These regulations and laws deal with sexual and moral practices. The Israelites would inherit a land that had been controlled by pagan, idolatrous tribes for hundreds of years. These tribal sins included offering children through the fire of Molech, star worshipping, adultery, fornication, and bestiality. God wanted to separate His people from the practices of the surrounding nations. Moses instructed:

• You are not to see the nakedness of a family member or relative (v. 6-18)
• You are not to commit adultery with your neighbor’s wife (v. 20)
• You shall not pass your children through the fire of Molech (v. 21)
• You shall not have sexual relations with people of your same gender (v. 22)
• You shall not have sexual relations with animals (v. 23)

For more information on this subject, see Leviticus in Depth, particularly the section “Judicial and Moral Code.” The name Molech is first mentioned in verse 21. Molech, which signifies “king,” was the idol of the Ammonites.

One must remember that in the time of the Israelites, there were few, if any, moral restraints among the pagan nations. God was attempting to separate His chosen people from the immoral practices of the surrounding nations, including the worship of Molech.

“Molech’s proper name was Chemosh. His Egyptian correspondent, or rather substitute, was Amun, or Amun-Ra [Molek (OT:4432)], ‘the king of the gods’ (Corbaux). According to scholars this idol was of brass, resting on a brass throne. His head resembled a calf adorned with a crown, and his arms were extended in the attitude of embracing those who approached him. His followers dedicated their children to him by heating the statue to a high pitch of intensity by a fire within; and then the infants were either shaken over the flames or passed through the ignited arms— a symbolical rite expressive of dedication or lustration to ensure the favor of the pretended deity. The fire-worshippers asserted that all children who did not undergo this purifying process would die in infancy; and the influence of this Zabian superstition was still so extensively prevalent in the days of Moses that the Divine Lawgiver judged it necessary to prohibit it by an express statute. This was the early form of the crime which afterward assumed a horrid and unnatural aspect (Lev. 20:2-4). A similar superstition prevailed among the ancient Indians (Sonnerat’s ‘Travels,’ vol i., p. 154).” (From Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database, copyright 1997 by Biblesoft.)

From Page 231 of the Perry Stone Hebraic Prophetic Old Testament Study Bible

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