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Azazel (əzāˈzəl, ăzˈəzĕl) [key], in the Bible, an obscure term found in the ritual of the scapegoat in the Book of Leviticus. Azazel may be the place to which the scapegoat was sent, the scapegoat itself, or the desert demon to whom the scapegoat was sent. Most modern commentators prefer the last explanation. The name is later applied to a demon in 1 Enoch and to the devil in Islam.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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