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The Scapegoat

The Azazel goat (pronounced in Hebrew as aw-zah-zale), translated as scapegoat in the King James Version, was one of two goats chosen for a ceremony on The Day Of Atonement. The first goat was sacrificed, while the scapegoat was taken out into the wilderness and released.

Goat "Then he shall take the two goats, and set them before The Lord at the door of the tent of meeting; and Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats, one lot for The Lord and the other lot for Azazel. And Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for The Lord, and offer it as a sin offering; but the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel shall be presented alive before The Lord to make atonement over it, that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Azazel." (Leviticus 16:7-10 RSV)

"And when he has made an end of atoning for The Holy Place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall present the live goat; and Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins; and he shall put them upon the head of the goat, and send him away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. The goat shall bear all their iniquities upon him to a solitary land; and he shall let the goat go in the wilderness." (Leviticus 16:20-22 RSV)

The Sacrificed Goat - A Symbol of Jesus Christ

The blood of the sacrificed goat was taken by the high priest Aaron and sprinkled on the atonement cover, or mercy seat, of The Ark Of The Covenant inside The Most Holy Place of The Tabernacle In The Wilderness once per year on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:15-17). This depicts the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our "High Priest" (Hebrews 8:1) entering The Throne Room of God to make atonement for humanity once for all time (Hebrews 9:23-28).

The Scapegoat - A Symbol of Satan

The scapegoat was not killed, just as the spirit Satan cannot be killed. Instead, all of the guilt of the people was symbolically placed on the head of the scapegoat, who was then taken out into the wilderness and released (Leviticus 16:21-22).

This goat represents the condemnation of Satan (see That Old Serpent) for the Satan-inspired sins of all humanity, and his being put away in a spiritual wilderness (Revelation 20:3,10). The sending of the azazel goat out into the wilderness as done by the Old Testament high priest after he returned from inside The Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle is a ceremonial "preview" of Jesus Christ sending Satan into the abyss which will be done after His Return from the Throne Room of God The Father.

The original meaning of scapegoat was escape goat, the goat that was allowed to "escape" with its life. The accepted modern meaning of scapegoat, someone who is punished for the wrongs of others, is not at all accurate for Satan. He is as guilty as guilty can be, and he deserves everything that's coming to him.

Fact Finder: When Satan is temporarily released 1,000 years after The Return Of Jesus Christ, what does he immediately again begin doing?
Revelation 20:7-10
See also Could Satan Repent?

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This Week's Bible Quiz

1. How many books are there in the Bible?

2. Which has more books, the Old Testament or New Testament?

3. Which apostle stood at the cross when Jesus died?

4. Which 2 apostles went into the tomb early after the resurrection?

5. On which day of creation did God create man?

6. Who is the first recorded liar in the Bible?

7. What was Cain's occupation?

8. What was Abel's occupation?

9. In what language is most of the Old Testament written?

10. In what language is most of the New Testament written?

For the answers to this May 2 2000 quiz, see the Bible Quiz Answers Page

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