Thursday, January 31, 2013

Golden Calves vs. Baal - Response to a Counterpoint

There are a limited number of possible verses that seem to possibly associate the golden calves and Baal worship. One example is the passage below:

2 Kings 17:16-17
And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

Here the golden calves and Baal are placed quite close to each other in a list of the wrong-doings of Israel. But, while they are placed close together, there is no strong indication that the grove worship was directly connected with the calves or with Baal. Moreover, the child sacrifice is more associated with Molech worship:

Leviticus 18:21 And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.

Moreover, the divinations are also seemingly a separate but related category. Recall:

Deuteronomy 18:9-12
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, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.

Moreover, while Baal and passing one's children through the fire are mentioned in close proximity elsewhere, in that place (as in Leviticus above) it is connected with the cult of Molech:

Jeremiah 32:35 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 I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

It is interesting to note that in this instance, the sentence structure, in English, is such that there seems to be a connection between the high places of Baal and the child sacrifice to Molech. It is possible that "Baal" here is a generic reference.

- TurretinFan

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