Whilst I was gazing and wondering, suddenly it occurred to me--being familiar with the Old Testament--that Solomon went astray after strange gods, the names of three of whom I remembered--"Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh
, the god of the Moabites, and Milcom, the god of the children of Ammon"--and I suggested to my companions that the figures before us might represent these false and exploded divinities.
27, where King Mesha burns his eldest son as a sacrifice to Chemosh
, the god of the Moabites, which so disheartens the Israelites that they flee in panic.
The idol Chemosh was originally Ammon's national idol.
21:29 he writes that Jephthah mentioned Chemosh when speaking to the king of Ammon because it was worshipped by the Ammonites (Judg.
Based on this, Rabbi Yitzhak Sorotzkin explains why Jephthah mentioned the Moabite idol Chemosh and the Moabite king Balak.
Yet somehow supernatural and demigodic "angels" and "demons" are presented as independent segments of metaphysical realm--as well as the 40 or so named gods in the Bible: Ashtoreth, Tammuz, Diana, Jupiter, Nehushtan, Remphan, Chemosh
, Nisroch, Molech, Rahab, and so on.
It may be for this reason that Hand is associated with Molech of Moloch, the god to whom children were sacrificed: "The night falls thick Hand comes from Albion in his strength / He combines into a Mighty-one the Double Molech & Chemosh
11:24, "That which Chemosh
your god grants you as a possession, you shall possess, and all those whom YHWH our god dispossesses before us, we shall take possession from them," as indicating such a recognition.
21:29) that Moab was openly pagan and worshiping Chemosh
, but it was its ethical lapse that was of interest to biblical normative law.
This diaspora was a consequence of Solomon's decision to follow pagan customs by "sacrificing in the high places," rather than the tabernacle, and the king eventually turned to human sacrifice in Chemosh
The story of the Moabite campaign (1 Ki 3:4-27) in which Chemosh
decides the battle is but one example of a biblical story, if not the Bible as a whole, that recognizes deities other than YHWH and is not wholly monotheistic.
Moreover, literarily, it is impossible to make sense of the later report (second edition, 2 Kgs 23:13) that Josiah destroyed Solomon's high places for Ashtoret and Chemosh
unless the whole point of this passage is that Solomon in fact built them (in 11:7).