The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleLeviticus 18:21
And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through [the fire]
The name of an image or idol, according to Aben Ezra,
who observes, that their wise men interpret it as a general name for
everyone whom they made to reign over them; and it is right, he says,
that it is the abomination of the children of Ammon, and so the same
with Milcom, (1 Kings 11:5) ; and with Baal, as appears from (Jeremiah 32:35) ;
and they are both of much the same signification, the one signifies a
king, the other a lord; and perhaps is the same with the Melicarthus of
Sanchoniatho F25, who is also Hercules; to whom Pliny says F26 that the
Phoenicians offered human sacrifices every year: of Molech,
(See Gill on 7:31)
(See Gill on 1:13); by "seed" is meant children and offspring; and
because the word "fire" is not in the original text, some, as Aben Ezra
observes, explain the phrase, "let to pass through", of their causing
them to pass from the law of God to the religion of Molech, or of
devoting them to his service and worship; but the word "fire" is
rightly supplied, as it may be from (Deuteronomy 18:10) ; and the same writer
says, the phrase to pass through is the same as to burn; but though
this they sometimes did, even burn their infants, and sacrificed them
to idols, (2 Chronicles 28:3) (Psalms 106:37,38) (Ezekiel 16:20,21) ; yet this seems to be
something short of that, and to be done in the manner, as Jarchi and
other Jewish writers F1 relate; who say, the father delivered his son
to the priests (of Molech) and they made two great fires, and caused
the son to pass on foot between the two fires, which was a kind of a
lustration, and so of a dedication of them to the idol; though it must
be owned that both were done; yea, that both the phrases of passing
through the fire, and of burning, are used promiscuously of the same,
see (2 Kings 16:3) ; compared with (2 Chronicles 28:3) and also (Ezekiel 16:20,21) ;
and they might be both done at different times, or the one previous and
in order to the other; and perhaps they might cause the child so often
and so long to pass through the fire, as that at last it was burnt and
neither shall thou profane the name of thy God;
who had given them
children, and to whom they ought to have devoted them, and in whose
service they should have trained them up to the honour of his name; but
instead of that profaned it, by the above idolatrous and cruel usages:
I [am] the Lord;
who would avenge such a profanation of his name.
F25 Apud, Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 1. p. 38.
F26 Nat. Hist. l. 36. c. 5.
F1 Ben Melech in loc. Kimchii Sepher Shorash. rad. (Klm) .
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Leviticus 18:21". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=le&chapter=018&verse=021>. 1999.