(king), the fire-god Molech was the tutelary deity of the children of Ammon, and essentially identical with the Moabitish Chemosh. Fire-gods appear to have been common to all the Canaanite, Syrian, and Arab tribes, who worshipped the destructive element under an outward symbol, with the most inhuman rites. According to Jewish tradition, the image of Molech was of brass, hollow within, and was situated without Jerusalem. “His face was (that) of a calf, and his hands stretched forth like a man who opens his hands to receive (something) of his neighbor. And they kindled it with fire, and the priests took the babe and put it into the hands of Molech, and the babe gave up the ghost.” Many instances of human sacrifices are found in ancient writers, which may be compared with the description of the Old Testament of the manner in which Molech was worshipped. Molech was the lord and master of the Ammonites; their country was his possession (Jeremiah 49:1), as Moab was the heritage of Chemosh; the princes of the land were the princes of Malcham (Jeremiah 49:3; Amos 1:15). His priests were men of rank (Jeremiah 49:3) taking precedence of the princes. The priests of Molech, like those of other idols, were called Chemarim (2 Kings 23:5; Hosea 10:5; Zephaniah 1:4).
Smith's Bible Names Dictionary (1866).