Sharing some startling ancient history with you today. This is not for the faint of heart. You have been warned. You might wish to go elsewhere.
“The engravings found on the funerary stelae at Carthage are devastating to the skeptical position. Under the stelae are urns containing the burnt remains of the children. It is estimated that there are tens of thousands of them.”
-Henry B. Smith
I have a scholarly paper to share with you today, if you dare enlighten yourself about child human sacrifice to Moloch, Baal, and whatever gods they sacrificed to in Carthage.
This is not a historical Joke. Also, It is not only an ancient practice either.
Ask me about an ethnic group I worked and lived among , in West Africa. The Agni (Agnyi) practiced human sacrifice. In fact, this continued until the end of the tribal wars and up until the forced abolition of slavery in their Sub-Saharian region under French colonial rule. It was not until this time that human sacrifices got substituted by animal killings instead. (King and chiefs caskets were perched in four fresh human skills for the animistic funeral ceremonies)
Change had to happen.
This is why we constantly examine the ideology and worldview assumptions driving beliefs, kingdoms, clans, and groups. We do this both historically and today. Yes, even today.
There are historical elements we do not wish to repeat that devalue children, women, life, safety and the security of humanity. It was not just horror stories from ancient history. There are recent history horror stories as well. We have seen about 60 million murdered since 1900 over worldview and ideological beliefs (which are in fact the same as religious beliefs).
Do you really wonder why Israel tried to destroy the Canaanites who undertook massive amounts of child sacrificed to Moloch?
People have mocked the Old Testament order to destroy the Canaanites, every man, woman, and child. They cry barbarism, and what kind of God is that? Keep in mind this was ancient hyperbole. It was how ancients wrote. In the every next verses after the attack we see the Israelite community diving up the women and children into their families. It was hyperbolic language that simply meant to defeat the Canaanites definitively, once and for all. God wanted the practice stamped out. Who wouldn’t?
Below is a link to a Historical and Biblical Scholarly Paper.The Scholar Paper is specifically about child sacrifice in Carthage.
“No but with full knowledge and understanding they themselves offered up their own children and those who had no children would buy little ones from poor people and cut their throats as if they were so many lambs or young birds meanwhile the mother stood by without a tear or moan l but should she utter a single moan or let fall a single tear she had to forfeit the money and her child was sacrificed nevertheless and the whole area before the statue was filled with a loud noise of flutes and drums so that the cries of wailing should not reach the ears of the people.”
– Plutarch. On Superstition (1st century Greek philosopher and historian)
“Siculus reported that the Carthaginians tried to avert a calamity from a foreign enemy by publicly sacrificing several hundred children. The emergency did not abate and it was subsequently discovered that a number of wealthy Carthaginians had purchased children from poor people and sacrificed them instead of their own. In effect they were attempting to “fool” the gods. Since the crisis was not averted they panicked and subsequently sacrificed two hundred of their own children while approximately three hundred adults sacrificed themselves as well.
Are their presently worldviews and beliefs that lead to the sacrifice of human life in modern times? Today even?
You betcha! Humanity has progressed, but not as much as we had hoped, or think. A great dose of humility comes via history. Light is shed on our present reality.
There is an indication that the Carthinians used child sacrifice as a form of population control.
“According to Stager and Greene the estimated population of Carthage at its peak was probably around 250,000. Agricultural capability in the era of Carthage seems to have been inadequate for a population of that size and the evidence seems to indicate that the child sacrifice increased and reached its peak at the same time.”
Our children, men and women may not be sacrificed before a bronze statue with arms and a fire. However, today we sacrifice humans for our ideology (Political and ideological belief are the same as Religious beliefs) at the end of a gun barrel, at the end of torture electrical wires, on a water board with a bucket and towel beside their head, or being shot after fingernails or skin is pulled off, or with long forceps or a suction hose that plucks or sucks tiny baby parts out of a woman’s womb in a hospital, or dark room.
And it is all done in the hopes of securing a better life for ourselves, or our world.
Have we progressed beyond Moloch and Cathage?
I truly wonder.