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KRONOS Vol IX, No. 3

The Rites Of Moloch


Copyright (c) 1977/1984 by Dwardu Cardona

(Editor's Note: The reader is also referred to the recent article in BAR (Jan./Feb. 1984), pp. 31-51, on "Child Sacrifice at Carthage . . . "-LMG)


Prior to their entry into Canaan, the Israelites were admonished by Moses not to fall prey to the rites of the Ammonite god known as Moloch (also rendered Molech, Milc(h)om, and/or Malcham). These rites involved the offering of children as burnt sacrifices to the god. Moses warned:

" . . . thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech . . ."(1)

That Moloch was a powerful god to be reckoned with is evidenced by a lengthy passage in the Book of Leviticus which has god himself speaking the following words to Moses:

"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.

"And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name.

"And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not:

"Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people."(2)

Again, in the Book of Deuteronomy, when god, through Moses, admonishes the Israelites not to "enquire" after the gods of the people they were about to dispossess, he tells them:

" . . . for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods."(3)

Later, the admonition is repeated yet one more time:

"When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.

"There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire. . . . "(4)

Would such a cruel rite - in which fathers and mothers were asked to watch their very own children roast in a fire before a material idol - have appeared that seductive to a wandering people striving for nationhood that these admonitions had to be repeated time and again? Need parents have been warned against Moloch?


The Ammonites, a settled, civilized, and sophisticated people, were no more monstrous than the infiltrating Israelites. Yet, so it seems, they had been sacrificing their own beloved children to Moloch from ages past. Moses' fear was therefore a very real one. Whatever there was in the cruel cult of Moloch that had held the Ammonites bound to it was capable of seducing the Israelites and converting them to its faith. And so it happened. The admonitions of Yahweh, spoken through Moses, proved to be in vain. By the time of the Judges, when Israel was made to confess its collective sins, the tribe of Ephraim admitted to having sacrificed its children to Moloch.(5)

Nor did it stop there. In later years, Solomon himself actually built a shrine to this god.

"Then did Solomon build a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon."(6)

And so it went on. Even later, Ahaz, king of Judah in the days of the divided monarchy, sacrificed his own son - and he did so in keeping with the custom of the kings of Israel.

"But he [Ahaz] walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen . . ."(7)

Some authorities believe that this son was Hezekiah, the later king of Judah, who somehow survived the fire.

"King Hezekiah owes his life to the salamander. His wicked father, King Ahaz, had delivered him to the fires of Moloch, and he would have burnt, had his mother not painted him with the blood of the salamander, so that the fire could do him no harm."(8)

The Tosefta Targum, however, is more theological in its explanation. According to this work, Hezekiah was saved from the fire by the will of god through the merits, whatever they would prove to be, of his descendants.(9)

How Hezekiah managed to survive Moloch's fire is a question that is difficult to answer but it is quite possible that Hezekiah was not the sacrificed son and that later apologists, confused with the train of historical events, sought to explain Hezekiah's continued existence by a magical, or miraculous, intervention.

Manasseh, king of Jerusalem, also sacrificed his son. No miracle intervened to save him.

"And he [Manasseh] built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord [i.e., the Yahwist temple].

"And he made his son to pass through the fire . . "(10)

Thus we know that Philo Byblius was telling the truth when he attributed such customs to the rulers of Canaan.(11)


This state of affairs continued throughout the ministries of the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.

"Against whom do ye sport yourselves? [asked Isaiah] . . . Enflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts of the rocks?''(12)

So, similarly, Jeremiah:

"And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire. . . .(13)

At this point we may note that similar rites were also connected with Baal:

"They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal . . ."(14)

In fact it seems that Baal and Moloch were different names for the same god. This is attested to by Jeremiah's following words:

"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.''(15)

Thus the abominations carried on in the name of Moloch can be extended by the inclusion of those carried on in homage to Baal.


These instances - and there are many others recorded throughout the Old Testament - do not reflect the odd lapse of some individuals who strayed from the Yahwist path. What is being reviewed here is, in essence, the passion of an entire nation, together with its kings, for a ritualistic faith that asked of its adherents nothing less than the sacrificial slaughter of their own children. Time and again, through the mouth of his prophets, the national god of Israel was led to rail against his own people.

"Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them [the foreign gods] to be devoured.''(16)

We notice here the introduction of a new element. If the children were sacrificed "to be devoured", it could only mean that the Molochian sacrifices included ritualistic cannibalism. What power on Earth, we must again ask, could have induced the parents of such an otherwise sophisticated people to slaughter, burn, and devour their own children?


It will not do for Gunnar Heinsohn to tell us that "the far reaching prohibition on killing . . . was first created by the early Israelites" and that "they were not allowed to sacrifice human beings''.(17) Not to be allowed is to be restrained. In the case in question, neither the kings nor the high priests enforced such restraint. On the contrary, not only did they allow human sacrifice, they actually led the people in such rites.

"And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb [i.e., the first born] . "(18)

It is true that the laws supposedly formulated by Moses stated: "Thou shalt not kill . . . Thou shalt have no other gods before me." It is obvious, however, that for long periods of time, the entire Israelite nation repudiated these laws.

"For when you offer your gifts [to the gods], when you make your sons to pass through the fire, you pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day "(19)

It might be argued that, in formulating laws against killing, the Israelites took the first step. It should be kept in mind, however, that these laws were formulated by one person in opposition to the people he led - and that from the very first the opposition proved stronger. First steps can be far removed from last ones. It took the Israelites centuries to achieve the high ideals set to them by their traditional law-giver.

" . . . they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands, and with their idols have they committed adultery, and have also caused their sons, whom they bare unto me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them"(20)

Yet Heinsohn tells us that the Israelites "did not practice gerontocide or cannibalism''.(21) But although the rest of the Molochian passages, as they occur in the pages of the Old Testament, seem to have been washed clean of this additional abomination, the two passages from Ezekiel cited above leave no room to doubt the reality of this ancient Israelite practice. Nor was this cannibalism a ritual introduced by the degenerating monarchy of later times. During the years of the earlier Judges, the tribe of Zebulon admitted to having desired to eat the flesh of their sons and daughters - and this in order "to know whether the Lord loves them".(22) Granted that it is not stated that the tribe succumbed to this desire - although this, too, might bear the mark of censorship - a collective confession of this nature betokens a seduction that must have been hard to resist. Judging by the Molochian rites of later years, this resistance, if it ever existed, melted into open acceptance not only by the tribe of Zebulon but by the entire Israelite nation.

" . . . when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary [that of Yahweh] to profane it . . ."(23)

It is one thing for a law-giver to prohibit killing, human sacrifice, and ritual cannibalism; it is quite another for the nation he represents to succeed in it.


The prohibition on killing was "created" first by those who achieved it first. While the Jewish nation did finally succeed in this, it is hardly correct to attribute its "creation" to the early Israelites.

It was Manasseh's grandson, Josiah, who finally destroyed Moloch's shrines.

"And he [Josiah] defiled Tophet [i.e., Moloch's shrine], which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech."(24)

The "valley of the children of Hinnom", wherein Moloch's Tophet was located, became known as Gehinnom. Gehinnom was also the rabbinic name of hell.

"In rabbinic sources the word ordinarily used for 'hell' is Gehinnom, although this is at the same time the name of one of the parts of hell . . . The Rabbis, of course, knew that Gehinnom originally was the name of the valley near Jerusalem where Moloch had been worshipped in ancient times, and they therefore explained the meaning of this word, as well as its synonym Tofet [the same as Tophet], from its connection with the worship of Moloch."(25)

Moloch's Tophet is described in the Midrashim as having consisted of seven compartments.(26) Of this, too, we take special note.


Immanuel Velikovsky was quite correct when he stated that

"The Jewish people did not obtain all of its 'supremacy' in that one day at the Mountain of Lawgiving; this people did not receive the message of monotheism as a gift. It struggled for it . . ."(27)

He was not quite correct, however, in his belief that a pure Jewish monotheism emerged in the time of Josiah,(28) for although this king defiled Moloch's shrine and commanded the high priest to empty the temple of all its idolatrous paraphernalia, (29) the people continued to clamor for the foreign gods of their forefathers, their past kings, and their princes.(30) Worse than that, they actually blamed their national misfortunes on their temporary desertion of such deities.(31) Prime among these, as we have seen, had been Moloch - an ogre of cannibalistic appetites, a slaughterer of children, a cruel monster, the great contester of Yahweh himself.

Who was this god?


According to the Book of Amos, the Israelites had been worshipping Moloch even during their forty years of wandering in the desert.

" . . . ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves."(32)

This memory was still vivid in the days of the New Testament and is repeated in the Acts of the Apostles:

"Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them . . ."(33)

Was Moses, who so sorely admonished his people not to pay homage to this god, unaware that the Israelites had already fallen prey to Moloch and that they were even then carrying his image in a, if not the, tabernacle? Or was his admonition directed merely against the offering of human sacrifice? Is it possible that while Moses abhorred human sacrifice and ritual cannibalism, he yet tolerated the worship of gods other than Yahweh? This would not concur with the very first law he handed to his people. Nor does it concur with the incident, recorded in Numbers, in which Moses ordered the slaughter of all those Israelites who had bowed their head to the Moabite god Baal Peor.(34) But then neither does this incident concur with his fifth law.

These are difficult questions to answer, not only from a religious point of view but also from an historical one. One fact, however, stands clear - and that is that the tradition of the Exodus and the wandering in the desert has been whitewashed, to say the least. Were it not for Amos, this particular cat would have been kept in the bag.


The Amosian Chiun, rendered Remphan in Acts, is less of a mystery than Moloch with whom he was coupled. In both Amos and Acts, this deity is alluded to as "the star of your [i.e., the Israelites'] god". What star did Remphan personify?

In the Testament of Solomon, Remphan is rendered Raphan concerning whom Solomon was said to have built a temple in conjunction with one to Baal/Moloch.(35) The Testament of Solomon is of Jewish origin but, as Louis Ginzberg informs us, it is, as we now have it, laden "with many Christian layers".(36) This is noted here because the name Raphan (or Remphan) is unknown in Hebrew and must therefore have been introduced, or transliterated, by one of the Christian editors. Ginzberg was of the opinion that Raphan (or Rephaim) is a reminiscence of a Hebrew word meaning "the shades",(37) but actually the name Remphan is nothing but a mistransliteration into Greek of the same Chiun contained in Amos.(38)

Jerome interpreted the star of Chiun asLucifer(39) which is popularly believed to have stood for Venus. This was accepted by Velikovsky(40) since, in his scheme, the Israelites were supposedly set free from Egyptian bondage by the intervention of a close Venerian approach. It would therefore have been understandable had the Israelites carried an image of the Venerian star in their subsequent wandering through the desert.

As Martin Sieff correctly informed us, however, Chiun was the Assyrian name for Saturn, the same as the very Hebrew Khivan (or Kewan).(41) So also David Talbott.(42)

The question Velikovskian scholars should now ask is: What were the Israelites doing running about the desert with the image of the Saturnian star in their tabernacle?


So much for Chiun - but what about Moloch who was enshrined in the very same tabernacle with him?

According to Sieff, Moloch was a synonym of the planetary god Jupiter whom he calls "patron of Israel".(43) Sieff did not state what any of this is based on. That Moloch was identified as Jupiter by anyone has not yet been verified. But this much can be said: The patron of Israel was Saturn, not Jupiter. Aurelius Augustinus explicitly informed his readers that the ancients considered the planet Saturn to be the god of the Jews.(44) It was Saturn who was known as the Lord of the Sabbath,(45) the Jewish holy day. The Jews themselves called Saturn by the name Shabtai - the Sabbath star.(46) Is this not borne out by the very passages in Amos and Acts that we have just analyzed, where Chiun/Remphan/Saturn is acknowledged as "the star of your [i.e., the Israelite] god"? It is therefore not incongruous that the Israelites should have carried the Saturnian image in their tabernacle; despite Moses, despite Yahweh, Saturn was their god.

In fact, the very name Israel was synonymous with Kronos(47) who was Saturn. What is incongruous is that Sieff himself knew this.(48) Israel means "Let El [Saturn] Preserve".(49)


Lewis Greenberg and Warner Sizemore found some evidence to connect Moloch with Venus.(50) In this, they were following the lead earlier supplied by John Gray.(51) Their collective reasoning followed this line:

Moloch is known to have been the national god of the Ammonites but, in the Book of Judges, this god is given as Chemosh,(52) who was more correctly the god of the Moabites. It is thus implied that Moloch was the same as Chemosh.

In the famous stele of the Moabite King Mesha, Chemosh is compounded with Athtar as Athtar-Chemosh. Athtar was an Arabian god who has long been understood to be a male variant of the Aramaic Attar (or Athar), the Phoenician Astarte, the same as the Babylonian Ishtar - divinities which, one and all, represented the planet Venus.(53)

Thus Greenberg and Sizemore could write:

"The syncretic association of Chemosh with Athtar, in the inscription of Mesha, has led scholars to identify Chemosh as the morning star or Venus Star - the Moabite manifestation of this astral body."(54)

If Chemosh was also Moloch, the implication is that Moloch was also Venus. Thus, in their tabernacle, the Israelites would have carried the image of their Venerian saviour together with the star of their Saturnian god. It sounds logical enough - but I contest it.


Let us review the evidence.

Logic is not what spurred the ancients to venerate their chosen gods. The gods were forced upon them by a catastrophic sky. The planets, who were their gods, were material bodies impervious to human logic. Mankind had to accept whatever transpired in the heavens - even if he did not always understand what was happening there.

Let me first say that the naming of Chemosh in lieu of Moloch in Judges 1 1:24 could very well have been the result of a scribal error since, to my knowledge, nowhere else is Chemosh named as the national god of the Ammonites. But let us, for the sake of argument, assume that the switching of names was intentional and correct. Was Chemosh really Venus?

As I have indicated elsewhere,(55) and as Talbott has also done,(56) various names by which the planet Saturn was known were later transferred to the planet Venus. I showed this to have been the case with the Indic Mahadevi,(57) as also with the Egyptian Isis.(58)

Cannot the same be said for Astarte, Ishtar, et al. ? In fact, has not Talbott already indicated that this class of deities originally symbolized, if not Saturn, at least aspects of the primeval Saturnian configuration? (59)

The word "aster", which, as an etymological root, is common to all these deities, originally signified "star".(60) Ishtar, Astarte, Ashtoreth, Attar, Athtar - these names simply meant "star". There is nothing in their names which signifies the Venerian star. Originally, however, humankind acknowledged only one star-god or goddess. Thus, in the earliest civilization known to us - that of Sumer - the sign for god was simply a star.(61) Moreover this god was An,(62) and An was Saturn.(63) Although not the most telling one, this is one reason why the ancients did not find it difficult to transfer certain divine names from one "star" to another.

In reality, the identity of Chemosh poses no problem. Chemosh is etymologically the same as Shamash, and the Assyro-Babylonians described Shamash as the Sun of Night which they themselves identified as Saturn.(64) The Athtar-Chemosh of the Mesha stele means nothing more than Sun-Star, which even the much later Romans knew as Saturn.(65) More correctly, it should be rendered as the Saturnian-Star. I will not contest the equating of Chemosh with Moloch - although that is purely coincidental - but it would be truer said that Chemosh was the equivalent of Chiun since both specifically represented the "star" of Saturn.


The names "Moloch", "Molech", "Milc(h)om", and "Malcham" are all derived from the Semitic root "melek" which means "king". In fact it is obvious that this term, in whatever form, was never meant as a proper name. This can be ascertained by the manner in which the term appears in the Hebrew version of the Old Testament. With the doubtful exception of I Kings 11:7, the name Moloch (or its variant) is always there preceded by the article "the". In other words, the Old Testament, in its original version, does not treat of "Moloch" but, rather, of "the Moloch" - that is, "the King".

Mythology knows of two great planetary deities who were acknowledged as kings by the ancients who venerated them: Saturn, who was the first king of gods and men, and Jupiter, who deposed and succeeded him. As already stated, no connection between Jupiter and Moloch has yet come to light. We are therefore left with the one remaining king - the original and longer enduring one of the two: Saturn.

Can this be verified?


If Chemosh was the same as Moloch, we will have to conclude that the above reasoning is correct. Although, as was often the case with him, Velikovsky supplied no corroborative evidence, he, too, came to the same conclusion:

"Saturn was the chief deity of . . . the Phoenicians. . . The Phoenicians used to bring human sacrifices to the planet, calling it Moloch, or 'king'. Usually children were the victims, consumed by Moloch, as Saturn had devoured his own children."(66)

The devouring of Saturn's children was perhaps best described by Hesiod:

"As each child issued from [his consort's] holy womb . . . each one was seized by mighty Kronos, and gulped down . . . he never dropped his guard, but lay in wait, and swallowed down his children."(67)

It can thus be concluded that the rites of Moloch were purely imitative - in other words, the ritualists were imitating the actions once performed by their ancient planetary god. What this means is that, through an imbued fear, our forefathers (for the Israelites and Phoenicians were not the only ones) often sought to invoke the aid, or appease the anger, of their god by imitating his ancient actions. Since he killed and/or swallowed his own children, they sought his patronage by doing the same with theirs. This, in itself, lends greater credence to the ritual cannibalizing of those children offered up as burnt offerings to Moloch. One question that needs to be answered is this: Did the Saturnian deity, in his original deed, burn his children with fire before he devoured them?


In the works of Philo Byblius, who quoted Sanchoniathon, we are not told that Kronos swallowed his children. According to this version it seems that Saturn got rid of his children in a different manner:

" . . . Kronos, having a son Sadidus, dispatched him with his own sword, because he regarded him with suspicion, and deprived him of life, thus becoming the murderer of his son. In like manner he cut off the head of a daughter of his own; so that all the gods were dismayed at the disposition of Kronos."(68)

This Phoenician myth, as it was finally preserved by Eusebius Pamphili, contains a second episode wherein it is stated that:

" . . . on the occurrence of a pestilence and mortality Kronos offers his only begotten son as a whole burnt-offering to his father Uranus, and circumcises himself, compelling his allies also to do the same."(69)

Thus the question asked at the end of the last section is answered. What we have also inadvertently discovered is that circumcision, which Gunnar Heinsohn sees as such a specifically Jewish practice,(70) and the origin of which he attributes to Abraham,(71) was actually inaugurated by Saturn and passed on directly to the Phoenicians.

It has yet to be clarified exactly what lay behind this tale of divine infanticide and self immolation - that is, what it really was the ancients saw in the planet's behaviour that could have been interpreted as the cannibalizing of its offspring and the circumcision of its own member.(72) One thing can, however, be stated with certainty: Whatever it was, it etched itself indelibly on the human soul to the extent that, all over the world, the sacrifice of children in honor of Saturn became an established and unshakable practice. Unfortunately, space does not here permit me to trace this gruesome ritual throughout our globe. In keeping with the thematic structure set forth, I am obliged, at least in this paper, to restrict my topic to the cults of the Phoenicians and the Jews.


Philo Byblius wrote further:

"It was a custom of the ancients in great crises of danger for the rulers of a city or nation, in order to avert the common ruin, to give up the most beloved of their children for sacrifice as a ransom to the avenging daemons; and those who were thus given up were sacrificed with mystic rites."(73)

This is well illustrated by the story of the aforementioned Mesha, the king of Moab. When his capital was besieged by the Israelites, he sacrificed his eldest son, who would have succeeded him as king, as a burnt offering on the wall of the city.(74) This further proves that the Moabite god, Athtar-Chemosh, to whom Mesha offered his son, was, like Elus, a Saturnian deity. But here Philo offers another view in the following exposition:

"Kronos then, whom the Phoenicians call Elus, who was king of the country and subsequently, after his decease, was deified as the star Saturn, had by a nymph of the country named Anobret an only begotten son, whom they on this account called Iedud, the only begotten being still so called among the Phoenicians; and when very great dangers from war had beset the country, he arrayed his son in royal apparel, and prepared an altar, and sacrificed him."(75)

Did Philo, or Sanchoniathon, confuse the myth of Elus/Saturn with the story of Mesha? It is possible but, even so, an additional truth emerges: Just as the Egyptians had done with their Osiris, their Menes, and their Min; just as the Minoans had done with their Minos, and the Hindus with their Manu(76) - and it is hoped that the similarity of some of these names is noted - so did the Phoenicians come to believe that Saturn, the first king, had once trod the Earth in flesh and blood and only later, following his death, was this great personage deified as the "star" or planet Saturn. In so doing, the Phoenicians also came to believe that, rather than inaugurating the sacrificial slaughter of children, Saturn was actually conforming to an earlier human practice. Man, however, has always imitated the gods in heaven; to an extent he still does. There is nothing in heaven which has ever imitated mankind. If nothing else, the above, together with one of Ev Cochrane's recent papers,(77) should caution historians in accepting the traditional founders of ancient civilizations as real life persons.


The sacrificial slaughter of children in honor of Saturn as practiced by the Phoenicians comes down to us not only through the works of Philo Byblius. Thus William Albright wrote:

" . . . in Carthage Ba'al-hammon (=El) [the same as Elus/Saturn] was honored down to the third century A.D. by having children sacrificed as burnt offerings . . . That El should be the patron of human sacrifice may seem strange, in view of the fact that he appears in early sources as the 'Merciful One' . . . "(78)

And also:

"Among classical authors who have transmitted details about the burning of children as sacrifices to Kronos (Saturnus) are especially Diodorus Siculus . . . and Tertullian . . . " (79)

Literary sources, however, are one thing; archaeological evidence, on the other hand, is quite another; up until the early twentieth century there was none. Thus Albright continued:

" . . . in spite of the documentation available in pagan and Christian sources about human sacrifice in Phoenicia and Carthage, the rationalistic critics of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries refused to believe that the reports had any basis, especially since archaeological work seemed not to furnish any support." (80)

But, in 1921, archaeological evidence did come to light. A pointed stele dedicated to Tanit (or Tennit), from about the third century B.C., was discovered at Carthage. On it was the representation of a priest holding a human infant "in the usual position for offering a lamb''.(81) This indicated that the offering of lambs of later times was a substitute for the earlier sacrifice of children.(82) In Crete, kids were also later substituted for children.(83)

In 1930, five stelae dated to the second or third century A.D. and inscribed in Latin were discovered at Ngaus in eastern Algeria. The texts contained variations of a dedicatory formula:

"To the holy lord Saturn (Ba'al-hammon), a great sacrifice of night-time (sacrum magnum nocturnum), molchomor, breath for breath, blood for blood, life for life.as (84)

As Albright informed his readers, it was quickly pointed out that the expression "molchomor" corresponded exactly to the Punic "mlk'mr", the second part of which was known to mean "lamb".(85) "Mlk", often rendered "melek", as we have already seen, however, meant "king".(86) Thus we see that, among the Phoenicians, the title of divine king was reserved for Saturn. In fact, the term "molchomor" can just as correctly be rendered "Molochomor". It therefore seems incontrovertible that Moloch was Saturn.


Having seen that various Saturnian names were, at a later date, transferred to Venus, cannot the same be said of Moloch? Alfred deGrazia is of this opinion. Thus he wrote:

"Baal and Moloch were names for Saturn that endured in the Hebrew world until they came to stand for evil gods . . . In the endless process of transferring gods and names, the names of Saturn descended to Jupiter and then to Venus, who were also called Baal and Moloch."(87)

De Grazia even followed Zvi Rix's earlier re-rendition of "malkhei-roim", which is Hebrew for "king-shepherds" and thus "Hyksos", into "Molkhei-roim" or "Moloch-shepherds".(88) This purported to show that the invasion of Egypt and the Near East by the dreaded Hyksos was the work of a nation which identified itself, or was identified by its enemies, as the scourge of the Venus comet in the wake of which they supposedly wrought their destruction.

Let me first say that, to my knowledge, the names of Saturn were never transferred "to Jupiter and then to Venus". Some Saturnian names were transferred to Jupiter; some others to Venus. But, Velikovsky notwithstanding, I have yet to come across a Saturnian name that was later shared by Jupiter and Venus. Moreover, although I cannot offer the evidence here, these names were transferred all at the same time - which means that Venus received its share of Saturnian names at the very same time that Jupiter received his and not centuries later.

Evidence of these transfers of names and epithets exist but it must not be assumed that these transfers were "endless" or that they were conducted in a haphazard fashion. As I have already pointed out elsewhere,(89) Saturn's royal epithets and those concerned with

justice were transferred to Jupiter and only Jupiter; Saturn's feminine qualities passed on to Venus and only Venus. Only Saturn's war-like characteristics were eventually shared between Venus and Mars. Such order betokens a planned scheme. Behind it must have been what humankind saw as a logical reason.

As I have twice indicated in this very paper, there is nothing which leads us to believe that Moloch was ever utilized as a name for the planet Jupiter. Neither can it be said that this god had any affinities with Venus.

Whether the term "Hyksos" should be rendered "Moloch-shepherds" instead of "king-shepherds" is a moot question. The name of the tribe of Amalek, which Velikovsky identified as the Hyksos, might or might not, as per Rix, be derived from Moloch(90) (A/Moloch). It really makes no difference since, in effect, "moloch" simply meant "king". But that these conquerors were followers of the god Moloch cannot be accepted since it is well known that their national god was Sutekh.(91)


Why cannot Moloch be accepted as Venus?

The reason is simple enough. The god has absolutely no Venerian traits. It is not enough to point out that the Israelites fell prey to this god during those times following the catastrophes supposedly wrought by the close passage of Venus to Earth. During the same time in Egypt, the most popular god was Amon (or Amun)(92) whom no one, not even Velikovsky, has ever identified as Venus. To the Greeks, Amon was the same as their Zeus(93) who was Jupiter. If the Egyptians could honor Jupiter above all other gods during this time, there should be nothing strange in the Israelite preference for the much older Saturn.

As we have seen, the rites of Moloch consisted of the ritual slaughter and cannibalizing of children. Throughout the ancient world this was strictly a Saturnian rite based upon a strictly Saturnian precedent. I have yet to come across a similar rite that was ever conducted in honor of Venus.

Just as telling is the clue left to us by the Midrashim-that the Tophet, or shrine, of Moloch consisted of seven compartments. These were akin to the "seven circles and seven compartments" of the "house" of the Celtic Ailill.(94) Circular shrines made of open rings, often but not always nested in concentricities of threes and/or sevens, were at one time scattered all over the ancient world. Traces of a great many of these Megalithic structures are still to be seen. They are not new discoveries, but for years they have been misidentified as ancient astronomical observatories. They do incorporate a celestial connection in their design, but it is one in imitation of what was once seen above and not an attempt to pinpoint the astronomical moments of what we see now. What these structures, with but few exceptions, once commemorated is no longer there to be seen.

I have many times, in my past papers, treated of the seven primordial rings which once encircled Saturn - and I shall not give my references, which are becoming too lengthy, this time. Among other fanciful things, these rings - which swelled from one, to three, to seven - were considered to constitute the house of Saturn within which the luminary or orb was seen to nestle.(95) It is this seven chambered house, or temple, that the Tophet of Moloch, as also the circles of Ailill, duplicated. Whether the Tophet was actually constructed of seven concentric circles or whether, having forgotten the shape of the original model, its seven compartments were arranged in a different pattern, is a question that only archaeology might some day be able to answer. Within the Tophet, as within the ancient celestial rings, nestled Moloch.

Like the sacrificial slaughter of children, there is absolutely nothing in this that can be related to Venus or, for that matter, to Jupiter. It must therefore be emphatically stated that, throughout his entire reign, Moloch was a personification of Saturn and only Saturn.


I hope it will not now be asked what were the Israelites doing with two Saturnian representations in their tabernacle - Moloch and Chiun while they wandered for forty years in the wilderness. Christian, especially Catholic, churches often exhibit more than one representation of Jesus. The temple of Man Fat, in Shatin, houses ten thousand figures of the same Buddha.(96) Need I say more?

Even so, there was a difference between the two Saturnian images which the Israelites carried in their tabernacle. One, Moloch, was the image of the Saturnian god; the other, Chiun, was the image of the Saturnian "star". Is it not so stated in both Amos and Acts?


In conclusion, I would like to offer a few personal insights which I present devoid of any references. I do so with the full knowledge that what I have to offer may very well displease some of my readers. The subject at hand, however, goes beyond Moloch and is so vast that space in this journal can never do it justice.

Despite Yahwist tampering with the Book of Genesis, the god known as Yahweh could not have played a prominent role, if any, in the lives of the Israelites prior to their Exodus from Egypt. Whether Moses managed to revive and popularize a little known deity of older times, or whether Yahweh was an idealized conception of his own, has been debated in scholarly circles for decades. But regardless of what Yahweh really personified - planet or idea - it remains a fact that the Israelites and their ancestors had been worshipping Saturn, the planet which gave their nation its name, from time immemorial. Only Abraham and Moses ever attempted to break away from Saturn but in this they both failed.

During the time of their Egyptian sojourn and bondage, the Israelites were still worshipping Saturn. It is therefore understandable that, no matter what the real cause of their liberation from Egypt was, they would have naturally attributed their newly found freedom to their national god - Saturn. Is that not, after all, the way of nations?

As already stated, there was therefore nothing incongruous in their carrying the images of their Saturnian deity in their tabernacle through the wilderness. Despite Moses and his laws, despite his institution of Yahweh, the Israelites, with their later kings and their priests, continued to honor and pay homage to the Moloch and their other Saturnian Baalim until the advent of their Babylonian captivity. Only then did Yahweh begin to assert himself.

The history of religion needs to be rewritten. Saturn was not only the national god of the Scythians and the Phoenicians as well as the Canaanites, Ammonites, Moabites, and Carthaginians. He was also the national god of Israel, whose name is still borne by the nation to this day; of the Egyptians for long periods of time; of the Babylonians before the advent of Marduk; and of the Sumerians before them. In fact, it can safely be stated that Saturn was, at one time, the national god of all ancient nations and all races.

Whatever it was that man experienced under the influence of this luminary in primeval times was so awesome that, to use an oft repeated message of mine, it etched itself indelibly on the human soul. Thus, even when the nature of those primeval occurrences dimmed in man's collective memory, a demoniacal urge remained to continue commemorating whatever it was that gave his primitive ancestors their very being. As we have seen, in eastern Algeria, this urge to duplicate and repeat the god's ancient actions continued down to the 3rd century A.D. And why should I stop there? In effect, it continues down to this very day.

Saturn was not only the first, and for a time the only, god of humankind - whether we know it or not and, knowing it, admit it or not, he still is.


1. Leviticus 18:21.
2. Ibid, 20:2-5.
3. Deuteronomy 12:31.
4. Ibid, 18:9-10.
5. L. Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews (Phila.,5728/1968), Vol. IV, p. 23.
6. I Kings 11:7. 7. II Kings 16:3.
8. L. Ginzberg, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 33; Vol. IV, p. 266.
9. Ibid, p. 361. 10. II Kings 21:5-6.
11. Eusebius Pamphili, Evangelicae Praeparationis, 1:10:29.
12. Isaiah 57:4-5. 13. Jeremiah 7:31.
14. Ibid., 19:5.
15. Ibid., 32:35.
16. Ezekiel 16:20 (emphasis added).
17. G. Heinsohn, "The Israelite Origins of Monotheism and the Prohibition of Killing," Catastrophism and Ancient History IV: 1 (Jan. 1982), p. 31.
18. Ezekiel 20:26.
19. Ibid., 20:31.
20. Ibid., 23:37 (emphasis added)
21. G. Heinsohn, loc. cit.
22. L. Ginzberg, op. cit., Vol. IV, p. 22.
23. Ezekiel 23:39. 24. II Kings 23:10.
25. L. Ginzberg, op. cit., Vol. V, p. 19.
26. Ibid., p. 20.
27. I. Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision (N. Y.,1950), p. 297.
28. Ibid, p. 295.
29. II Kings 23:4-5.
30. Jeremiah 44:17-18.
31. Ibid
32. Amos 5:26(emphasis added).
33. Acts 7:43.
34. Numbers 25.
35. L. Ginzberg, op. cit., Vol. IV, pp. 153-154.
36. Ibid, Vol. VI, p. 292.
37. Ibid., p. 293.
38. J. Strong, A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament (N. J., 1890), entry 4481.
39. See I. Velikovsky, op. cit., p. 176.
40. Ibid.
41. M. Sieff, "Planets in the Bible: I - The Chronology of Job," SISR I:4 (Spring 1977), p.20.
42. D. N. Talbott, The Saturn Myth (N. Y.,1980), p. 209.
43. M. Sieff, loc. cit
44. See the Index to E. Hoffman's edition of Augustine's De Civitate Dei (Vienna, 1899-1900).
45. Ibid.; R. Klibansky et al., Saturn and Melancholy (London, 1964), p. 161.
46. W. A. Heidel, The Day of Yahweh (N. Y., 1929), p. 465.
47. See note No. 49 below.
48. M. Sieff, loc. cit.
49. For El as Kronos/Saturn see D. Cardona, "Let There Be Light," KRONOS III: 3 (Spring 1978), pp. 34-35 where other references are supplied.
50. L. M. Greenberg & W. B. Sizemore, "Jerusalem - City of Venus," in Ibid., pp.60,64,85,89.
51. J. Gray, "Shalem," The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, IV, p. 304.
52. Judges 11:24.
53. W. R. Smith, The Religion of the Semites (N. Y.,1959), pp. 58-59,100.
54. L. M. Greenberg & W. B. Sizemore, op. cit., p. 64.
55. D. Cardona, "Trilogies, Trinities, and Triads," CSISN 2:1 (August 1983), p. 7.
56. D. N. Talbott, op. cit., by implication on p. 331.
57. D. Cardona, "Child of Saturn," Part III, KRONOS VII:3 (Spring 1982), pp. 8ff.
58. Idem, "The Ankh," in Ibid., pp. 32-33.
59. D. N. Talbott, op. cit., pp. 85,108,205,237.
60. R. W. Wescott, "Aster and Disaster: Toward a Catastrophist Mode of Mythological Interpretation," KRONOS IX: 1 (Fall 1983), p. 63.
61. J. E. Pfeiffer, The Emergence of Society: A Prehistory of the Establishment (N. Y., 1977), p.170; S. Langdon, Semitic Mythology (N. Y.,1931), p. 93.
62. D. N. Talbott, op. cit., p. 10.
63. Ibid., pp. 17,26,32,44,52ff.,88,163; D. Cardona, "Child of Saturn," Part 1, KRONOS VII:1 (Fall 1981), pp. 60-63.
64. D. Cardona, "The Sun of Night," KRONOS III:1 (Fall 1977), pp. 33-34; Idem, "Night Sun," Frontiers of Science IV: 1 (March-April 1982), p. 31, where other references are cited.
65. R. H. Allen, Star Names and their Meanings (N. Y.,1936), p. 470.
66. I. Velikovsky, "On Saturn and the Flood," KRONOS V: 1 (Fall 1979), p. 10.
67. Hesiod, Theogony, 453-482.
68. Eusebius Pamphili, op. cit., 1:10: 37c.
69. Ibid., 1:10:38d.
70. G. Heinsohn, op. cit., p. 36.
71. Ibid., p. 33.
72. This writer is aware of William Mullen's views on this subject-see his "A Reading of the Pyramid Texts,"Pensee IVR III (Winter 1972), pp. 13-14 - which he based on what was then known of Velikovsky's Saturnian scenario. So also Alfred de Grazia Chaos and Creation (Bombay,1981), p. 190. This writer, however, is not convinced of the validity of these views.
73. Eusebius Pamphili, op. cit., 1:10:40c, d.
74. II Kings 3:27.
75. Eusebius Pamphili, loc. cit.
76. E. Cochrane, "Kronos, Minos, and the Celestial Labyrinth," KRONOS IX:2 (Winter 1984) in toto.
77. Ibid.
78. F. W. Albright, Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan (N. Y., 1968), p. 234.
79. Ibid., pp. 234-235.
80. Ibid., p. 235.
81. Ibid.
82. That Tanit was also a Saturnian deity will be brought out in Part V of the author's serialization "Child of Saturn".
83. R. Graves, The Greek Myths (Harmondsworth,1955-60), Vol. l, p. 42.
84. W. F. Albright, loc cit.
85. Ibid.
86. W. R. Smith & S. A. Cook, "Moloch,"Encyclopaedia Britannica (1959 edition), Vol. 15, p. 175.
87. A.deGrazia, op. cit., pp. 187-188.
88. Ibid., p. 221; Z. Rix, "The Great Terror," KRONOS I:1 (Spring 1975), pp. 55-56; also see L. M. Greenberg, "A Commentary on the Term 'Hyksos'," KRONOS I:2 (June 1975), pp. 80-83.
89. D. Cardona, "Trilogies, Trinities, and Triads" (see note No.55), loc. cit.
90. Z. Rix, op. cit., p. 56.
91. J. Viaud, "Egyptian Mythology,"New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology (London,1972), p. 20.
92. D. A. Mackenzie, Egyptian Myth and Legend (N.Y.,1907/1978), pp. 283 ff. (NOTE: This insight, of course, only holds true as long as Velikovsky's placement of the Hebrew monarchy during Egypt's Eighteenth Dynasty remains valid.)
93. Herodotus, Historiae II: 42; Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica I:13:2.
94. G. Henderson (ed. & tr.), Fled Bricrend (London, 1899), p. 69.
95. D. N. Talbott, op. cit., pp.146 ff.
96. Man Fat Miu (known to the English as the Ten Thousand Buddha Monastery) is so popular with tourists to Hong Kong that no references are required.

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