A Goat to Go to Azazel

  • Aron Pinker

Abstract

Significant evidence suggests that biblical עזאזל was originally the homophone עזזאל “Powerful God,” whose abode on earth was in the desert. The ritual described in Lev 16:5-26 was to the same God, potentially being at two locations -- the Temple or the desert, and identified as יהוה and עזזאל respectively. On the unique Day of Atonement God (as יהוה and עזזאל) was approached at both locations. In later times, God’s abode in the Temple or Jerusalem completely displaced God’s desert abode, relegating it to evil forces as was the belief in Near-Eastern cultures. In this process עזזאל, or a derivative of this name, became a satanic figure.
Published
2009-03-06
Section
Articles