This is a collection of very
academic papers that examine human sacrifice. It covers the ancient near east as well as Grecco-Roman culture around the first century CE. The meatier ones cover the various forms of sacrifice and offering in the OT and try to determine whether they were ever for yhwh.
One of the disappointing things I found was how few of the scholars took the Documentary Hypothesis into consideration. My understanding what the DH was a pretty well established consensus amongst scholars. My understanding, it turns out, might be wrong.
My favorite essay is one entitled "?Molek: Dead or Alive?" by Bennie Reynolds. In several places in the OT it forbids sacrificing children "to Molek". It has long been assumed that Molek was a pagan god. However, that began to be challenged around the start of the 20th century. Reynolds puts together a very convincing argument that no such character was worshipped. While the word mlk
appears throughout the region, it is always in regard to child sacrifice. There are no stories of mlk, no imagery of mlk, and no other evidence one would expect to find of a god, anywhere in the middle east. Thus, the word is not "Molek", but "molk" and refers to a specific kind of sacrifice.
Additionally, Reynolds makes a case that it is a translational error. The full rendering of the word is lmlk. The L at the front is a preposition that is often translated as "to". But is is also translated as "for" or "as". Traditionally the translation has been "do not sacrifice your children to/for Molek". Reynolds argues the correct useage is "do not kill your children as a molk-sacrifice".
There is more, but I don't want to spoil it. He puts a cannonball through the idea of Molek.
I highly recommend this collection (an have included the PDF link up top). But beware, it is not for the casual reader.