Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years, and his mother’s name was Hephzibah.
And he did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord; like the abominations of the nations that the Lord had driven out from before the children of Israel………
**And he passed his son through fire **……
“**When the king of Moab saw that the war was too difficult for him… **He then took his first-born son, who was to reign after him, and sacrificed him as a burnt offering upon the wall, and a great wrath took affect against Israel; so they turned away from Mesha and returned to the land.” (2 Kings 3:26-27)
The Midrash explains that Mesha, the Moabite king, had the idea of outdoing Abraham. Abraham only placed his son Isaac on the altar but never actually sacrificed him; yet that was a sufficient demonstration of devotion to merit miraculous treatment at God’s hands. How much more would God perform miracles for someone who actually went through with the sacrifice of his heir. (Tanchuma, Tisa, 5) His thinking seems to have been right on - his sacrifice actually worked! “A great wrath took affect against Israel” and they were forced to retreat.
The Talmud discusses Mesha’s sacrifice. Rav and Shmuel disputed the matter. One maintained that he sacrificed his son to God, while his colleague perceived Mesha’s act as idol worship. The Talmud comments: if we accept the position which maintains that Mesha sacrificed his son to God, we can understand how a “great wrath descended upon Israel,” but according to the opinion that the sacrifice was an act of idol worship, why should such an act provoke God’s anger against Israel? [The answer to the question does not concern us here] (Sanhedrin 39b) It would appear that the Talmud considers it perfectly reasonable for God to accept an act of sacrifice that He Himself describes as abomination. How can we understand this?
So why is the person who sacrifices his son and demonstrates his recognition with the greatest possible intensity committing an abomination? Isn’t this the very act that God asked Abraham to perform, an act whose merit lives on until the present day?
Murder is the ultimate act of separating the universe from God. Human beings are the only creatures who have the potential to reconnect the universe to its source through their acts of recognition. Every human being is the very expression of the connection. The life force and intelligence of a human being are sacred. It is the avenue through which Divine energy flows into the world. It provides us with the only glimpse of God.
When a parent sacrifices his child or a community one of its members, he asserts ownership of this Divine resource. You can only offer what is yours. It is absurd to destroy something that belongs entirely to God and then turn around and point to the very act of destruction as a demonstration of your overwhelming recognition and your utter devotion.
Abraham’s test was really a rejection of human sacrifice. The readiness to offer your child to God is the ultimate act of devotion, but the actual killing of that child as an act of worship an abomination. A child is your most precious treasure but he is not your possession. You can sacrifice animals and plants to God because God awarded everything in the universe to man to make use of as a means of reconnecting the universe to God, but to sacrifice your fellow human beings is a perversion of the very purpose of human life. The spirit of God is manifest in the world only in man’s intelligence. Sacrificing a human being is destroying Divinity itself as an act of worship to the very Divinity whose image you are destroying. There is no greater anathema.
And the rest of the story…
Bottom line… being that the Almighty abhors human sacrifice - would He indeed go against what He abhors and kill Himself? ** Don’t bother responding until you actually read this very short article. **