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Originally posted by Schkeptick
...The more you study that Bible of yours, the more you'll find that the whole second half of it is a big hoax.
Tanakh (Hebrew Bible)
References in the Tanakh point to an awareness of human sacrifice in the history of ancient Near Eastern practice.
The king of Moab gives his firstborn son and heir as a whole burnt offering (olah, as used of the Temple sacrifice). It is apparently effective, as his enemy is promptly repelled by a 'great wrath' (2 Kings 3:27).
In the book of the prophet Micah, one asks, 'Shall I give my firstborn for my sin, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?' (Micah 6:7), and receives a response, 'He has shown all you people what is good.
And what does Yahweh require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.' (Micah 6:8)
The Tanakh also implies that the Ammonites offered child sacrifices to Moloch. In Leviticus 18:21, 20:3 and Deuteronomy 12:30-31, 18:10, the Torah contains a number of imprecations against and laws forbidding child sacrifice.
James Kugel argues that the Torah's specifically forbidding child sacrifice indicates that it happened in Israel as well.
Mark S. Smith argues that the mention of "Topeth" in Isaiah 30:27–33 indicates an acceptance of child sacrifice in the early Jerusalem practices, to which the law in Leviticus 20:2–5 forbidding child sacrifice is a response.
Genesis 22 relates the binding of Isaac, in which God tests Abraham by asking him to present his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah. No reason is given within the text. Abraham agrees to this command without arguing.
According to the text, God does not want Abraham to actually sacrifice his son; it states from the beginning that this is only a test of obedience. The story ends with an angel stopping Abraham at the last minute and making Isaac's sacrifice unnecessary by providing a ram, caught in some nearby bushes, to be sacrificed instead.
Francesca Stavrakopoulou has speculated that it is possible that the story "contains traces of a tradition in which Abraham does sacrifice Isaac.
Richard Elliott Friedman has argued that the story may have originally had Abraham carrying out the sacrifice of Isaac, but that later repugnance at the idea of a human sacrifice led a redactor to add the lines in which a ram is substituted for Isaac.
Another instance of human sacrifice mentioned in the Tanakh is the sacrifice of Jephthah's daughter in Judges 11. Jephthah is victorious in battle against the children of Ammon and vows to sacrifice to God whatsoever comes to greet him at the door when he returns home. The vow is stated in Judges 11:31 as "Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering." When he returns from battle, his virgin daughter runs out to greet him.
That he actually does sacrifice her is shown in verse 11:39 "And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed".
This example seems to be the exception rather than the rule, however, as the verse continues "And she was a virgin. From this comes the Israelite custom that each year the young women of Israel go out for four days to commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite.".