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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scapegoat

Is it a demon? Evil being?

And Aaron shall cast lots over the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for Azazel."1

Footnote [1] 16:8 The meaning of Azazel is uncertain. ESV

Who is this being that God wants to share some goats with the guy?

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Definitely not a demon. God would not want his people to sacrifice for an enemy. –  Jan Dvorak Sep 23 '13 at 14:15
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Why do you assume it's a person and not a destination? –  Monica Cellio Sep 23 '13 at 14:44
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can't we just start with rashi? "This is a strong and hard mountain, [with] a high cliff, as the Scripture says [in describing Azazel] (verse 22 below),“a precipitous land (אֶרֶץ גְּזֵרָה),” meaning a cut-off land [i.e., a sheer drop]. — [Torath Kohanim 16:28; Yoma 67b]" –  Danno Sep 23 '13 at 14:47
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@Danno You can start with Rashi as long as you follow through to Ramban –  Double AA Sep 23 '13 at 14:54
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From a publication by Jehovah's witnesses: "The etymology of this word is disputed. If we hold to the spelling in the Hebrew Masoretic text, ʽazaʼ·zel′ seems to be a combination of two root words meaning “goat” and “disappear.” Thus the meaning “Goat That Disappears.” According to another derivation, based on the belief that there has been a transposition of two consonants, it means “Strength of God.”" –  Jan Dvorak Sep 23 '13 at 14:54
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1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Rashi to Vayikra 16:8 says Azazel is not a person:

Azazel: This is a strong and hard mountain, [with] a high cliff, as the Scripture says [in describing Azazel] (verse 22 below),“a precipitous land (אֶרֶץ גְּזֵרָה),” meaning a cut-off land [i.e., a sheer drop]. — [Torath Kohanim 16:28; Yoma 67b]

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