Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions Being a Comparison of the Old and New Testament Myths and Miracles with those of the Heathen Nations of Antiquity Considering also their Origin and Meaning
Page: 33The altar of Moloch reeked with blood. Children were sacrificed and burned in the fire to him, while trumpets and flutes drowned their screams, and the mothers looked on, and were bound to restrain their tears.
The Phenicians offered to the gods, in times of war and drought, the fairest of their children. The books of Sanchoniathon and Byblian Philo are full of accounts of such sacrifices. In Byblos boys were immolated to Adonis; and, on the founding of a city or colony, a sacrifice of a vast number of children was solemnized, in the hopes of thereby averting misfortune from the new settlement. The Phenicians, according to Eusebius, yearly sacrificed their dearest, and even their only children, to Saturn. The bones of the victims were preserved in the temple of Moloch, in a golden ark, which was carried by the Phenicians with them to war.[41:1] Like the Fijians of the present day, those people considered their gods as beings like themselves. They loved and they hated; they were proud and revengeful; they were, in fact, savages like themselves.
The offering of human sacrifices to the Sun was extensively practiced in Mexico and Peru, before the establishment of Christianity.[41:3]
[39:1] See Müller's Hist. Sanscrit Literature; and Williams' Indian Wisdom, p. 29.
[39:2] Quoted by Count de Volney; New Researches in Anc't Hist., p. 144.
[39:3] See Inman's Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 104.
[39:4] Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 302.
[41:1] Baring-Gould: Orig. Relig. Belief, vol. i. p. 368.
[41:2] Kenrick's Egypt, vol. i. p. 448.
[41:3] See Acosta: Hist. Indies, vol. ii.
JACOB'S VISION OF THE LADDER.
In the 28th chapter of Genesis, we are told that Isaac, after blessing his son Jacob, sent him to Padan-aram, to take a daughter of Laban's (his mother's brother) to wife. Jacob, obeying his father, "went out from Beer-sheba (where he dwelt), and went towards Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set. And he took of the stones of the place, and put them for his pillow, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold, a ladder set upon the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And he beheld the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said: 'I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac, the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed.' . . . And Jacob awoke out of his sleep, and he said: 'Surely the Lord is in this place, and I know it not.' And he was afraid, and said: 'How dreadful is this place, this is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of Heaven.' And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillow, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Beth-el."
The doctrine of Metempsychosis has evidently something to do with this legend. It means, in the theological acceptation of the term, the supposed transition of the soul after death, into another substance or body than that which it occupied before. The belief in such a transition was common to the most civilized, and the most uncivilized, nations of the earth.[42:1]