Appearing in "In The Chapel of Moloch"
- Right Hand of Doom
Synopsis for "In The Chapel of Moloch"
Hellboy travels to Portugal in 1992. He meets up with an art agent who is concerned about his friend Jerry, a painter. The pair had rented an old chapel, and Jerry had been using the space as a studio. Lately Jerry has been weak and stays in bed all day, but at night enters the chapel and works.
Jerry's friend shows Hellboy a large statue of a horned monster. Apparently this is what Jerry has been working on during the night. His friend mentions that Jerry sometimes calls out 'Moloch.' Hellboy recognizes the name and explains that Moloch is mentioned in the bible and that people once sacrificed children to him.
Hellboy explores the chapel and sees the symbol of the Knights of Saint Hagan, an order of knights that specialized in hunting down witches. Hellboy scraps the statue and blood drips out of the scratch.
The two decide to wait in the chapel until dark to see what Jerry does there every night. A shriveled figure climbs out of a hole in the floor and grabs Jerry, guiding his hands as he sculpts. Hellboy forces the figure to flee, freeing Jerry of his possession. The statue begins to awaken and fights with Hellboy. Hellboy destroys the creature, all the while Jerry begging him to stop.
Jerry says that his life is ruined and will never paint again, Hellboy adds that he should give up sculpting as well.
Moloch is indeed mentioned in the bible, as Hellboy says. In those texts he is connected to child sacrifice. For example, Leviticus 18:21, "And you shall not let any of your seed pass through l'Molech, neither shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord."
The image of Moloch presented here developed out of later medieval traditions attempting to understand the biblical text. Molech came to be seen as a bull headed demon. His idol had outstretched hands to hold children while they were burned alive.
Modern scholarship continues to debate the exact identity and historicity of the figure. Some even suggest the term refers not to a deity, but rather to a type of sacrifice.
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