Leviticus 16:10
But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.
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(10) On which the lot fell to be the scapegoat.—Better, on which the lot “for Azazel” fell. This one with its distinctive scarlet badge was placed at the spot from whence he was sent away, and thus stood alive, not presented, before the Lord.

To make an atonement with him.—Better, to make atonement for it, that is, it was placed before the Lord in order that it might receive expiation and sanctification, and thus be fitted for the sacred purposes it was destined to fulfil. (See Leviticus 16:16; Leviticus 16:18.)

And to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.—Better, to send it to Azazel into the wilderness.

Leviticus 16:10. For a scape-goat — This seems to be the most literal and obvious meaning of the original word אזאזל, Azazel, evidently derived from עז, ez, or gnez, a goat, and אזל, azel, to go away. In this sense the Seventy understand it, rendering the word αποπομπαιος, sent away; Aquila also, who translates it απολελυμενον, dismissed; and Symmachus, who renders it απερχομενον, going away. Nor does there appear to be any solid reason for thinking it was the name of a mountain, to which the goat was sent, much less that the angel of death, or the devil, was intended by the word, as some have said; for surely in that case it could be no type of Christ’s resurrection, as it is generally supposed to have been.

16:1-14 Without entering into particulars of the sacrifices on the great day of atonement, we may notice that it was to be a statute for ever, till that dispensation be at an end. As long as we are continually sinning, we continually need the atonement. The law of afflicting our souls for sin, is a statue which will continue in force till we arrive where all tears, even those of repentance, will be wiped from our eyes. The apostle observes it as a proof that the sacrifices could not take away sin, and cleanse the conscience from it, that in them there was a remembrance made of sin every year, upon the day of atonement, Heb 10:1,3. The repeating the sacrifices, showed there was in them but a feeble effort toward making atonement; this could be done only by offering up the body of Christ once for all; and that sacrifice needed not to be repeated.On which the lot fell to be the scapegoat - Rather, on which the lot 'for Azazel' fell.

An atonement with him - The goat "for Azazel" was to be considered as taking his part along with the other goat in the great symbol of atonement.

For a scapegoat into the wilderness - Rather, "to Azazel, into the wilderness."

5-10. shall take of the congregation … two kids of the goats … and one ram—The sacrifices were to be offered by the high priest, respectively for himself and the other priests, as well as for the people. The bullock (Le 16:3) and the goats were for sin offerings and the rams for burnt offerings. The goats, though used in different ways, constituted only one offering. They were both presented before the Lord, and the disposal of them determined by lot, which Jewish writers have thus described: The priest, placing one of the goats on his right hand and the other on his left, took his station by the altar, and cast into an urn two pieces of gold exactly similar, inscribed, the one with the words "for the Lord," and the other for "Azazel" (the scapegoat). After having well shaken them together, he put both his hands into the box and took up a lot in each: that in his right hand he put on the head of the goat which stood on his right, and that in his left he dropped on the other. In this manner the fate of each was decided. To make an atonement with him, in manner hereafter expressed Le 16 21,22

But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat,.... Or for Azazel, of which more hereafter in the latter part of the verse:

shall be presented alive before the Lord; this seems to be a second presentation; both the goats were presented before the Lord before the lots were cast, Leviticus 16:7; but this was afterwards, when one of the goats, according to the lot, being presented, was ordered to be killed for a sin offering, and the other according to the lot being presented alive, was ordered to remain so:

to make an atonement with him; to make an atonement for the sins of the people of Israel along with the other, for they both made one sin offering, Leviticus 16:6; and this, though spared alive for a while, yet at length was killed; and how, the Jewish writers relate, as will be after observed:

and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness; or, unto Azazel into the wilderness; which, some understand of a mountain in the wilderness called Azazel, to which the Targum of Jonathan has respect, which paraphrases the word,"to send him to die in a place strong and hard, which is in the wilderness of Zuck;''and so Saadiah Gaon, Jarchi, Kimchi, and others; and one in Aben Ezra says, it was near Mount Sinai; but as it is rightly observed by some, was this the name of a mountain, Moses would have called it the mountain Azazel, as he does other mountains by their names: nor is there any account of any such mountain in those parts, by such who have travelled in it, and if near Sinai, it was a long way to send it from Jerusalem; and for which there seems to be no reason, since there were many deserts between those two places: Aben Ezra suggests, there is a secret or mystery in the word Azazel, and says, you may know it and the mystery of his name, for he has companions in Scripture; and I will reveal to you, says he, part of it by a hint, when you are the son of thirty three, you may know its meaning, that is, by reckoning thirty three verses from Leviticus 16:8; where this word is first mentioned, which will fall on Leviticus 17:7; "they shall no more offer unto devils"; and so R. Menachem interprets Azazel of Samael, the angel of death, the devil, the prince that hath power over desolate places: there are several Christian writers of great note, that understand this of the devil, as Origen (b), among the ancients; and of the moderns, Cocceius (c), Witsius (d), and Spencer (e), who think that by these two goats is signified the twofold respect of Christ our Mediator; one to God, as a Judge, to whom he made satisfaction by his death; the other to the devil, the enemy with whom he conflicted in life; who, according to prophecy, was to be delivered up to Satan, and have his heel bruised by him; and who was to come, and did come into the wilderness of this world, and when Jerusalem was a desert, and became a Roman province; and who was led by the Spirit into wilderness of Judea, in a literal sense, to be tempted of the devil, and had a sore conflict with him in the garden, when he sweat, as it were, drops of blood; and upon the cross, when he submitted to the death of it; during which time he had the sins of all his people on him, and made an end of them, so as to be seen no more; all which agrees with Leviticus 16:21; of which see more there; and it must be owned, that no other sense seems so well to agree with the type as this; since the living goat had all the sins of the people on him, and was reckoned so impure, that he that led him into the wilderness stood in need of washing and cleansing, Leviticus 16:21; whereas, when Christ was raised from the dead, he was clear of all sin, being justified in the Spirit; and in his resurrection there was no impurity, nor could any be reckoned or supposed to belong to him, as Witsius well observes, no, not as the surety of his people; nor in his resurrection was he a sin offering, as this goat was; nor could his ascension to heaven, with any propriety, be represented by this goat being let go into the wilderness: as for the notion of Barabbas, as Origen (f), being meant by Azazel, or the rebellious people of the Jews, carried into the wilderness, or into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar, and which is the sense of Abarbinel, and in which he is followed by many Christian writers, they need no confutation.

(b) Contr. Cels. 1. 6. p. 305. (c) Comment. in Hebrews 9. sect. 25, &c. (d) De Oeconom. Faederum, l. 4. c. 6. sect. 71, 72, 73. (e) De Leg. Heb. l. 3. Dissert. 8. c. 1. sect. 2. and of the same mind was our English poet Milton, that Azazel was a demon:His mighty standard: that proud honour claim'd Azazel as his right, a cherub tall. --Milton's Paradise Lost, B. 1. l. 533, 534. (f) In Lev. Homil. 10. c. 16. fol. 82.

But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.
10. to make atonement for (mg. over) him] The meaning of this phrase is obscure. It probably refers to some ceremony of atonement performed over the goat, before being sent into the wilderness. Kennedy (ad loc.) suggests that it was an early purification rite, here reintroduced, but otherwise unknown. The name ‘scapegoat’ is to be traced back to the caper emissarius of the Vulg. Neither this nor the R.V. mg.’s rendering, dismissal, can be obtained etymologically from the Heb.

In Leviticus 16:3-10 we find prescribed how Aaron is to come into the holy place, the garments which he must wear, the animals which he is to bring, and their destination: the following Leviticus 16:11-28 contain a detailed account of the whole ceremonial.

Leviticus 16:10With the bullock Aaron was to make atonement for himself and his house. The two he-goats he was to place before Jehovah (see Leviticus 1:5), and "give lots over them," i.e., have lots cast upon them, one lot for Jehovah, the other for Azazel. The one upon which the lot for Jehovah fell (עלה, from the coming up of the lot out of the urn, Joshua 18:11; Joshua 19:10), he was to prepare as a sin-offering for Jehovah, and to present the one upon which the lot for Azazel fell alive before Jehovah, עליו לכפּר, "to expiate it," i.e., to make it the object of expiation (see at Leviticus 16:21), to send it (them) into the desert to Azazel. עזאזל, which only occurs in this chapter, signifies neither "a remote solitude," nor any locality in the desert whatever (as Jonathan, Rashi, etc., suppose); nor the "he-goat" (from עז goat, and עזל to turn off, "the goat departing or sent away," as Symm., Theodot., the Vulgate, Luther, and others render it); nor "complete removal" (Bhr, Winer, Tholuck, etc.). The words, one lot for Jehovah and one for Azazel, require unconditionally that Azazel should be regarded as a personal being, in opposition to Jehovah. The word is a more intense form of עזל removit, dimovit, and comes from עזלזל by absorbing the liquid, like Babel from balbel (Genesis 11:9), and Golgotha from gulgalta (Ewald, 158c). The Septuagint rendering is correct, ὁ ἀποπομπαῖος; although in Leviticus 16:10 the rendering ἀποπομπή is also adopted, i.e., "averruncus, a fiend, or demon whom one drives away" (Ewald). We have not to think, however, of any demon whatever, who seduces men to wickedness in the form of an evil spirit, as the fallen angel Azazel is represented as doing in the Jewish writings (Book of Enoch 8:1; 10:10; 13:1ff.), like the terrible field Shibe, whom the Arabs of the peninsula of Sinai so much dread (Seetzen, i. pp. 273-4), but of the devil himself, the head of the fallen angels, who was afterwards called Satan; for no subordinate evil spirit could have been placed in antithesis to Jehovah as Azazel is here, but only the ruler or head of the kingdom of demons. The desert and desolate places are mentioned elsewhere as the abode of evil spirits (Isaiah 13:21; Isaiah 34:14; Matthew 12:43; Luke 11:24; Revelation 18:2). The desert, regarded as an image of death and desolation, corresponds to the nature of evil spirits, who fell away from the primary source of life, and in their hostility to God devastated the world, which was created good, and brought death and destruction in their train.
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