Scapegoat

Scapegoat
   Lev. 16:8-26; R.V., "the goat for Azazel" (q.v.), the name given to the goat which was taken away into the wilderness on the day of Atonement (16:20-22). The priest made atonement over the scapegoat, laying Israel's guilt upon it, and then sent it away, the goat bearing "upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited."
   At a later period an evasion or modification of the law of Moses was introduced by the Jews. "The goat was conducted to a mountain named Tzuk, situated at a distance of ten Sabbath days' journey, or about six and a half English miles, from Jerusalem. At this place the Judean desert was supposed to commence; and the man in whose charge the goat was sent out, while setting him free, was instructed to push the unhappy beast down the slope of the mountain side, which was so steep as to insure the death of the goat, whose bones were broken by the fall. The reason of this barbarous custom was that on one occasion the scapegoat returned to Jerusalem after being set free, which was considered such an evil omen that its recurrence was prevented for the future by the death of the goat" (Twenty-one Years' Work in the Holy Land). This mountain is now called el-Muntar.

Easton's Bible Dictionary. . 1897.

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  • scapegoat — ► NOUN 1) a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings or mistakes of others. 2) (in the Bible) a goat sent into the wilderness after the Jewish chief priest had symbolically laid the sins of the people upon it (Leviticus, chapter 16). ► VERB ▪… …   English terms dictionary

  • scapegoat — [skāp′gōt΄] n. [coined by TYNDALE William (1530) < SCAPE2 + GOAT, prob. from LL(Vulg.) caper emissarius, lit., emissary goat, transl. of Gr(Ec) tragos aperchomenos, departing goat, used as transl. of Heb sair laazazel < sair, he goat + l,… …   English World dictionary

  • Scapegoat — Scape goat , n. [Scape (for escape) + goat.] 1. (Jewish Antiq.) A goat upon whose head were symbolically placed the sins of the people, after which he was suffered to escape into the wilderness. Lev. xvi. 10. [1913 Webster] 2. Hence, a person or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • scapegoat — (n.) 1530, goat sent into the wilderness on the Day of Atonement, symbolic bearer of the sins of the people, coined by Tyndale from SCAPE (Cf. scape) (n.) + GOAT (Cf. goat) to translate L. caper emissarius, itself a translation in Vulgate of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • scapegoat — [n] person who takes blame for another’s action boob*, chump, doormat*, dupe, easy mark*, fall guy*, fool, goat*, gull*, mark*, patsy, pigeon*, pushover*, sacrifice, sap*, schmuck*, sitting duck*,  stooge, sucker, victim, weakling; concept 412 …   New thesaurus

  • Scapegoat — 16.The scapegoat is attested in two ritual texts in archives at Ebla of the 24th century BCE. [Ida Zatelli, The Origin of the Biblical Scapegoat Ritual: The Evidence of Two Eblaite Text , Vetus Testamentum 48.2 (April 1998:254 263).] They were… …   Wikipedia

  • scapegoat — I UK [ˈskeɪpˌɡəʊt] / US [ˈskeɪpˌɡoʊt] noun [countable] Word forms scapegoat : singular scapegoat plural scapegoats someone who is blamed for something that is not their fault, especially because someone else wants to avoid being blamed scapegoat… …   English dictionary

  • scapegoat — 1. noun /ˈskeɪpˌɡoʊt,ˈskeɪpˌɡəʊt/ a) In the Mosaic Day of Atonement ritual, a goat symbolically imbued with the sins of the people, and sent out alive into the wilderness while another was sacrificed. He is making me a scapegoat. b) Someone… …   Wiktionary

  • scapegoat — /skayp goht /, n. 1. a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place. 2. Chiefly Biblical. a goat let loose in the wilderness on Yom Kippur after the high priest symbolically laid the sins of the people on its head …   Universalium

  • scapegoat — scape|goat1 [ skeıp,gout ] noun count someone who is blamed for something that is not their fault, especially because someone else wants to avoid being blamed: scapegoat for: She is being made a scapegoat for the commission s own mistakes.… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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