Who or what is Azazel ?
by, 4th July 2011 at 03:28 PM (1185 Views)
Alternatively called Azazil.
In demonology, an evil spirit, specifically a demon of the second order, guardian of the goat, described by Milton as the standard bearer of rebellious angels by this name (Paradise Lost, 1, 534).
In Islamic demonology Azazel is a Djinn, who is cast from heaven for refusing to worship Adam and for lusting after mortal maidens. His name was changed to Eblis, which means 'despair'.
Some say that Azazel was simply a place near the city of Jerusalem, or an arch-demon who dwelled in the desert. Others mention that he was the king of the Seirim, an ancient species of goat-like spirits. The great Jewish scholar Rashi asserted it to be the name of a mountain with a precipice, implying that the scapegoat (Levitcus) was driven over a cliff in sacrifice.
According to the Book of Enoch and the Kabbalistic text The Zohar, Azazel was one of the leaders of the fallen angels who came to earth to mate with mortal women. He supposedly taught men the art of making weapons and introduced women to cosmetics, thus encouraging vanity. For revealing these secrets to humankind, God sent angels to bind and imprison Azazel in the desert ó in a place called Dudael ó where he is to remain until the Final Judgment.
"And Azazel taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals (of the earth) and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and all colouring tinctures" (Book of Enoch 8:1).
In the Koran, Azazel was cast out of heaven when he refused to God's command that he worship Adam , saying
"Why should the son of fire fall down before a son of clay ?"
Scapegoat' in this case is a mistranslation of Azazel, who was actually the demonic being to whom the scapegoat was to be sent. At the feast of expiation, celebrated by the Jews on the tenth day of the seventh month, two goats were led to the High Priest, who drew lots for them, one for the Lord and the other for Azazel. The one on which the Lord's lot fell was sacrificed, and its blood served for expiation. The priest then put his hands on the head of the other goat, confessed his and the people's sins, and charged the animal with them. The goat was then led into the desert and set free, for Azazel.
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