Scapegoat

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“The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions.” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower
Goat.jpg

A Goat is a Goat

I heard someone say that a goat is a goat is a goat because they read all or too much of the Bible as literal. Not only is the Bible full of allegories and metaphors the Hebrew language is full of symbolism because every letter of every word has a meaning. With such a language, the mind of the people will be different and the way they tell stories will be different.

In parables of Goats and Sheep, Jesus is trying to tell us something about the nature of the kingdom of God. The New Testament talks about living stones.

If altar are not always piles of dead stones then a goat may not always be a goat.

If a goat is not always a goat then is a scapegoat always a scapegoat?

The word scapegoat in the Hebrew is ‘aza’zel ^לזאזע^ LamedZayinAlefZayinAyin.[1] It is formed from two words ^זע^ ZayinAyin ‘ez[2] meaning goat and ^לזא^ LamedZayinAlef ‘azal[3] meaning gone

There are many other words translated gone such as ךלה halak, אצי yatsa’, ךלי yalak, אוב bow’, רבע ‘abar, בושׁ shuwb, דעצ tsa‘ad, and more. The letters LamedZayinAlef may mean more than simply gone away in reference to a goat cast out.

The word goat is composed of the letters ZayinAyin but those letters are not always translated into goat.

The word ^זע^ ‘oz appears as strength or strong or mighty almost a hundred times.[4] Also, the word ^זע^ ‘az [5] consisting of the same root letters ZayinAyin is translated strong a dozen times and fierce, mighty and power as well as greed. Is the goat gone or is strength failing as a society when you are jealous and envious?

The primitive root ‘azaz AyinZayinZayin from which all these terms are derived is translated as both strong and impudent.[6]

Can a word mean goat, strong and impudent?

The Guide

"Virtue would go far if vanity did not keep it company." Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Besides idioms, metaphors, and sophistry the use of allegories and cultural shifts over time to say nothing of hundreds of different sects exercising influence over the thinking and knowledge of the people, many of whom like the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Zealots all had divergent views of the scriptures. The reader to say nothing of the translator is faced with a sometimes difficult and profound task of deciphering the meaning intended by the inspired author.

Is the true wisdom of the Bible hidden in allegory so that the reader must be equally inspired in order to be awakened with eyes to see and ears to hear the truth? Are the self-righteous religionists at a disadvantage when it comes to seeing the true many of scripture?

"Truth is an inconvenience of the slothful but the enemy of the vain."

When translating words into English you can heavily influence the perception of the reader by altering a few words here and there. It is very easy to apply a doctrinal prejudice by slightly altering a single or in some cases several words in the text. Explanation of words and phrases like Corban, wages of unrighteousness, covetous practices or fathers of the earth can give us a new understanding of scripture. But without a humble willingness to see the error of our ways those who say they see already may remain bind.

"Vanity can easily overtake wisdom. It usually overtakes common sense." Julian Casablancas

According to what is sometimes referred to as Emotive conjugation or the Russell conjugation because it was pointed out by the philosopher Bertrand Russell.

Some examples are:

 I am firm, You are obstinate, He is a pig-headed fool.
I am righteously indignant, you are annoyed, he is making a fuss over nothing.
I am sparkling; you are unusually talkative; he is drunk.
My beliefs do not require that you believe them, you always think you are right. He is overconfident.


This emotive or emotional conjugation used in rhetoric mimics the form of a grammatical conjugation of an irregular verb to illustrate the human tendency to describe behavior in a way that is more convenient to their ego or desire or in some cases convenient for the dogma the translator or the doctrine of their benefactor.

Allegory of a goat

In the "The First Book of the Treatise on The Allegories of the Sacred Laws, Philo of Alexandria suggests that the goat does not take the sins with him into the desert "For the sufferings inflicted on the scapegoat are in real truth the lot of him who is fond of suffering."[7]

Who are those "fond of suffering"?

Are they the ones who are fond of coveting their neighbors' goods through their elected Benefactors who exercise authority one over the other?

Are those "fond of suffering" also slow to forgive and therefore to give?

Are they also fond of the wages of unrighteousness who consent to having One purse?

Is the imagined calling for the macabre ritual of the Scapegoat the result of pharisaical Sophistry?

Is the story of the scapegoat symbolic like the altars of Clay and stone?

There appears to be at least Two Eblaite Text from a period reaching back to the 24th-century BCmake reference to a ritual purification taking place at the king's wedding where the whole community is involved in driving out a she-goat into the "Alini" (wasteland) waring a silver neckless. This ritual was suggesting an "elimination rites" that removed any past objection to the King's bride.

There were also customs which may have resulted from mans primal nature of not accepting personal blame for things that have gone wrong. Adam blamed Eve and God for giving him Eve when God discovered he had eaten of the forbidden tree. Not accepting responsibility for our errors or sins is all too common a practice.

In Greece when there was a famine, drought, or plague the natural tendency of fallen man is to blame someone else. Leaders are often the first to be blamed. It actually became the custom to take some poor individuals into the king's house, treat them like royalty, showering them with gifts and the publicly driving them out or even sacrificing them to take the blame for the king.

Evidence of similar rituals in the Andys was suspected when archeologists discovered children whose diet was greatly improved for at least a year before their ritual sacrifice. They were found frozen in caves high in the mountains, dressed in fine garments and evidently drugged and some times bound just before they froze to death.

While evidence of these bazar rituals of transference of guilt and responsibility are found throughout history exactly how the people descended to accept such perception of the function of nature in a cause and effect university remains obscure. But these delusions flourish when common sense becomes less common and vanity becomes the name of the game.


Sanctuary of the myth

The common interpretation is that the scapegoat assumes Israel's impurities and therefore had to be removed from the camp with those impurities. Like the sacrifice of the Red Heifer, it had to be removed from the camp as a part of the sacrifice. One problem with this theory is that the Red Heifer had nothing to do with a red female cow[8] the same as the Altars of Clay and Stone has nothing to do with dirt and rocks.

Even Myths have meaning which may conceal the nature of God. The Bible tells us in Exodus 28:42 that the people "shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness" but that had nothing to do with underwear. So, the directive to "put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre" has nothing to with an attire anymore than anyone is going to be kicked out of the wedding feast because they do "not have a wedding garment"[9]

The bullock and "a censer full of burning coals of fire" may "cover the mercy seat and blood may be sprinkled with your finger but all these things are symbols of ideas which mask the myth.

Masking the meaning in a myth keeps the minions of evil from knowing what to destroy. What they would hide is is already a mystery hidden in plain sight and passed from generation to generations waiting for the revelation of God in spirit and truth.

"When I look for myself I found a bundle of perception ." David Hume who believed that errors in philosophy are "only ridiculous”, but "the errors in religion are dangerous".

If the story of the Scapegoat is an allegory. What is the message and who can hear it?


Rene Girard and the scapegoat mechanism

René Gerard[10] became concerned with Philosophical Anthropology with his mimetic theory, imitation leading to competition for superiority leading to rivalries and violent conflicts. He suggests that those conflicts are partially relieved by a scapegoat mechanism. He concludes that ultimately, Christianity is the best antidote to violence.

Rene taught that all desire is mimetic and that all conflict originates in a mimetic rivalry. The theory of Mimetic Desire is “based on the observable tendency of human beings to subconsciously imitate others and the extension of this mimesis to the realm of desire.”

This "mimetic character of desire" is established by a three-party relationship of subject, model, and object. Through the object, one is drawn to the model, identified by Girard as the mediator.

The “model” is made manifest in the spirit that dwells in our subconscious. The personification of the mediator “desires to be” again by reproducing the model, the characteristics of the model, in a new subject. One of the strongest of Mimetic desires is the desire to reproduce what we have accepted as ourselves. It is written into our physical and spiritual DNA.

We are to believe today that God is no longer pleased with grotesque ritual blood sacrifices upon altars of stone and clay because He says “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice”.[11]

Since God is the same today as He was yesterday why did He not say He wanted mercy from the beginning? Or did He?

"For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

Rene saw the psychology of the scapegoat mechanism as the origin of sacrifice and the foundation of human culture, and religion. He believed that it was originally necessary in human evolution to control the violence issuing from mimetic rivalry through the scapegoat mechanism. Rene sees the Bible reveal these ideas and then denounce them in the sacrifice of Christ. But is mankind in a process of evolution or revolution and is he always revolting from the same thing? The ancient story consistently has been that man fell by revolting from a higher order and more enlightened position to a state of degeneration in darkness.

Girard suggests that the scapegoat of Leviticus was a small ritual form of violence that relieved society of the subliminal emotional pressure that tend to produce conflict which may eventually threaten the existence of the community or even the whole of society. Was the scapegoat meant to deceive the community into transferring the blame for their sins to the victim as the culprit of the communal crisis?

Girard goes on to explain that it is crucial that this process be unconscious. But was man made to function without consciousness? The "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" did not grant consciousness but opened the way to vanity which cut us off from the tree of life and therefore "the way, the truth, and the life".[12] From that day on we wondered the earth scratching our life from earth and clay cut off from life more abundant through vanities of the soul.

It is likely a delusion that all our desires are ours alone. But if all desire is mimetic were is free will? Do we have choice? Where does it begin and end?

Has mankind been in an identity crisis since he first denied the truth of his own nature and began to decide for himself what was good and what was evil in his own vain imagination? Is man's desire to find this missing identity push and pull him to imitate those people around him? Does the delusion that we are what we have call to us to obtain that which belongs to our identity models.


The model Mediator

"Intellectually, now, I believe that it is a complete vanity to say positively there is no God." John Rhys-Davies

Are we "in human evolution" or have we fallen from the foundation of the original divine plan? Does our personal vanity keep us from seeing that we are still falling short of faith in "the way, the truth, and the life"?[12]

While the idea of God may be incomprehensible, mysterious and beyond our grasp as a heuristic God. The idea of God is composed of different elements almost too numerous to list. But by His defined nature being infinite a comprehensive list of characteristics, though incomplete, are regularly attempted by the theologies of the finite. By denial of the true nature of our divine originator, we are in denial of our own nature. Or else we are in denial of the truth about ourselves and feel an absence, a lack, an emptiness in our experiential existence which press us into an ever-present quest for the perfect model that will fill, satisfy or relieve the pain of that emptiness.

The ultimate model must be the unreachable or unknown "personality of God" for we are made in His image. God is courageous and compassionate, just and forgiving. God is the idea of a giving disciplinarian who gives us life and a place to live it but not without creating Natural law to lead or guide us from destruction to abundance. When we divide God into gods with the different attribute and subsequent flaws we dilute the model.

The idea that we were not created by an Omnipotent Divine Designer Creator Father but simply evolved as complex chemical reactions from primordial slime with no intelligent design would be a downer to some but liberating to others who could denounce all moral absolutes and the existence of free will as nothing more than products of deluded dendritic imagery.

In the story of Cain and Able, Able is the victim of injustice and the murder by Cain who sinned against the God of life. Without God, there is no sin. So to those who merely evolved over billions of generations Cain, who both dominates and reproduces the next generation becomes the fittest to survive. Cain becomes the hero of the story.

Ultimately if our desire desires “Being” above all else then all of our fellowmen become mere resources. As such, if there is something which the subject “lacks and which some other person seems to possess”[13] becomes an entitlement for the taking.

"All desire is a desire to be". If your desire to be is greater than your desire for your brother to be conflict will occur. This is why we were given the story of Cain and Abel. It is in the nature of God to give us life as it is in the nature of the good Father and Mother to give their life so that their children might live. It is in the nature of Cain to take what he wants even at the expense of his brother or even his own children.


What should be removed

The scapegoat issue occurred after Leviticus 10, when Nadab and Abihu the eldest sons of Aaron offered a sacrifice with 'foreign fire' or 'strange fire' before the LORD, disobeying his instructions, and were immediately consumed by God's fire.[14]

What was strange fire?

How did God send his own fire?

What does the word incense represent?

Why did it need to be ground fine?

What were the censers through which the incense will pass and be consumed?


In Exodus 30 specifically verses 7-8 and Leviticus,[15] God outlines a proper sacrifice to him. Nadab and Abihu ventured unauthorized to perform the incense service—the highest and most solemn of the priestly duties. Their use of "strange fire" was a presumptuous and unwarranted intrusion into a sacred office.

The deaths of Nadab and Abihu symbolise the death of the ego and arrogant usurpation of priestly duty in the form of power.



"In Hebrew the term "burnt offering" translates as "ascend" (they ascended). The Hebrew noun olah (עֹלָה) means "that which goes up [in smoke]".[3] It is formed from the active participle of the Hiphil form of the verb alah (עָלָה), "to cause to ascend." "



In the 18th century, many imagining themselves to be enlightened assumed that communal violence would be reduced with the implementation or acceptance of a social contract.

Doesn't the same Bible which gives us the story of the scapegoat prohibit the making of social contracts that bind our conscience to anyone other than God? And what of the prohibition of envy and covetous practices in both Old and New Testaments?


Hasn't many modern social contracts bound nations in a way that made the people little more than human resources to work and slave and war for the State which instituted world wars and revolutions that wreaked death for millions and devastating destruction upon the whole world and even now hangs the possibility of mutually assured destruction.

Because we cannot imagine an alternative to the modern social contract does not mean it does exist. Could that alternative be hidden before us in the ancient text? What would be the nature of a social contract that gives life, relieves the dangers of envy and secures the hope of justice and mercy?



Scapegoat the remover

azazel: entire removal
Original Word: עֲזָאזֵל
Part of Speech: Noun Masculine
Transliteration: azazel
Phonetic Spelling: (az-aw-zale')
Definition: "entire removal"

The term only appears in Leviticus:

Leviticus 16:8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.

HEB: וְגוֹרָ֥ל אֶחָ֖ד לַעֲזָאזֵֽל׃
NAS: and the other lot for the scapegoat.
KJV: and the other lot for the scapegoat.
INT: lot and the other the scapegoat

Leviticus 16:10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, [and] to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.

HEB: עָלָ֤יו הַגּוֹרָל֙ לַעֲזָאזֵ֔ל יָֽעֳמַד־ חַ֛י
NAS: the lot for the scapegoat fell
KJV: fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented
INT: and the lot the scapegoat shall be presented alive

Leviticus 16:10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, [and] to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.

HEB: לְשַׁלַּ֥ח אֹת֛וֹ לַעֲזָאזֵ֖ל הַמִּדְבָּֽרָה׃
NAS: it into the wilderness as the scapegoat.
KJV: with him, [and] to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.
INT: upon to send as the scapegoat the wilderness

Leviticus 16:26 And he that let go the goat for the scapegoat shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward come into the camp.

HEB: אֶת־ הַשָּׂעִיר֙ לַֽעֲזָאזֵ֔ל יְכַבֵּ֣ס בְּגָדָ֔יו
NAS: the goat as the scapegoat shall wash
KJV: the goat for the scapegoat shall wash
INT: released the goat as the scapegoat shall wash his clothes


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Footnotes

  1. 05799 ^לזאזע^ ‘aza’zel \@az-aw-zale’\@ LamedZayinAlefZayinAyin from 05795 goat and 0235 gone; n m; {See TWOT on 1593} AV-scapegoat 4; 4
    1) entire removal, scapegoat
     : 1a) refers to the goat used for sacrifice for the sins of the people
    1b) meaning dubious
  2. 05795 ^זע^ ‘ez \@aze\@ from 05810; n f; {See TWOT on 1654 @@ "1654a"} AV-goat 63, kid + 01423 5, kid 4, he 1, kids + 01121 1; 74
    1) female goat, she-goat, goat, kid
    • ע Ayin also U Divine Providence Eye or Well of five states of kindness or severity. [eye, watch] 70
    • ז Zayin The Service and Valor, cut and bread, war and nourish. [weapon.... Cut to cut off manacle] 7
  3. 0235 ^לזא^ ‘azal \@aw-zal’\@ a primitive root; v; {See TWOT on 56} AV-gone 2, fail 1, gaddest about 1, to and fro 1, spent 1; 6
    1) to go, to go away, to go about
    1a) (Qal)
    1a1) to go away
    1a2) to go about
    1a3) to be used up, be exhausted, be gone, evaporated
    1b) (Pual) to go to and fro
    There are many other words translated gone such as ךלה halak (01980), אצי yatsa’(903318), ךלי yalak (03212), אוב bow’ (0935), רבע ‘abar (05674), בושׁ shuwb (07725), דעצ tsa‘ad (06805), and more.
  4. 05797 ^זע^ ‘oz \@oze\@ or (fully) ^זוע^ ‘owz \@oze\@ from 05810; n m; {See TWOT on 1596 @@ "1596b"} AV-strength 60, strong 17, power 11, might 2, boldness 1, loud 1, mighty 1; 93
    1) might, strength
    1a) material or physical
    1b) personal or social or political
  5. 05794 ^זע^ ‘az \@az\@ from 05810; adj; {See TWOT on 1596 @@ "1596a"} AV-strong 12, fierce 4, mighty 3, power 1, greedy 1, roughly 1, stronger 1; 23
    1) strong, mighty, fierce
  6. 05810 ^זזע^ ‘azaz \@aw-zaz’\@ a primitive root AyinZayinZayin ; v; {See TWOT on 1596} AV-strengthen 6, prevail 3, strong 1, impudent 1, hardeneth 1; 12
    1) to be strong
    1a) (Qal) to be strong, prevail
    1b) (Hiphil) to make firm, strengthen
    • ע Ayin also U Divine Providence Eye or Well of five states of kindness or severity. [eye, watch] 70
    • ז Zayin The Service and Valor, cut and bread, war and nourish. [weapon.... Cut to cut off manacle] 7
  7. The First Book of the Treatise on The Allegories of the Sacred Laws, After the Work of the Six Days of Creation. XIV. Philo Judaeus (Philo of Alexandria).
  8. See the Red Heifer
  9. Matthew 22:12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
  10. René Noël Théophile Girard was a French historian, literary critic, and anthropological philosopher of social science best known for his “mimetic theory”.
  11. Matthew 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
    Matthew 12:7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
  12. 12.0 12.1 John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
  13. Violence and the Sacred, René Noël Théophile Girard
  14. Leviticus 10:1 ¶ And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.
  15. Leviticus 9:6-10, Leviticus 10:1-14,