I believe, every year—when there is a Tabernacle or a Temple—the Head Kohen’s duty on Yom Kippur to offer a bull for purity (the Messiah), and two goats (the two thieves) are also offered. The Head Kohen turns one goat (the repenting thief) toward HaShem, and another goat (the thief that doesn’t repent) is turned away from HaShem. Supernaturally, the Head Kohen is to ascribe all the sins of the Hebrew Nation on to goat the chosen for Azazel, the wilderness goat demon, and then that goat is lead out into the wilderness to be dashed on a cliff about ten miles away.Who or what is Azazel?
If you’re one of the rare people that have read my book, Azazel, a man half-goat and half-man, is introduced as my primary nemesis, ahead of the Antichrist. According to the Bible, Azazel has been our nemesis for thousands of years. In my mind’s eye, the Antichrist will only reign in terror for a short period—three and a half years; whereas, Azazel will be the evil spirit that will possess the Beast of Revelation. Azazel is the wicked spirit past, present, and [near] future.My point in my book is that we should begin to see odd wilderness manifestations of Azazel. On the pagan calendar, New Year’s Day is one day we should watch closely for chimeras.
From: Azazel http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0002_0_01741.html
There have been efforts to compare the ritual of the goat to several customs of the ancient world. In Babylonia, for instance, it was customary on the festival of Akītu (the New Year) to give a goat as a substitute for a human being (pūḫ) to Ereshkigal (the goddess of the abyss). In an Akkadian magical inscription from the city of Assur which deals with the cure for a man who is unable to eat and drink, it is prescribed that a goat should be tied to his bed and that thus the sickness will pass to the goat. On the following morning, the goat is to be taken to the desert and decapitated. Its flesh is then cooked and put in a pit together with honey and oil, perhaps as an offering to the demons. During plagues, the Hittites used to send a goat into enemy territory in order that it should carry the plague there. On the head of the goat they would bind a crown made of colored wool, comparable perhaps to the thread of crimson wool which was tied to the head of the goat in the Second Temple period (Yoma 4:2). In the Hellenistic world there were also "scapegoat" rituals, but they had the custom to take a man as "scapegoat" and not an animal. In some places these rituals were performed in times of trouble, in others at fixed appointed times of the year. However, in the Hellenistic world the important part of the ceremony was not the killing of the "scapegoat," but its being sent out of the city and indeed, in some places, it was not even killed.Who or What was the biblical Azazel? By Joel Hendon
There are numerous people, even some devout Bible reading Christians who have never heard the term “Azazel”. If you are one who reads only the King James Version of the Bible, you probably have not heard the term. Or some of the other versions either. The word is not found in the King James, the New King James, the New American Standard Version or the Revised Standard Version. It is however, found in the American Standard Version and the New Revised Standard Version.It is used 3 times in the book of Leviticus, chapter 16, verses 8, 10 and 26 in at least those two versions, the ASV and the NRSV. The first letter is upper-case as if it is a proper name, in those versions.
Looking back and checking the name in about any source one may think of, offers very little help. So let us consider a few points.In the Hebrew writings the term is written 3 times in the book of Leviticus as עזאזל. Here is a quote from Wikipedia:
Later Azazel was considered by some Jewish sources to be a supernatural being mentioned in connection with the ritual of the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16.). After Satan, for whom he was in some degree a prototype, Azazel enjoys the distinction of being the most mysterious extra-human character in Jewish sacred literature. (Wikipedia-Azazel)There you have one explanation of the word, but bear in mind this entry says “was considered by some Jewish sources”. Nothing authoritative about that.
The term is found in several other writings, almost all with a different meaning at least in some respects. A brief quote taken from the deliriumsrealm.com refers to the Hebrew word lasseirim as follows:Azazel is the chief of the Se'irim, or goat-demons, who haunted the desert and to whom most primitive Semitic (most likely non-Hebrew) tribes offered sacrifices. The Old Testament states that Jeroboam appointed priests for the Se'irim. But Josiah destroyed the places of their worship, as the practices accompanying this worship involved copulation of women with goats.
The Se'irim, or hairy demons as the word itself means, are mentioned in Leviticus 17:7 and 2 Chronicles 11:15 as "goat-demons". Isaiah 34:14 says that the "goat-demons" greet each other amoung the ruins of Edom along with Lilith and other wild beasts.This also seems to be an unfounded reasoning. Simply to say that Azazel is the chief of the Se’irim, is simply to bring in pagan superstition, whose names did not have to have any base at all.
You can find numerous listings of the term Azazel, but each one has it’s mythology attached to it. It is reported to appear in at least two of the apocryphal writings, the Book of Enoch and the Apocalypse of Abraham. But when all things are considered, none of these references are of inspired writers and in fact, the factual origin of the word itself is not known.The book of Enoch, which is apocryphal, infers that Azazel was the leader of the fallen angels which are referred to in 2 Peter 2:4….