THE LIVE GOAT RITUAL IN LEVITICUS 16

Yaw Adu-Gyamfi

Abstract


 

The live goat ritual in Leviticus 16 has, for many decades, attracted debate in biblical scholarship. However, the main focus has often been on the identity of Azazel. This article examines some aspects of the live goat ritual in Leviticus 16: (1) the use of two hands rather than the usual one hand laid over the head of the goat; (2) the content of the confession over the goat; (3) the purpose of the rite; (4) whether the ritual is a sacrifice or something else; and (5) the significance of the ritual. I contend that the two hands used are representational, that the ritual is a unique sacrifice, and that the ritual symbolized a complete eradication of sin from the community.


Keywords


Atonement; Live Goat; Leviticus 16; Ritual

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/112-0-61

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

Attribution CC BY-NC-ND 4.0


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