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This article is part of the series Christianity from the perspective of Islam

Human sacrifice

Human sacrifices are as old as humanity itself, and found almost anywhere in the world. They served a variety of purposes such as dealing with an emergency situation, when other people directly served as food (cannibalism) or indirectly to restore the favour of a deity, from which one expected remedial of a shortcoming. Human sacrifice also served to sanctification, de-profanisation or consecration of a cult place or cult building, but also for secular buildings. Disasters such as droughts, earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions were seen as a sign of the wrath of the gods. Human sacrifices should allay this anger. Prisoners were sacrificed to the Tribal or War God as a token of gratitude, for example by the Germans after the victorious Battle of Varus.

In the Hebrew Bible human sacrifices were, in contrast to the surrounding ancient Middle Eastern religions, banned at a very early time. The sacrifice of the firstborn had to be ransomed by an animal sacrifice. This is the reason behind the narrative of the near-sacrifice of Isaac (Gen. 22; in Islam Ismael). Jewish religion has thus abolished human sacrifice, but human sacrifices were still practiced. However, these were not ordained by God but on the contrary called forth His wrath and were viewed as idolatry.

"In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub." (1 Kings 16: 34)

The sacrifices of his own sons, which Hiel paid as the price for the reconstruction of the Canaanite city of Jericho here, should presumably satisfy the gods who lived there previously. It is also possible that he thus made this profane place a sacred place of worship, because Bethel was an old northern Israeli, probably earlier Canaanite sanctuary. The name means House Els, and this name was designated in the Ugaritic pantheon for the Supreme God.

Jericho's reconstruction was considered a return to Canaanite conditions and was therefore put under a severe curse of God in the Book of Joshua (Joshua 6: 26). The sacrifice of Hiel's sons was therefore interpreted not as God's very own will, but rather as just punishment for the transgression of His ban. Hiel's act appears in the context as hardly beatable increase of idolatry, which precedes the story of Elijah, who fought the mingling of faith in God with the cult of the Canaanite fertility god Baal radically (1 Kings 17). Human sacrifices were a typical sign of worship of foreign gods like Moloch and Baal:

"For Baal hath devoured the labour of our fathers from our youth; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. [Jeremiah 3: 24]

"They brought their sons and daughters as a sacrifice for the demons. They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan." [Ps 106, 37ff]

According to the biblical history, the tradition of sacrifice of the first sons was common in the surroundings of Israel which rejected the Deuteronomic theology:

"Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall." [2 Kings 3: 27]

"And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the LORD." [2 Sam 21: 9]

Jeremiah fought the sacrifice of the firstborn, which the people of Jerusalem apparently had taken from some Canaanites previously living there, and branded them as idolatry and serious violation of God's commandments:

"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; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart." [Jeremiah 7: 31]

So what one can clearly see from all the above passages is the following:

God Himself had never commanded human sacrifice.

Even animal sacrifices were not required to forgive sins. Nowhere in the Bible is it obvious that people sacrificed to get their sins forgiven, but because it was a commandment of God.

Whenever human sacrifices were held, the people did not follow the monotheistic religion of Abraham, but idolatry. And it was especially Baal, who demanded such sacrifices.

The purpose of such human sacrifice was the same as in other cultures too, namely to appease the wrath of God or the gods and ask for victory.

Does the sacrifice of Jesus then, as God's alleged son, follow the tradition of the Old Testament or the idolatrous traditions of the Israel surrounding tribes who wanted to appease the wrath of God with human sacrifice?

Especially Baal is mentioned as the god demanding such sacrifices (Jer 19: 5; 32: 35). Baal however is a representative of the sun god or god of fire, which in fact is Lucifer. He was worshiped in various forms around the world, and the people brought him bloody human sacrifices:

  • Mayas: Kulkulcan
  • Babylonians: Vul / Baal
  • Romans: Volcan
  • Egyptians: Osiris / Ra
  • Greeks: Helios
  • Aztecs: Tonatiuh
  • Sumerians: Ea / Enki
  • Assyrians: Shamash
  • Hindus: Surya
  • Chinese: Tai-Yang-King

The bible shows that the worship of Baal was equal with the worship of the sun and the zodiac. Because the ruler of the zodiac is the sun or the sun god:

"And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets (zodiac), and to all the host of heaven. [2 Kings 23: 5]

And what is in the middle of the zodiac? The cross.

The Zodiac yet shows another parallel, the resurrection. For it is the sun that dies every day and is reborn, also in the change of seasons.

So we ask:

Does it make sense that God first condemns something and then does the very same thing that one would commonly refer to as satanic: sacrifice the own son?

Why would He do that? In order that He can forgive humans their sins? Why should he need a bloody sacrifice for that, in the tradition of the appeasement of the wrath of the pagan gods?

Why would He use the very symbol for the sacrifice of His Son, that stands for the sun and sun god, that is Satan, and for idolatry and human sacrifice?

Blessed be God. Neither has He ever demanded human sacrifice, nor did He ever provided one. Human sacrifices are diabolism, in whatever form.

____________________

Next chapter:

Isaac and Ishmael
Muslims remember every year during the celebration of Idhul Adha, the story of Abraham, who was put to test by God in the form of the command to sacrifice his only son. Abraham passed the test, and had already placed his son on the woodpile, when God made known that Abraham had already fulfilled the vision and passed the test. Instead of his son, Abraham sacrificed then a ram. This story is also narrated in the Torah / Bible, but there is a small and subtle difference..

Index

Preface

What does the Koran say about Jesus?

Jesus, Son of God?

What became of God's commandments?

Where does Christmas come from?

The Sons of God

Original sin and crucifixion

Human sacrifice

Isaac and Ishmael

Bible & Koran - a revelation of God?