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(6) A further instance of supposed affinity to the Egyptian ritual is discovered in the ceremonies ceremonial. appointed for the Hebrew nation on the greatest of their annual celebrations,—the Day of Atonement (Lev. xvi). It is there provided that the highpriest of Israel, after making atonement for himself and for his house, shall take two goats, and when they had been solemnly presented shall cast lots upon them; 'one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scape-goat [or, Azazel]. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the Lord's lot fell, and offer him for a sin-offering: but the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scape-goat [or, on which Azazel's lot fell], shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scape-goat [or, to Azazel] into the wilderness.' And in the following verses of the same chapter, where the ceremony in question is minutely sketched, we gather the additional information, that the high-priest was to 'lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilder
The practice of transferring, emblematically, the Minor sins of the offerer to the innocent victim chosen by him as their representative had doubtless its analogy' among the Old Egyptians, who, in some at
1 Herod. II. 39; Kenrick, I. 443, 444. Wilkinson, referring to this practice, argues from the negative
evidence of the sculptures that it
CHAP. least of their oblations, prayed over the head of II. the victim that evils then impending might be all averted upon it; but there is no necessity whatever for supposing that a practice so graphic and so natural in itself was specially Egyptian, and not rather as primeval as the earliest dawn of the idea which prompted substitutionary offerings.
Why an explanation is sought
It is urged, however, that apart from any minor proofs of correspondency, the whole conception in Egypt. of the two goats as there appointed, and the seeming dualism connected with their mode of treatment, indicate still deeper tinges of Egyptian influence1. On minute inquiry this interpretation of the He brew ceremonial will be found to rest on the assumption that Azazel in the passage just recited is another name for Satan, and therefore that the final driving of the goat into the desert is, in Hebrew phraseology, a solemn renunciation of the powers of darkness, in the name of the whole reconciled community of Israel; or, in accordance with Egyptian forms of speech, a sending back of evil to the favourite haunts of its Typhonic author.
Now the meaning of the word Azazel is conAzazel? fessedly involved in very great obscurity. One ancient derivation, as attested by the version of the Seventy (Tожоμжаîоя), makes the name equivalent to scape-goat ('hircus emissarius'); but how, it was demanded, passing by some other dis
1 Spencer, II. 450 sq. has advocated this view in his usual manner, contending that while the Hebrew practice of sending away the second goat partly recognised the heathen theory of sacrifice, the whole rite was calculated to impress the truth that sin-offerings are due to God
only, while the evil spirit, which he found in Azazel, was to be regarded as unclean, and as an object of abhorrence: cf. Bähr's criticism of these ideas, II. 693-695.
2 See the different interpretations of it in Winer, Realwört. s. v.
putable matters, could the goat as mentioned in CHAP. V. Io be sent to or for Azazel, if Azazel were the goat itself? The force of this consideration led directly to the notion that Azazel meant either a person or a place; and as the parallelisms between some incidents, relating to Jehovah and to it, appeared in favour of the personal rendering, the alleged connexion of the word with evil spirits, or with Satan, came at length to be more generally accepted. Azazel was explained' as equal to 'the segregated,' 'the apostate,' 'the unclean;' and although the title is not found elsewhere in Holy Scripture, nor the doctrine thus suggested capable at first sight of reduction into harmony3 with its
1 Thus Hengstenberg, as before, p. 166, note; who revives the derivation of Bochart, according to whom
has stated his objections to this view
the root of Azazel is ty=J= Unity was the leading, ever-promi
'semovit,' 'dimovit,'&c. Ewald, who formerly espoused the Satanic theory in reference to Azazel, has of late years explained the word to mean 'das Unreine, Unheilige (eigentlich das Getrennte, Verabscheute), die Sünde' (Ibid. p. 176); but is there not something very harsh and unintelligible in saying, as v. 10 would then be made to say, that the second goat was sent forth as its destination to sin, or unholiness? On the contrary, the relation in which Satan here stands to the desert has some analogies in Matt. xii. 43, Luke viii. 29, Rev. xviii. 2.
2 Azalzel and Azael were, however, quite familiar to the later Jews in the sense of 'evil spirit' or 'fallen angel' (see Eisenmenger, Entdecktes Judenthum, II. 155); and from them, perhaps, the word was handed over to Mohammadans.
3 Bähr, it must be acknowledged,
nent, aim of the Mosaic system, he
CHAP. severe monotheism, this bold interpretation of the II. chapter of Leviticus is on the whole perhaps more justifiable than any other which has been proposed.
If, therefore, the identity of Satan and Azazel Jehovah. be conceded, what is here revealed as to the true relation of Satan to Jehovah? How shall we explain the casting of lots upon the two goats, and the devotion of the second to the powers of darkness? That no actual sacrifice to Satan could have been intended by the Hebrew ceremony, we may gather most conclusively from the next chapter of Leviticus (xvii. 7), where all offerings made to demons are strongly interdicted. Nor will such a startling version of this incident be needed when the passage has been duly weighed. The two goats, it will be seen, were equally chosen to assist in the performance of the one sin-offering; and as both were solemnly presented to Jehovah at the door of the tabernacle, both were recognised by priest and people for His special property. He it was who guided the lot by which the one was destined to be offered, and the other sent unoffered and alive into the dreary desert. It is also most observable that the goat which was symbolically destined to bear away the pardoned sins of Israel, and so to bury them out of sight, had been already 'presented alive before the Lord,' and in idea had been offered like the other goat 'to make atonement with him' (v. 10); so that the duality of the offering was most probably ordained to represent two different aspects, or to carry on two separate stages, of the same remedial process'; one of the twin victims dying in the usual manner, and the
1 Hengstenberg, as before, p. 171.
second being spared to shew the Hebrews in a CHAP. striking figure, that iniquities remitted by Jehovah on the Day of Atonement were for ever hidden from their eyes,-remanded to the sphere of the unclean Azazel, or the 'land not inhabited' (v. 22). The most important truths, however, which the vivid ritual of that grand solemnity had served to inculcate, were first and chiefly the remissibility of human sin, and secondly the consequent call for its entire renunciation: and as truths like these were lying at the core of the Mosaic system, it alone of all religions had its Day of Atonement.
§ 2. Doctrinal Contrasts.
On passing forward from this necessarily brief No dogexamination of particular features, which are said rallelisms to characterise alike the Hebrew and Egyptian Egyptians rituals, we shall find that the alleged resemblances Hebrews. which meet us on the surface are succeeded by a contrast far more absolute and unmistakeable. 'With respect to theology,' it is remarked by one' who proved himself as quick as others in discovering indications of ritual sympathy, 'with respect to theology, no two systems can be more directly opposed to each other than the Mosaic doctrine was to that of the Egyptians.' If resemblance to the latter must be sought among contiguous nations of the ancient world, there is no question, after what has been advanced in the preceding chapter, that the country whither we should bend our footsteps is Phoenicia, or the primitive land of Canaan. Yet as every fundamental tenet of
1 Prichard, Egypt. Mythol. p. 405.
2 Above, pp. 50-54.