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sprngliche und die erste Korrektur

! DUHM'S Glosse hingegen weist auf einen zweiten Kor
rekturversuch, denn auch sie enthlt in dem aufflligen 1*0 einen
letzten Hinweis auf KT. Fraglos ist dieser Korrekturversuch erbaulich
stilisiert. Beide Korrekturversuche sind zu tilgen. Dem ursprnglichen
Text am nchsten kommt die durch die LXX gesttzte Konjektur
von V O L Z : ihr frchtetet mein Wort nicht".
Die Fragen, von denen wir ausgingen, sind im Zusammenhang des
Errterten beantwortet. An vier Stellen ist der M T zu Jer. ii 30
begrndet zu ndern. Es ergibt sich folgende Textfassung:
Q?ni?V 1? oiran wsn nqf?
nn^ on*n? *6 ara? o?snn n1??
Vergebens schlug ich ,durch Propheten' zu,
,ihr nahmt' keine Zucht an.
Euer Schwert fra ,meine' Propheten ' ',
,ihr frchtetet mein Wort nicht' ".


It is usually assumed that the cult of Molech involved sacrificing

the children by throwing them into a raging fire. Our point here is
not whether there were child sacrifices in ancient Israel, but whether
this particular sacrifice existed, i.e. throwing them into the fire.
It is not denied that children were at one time sacrificed as whole-
offerings : 2 Kgs iii 6, where the writer evidently believed that such
sacrifices were effective even if made to a god other than the God
of Israel. See also Mie vi 7. See also Dtn xii 31, where there is no men-
tion of the cult of Molech. Commentators in time past have depended
far too much on Tyrian and especially on Carthaginian evidence, as
they still do. Cf. W. H. HARRELSON, Dictionary of the Bible (ed. F. C.
GRANT and H. H. ROWLEY), p. 669 and R. DE VAUX, Ancient Israel,
pp. 444-446. See also O. EISSFELDT, Molk als Opferbegriff im Punischen
und Hebrischen und das Ende des Gottes Molech, 1935, where he speaks
of molk as being a particular type of sacrifice in Punic religion, but
not as a god. See yet again the article by J. G. FVRIER in fournal
Asiatique (1960), pp. 167-187, entitled 'Essai de reconstruction du
sacrifice Molek'. R. DE VAUX, Studies in Old Testament Sacrifice (1964),

p. 85 says 'Mlk never appears with a sacrificial meaning in the Phoe

nician inscriptions'; this is in a long discussion of human sacrifice
in Israel (pp. 73-90).
Translators, influenced by Phenician and Punic discussions, fre
quently have boldly interpolated the idea of 'fire' into the Old Tes
tament. In Lev xviii 21 the the English Versions (AV, RV and RSV)
insert 'fire' and go still further by translating leha*ebir (to cause to
pass through, across) by 'devote'. LXX and Sam read the root c-b-d
(worship), but the other Greek Versions (Aq, Sym and Theod) all
have parabiba^o (put aside, set aside). In 2 Kg xxiii 10 both AV and
RV have 'pass through the fire', but RSV introduces the idea of
'burn as an offering'. The Hebrew text has nothing about
burning and nothing about any fire. See also Jer xxxii 25 and Dtn
xviii 10.
It is significant that in Lev xviii the writer throughout the whole
chapter is concerned with the prohibition of illegal sexual intercourse,
and especially so in the instances mentioned in verses 19-23. Ac
cording to the Talmud (b San 64a) the parents handed the children
over to the priests who lit two large fires and passed the children
between the fires, a custom well known as the initiation ceremony
into a covenant, Gen xviii and often in pagan cults : see J. G. FRAZER,
Folklore in the Old Testament, vol. i, pp. 391ff. The probability is that
the Talmud is right, and that the children were given up by the parents
to grow up and be trained as temple prostitutes, cf. Lev xx 4, 8. It
is probable that in Is lvii 9 we should read with RSV: 'You journeyed
to Molech with oil and multiplied your perfumes' : which makes good
sense if the reference is not to sacrifices but to temple prostitution.
Thetford, U. . . H. SNAITH


Ancient Israelite custom recognised only sons as heirs, and the

law was very firm concerning the rights of the first-born, Dtn. xxi
15-17. The first-born was the heir even if he was the son of the
less-favoured of two wives. Further, according to Dtn. xxv 5-10, if a
man dies and leaves no son, the widow may not marry an outsider.
The deceased's brother must take her and the woman's first son
shall be the heir of the deceased brother. The primary duty of the
brother is to 'build up his brother's house'. To refuse to do this
involves public shame and public humiliation.
^ s
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