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Scapegoat
(456 words)

[German Version]

As part of the ritual for the great Day of Atonement, (Lev 16, cf. 23:26ff.; Num 29:7 ff.), the high priest Aaron lays his hands (Laying-on of hands) on a he-goat, the so-called scapegoat (Vulgate caper emissarius, Fr. bouc émissaire, Ger. Sündenbock), putting the sins of the Israelites on its head and then employing someone designated to take it to “an isolated place” or “the wilderness” (Lev 16:8, 10, 21f.), where rabbinic tradition says that it meets its death (m. Yoma).

Various interpretations have been proposed for the name Azazel (עֲזָאזֵל; Lev 16:8, 10, 26) that…

Cite this page
Janowski, Bernd, “Scapegoat”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 24 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1877-5888_rpp_SIM_125017>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013



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