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Satyr

Satyr (in Greek pronounced satyros and in Latin satyrus) was the name given to a half-man and half-goat idol of the ancient Greeks (see Ancient Empires - Greece) and Romans (see Ancient Empires - Rome). The word is also sometimes used to translate the Hebrew word of the Scriptures pronounced saw-eer meaning a shaggy goat, which referred to an idol, in the form of a goat, that the Israelites foolishly involved themselves with. The original Hebrew word is variously translated in English-language Bibles as satyr, goat and devil.

"They shall no more slay their sacrifices for satyrs"

Satyr Amazingly, and shamefully, the Israelites were involved in all sorts of idolatry, including satyrs, even when The Lord was Himself still visibly leading them after the Exodus:

"And The Lord said to Moses, "Say to Aaron and his sons, and to all the people of Israel, This is the thing which The Lord has commanded. If any man of the house of Israel kills an ox or a lamb or a goat in the camp, or kills it outside the camp, and does not bring it to the door of the tent of meeting, to offer it as a gift to The Lord before the Tabernacle of The Lord [see The Tabernacle In The Wilderness], bloodguilt shall be imputed to that man; he has shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people."

"This is to the end that the people of Israel may bring their sacrifices which they slay in the open field, that they may bring them to The Lord, to the priest at the door of the tent of meeting, and slay them as sacrifices of peace offerings to The Lord; and the priest shall sprinkle the blood on the altar of The Lord at the door of the tent of meeting, and burn the fat for a pleasing odor to The Lord. So they shall no more slay their sacrifices for satyrs, after whom they play the harlot. This shall be a statute for ever to them throughout their generations" (Leviticus 17:1-7 RSV)

After the death of King Solomon, when the Israelites had split into 2 independent kingdoms, "Judah" (i.e. the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and the Levites who lived within their territory) in the south with their capital at Jerusalem, and "Israel" (the other ten tribes, and the Levites who lived within their territory - see also Children of Jacob and Tribal Lands) in the north with their capital up in Samaria (Shechem, Tirzah and then the city Samaria - see also Jews At War With Israel), the northern kingdom was the first to become grossly idolatrous, including satyr worship (the southern kingdom became just as grossly idolatrous in later years, see Why Babylon?), the Levites in Israel, who were being ruled by King Jeroboam, moved down to Judah, which was being ruled by King Rehoboam (see also Kings of Israel and Judah and Israelite Dynasties):

"Rehoboam dwelt in Jerusalem, and he built cities for defense in Judah ... For the Levites left their common lands and their holdings and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons cast them out from serving as priests of The Lord, and he appointed his own priests for the high places, and for the satyrs, and for the calves which he had made. And those who had set their hearts to seek The Lord God of Israel came after them from all the tribes of Israel to Jerusalem to sacrifice to The Lord, the God of their fathers." (2 Chronicles 11:5,14-16 RSV)

Fact Finder: Unlike the idolatrous satyrs, how were 2 actual living goats used in the Old Testament observance of the Day of Atonement?
See Azazel


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