wilderness as the scapegoat.
In Hebrew, this passage reads, “After Aaron casts lots for the two goats, one lot for Yahveh and the other for Azazel, he is to present the goat chosen by lot for Yahveh and sacrifice it as a sin offering. But the goat chosen by lot for Azazel is to be presented alive before Yahveh to make atonement with it by sending it into the wilderness for Azazel. So who or what is Azazel? Some scholars speculate that Azazel was the place in the wilderness where the scapegoat was forced off a cliff. Some speculate that the above context would indicate that Azazel was a being of some sort and possibly a desert demon. The book of Enoch has a great deal to say about a fallen angel named Azazel who was instrumental in the proliferation of sin that caused Yahveh to regret having created mankind. In my next post I will explore how the Book of Enoch gives us insight into the reason why the sins of the people were laid upon the head of a goat chosen for Azazel which was then sent into the wilderness.