Nachmanides - Scapegoat

Bearpecs at aol.com Bearpecs at aol.com
Mon Jun 11 20:24:08 EDT 2001


In a message dated 6/11/01 7:09:58 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
yonsaf at beitberl.ac.il writes:


> 

"prince" is a common term for angels (whether benificent or malevalent) with 
responsibility over various domains, e.g. the "prince" of Egypt is the angel 
who oversees (or perhaps in some mystical contexts "embodies" so to speak) 
the nation of Egypt.

This quotation is from Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus 1-16, Anchor Bible Volume 3, 
p. 1020:
There are three main views concerning the meaning of Azazel.  The first is 
that it means "scapegoat," following the LXX's ....  The second view is that 
it means "a rough and difficult place" (Tg. Ps.-J.; b. Yoma 67b; Sipra, Ahare 
2:8), referring to the goat's destination....  Finally, it could be the name 
of a demon.  This is the dominant view in midrashic literature, dating back 
to the early postbiblical period (3 Enoch 4:6; Pirqe R. El. 46; cf. Ibn Ezra, 
Ramban).
end quotation

Milgrom concludes (p. 1021):  "The most plausivle explanation is that Azazel 
is the name of a demon (no. 3, above) who has been eviscerated of his 
erstwhile demonic powers by the Priestly legislators."

Hayyim

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