The Basics of Judaism: Jewish Texts: Ezekiel Ch. 20:
What is the meaning of Ezekiel 20:24-26?
The Targum interprets verses 24 and 25 as follows: Because they
rebelled against My Word... I put them under the control of their
foolish inclinations, so they went and practiced inappropriate
laws and rules that they could not live by. This is then illustrated
in verse 26, which says that they perverted the law [of the firstborn]
and offered their firstborn [to Molech], and concludes that G-d would
therefore smite them so that they would [repent and] acknowledge Him.
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