The question which is addressed in this publication is whether the 'Moloch-sacrifice' can be classified as a 'rite de passage' (initiation and transition rite). Analogous to some African cultures, the idea often exists that Old Israel also must have had some rites linked to adolescence. In order to deal with this question, the author first of all investigates the relevant text passages in the Old Testament (B1). The 'Forschungsgeschichte' of the interpretation of this issue (B2) is scrutinised and some older and younger theories and arguments are revisited (B3). Some conclusions are reached with regard to the 'Moloch-texts' and their interpretational history (C).