before God; the services of religion are to be a pleasure, and not a task or drudgery. It is the duty of people to be kind to their ministers, who teach them well, and set them good examples. As long as we live, we need their assistance, till we come to that world where ordinances will not be needed. Whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, we are commanded to do all to the glory of God. And we must do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to the Father through him. They must not even inquire into the modes and forms of idolatrous worship. What good would it do them to know those depths of Satan? And our inward satisfaction will be more and more, as we abound in love and good works, which spring from faith and the in-dwelling Spirit of Christ.This caution is based upon the notion generally entertained in the ancient pagan world, that each country had its own tutelary deities whom it would be perilous to neglect; compare 1 Kings 20:23; 2 Kings 17:26. Israel was to shun such superstitions as unworthy of the elect people of God. 29, 30. Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them … saying, How did these nations serve their gods?—The Israelites, influenced by superstitious fear, too often endeavored to propitiate the deities of Canaan. Their Egyptian education had early impressed that bugbear notion of a set of local deities, who expected their dues of all who came to inhabit the country which they honored with their protection, and severely resented the neglect of payment in all newcomers [Warburton]. Taking into consideration the prevalence of this idea among them, we see that against an Egyptian influence was directed the full force of the wholesome caution with which this chapter closes. Shalt not do so unto the Lord; either,

1. Not offer him that indignity and injury to worship other gods together with him. Or rather,

2. Not worship him in such manner as they worshipped their gods, to wit, by offering thy children to him, as they did to their gods, as it here follows, or by their own devices or superstitions, as is implied, Deu 12:32. Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God,.... Not serve and worship him after the manner of the Gentiles, nor introduce their rites and customs into his service, used by them in the worship of their gods:

for every abomination which he hateth have they done unto their gods; as murder, adultery, &c. which God has expressed his aversion to, and indignation at; one instance of the former sort is given here:

for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods; not only men have they sacrificed to them, but such near relations; and not only caused them to pass through the fire, but burnt them in it; so the Carthaginians are said to do, who learned this inhuman practice from the Phoenicians; they were a colony of the inhabitants of this land of Canaan. Of the Phoenicians Porphyry says (i), that in great calamities, as war or pestilence, they sacrificed to Saturn some one of those that were dearest to them, appointed by suffrage. The Phoenician history, adds he, is full of such sacrifices, which Sanchoniatho wrote in the Phoenician language; and Curtius says (k), this custom of sacrificing a fine boy to Saturn was received by the Carthaginians from their founders (the Tyrians and Phoenicians), and which they continued even to the destruction of their city.

(i) De Abstinentia, l. 2. sect. 56. (k) Hist. l. 4. c. 3.

Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have {q} burnt in the fire to their gods.

(q) They held nothing too dear to offer to their idols.

Verse 31. - For even their sons and their daughters have they burnt in the fire to their gods. Elsewhere the phrase used is "make to pass through the fire "(Deuteronomy 18:10), or simply "make to pass through to Molech" (Leviticus 18:21; Jeremiah 32:35). This has led some to maintain that the ceremony described was merely a februation, a lustration by fire, and not an actual burning alive of these victims; but there can be no doubt that both among the Ammonites and the Phoenicians, and indeed wherever the worship of Baal or Molech was followed, the offering of children in sacrifice by burning prevailed (Munter, 'Religion der Karthager,' p. 18, 2nd edit.; Selden, 'De Diis Syris Syntag,' i.e. 6, pp. 93, 257, edit. Beyer, Amst., 1680). On the promise for doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord, see Deuteronomy 6:18. - In Deuteronomy 12:26, Deuteronomy 12:27, the command to offer all the holy gifts at the place chosen by the Lord is enforced once more, as in Deuteronomy 12:6, Deuteronomy 12:11, Deuteronomy 12:17, Deuteronomy 12:18; also to prepare the sacrifices at His altar. קדשׁים, the holy offerings prescribed in the law, as in Numbers 18:8; see at Leviticus 21:22. The "votive offerings" are mentioned in connection with these, because vows proceeded from a spontaneous impulse. לך יהיוּ אשׁר, "which are to thee," are binding upon thee. In v. 27, "the flesh and the blood" are in opposition to "thy burnt-offerings:" "thy burnt-offerings, namely the flesh and blood of them," thou shalt prepare at the altar of Jehovah; i.e., the flesh and blood of the burnt-offerings were to be placed upon and against the altar (see at Leviticus 1:5-9). Of the slain-offerings, i.e., the shelamim, the blood was to be poured out against the altar (Leviticus 3:2, Leviticus 3:8, Leviticus 3:13); "the flesh thou canst eat" (cf. Leviticus 7:11.). There is no ground for seeking an antithesis in ישּׁפך, as Knobel does, to the זרק in the sacrificial ritual. The indefinite expression may be explained from the retrospective allusion to Deuteronomy 12:24 and the purely suggestive character of the whole passage, the thing itself being supposed to be sufficiently known from the previous laws.
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