2. And now, they continue to sin, and they have made for themselves a molten image from their silver according to their pattern, deities,
all of it the work of craftsmen; to them say, "Those who sacrifice man
may kiss the calves."
And now: Jehu’s dynasty, who saw all this, continue to sin.
according to their pattern: Heb. כִּתְבוּנָם.
Those who sacrifice man may kiss the calves: The priests of Molech say to Israel, “Whoever sacrifices his son to the idol is worthy of kissing the calf” for he has offered him a precious gift. So did our Sages explain this in Sanhedrin (63b), and it fits the wording of the verse better than Jonathan’s translation.
Tanakf online with Rashi
It should also be noted that nashak 'kiss' has a close pun nasak which means 'burn'. In which case the verse says "Let the men that sacrifice burn the calves."
The authority of the priests was challenged early in their wandering the desert. This statement using nasak appears to be a challenge to to that authority. Rather than the priests acting as intermediaries, let the people burn their own sacrifices.
The close association of lay sacrifices and the practice of kissing a calf in rouge sacrifices makes the association between the literal and pun likely.
Worship of Baal by kissing
Interesting that Baal is associated with Moloch the calf.
1Ki 19:18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees
which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed
It may seem odd to us why such a practice may begin. When a sacrifice was made, the one bringing the sacrifice gave it to a priest who then offered it and kept much of it for his own use. Particularly in difficult times it would be difficult to give away your animals while your own family was hungry. In rebellion one could recruit others by proclaiming "I kiss the calf" which has plausible deniability should it get challenged as heretical, rather than say "I offer my own sacrifices" which could surely get one killed in Israel.
There is an association with nashak and the calf in Ex:
Ex 32:20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in
the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and
made the children of Israel drink of it.
In this case, those who have sacrificed to the idol were made to drink the burnt calf idol. "Let the men who sacrificed burn the calf." The story concerns those who were offering rouge sacrifices.
The use of 'kiss' and 'burn' as puns ties Aaron's Kiss of Moses, Israel going to the wilderness, and the temptation of Jesus together explaining Jesus's 'better sacrifice'.