Search Bible
Click for Help   Click for QuickNav   Click for Advanced Search Options
Search KJV
Version Selector Down Arrow

Search a pre-defined list

OR Select a range of biblical books



OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups:
'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

Your Bible Version is the KJV
Version Selector Up Arrow
KJV King James Version
NKJV New King James Version
NLT New Living Translation
NIV New International Version
ESV English Standard Version
CSB Christian Standard Bible
NASB New American Standard Bible
NET New English Translation
RSV Revised Standard Version
ASV American Standard Version
YLT Young's Literal Translation
DBY Darby Translation
WEB Webster's Bible
HNV Hebrew Names Version
RVR60 Reina-Valera 1960
VUL Latin Vulgate
WLC Westminster Leningrad Codex
LXX Septuagint
Go to Top
Link to This PageCite This Page
Version Selector Up Arrow
Version Selector Up Arrow

Cite this page

MLA format Copy link to clipboard

Note: MLA no longer requires the URL as part of their citation standard. Individual instructors or editors may still require the use of URLs.

APA format Copy link to clipboard
Chicago format Copy link to clipboard
Share this pageFollow the BLB
Version Selector Up Arrow

Share this page using one of these tools:




Or email this page to a friend:

Version Selector Up Arrow

Follow the Blue Letter Bible on:



Or subscribe to our Newsletter:

Printable Page
Choose a new font size and typeface

Customize your font sizeIncrease your font sizeDecrease your font sizeReturn to default font size

Choose a Bible text color
Read the Bible in blackRead the Bible in dark blueRead the Bible in blue

Customize your text type
Arial font
Trebuchet MS font
Georgia font
Times New Roman font

Customize your Hebrew text type
SBL Hebrew font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Customize your Greek text type
Gentium font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Close font preferences
The Blue Letter Bible
BLB Searches
Search the Bible
Search KJV
Version Selector Down Arrow

Advanced Options

Search a pre-defined list

OR Select a range of biblical books



OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups: 'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'


Advanced Options

Exact Match
Beginning of the Word
Any Part of the Word
Theological FAQs
Multi-Verse Retrieval
Search KJV
Version Selector Down Arrow

Line-By-Line Order:
Line-By-Line Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Line-By-Line Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Line-By-Line Separate Line  Separate Line
Line-By-Line Verse Only  Verse Only
Line-By-Line Reference Only  Reference Only
Reference Delimiters:
No Reference Delimiters  None — Jhn 1:1 KJV
Square Reference Delimiters  Square — [Jhn 1:1 KJV]
Curly Reference Delimiters  Curly — {Jhn 1:1 KJV}
Parenthesis Reference Delimiters  Parens — (Jhn 1:1 KJV)
Paragraph Order:
Paragraph Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Paragraph Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Paragraph Reference-Only  Reference-Only
Number Delimiters:*
No Verse Numbers  No Number
No Verse Delimeters  No Delimiter — 15
Square Verse Delimiters  Square — [15]
Curly Verse Delimiters  Curly — {15}
Parenthesis Verse Delimiters  Parens — (15)
Other Options:
Abbreviate Books  Abbreviate Books
Quotes Around Verses  Quotes around Verses
Remove Square Brackets  Remove Square Brackets
Sort Canonically  Sort Canonically

* 'Number Delimiters' only apply to 'Paragraph Order'

Let's Connect

Connect on Facebook Connect on Twitter Connect on Instagram Connect on Pinterest Connect on YouTube

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Daily Devotionals

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one’s mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

One-Year Plans

Two-Year Plan

Dictionaries :: Azazel

Below are articles from the following dictionary:
International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia


a-za'-zel (‘aza'zel apopompaios; the King James Version Scapegoat, the Revised Version, margin "removal"):


1. The Passages to Be Considered

2. The Proposed Interpretations

(1) The Etymology

(2) The Explanation


1. The Significance of This Action

2. The Jewish Liturgy

I. The Meaning of the Word

1. The Passages to Be Considered:

This word is found in connection with the ceremony of the DAY OF ATONEMENT (which see). According to Le 16:8, Aaron is to cast lots upon the two goats which on the part of the congregation are to serve as a sin offering (Le 16:5), "one be lot for Yahweh, and the other lot for Azazel." In Le 16:10, after the first goat has been set apart as a sin offering for Yahweh, we read: "But the goat, on which the lot fell for Azazel, shall be set alive before Yahweh, to make atonement for him, to send him away for Azazel into the wilderness." In Le 16:26 we read: "And he that letteth go the goat for Azazel shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water." Before this, in Le 16:21f mention had been made of what should be done with the goat. After the purification of the (inner) sanctuary, of the tent of meeting, and of the altar, the living goat is to brought, "and Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all.... their sins; and he shall put them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a man that is in readiness into the wilderness: and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a solitary land: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness." But in this last mentioned and most important passage the term under consideration is not found.

2. The Proposed Interpretations:

(1) The Etymology.

Some have derived the word from ‘az plus ‘azal (fortis abiens, "passing away in his strength" or from an intentional alteration of ‘el plus ‘azaz, robur Dei, "strength of God"; compare below the angel of the Book of Enoch); while others have regarded the word as a broken plural of a substantive in the Arabic ‘azala, and translated it as "lonesomeness," "desert." Now there is an inclination to regard it as a reduplication from ‘azalzel, derived from the root ‘azal. If we accept this view, although it is without certainty and an exact analogue cannot be found, we could conclude from the way in which this noun has been formed that we have before us not an abstract term (remotio, "removal," or abitus, "departure"), but a concrete noun, or an adjective, longe remotus ("far removed") or porro abiens ("going far away").

(2) The Explanation.

In Le 16:10,22,26, we would have an acceptable sense, if we regarded this word as expressive of a distinct locality in the wilderness. But this interpretation is impossible, since the law in Le 16 was given during the wanderings in the wilderness and accordingly presupposed a constant change in the encampment, even if this should be regarded only as the historical background. By the use of the same preposition le- in connection with Yahweh and Azazel, it seems natural to regard the expressions as entirely II and to think of some personal being. Some interpret this word as referring to a demon of the wilderness (compare Ps 106:37; De 32:17; Le 17:7; 2Ch 11:15; Isa 13:21; 34:14; Mt 12:43ff; Lu 11:24ff; Re 18:2) and explain the term as "one who has separated himself from God," or "he who has separated himself," or "he who misleads others." But a demon of this kind could not possibly be placed in contrast to Yahweh in this way; and as in the Book of Enoch 6:6; 8:1 ff; 9:6; 10:4 ff; 13:1 ff; 69:2 one of the most prominent of the fallen angels who taught mankind the arts of war and luxury, revealed secrets to them, and is now bound in the wilderness, and is there preserved for the final judgment, because he was mainly responsible for the presence of evil in the world, is called Azael (also Azazel, or Azalzel), it is highly probable that this name was taken from Le 16. In later times the word Azazel was by many Jews and also by Christian theologians, such as Origen, regarded as that Satan himself who had fallen away from God. In this interpretation the contrast found in Le 16:8, in case it is to be regarded as a full parallelism, would be perfectly correct. But it must be acknowledged that in Holy Scripture, Satan is nowhere called by the name of Azazel, and just as little is the wilderness regarded as his permanent place of abode. Against these last two interpretations we must also recall that in the most significant passage, namely, Le 16:20 ff, the term Azazel is not found at all. The same is true in the case of the ceremony in connection with the purification of leprous people and houses (Le 14:7 ff, 49ff), which throughout suggests Le 16. In this place we have also the sevenfold sprinkling (compare Le 14:16 with Le 16:14f); and in addition two animals, in this case birds, are used, of which the one is to be slain for the purpose of sprinkling the blood, but the other, after it has been dipped into the blood of the one that has been slain, is to be allowed to fly away. In this way the essential thought in Le 16 as also in Le 14 seems to be the removal of the animal in either case, and it is accordingly advisable to interpret Azazel adjectively, i.e. to forego finding a complete parallelism in Le 16:8, and to regard the preposition in connection with Yahweh as used differently from its use with Azazel, and to translate as follows: "And Aaron shall cast lots over both goats, the one lot [i.e. for the one goat] for Yahweh, and one lot for the goat that is destined to go far away." On the preposition le- used with the second Azazel in Le 16:10, compare Ex 21:2. With this interpretation a certain hardness yet remains for our linguistic sense, because we cannot find a good translation for the adjective. But in favor of this interpretation and against the personal interpretation we can appeal also to the feeling of the Septuagint translators who translate apopompaios, diestalmenos, and also to that of Aquilos, who translates tragos apoluomenos, apolelumenos, kekrataiomenos, and of Symmachus who translates aperchomenos, aphiemenos. (The general idea expressed by all these words is "removal," "sending away," "releasing" or "dismissal.") It is true that the Septuagint in one place translates eis ten apopompen, which however could be also an abstract circumlocution for a conception that, though used elsewhere, is yet awkward. In the Vulgate, we have caper emissarius and Luther says "der ledige Bock," which are probably based on a wrong etymology, since ‘ez signifies only a goat or perhaps this word "Bock" is here only supplied from the connection, and that quite correctly, so that Luther and the Vulgate can also be cited in favor of our interpretation.

II. What Is Done in Connection with Azazel.

1. The Significance of This Action:

Both goats, according to Le 16:5, are to be regarded as a single sin-sacrifice, even should we interpret Azazel as demon or Satan, and we are accordingly not at all to understand that a sacrifice was brought to these beings. This too is made impossible by the whole tenor of the Old Testament in general, as of Le 16 in particular, so that in 16:8 the two members introduced by the preposition le- would not at all be beings of exactly the same importance. Both goats, so to say, represent two sides of the same thing. The second is necessary to make clear what the first one, which has been slain, can no longer represent, namely, the removal of the sin, and accordingly has quite often aptly been called the hircus redivivus. But what is to be represented finds its expression in the ceremony described in Le 16:20f. Whatever may be the significance of the laying on of hands in other connections, whether the emphasis is placed more on the disposal or on the appropriation of the property, at this place it certainly is only a symbol of the transfer of guilt, which is confessed over the goat and is then carried into the wilderness by the goat upon which it has been laid. In order to make this transfer all the more impressive, both the hands are here brought into action, while e.g. in Le 1:4 only one hand is used. The fact that the goat is accompanied by somebody and that it is to be taken to an uninhabited place is to indicate the absolute impossibility of its return, i.e. the guilt has been absolutely forgiven and erased, a deep thought made objectively evident in a transparent manner and independently of the explanation of Azazel, which is even yet not altogether certain. In the personal interpretation, we could have, in addition to the idea of the removal of the guilt, also a second idea, namely, that Azazel can do no harm to Israel, but must be content with his claim to a goat which takes Israel's place.

2. The Jewish Liturgy:

The actions in connection with Azazel, as was also the case with the Day of Atonement, were interpreted more fully by the Talmud and the traditions based on it (compare ATONEMENT, DAY OF, sec. III, 2). The lots could be made of different materials; in later times they were made of gold. The manner of casting the lots was described in full. The goat that was to be sent into the wilderness was designated by a black mark on the head, the other by one on the neck. On the way from Jerusalem to the wilderness, huts were erected. From a distance it was possible to see how the goat was hurled backward from a certain cliff, called Beth-Hadudu (Beth-chadedun, 12 miles East of Jerusalem). By means of signals made with garments, news was at once sent to Jerusalem when the wilderness had been reached.

Written by Wilhelm Moller


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


Bible Search

Multiverse Retrieval

LexiConc Search

FAQ Search

Browse Dictionary Topics

Bible Reference

Encyclopedias / Dictionaries

Introductions to the Bible

Topical Indexes

Charts and Outlines


Maps / Images

Bible Commentaries

Text Commentaries

Audio & Video Commentaries

Theological Resources

Articles / Books

Women's Resources

Don Stewart

BLB Theological

Creeds, Catechisms, and Confessions





Digital Books

Mobile Apps for iPhone / iPad

Mobile blb.org

BLB Offline CDs

Free Web Tools


Email Devotional Sign-Up

BLB Daily Promises

Day by Day by Grace

Morning and Evening

Daily Bible Reading Plan


Video Tutorials


Theological Questions

Website Support

iApp Support

General Questions


Sowing Circle

Co-Laboring Ministries


About the BLB

Statement of Faith




Ministry FAQs


Donation Information

Contact the BLB

Hotjar - Unlimited insights from your web and mobile sites

BLB Institute

BLB Blog

Email Newsletters



Blue Letter Bible study tools make reading, searching and studying the Bible easy and rewarding.

Blue Letter Bible is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

©2017 Blue Letter Bible


Verse Tools Arrow

Email / username or password was incorrect!

Check your email for password retrieval

Enter Your
Email or Username




Did you forget your password?

Register a new BLB account

Why won't my login from the old site work?

Complete the form below to register  [?]

Error: That Email is already registered

Error: Please provide a valid Email

Error: Passwords should have at least 6 characters

Error: Passwords do not match

Error: Please provide a valid first name

Error: That username is already taken

Error: Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores

Enter Your EmailUsername

First Name


[ Cancel ]


Passwords should have at least 6 characters.
Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores.

Thank you for registering. A verification email has been sent to the address you provided.

Error: That Email / Username is not registered

Enter Your Email or Username


Return to Login

Close Login