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In Guide for the Perplexed 3:46 Rambam writes:

The goat [of the Day of Atonement] that was sent [into the wilderness] (Lev. xvi. 20, seq.) served as an atonement for all serious transgressions more than any other sin-offering of the congregation. As it thus seemed to carry off all sins, it was not accepted as an ordinary sacrifice to be slaughtered, burnt, or even brought near the Sanctuary; it was removed as far as possible, and sent forth into a waste, uncultivated, uninhabited land. There is no doubt that sins cannot be carried like a burden, and taken off the shoulder of one being to be laid on that of another being. But these ceremonies are of a symbolic character, and serve to impress men with a certain idea, and to induce them to repent; as if to say, we have freed ourselves of our previous deeds, have cast them behind our backs, and removed them from us as far as possible.

(Friedlander translation)

In Emunot V'Deiot 3:10 R. Saadia Gaon explains as follows:

The ninth problem is presented by the sacrifice the Israelites were wont to offer up to Azazel on the day of Atonement. To certain people this name sounded like that of a demon. Our reply hereunto is that Azazel was the name of a mountain, and that names of this type were given to mountains is borne out by the statement of Scripture: And he took the rock by war, and called the name of it Joktheel (II Kings 14:7). Similarly Jabneel (Josh. 15:11), Irpeel (ibid. 18:27), and Jeruel (II Chron. 20:16) were all of them localities.

Now one of the two heads [of cattle] was offered up by the priests in the sanctuary in view of the fact that most of their sins were committed in the sanctuary. The other, again, was offered up by the nation outside of the sanctuary because most of their sins were committed outside of it, preference being thereby shown to the priests. As for the casting of the lots, which was, as it were, the most objectionable feature of the whole affair, let me explain that that was not due to any variation in the recipient of the sacrifice, for both were offered up to the same Master. Lots were cast only on account of the difference in the persons in whose behalf the sacrifices were offered; namely, that they were offered for priests and Israelites. It was, therefore, necessary to throw lots first, so that whatever fell to each one's share might be offered up in his behalf with the assurance that it belonged to him.

(Rosenblatt translation p. 178)

In Guide for the Perplexed 3:46 Rambam writes:

The goat [of the Day of Atonement] that was sent [into the wilderness] (Lev. xvi. 20, seq.) served as an atonement for all serious transgressions more than any other sin-offering of the congregation. As it thus seemed to carry off all sins, it was not accepted as an ordinary sacrifice to be slaughtered, burnt, or even brought near the Sanctuary; it was removed as far as possible, and sent forth into a waste, uncultivated, uninhabited land. There is no doubt that sins cannot be carried like a burden, and taken off the shoulder of one being to be laid on that of another being. But these ceremonies are of a symbolic character, and serve to impress men with a certain idea, and to induce them to repent; as if to say, we have freed ourselves of our previous deeds, have cast them behind our backs, and removed them from us as far as possible.

(Friedlander translation)

In Guide for the Perplexed 3:46 Rambam writes:

The goat [of the Day of Atonement] that was sent [into the wilderness] (Lev. xvi. 20, seq.) served as an atonement for all serious transgressions more than any other sin-offering of the congregation. As it thus seemed to carry off all sins, it was not accepted as an ordinary sacrifice to be slaughtered, burnt, or even brought near the Sanctuary; it was removed as far as possible, and sent forth into a waste, uncultivated, uninhabited land. There is no doubt that sins cannot be carried like a burden, and taken off the shoulder of one being to be laid on that of another being. But these ceremonies are of a symbolic character, and serve to impress men with a certain idea, and to induce them to repent; as if to say, we have freed ourselves of our previous deeds, have cast them behind our backs, and removed them from us as far as possible.

(Friedlander translation)

In Emunot V'Deiot 3:10 R. Saadia Gaon explains as follows:

The ninth problem is presented by the sacrifice the Israelites were wont to offer up to Azazel on the day of Atonement. To certain people this name sounded like that of a demon. Our reply hereunto is that Azazel was the name of a mountain, and that names of this type were given to mountains is borne out by the statement of Scripture: And he took the rock by war, and called the name of it Joktheel (II Kings 14:7). Similarly Jabneel (Josh. 15:11), Irpeel (ibid. 18:27), and Jeruel (II Chron. 20:16) were all of them localities.

Now one of the two heads [of cattle] was offered up by the priests in the sanctuary in view of the fact that most of their sins were committed in the sanctuary. The other, again, was offered up by the nation outside of the sanctuary because most of their sins were committed outside of it, preference being thereby shown to the priests. As for the casting of the lots, which was, as it were, the most objectionable feature of the whole affair, let me explain that that was not due to any variation in the recipient of the sacrifice, for both were offered up to the same Master. Lots were cast only on account of the difference in the persons in whose behalf the sacrifices were offered; namely, that they were offered for priests and Israelites. It was, therefore, necessary to throw lots first, so that whatever fell to each one's share might be offered up in his behalf with the assurance that it belonged to him.

(Rosenblatt translation p. 178)

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In Guide for the Perplexed 3:46 Rambam writes:

The goat [of the Day of Atonement] that was sent [into the wilderness] (Lev. xvi. 20, seq.) served as an atonement for all serious transgressions more than any other sin-offering of the congregation. As it thus seemed to carry off all sins, it was not accepted as an ordinary sacrifice to be slaughtered, burnt, or even brought near the Sanctuary; it was removed as far as possible, and sent forth into a waste, uncultivated, uninhabited land. There is no doubt that sins cannot be carried like a burden, and taken off the shoulder of one being to be laid on that of another being. But these ceremonies are of a symbolic character, and serve to impress men with a certain idea, and to induce them to repent; as if to say, we have freed ourselves of our previous deeds, have cast them behind our backs, and removed them from us as far as possible.

(Friedlander translation)