En-uru-gal, or Nergal for short, the much maligned yet little understood Lord of the Great City, the Ahnenerbe investigates that which in popular opinion is known as Moloch.
It is always the case with Semitic Deities that they have acquired them from elsewhere and the case of Moloch is no different, it's from the rendering of Melqart as Lord of the City, the title of Nergal into the Semitic.
For them Melqart-Herakles was a major god, the patron god of Tyre. The name of their god, Melqart, is virtually a translation of the name Nergal; “ruler of the city” and “lord of the great city” respectively; these etymologies are widely accepted. There are several further pieces of evidence that suggest Melqart and Nergal were the same god.
Herakles also related to a title of Nergal;
The possibility that “Herakles” is the western, non-Semitic pronunciation of Nergal/Erakal was suggested in 1857, and no later scholarship has refuted the phonetic changes involved, nor has any Semitic inscription with the name Herakles come to light, despite the great popularity of the god in W. Asia; all Greek inscriptions on statues of Herakles name Herakles; all Semitic inscriptions on statues of Herakles name Nergal, Melqart or Resheph.
The origins of Nergal are humble, he was a God of mining and smelting and forging, a God of transformation through fire, as the God of casting culture his early motif was the double headed axe seen extensively throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, his place of origin the mines of Cilicia, he was the human or semi-Divine principle of such and literally tunneled his way into any underworld associations.
Nergal is the son of Ellil, head of the pantheon, or Anu, the sky god. His mother is not named. He was equated with Gilgamesh as the ruler of the Underworld. This is extraordinary, for Nergal is one of the great gods, whereas Gilgamesh was a hero who signally failed to find immortality. As Schretter and von Weiher have shown, there are variant writings of Nergal’s name from the MBA onwards which indicate a pronunciation Eragal and Erakal.
As a son of El-lil, Nergal/Mot was obviously an aspect of the early NW Semitic Pantheon which Israel looked to disassociate themselves with, as the God of mining/smelting/toxicity/plague/weapons/death was always somewhat problematic, but his cult had strongly developed in that region due to the merchants relationship with the trade in precious ores and the quasi mass industrial practises of the Phoenicians totally depended on such so he was their principle Deity of the military industrial complexities, and others also;
Nergal was the patron god of smelting in Assyria from at least the 9th century onwards. At the Gate of the Foundry Workers which was one of the main entrances to the city of Assur on the middle Tigris, two maceheads were found of the 9th and 8th centuries, inscribed with a dedication to Nergal. In a ritual instruction text on a 7th century tablet there are instructions for the end of campaigns This information implies that Nergal was the patron god of foundry workers, and the metal was stored either in his temples, or at other places such as city gates that were dedicated to him.
Various cult centres of Nergal are known in Mesopotamia proper. Kutha (Tell Ibrahim near Babylon) is the best attested; there his consort was Mammitum. In Assyria he was the chief god of Tarbiţu, just north of Ninevah; there Laz was his spouse. He has shrines at Ninevah and Nimrud, although these have not been discovered. At Assur he shared the temple of Assur with his consort Allat (“goddess”). So closely connected were Assur and Nergal there that the priests from a single family served both deities.
Next we need to consider what throwing everyone in the fire was all about…