A Goat to Go to Azazel

Aron Pinker


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.

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