But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch
The god of the Ammonites; (See Gill on Amos 1:13); and (See Gill on Jeremiah 7:31); called theirs, because they also worshipped it, and caused their seed to pass through the fire to it; and which was carried by them in a shrine, or portable tent or chapel. Or it may be rendered, "but ye have borne Siccuth your king" F16; and so Siccuth may be taken for the name of an idol, as it is by Jarchi, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, to whom they gave the title of king, as another idol went by the name of the queen of heaven; perhaps by one was meant the sun, and by the other the moon; and Chiun, your images;
Moloch or Siccuth was one, and Chiun another image, or rather the same; and this the same with Chevan, which in the Arabic and Persic languages is the name of Saturn, as Aben Ezra and Kimchi say; and is so rendered by Montanus here; and who in the Egyptian tongue was called Revan, or Rephan, or Remphan; as by the Septuagint here, and in ( Acts 7:43 ) ; the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves;
or the star "your god" F17; meaning the same with Chiun or Saturn; perhaps the same with the star that fell from the air or sky, mentioned by Sanchoniatho F18; which Astarte, the wife of Chronus or Saturn, is said to take and consecrate in Tyre; this they made for themselves, and worshipped as a deity. The Targum is,
``ye have borne the tabernacle of your priests, Chiun your image, the star your God, which ye have made to yourselves.''Various are the senses put upon the word Chiun. Some read it Cavan, and take it to signify a "cake"; in which sense the word is used in ( Jeremiah 7:18 ) ( 44:19 ) ; and render it, "the cake of your images" F19; and supposing that it had the image of their gods impressed upon it. Calmet interprets it "the pedestal of your images" F20; and indeed the word has the signification of a basis, and is so rendered by some F21; and is applicable to Moloch their king, a king being the basis and foundation of the kingdom and people; and to the sun, intended by that deity, which is the basis of the celestial bodies, and of all things on earth. Some take Moloch and Chiun to be distinct deities, the one to be the sun, the other the moon; but they seem rather to be the same, and both to be the Egyptian ox, and the calf of the Israelites in the wilderness, the image of which was carried in portable tents or tabernacles, in chests or shrines; such as the Succothbenoth, or tabernacles of Venus, ( 2 Kings 17:30 ) ; and those of Diana's, ( Acts 19:24 ) ; the first of these portable temples we read of, is one drawn by oxen in Phoenicia, mentioned by Sanchoniatho F23; not that the Israelites carried such a tent or tabernacle during their travels through the wilderness, whatever they might do the few days they worshipped the calf; but this is to be understood of their posterity in later times, in the times of Amos; and also when Shalmaneser carried them captive beyond Damascus, as follows. It may be further observed, for the confirmation and illustration of what has been said concerning Chiun, that the Egyptian Anubis, which Plutarch F24 says is the same with Saturn, is called by him Kyon, which seems to be no other than this word Chiun: and whereas Stephen calls it Rephan, this is not a corruption of the word, reading Rephan or Revan for Chevan; nor has he respect to Rimmon, the god of the Syrians, but it is the Egyptian name for Saturn; which the Septuagint interpreters might choose to make use of, they interpreting for the king of Egypt: and Diodorus Siculus F25 makes mention of an Egyptian king called Remphis, whom Braunius F26 takes to be this very Chiun; see ( Acts 7:43 ) ; but Rephas, or Rephan, was the same with Chronus, or Saturn, from whence came the Rephaim F1, who dwelt in Ashtaroth Karnaim, a town of Ham or Chronus; see ( Genesis 14:5 ) . Some F2, who take Siccuth for an idol, render it in the future, "ye shall carry" and take it to be a prediction of Amos, that the Israelites should, with great reproach and ignominy, be obliged by the Assyrians, as they were led captive, to carry on their shoulders the idols they had worshipped, and in vain had trusted in, as used to be done in triumphs; (See Gill on Amos 1:15).
F16 (Mkklm twko) "Siccuth regem vestrum", Munster, Montanus, Vatablus, Calvin, Mercerus.
F17 (Mkyhla bkwk) "sidus deum vestrum", Liveleus; "sidus, [vel] stellam deos vestros", Calvin.
F18 Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 1. p. 38.
F19 (Mkymlu Nwyk) "placentam imagiuum vestrarum", Pagninus, Tigurine version, Vatablus.
F20 Dictionary, in the word "Chiun".
F21 "Basim imaginum vestrarum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "statumen", Burkius.
F23 Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 1. p. 35.
F24 De Iside.
F25 Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 56.
F26 Selecta Sacra. l. 4. c. 9. sect. 132. p. 435.
F1 Vid. Cumberland's Sanchoniatho, p. 120.
F2 Vid. Scholia Quinquarborei in loc. So Jarchi and Lyra.