« НазадПродовжити »
devote the rough mountain of God. But, to say nothing of this unauthorized correction of the term, where do we find, either the slightest hint that the goat was to be carried to any mountain, or any mountain in Palestine which bore the name of Azzael? We are simply told, that the animal was to be conveyed into the wilderness; and, had Moses used the term to designate a particular mountain, he would obviously have said mount Azzael, just as he says mount Ebal and mount Gerizim and the like ; for it is to be observed, that, even when Azazel has been transmuted into Aszael, still the word mountain is wanting, so that the literal import of Azzael will be, not the rough mountain of God, but only the rough of God. To this objection I may add one, which has already been brought against the first-considered opinion. The turn of the sentence, one lot for Jehovah and the other lot for Azazel, requires us to conclude, that, as Jehovah is a person, so Azazel must be a person likewise.
But Azazel, according to the conjecture now before us, instead of being a per: son, is supposed to be a mountain.
These two opinions being thus set aside, since the circumstance of Azazel being a person like Jehovah has been employed as an argument agaiust them; we stand pledged to adopt no exposition, save one which is built upon the allowed necessary personality of Azazel. Here therefore the question is, what person is 'intended by the being so denominated. With inost of the ancient Jews and Christians, I suppose Azazel to be a title of the
evil spirit: and I conceive its import to be the strong fugitive or the powerful apostate. That it has long and early been esteemed the proper name of a person, is evident from the word being left unparaphrased and simply written Azazel both by Jonathan and by Onkelos and by many other interpreters : and, that both a person was thought to be intended, and that that person was an evil spirit, may be gathered not equivocally from the Greek word used by the Seventy to express the imagined import of the term ; one lot to the Lord, and one lot to the Apopompeus' Now the word A popompèus cannot mean the goat, in the sense of that animal being sent away or being made what our English translators call a scape-goat ; because it is never used passively. It always bears an active signification : and it is commonly employed to describe a demon who sends away evil from his votaries, to describe one of those deities whom the Latins for the same reason called Dü Averrunci. In such a version of the term Azazel, the Seventy, I think, have greatly erred; for, as I have already observed, I believe it to denote the strong apostate : but I have adduced this version to shew, both that they esteemed Azazel a person, and that they supposed that person to be an averruncan demon. Exactly the same conclusion was drawn from it by the apostate emperor Julian, though he made it indeed subservient to his own
Κληρον ενα τω Κυριο, και κληρον ενα τω Αποπομπαιω. Levit. xvi. S.
antichristian purposes. His reasoning was, that, since Moses speaks of the devotement of a goat to an apopompèan divinity contradistinguished from Jehovah, he in effect taught the very same doctrine às that inculcated by the heathen theologists respecting the Dii Averrunci. The
argu. ment of Julian would have been fully conclusive, had Moses written in Greek: but, since it is entirely built upon the assumption that the Greek word A popompèus faithfully expresses the meaning of the Hebrew word Azazel, and since the propriety of such a translation is flatly denied ; we may readily perceive, what a mere sophism it was confidently to charge an opinion upon Moses, which opinion rests altogether upon a faulty Greek version of a Hebrew original."
(2.) We have now obtained an answer to the second part of the question ; it remains to be tried, whether any light can be thrown upon its first part: what are we to understand by the different treatment of the two goats ?
With respect to this matter, the grand difficulty lies in the devotement of the live goat to Azazel. It is easy enough to perceive the ceremonial reason, why it was so devoted by being conveyed into the wilderness : the desert was thought to be the favourite haunt of the apostate spirit. Here, accordingly, our Lord underwent his temptation from the devil ; hither the legion of evil demons is said to have driven the possessed man, ere they were
· See Spencer. de Leg. Heb. Rit. lib. iii. dissert. 8.
ejected from him bị the word of Christ; and it is through dry or desert places that the unclean spirit is described as rambling after he had quitted the body of the demoniac.' But still the main difficulty remains, how we are to account for the live goat being at all devoted to Azazel.
The Rabbins, who, like myself, understand Azazel to mean the evil spirit, have advanced some strange notions respecting this devotement. Thus R. Eliezer scruples not to say, that they offer a gift to Sainael or Satan on the day of atonement, Jest he should make their oblation fruitless and he produces for his voucher the text under consideration, one lot for the Lord and another lot for Azazel ; whence he argues, that the lot of the blessed God was the oblation of the burnt-offering, and that the lot of Azazel was the sin-goat. Thus also the book of Caphtor teaches, that the Jews offered a gift to Satan, that they might blind bis eyes, lest they should be accused by him. And thus, while Moses Gerundensis in words denies the fact, he in reality acknowledges its existence: for he says, Our intention, when we let loose the goat, is not to present him as an oblation to Samael; but our desire is to do the will of our Creator, who has delivered to us such a commandment. What is yet stranger, soine of the more ancient Christians, who used the Greek translation of the Seventy, were thence unhappily led to imagine, that, of the two goats, one was sucrificed to God, and the other was sent into
Matt. iv. 1. Luke viii. 29.
Matt. xii. 43.
the desert to propitiate an evil and impure demon thus renerated as an apopompèan spirit. For this impiety they are deservedly censured by Cyril and Procopius : and it is well remarked by Abulensis, that the goat was not sacrificed to the demon Azazel, for it is only said that it was conveyed into the desert; since it were a great disgrace to the God of the Hebrews, if he could not deliver his worshippers from demons, and if they were compelled to propitiate the devil lest he should hurt them.'
The reasons, assigned for the present extraordinary rite by the eminently learned Dr. Spencer, though free from the absurd impiety of Rabbinical superstition, do not strike me as altogether satisfactory: and I suspect, that even he himself did not feel quite secure in them; for he expresses his perfect readiness to give them up, whensoever any thing more solid shall have been produced.” · His reasons are three : 1. that the piacular goat, laden with the sins of the people, and given up to Azazel, symbolically denoted the wretched lot of all sinners; 2. that the consignment of this goat thus circumstanced to an evil demon tended to shew the Israelites the impurity of apostate spirits, which might well divert them from every wish to have any interconrse with such beings; 3. and that, since their sins were sufficiently expiated by
Spencer. de Leg. Heb. Rit. lib. iii. dissert. 8. c. 9, 4. 2 Si quis, lumine perspicaciore donutus, hujus instituti rationes solidiores assignaverit, me minime pertinacem experietur.