History of a Word: Scapegoat

Recently learned the origins of the word ‘scapegoat’, so thought I would share it as I found it quite interesting.

Scapegoat, Hebrew Saʿir La-ʿazaʾzel,  (“goat for Azazel”), in the Old Testament ritual of Yom Kippur (Lev. 16:8–10), a goat symbolically burdened with the sins of the Jewish people. Some scholars believe that the animal was chosen by lot to placate Azazel, a wilderness demon, then thrown over a precipice outside Jerusalem to rid the nation of its iniquities. By extension, a scapegoat has come to mean any group or individual that innocently bears the blame of others.

Britannica

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