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Journal Article

Was the Goat for Azazel Destined for the Wrath of God?

Jacqueline C.R. de Roo
Biblica
Vol. 81, No. 2 (2000), pp. 233-242
Published by: Peeters Publishers
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42614263
Page Count: 10

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Topics: Wrath, Sin, Atonement, Jewish rituals, Torah, Words, Nouns, Christianity, Bible, Deities
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Was the Goat for Azazel Destined for the Wrath of God?
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Abstract

This article is a proposal to read the enigmatic word לזאוע, occurring in Lev 16,8.10.26, as a metathesized form of לאווע on the basis of textual, semantic and contextual evidence, and to interpret it as a reference to 'the powerful wrath of God'. This interpretation of the expression Azazel fits its biblical context, because the 'goat for Azazel' evidently had an atoning function (Lev 16,10), it was a means to atone for sin (vv. 21-22). Elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible, making atonement for sin is equated with appeasing God's wrath (Num 16,46-48; 25,6-13). Likewise, 'the goat for Azazel', carrying the sins of the people, is for 'the powerful wrath of God', to placate his anger. The proposed interpretation of the 'goat for Azazel' ritual may also have been in the mind of some post-biblical interpreters, both Jewish and Christian.

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