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Azazel

by Micha F. Lindemans
A wild demon from the desert in the Old Testament to whom the scapegoat was driven forth, but is also mentioned as the place to which the scapegoat was sent on the Day of Atonement. Two goats were chosen and after one was sacrificed, the other was let loose in the wilderness, symbolically carrying away the nation's sins. This ritual is described in the Avodah. Aaron, as atonement, 'shall cast lots' on two goats 'one for the Lord, and the other for the scapegoat' (Azazel). The name of Azazel (as supernatural power) means "goat-god".

In Moslem demonology, Azazel is the counterpart of the devil in refusing to worship Adam or acknowledging the supremacy of God. His name was changed to Iblis (Eblis), which means 'despair'.

In Paradise Lost (I, 534), Milton uses the name for the standard-bearer of the rebel angels.


Article details:

  • Also known as:
    Asasel

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