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Moloch, the most renown False God mentioned in the Old Testament

A False God, or Idol, is a concept that appears within monotheistic religions, like Judaism, Christianity and Islam, who only recognize one God, who created and overseers all there is. These religions usually view the deities of other religions (notably polytheistic ones) as demons masquerading as gods.

Known False Gods

Milton's description

And Devils to adore for Deities:
Then were they known to men by various Names,
And various Idols through the Heathen World.
Say, Muse, thir Names then known, who first, who last,
Rous'd from the slumber, on that fiery Couch,
At thir great Emperors call, as next in worth
Came singly where he stood on the bare strand,
While the promiscuous croud stood yet aloof? 
The chief were those who from the Pit of Hell
Roaming to seek thir prey on earth, durst fix
Thir Seats long after next the Seat of God,
Thir Altars by his Altar, Gods ador'd
Among the Nations round, and durst abide
Jehovah thundring out of Sion, thron'd
Between the Cherubim; yea, often plac'd
Within his Sanctuary it self thir Shrines,
Abominations; and with cursed things
His holy Rites, and solemn Feasts profan'd, 
And with thir darkness durst affront his light.

First Moloch, horrid King besmear'd with blood
Of human sacrifice, and parents tears,
Though for the noyse of Drums and Timbrels loud
Thir childrens cries unheard, that past through fire 
To his grim Idol. Him the Ammonite
Worshipt in Rabba and her watry Plain,
In Argob and in Basan, to the stream
Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such
Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart 
Of Solomon he led by fraud to build
His Temple right against the Temple of God
On that opprobrious Hill, and made his Grove
The pleasant Vally of Hinnom, Tophet thence
And black Gehenna call'd, the Type of Hell.

Next Chemos, th' obscene dread of Moabs Sons,
From Aroar to Nebo, and the wild
Of Southmost Abarim; in Hesebon
And Horonaim, Seons Realm, beyond
The flowry Dale of Sibma clad with Vines,
And Eleale to th' Asphaltick Pool.

Peor his other Name, when he entic'd
Israel in Sittim on thir march from Nile
To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe.
Yet thence his lustful Orgies he enlarg'd
Even to that Hill of scandal, by the Grove
Of Moloch homicide, lust hard by hate;
Till good Josiah drove them thence to Hell
.

With these came they, who from the bordring flood
Of old Euphrates to the Brook that parts 
Egypt from Syrian ground, had general Names
Of Baalim and Ashtaroth, those male,
These Feminine. For Spirits when they please
Can either Sex assume, or both; so soft
And uncompounded is thir Essence pure, 
Not ti'd or manacl'd with joynt or limb,
Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,
Like cumbrous flesh; but in what shape they choose
Dilated or condens't, bright or obscure,
Can execute thir aerie purposes,
And works of love or enmity fulfill.
For those the Race of Israel oft forsook
Thir living strength, and unfrequented left
His righteous Altar, bowing lowly down
To bestial Gods; for which thir heads as low 
Bow'd down in Battel, sunk before the Spear
Of despicable foes. With these in troop
Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians call'd
Astarte, Queen of Heav'n, with crescent Horns;
To whose bright Image nightly by the Moon
Sidonian Virgins paid thir Vows and Songs,
In Sion also not unsung, where stood
Her Temple on th' offensive Mountain, built
By that uxorious King, whose heart though large,
Beguil'd by fair Idolatresses, fell, To Idols foul.

Thammuz came next behind,
Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd
The Syrian Damsels to lament his fate
In amorous dittyes all a Summers day,
While smooth Adonis from his native Rock 
Ran purple to the Sea, suppos'd with blood
Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the Love-tale
Infected Sions daughters with like heat,
Whose wanton passions in the sacred Porch
Ezekiel saw, when by the Vision led 
His eye survay'd the dark Idolatries
Of alienated Judah.

Next came one
Who mourn'd in earnest, when the Captive Ark
Maim'd his brute Image, head and hands lopt off
In his own Temple, on the grunsel edge,
Where he fell flat, and sham'd his Worshipers:
Dagon his Name, Sea Monster, upward Man
And downward Fish: yet had his Temple high
Rear'd in Azotus, dreaded through the Coast
Of Palestine, in Gath and Ascalon
And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds.

Him follow'd Rimmon, whose delightful Seat
Was fair Damascus, on the fertil Banks
Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid streams.
He also against the house of God was bold: 
A Leper once he lost and gain'd a King,
Ahaz his sottish Conquerour, whom he drew
Gods Altar to disparage and displace
For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn
His odious off'rings, and adore the Gods 
Whom he had vanquisht.

After these appear'd
A crew who under Names of old Renown,
OsirisIsisOrus and their Train
With monstrous shapes and sorceries abus'd
Fanatic Egypt and her Priests, to seek 
Thir wandring Gods disguis'd in brutish forms
Rather then human. Nor did Israel scape
Th' infection when thir borrow'd Gold compos'd
The Calf in Oreb: and the Rebel King
Doubl'd that sin in Bethel and in Dan,
Lik'ning his Maker to the Grazed Ox,
Jehovah, who in one Night when he pass'd
From Egypt marching, equal'd with one stroke
Both her first born and all her bleating Gods.

Saint Eligius' description

No Christian should presume to invoke the name of a demon, not Neptune or Orcus or Diana or Minerva or Geniscus... No one should observe Jove's day in idleness. ... No Christian should make or render any devotion to the gods of the trivium, where three roads meet, to the fanes or the rocks, or springs or groves or corners. None should presume to hang any phylacteries from the neck of man nor beast. ..None should presume to make lustrations or incantations with herbs, or to pass cattle through a hollow tree or ditch ... No woman should presume to hang amber from her neck or call upon Minerva or other ill-starred beings in their weaving or dyeing. .. None should call the sun or moon lord or swear by them. .. No one should tell fate or fortune or horoscopes by them as those do who believe that a person must be what he was born to be.

Mikael Agricola's description

One of the earliest written sources of Finnish deities was written by Mikael Agricola, a Finnish Bishop from the 16th Century. Due to being a Christian and seeking to spread his faith, he referred to these deities as false gods and demons.

The list goes as following:

Many false gods are here,
that were worshipped far and near in the ancient times.
Tavastians bowed down to them
both men and women.
Tapio bestowed traps from forest
and Ahti brought fish from the water.
Väinämöinen was the smith of songs,
Rahko divided the Moon in black.
Liekkiö ruled herbs, roots and trees,
and other such things.
Ilmarinen made peace and air
and moved travellers forward.
Tursias brought victory in war,
Kratti took care of an object.
Tonttu ruled the goings in a room,
as well as piru drove many wild.
Kaves also ate the Moon from them.
Sons of Kaleva created meadows and others.
But Karelians had these
false gods they prayed to.
Rongoteus gave rye,
Pellonpekko bestowed the growing of barley.
Virankannos watched over oats,
otherwise people would have no oats.
Äkräs created peas, beans, turnips,
brought forth cabbages, (hemps) and hemps.[a]
Köntys made burn-beaten areas and fields,
when he saw their false belief.
And when spring-sowing was sowed,
then the toast of Ukko was drunk.
Ukko's vakka was brought there,
and so did maids and wives get drunk.
Then many shameful things were done,
as well as heard and seen there.
When Rauni, wife of Ukko, ??? (did something)/When the wife of Rauni-Ukko ??? (did something)
Ukko splashed nobly from the bottom.
And that then gave air and rain.
Kekri increased the growing of cattle.
Hiisi bestowed victory over the forest people,
Vedenemä took fish into a net.
Nyyrikki gave squirrels from the forest,
Hittavainen brought rabbits from the bush.
Isn't that people frantic,
who believes in and prays to these?
That's where the Devil and sin pulled them to,
so they bowed to and believed in these.
Food was taken to the graves of the dead
where people whined, cried and weeped.
Menninkäinens also got their sacrifices
because widows took care and married.
Many other things were also worshipped,
rocks, stumps, stars and the Moon.

Extra Information

  • Lucifer is an interesting case as there is a roman god named Lucifer who share many similarities with each other.
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