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Aaron is to cast lots for the two goats: one lot for Yahweh and the other lot for Azazel. Bible

“Azazel.” This is almost certainly a name of the Devil, and many scholars believe it likely means “Mighty Goat.” “Mighty Goat” would fit the Hebrew etymology well, and also fit with both experiences from the spiritual world and with the teachings of the Bible. Practitioners of the black arts, such as Satanists, have long known that Satan is worshipped in the form of a goat or goat-man being, and also that demons sometimes manifest themselves as goats or goat-men (cp. the “Goat of Mendes,” “Baphomet,” “Sabbatic Goat,” etc.). This is very ancient, and also is true across many cultures.

The different theories for what Azazel means are discussed at length in many commentaries on Leviticus, but the most common ones are: that “Azazel” is a basically combination of “goat” and “go away,” and thus the “scapegoat,” or “goat that is sent away.” Or, as many Jewish commentators believe, “Azazel” is the name of a place and the goat for the sin offering is sent away to the place called Azazel. However, most commentators now lean toward the interpretation that Azazel is the proper name of the Devil (some say a ruling demon of the desert), and that it comes from the word for “goat” combined with the Hebrew word el, or “mighty,” such that the name means “Mighty Goat” (see text note on Lev. 16:8 in the NET Bible; First Edition).

The term “Mighty Goat” would fit with what we see in the spiritual world and also what the Bible says. The Devil would be the “Mighty Goat.” Some of his demons would appear and be represented in art, and be worshipped as goat-demons, even as they were in the ancient world (Lev. 17:7; 2 Chron. 11:15). Evil leaders would be known as “he-goats” (Isa. 14:9; Zech. 10:3), and unbelievers are known as “goats” (Matt. 25:33). [For more on goats and ungodly leaders being called he-goats,” see commentary on Isa. 14:9].


Commentary for: Leviticus 16:8