There seems to be some fascination for this fallen angel. In fact, his role in humanity’s story is equivalent to Lucifer’s. But the way he is depicted in the Book of Enoch would suggest that he was a weapons maker, a warrior who ‘crossed the line’ with a human.
Azazel, in Jewish legends, a demon or evil spirit to whom, in the ancient rite of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), a scapegoat was sent bearing the sins of the Jewish people. Two male goats were chosen for the ritual, one designated by lots “for the Lord,” the other “for Azazel” (Leviticus 16:8). The ritual was carried out by the high priest in the Second Temple and is described in the Mishna. After the high priest symbolically transferred all the sins of the Jewish people to the scapegoat, the goat destined “for Azazel” was driven into the wilderness and cast over a precipice to its death. Azazel was the personification of uncleanness and in later rabbinic writings was sometimes described as a fallen angel.Britannica
When I first read about Azazel, I knew he was important in some way, but wasn’t sure how, which is why I started to write the screenplay “Raelity”. However, I didn’t get far, even though the story line was a “Battlestar Galactica” re-imagining of the Genesis story. It was as if ‘someone’ put the brakes on it. I never did return to writing it.
The Scapegoat symbolism seems to imply that Azazel is our ‘excuse’ for the way we behave. “The devil made me do it.” (Flip Wilson)
Everybody looks for a scapegoat to blame. They don’t want to look at themselves. So a ritual was enacted in ancient times to remove the sins, while leaving the sinners to live for another day. Poor goat: what did he do to deserve such a fate?
Most rabbis (fearing contamination from polytheism) interpreted “Azazel” as the rugged mountain cliff from which the scapegoat was cast down on Yom Kippur, but some (such as Nachmanides) argued that Azazel belongs to the class of “se’irim,” goat-like demons haunting the desert, to which the Israelites were wont to offer sacrifice. Both views have been variously endorsed and debated in Jewish tradition. Viewed as a demon of the desert, Azazel seems to have been closely interwoven with the Book of Enoch as the seducer of men and women, and leader of the rebellious hostsNew World Encyclopedia
Perhaps, one needs to be John Dee, working with Edward Kelley, to interpret the truth, using the Enochian language of angels. But I digress.
My question at the beginning of this post is my way of saying that whatever Azazel may have originally meant to the Israelites, it has come down to us in a distorted version.
And, just to put a cat among the pigeons, there are thoughts that Jesus was in fact the scapegoat for Azazel. It makes sense if you are inclined to see his death as taking on the sins of the whole world. Makes you think, eh?
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