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Leviticus 16:10

Leviticus 16:10

But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat
Or for Azazel, of which more hereafter in the latter part of the verse: shall be presented alive before the Lord;
this seems to be a second presentation; both the goats were presented before the Lord before the lots were cast, ( Leviticus 16:7 ) ; but this was afterwards, when one of the goats, according to the lot, being presented, was ordered to be killed for a sin offering, and the other according to the lot being presented alive, was ordered to remain so: to make an atonement with him;
to make an atonement for the sins of the people of Israel along with the other, for they both made one sin offering, ( Leviticus 16:6 ) ; and this, though spared alive for a while, yet at length was killed; and how, the Jewish writers relate, as will be after observed: [and] to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness;
or, unto Azazel into the wilderness; which, some understand of a mountain in the wilderness called Azazel, to which the Targum of Jonathan has respect, which paraphrases the word,

``to send him to die in a place strong and hard, which is in the wilderness of Zuck;''
and so Saadiah Gaon, Jarchi, Kimchi, and others; and one in Aben Ezra says, it was near Mount Sinai; but as it is rightly observed by some, was this the name of a mountain, Moses would have called it the mountain Azazel, as he does other mountains by their names: nor is there any account of any such mountain in those parts, by such who have travelled in it, and if near Sinai, it was a long way to send it from Jerusalem; and for which there seems to be no reason, since there were many deserts between those two places: Aben Ezra suggests, there is a secret or mystery in the word Azazel, and says, you may know it and the mystery of his name, for he has companions in Scripture; and I will reveal to you, says he, part of it by a hint, when you are the son of thirty three, you may know its meaning, that is, by reckoning thirty three verses from ( Leviticus 16:8 ) ; where this word is first mentioned, which will fall on ( Leviticus 17:7 ) ; "they shall no more offer unto devils"; and so R. Menachem interprets Azazel of Samael, the angel of death, the devil, the prince that hath power over desolate places: there are several Christian writers of great note, that understand this of the devil, as Origen F2, among the ancients; and of the moderns, Cocceius {c}, Witsius F4, and Spencer F5, who think that by these two goats is signified the twofold respect of Christ our Mediator; one to God, as a Judge, to whom he made satisfaction by his death; the other to the devil, the enemy with whom he conflicted in life; who, according to prophecy, was to be delivered up to Satan, and have his heel bruised by him; and who was to come, and did come into the wilderness of this world, and when Jerusalem was a desert, and became a Roman province; and who was led by the Spirit into wilderness of Judea, in a literal sense, to be tempted of the devil, and had a sore conflict with him in the garden, when he sweat, as it were, drops of blood; and upon the cross, when he submitted to the death of it; during which time he had the sins of all his people on him, and made an end of them, so as to be seen no more; all which agrees with ( Leviticus 16:21 Leviticus 16:22 ) ; of which see more there; and it must be owned, that no other sense seems so well to agree with the type as this; since the living goat had all the sins of the people on him, and was reckoned so impure, that he that led him into the wilderness stood in need of washing and cleansing, ( Leviticus 16:21 Leviticus 16:26 ) ; whereas, when Christ was raised from the dead, he was clear of all sin, being justified in the Spirit; and in his resurrection there was no impurity, nor could any be reckoned or supposed to belong to him, as Witsius well observes, no, not as the surety of his people; nor in his resurrection was he a sin offering, as this goat was; nor could his ascension to heaven, with any propriety, be represented by this goat being let go into the wilderness: as for the notion of Barabbas, as Origen F6, being meant by Azazel, or the rebellious people of the Jews, carried into the wilderness, or into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar, and which is the sense of Abarbinel, and in which he is followed by many Christian writers, they need no confutation.
FOOTNOTES:

F2 Contr. Cels. 1. 6. p. 305.
F3 Comment. in Heb. 9. sect. 25
F4 De Oeconom. Faederum, l. 4. c. 6. sect. 71, 72, 73.
F5 De Leg. Heb. l. 3. Dissert. 8. c. 1. sect. 2. and of the same mind was our English poet Milton, that Azazel was a demon: His mighty standard: that proud honour claim'd Azazel as his right, a cherub tall. --Milton's Paradise Lost, B. 1. l. 533, 534.
F6 In Lev. Homil. 10. c. 16. fol. 82.
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