Two Goats

    On the Day of Atonement described in Leviticus 16 two goats were presented before the Lord. One was slain and one was taken into the wilderness. To understand the process we look at several topics:
The description in Leviticus.
The conflict behind what is represented by the two goats.
Satan's plan and God's promise.
The sequence of events as seen in both Leviticus and Revelation.
Satan's time of trial and Christ's time.
Satan's involvement in the atonement.
The meaning of the fit man.
Evidence that the Scapegoat / Azazel is Satan.
And a summary of how the story of the goats, plays out in reality.
The description of the process in Leviticus
    Go to Lev. 16. Then return here. The other topics are on this page.

The conflict behind what is represented by the two goats
   "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image. . . ." (Rev. 20:4)

    "And when he [the Holy Spirit] is come, he will reprove [convict/convince] the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me [Christ]; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged [condemned]." (John 16:8-11)

   In this passage we may see that after Christ's ministry on earth He sent the Holy Spirit to convict the world: # That we are sinful and in need of salvation. # That He is righteous. And # that Satan is wicked. Christ went to be with His Father in heaven (from where Satan had been cast out), and Satan (the prince of this world) was condemned. Satan had challenged Christ 1207, and the cross had demonstrated the character of both. This we see represented in the two goats presented at the end of the day of atonement.

Satan's plan and God's promise
   "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer [later Satan], son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit." (Isa. 14:12-15)

   For six thousand years Satan has been attempting a coup d'etat. He plans to take over God's government and is occupying the earth with his evil influences. God could have destroyed him long ago but wants us and the world and the whole universe to recognize the divine justice (2 Thess. 2:8, 2th0208; Mal. 3:14-18, mal313). Satan's fall is not complete. It comes in steps as his evil character is revealed 1210a&b, and so does the restoration of the divine government. Now, he is not permitted to visit heaven (text below), and soon he will be chained in the bottomless pit the desolate earth during the thousand years.
   This prison sentence will be ratified (accepted as just) as a result of the preadvent judgment which we saw symbolized as the most holy place ministry on the Day of Atonement 0805. As you may recall, the sanctuary system represents the whole process of God's dealing with the sin problem. People who claim to be followers of truth 1615b are now being examined. Those who are declared innocent are seen by the angels and the universe as part of Christ's kingdom, washed in His cleansing blood, and fit for the reward of the righteous to be received into heaven at Christ's return. 0601x.
   "And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." (Dan. 7:14). Thus is pictured the establishment of a dominion the identification of those who have chosen to be loyal citizens of the kingdom of heaven.

The sequence of events as seen in both Leviticus and Revelation
   To understand the events surrounding the two goats, remember that the ceremony God instructed His people to follow was according to the pattern He showed Moses. It was to reveal how the sanctuary in heaven works (Heb. 8:1-5). That sanctuary or temple represents the work of Christ for our salvation. It gives us a picture of the process of our salvation. What happens to the goats, tells what happens to Christ and Satan.

The two goats in Leviticus Seen in Revelation and in other passages Comments
Lev. 16:5-7   "And he [Aaron, the high priest, on the day of atonement] shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. . . . .  And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation le1605. Rev. 12:7-11  And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. . . .  And they [the accused brothers] overcame him by the blood of the Lamb. . . . re1207 The two goats are a prominent part of the Day of Atonement, preadvent judgment. We will see that the events they symbolize are also seen in Revelation 20 and 21, and that the goats represent Christ and Satan.
Lev. 16:8  And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat [goat of removal]. The divine judgment between Christ and Satan is seen in the passage above.    Divine providence is to reveal the identity of the goats. We have seen that the preadvent judgment is an investigation of the cases of those who claim to follow Christ. Here we see that the validity of the claims of Christ and Satan is also at issue.
Lev. 16:9  And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD'S lot [or "the lot for the LORD"] fell, and offer him for a sin offering. 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. The contest was to determine, in symbol, who was the true Lord. Both Christ and Satan claim this position. The one to whom it belonged would pay the price of sacrifice to redeem His people from sin.
Lev. 16:10-15  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 [explained below], and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness. . . . And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the vail: . . . Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: Rev. 20:1-3  And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit,  and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled. . . . At this time, the scapegoat is "presented alive" in contrast to Christ's sacrificial death. In Christ's temptation in the   wilderness, and all through His sinless life on earth, His pure character was shown. He was seen as the spotless Lamb and yielded His life as a sacrifice r05b. Satan had revealed his evil character at this time, but not fully re1210a.
Lev. 16:20  And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: - This is an important time marker. The living goat, representing Satan, is dealt with at the completion of the reconciliation or cleansing of the sanctuary when the  judgment has ended re1007c.
Lev. 16:21a  And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat. . . .  - The blood of Christ's sacrifice as the penalty for the sins of the children of Israel has already been applied in symbol by the sacrifice of the Lord's goat and the bullock. The justice of God in dealing with the sin problem also assigns punishment to Satan as their tempter.
Lev. 16:21b  And Aaron . . . shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:  Rev. 20:3 [An angel from heaven] shut him [Satan] up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. Christ was the angel who came down with the little book re1001. People as His representatives may be seen as the angel giving the loud cry re1801.
. . . by the hand of a fit man. . . . Rev. 20:4  And I saw thrones, and they [who] sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.     Our verse in Revelation clarifies that the reign for a thousand years is a time of judgment. In the context and in a promise to Laodicea, we see that the judgment is of the wicked who are dead during the thousand years. re0321
   Those who are found to be "fit" during the (earlier) preadvent, investigation become judges in the millennial judgment. mt1928, da0721f, 1118ju.
   In considering Christ as the "fit man" see note below.
Lev. 16:22 And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.  - Mention of "a land not inhabited" confirms our idea that the abyss Satan is consigned to is the earth desolate of people.
Lev. 23:34-36  Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month [5 days after the Day of Atonement] shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD. On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein. Rev. 20:9, 10  And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. . . . r2010a    Satan's death comes when no doubt of God's justice remains in any mind including his own! re0513a.
   Reference to "the camp of the saints" helps connect the scapegoat, which was taken outside the camp, with Satan's exile of the thousand years.
   Although not mentioned specifically, the eventual death of the scapegoat is assumed in its release. The final special day of the sanctuary calendar (in Lev. 23) pictures the celebration in the promised land or heaven. The last sacrifice by fire may represent this destruction of Satan.
Lev. 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. Rev. 21:2-4  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.    During the thousand years the saints review the records of the lives of the wicked. For those who love souls and love righteousness it will, no doubt, bring many tears and many pictures of evil. The washing time will erase the scars.
   It may be argued that the "fit man" is Christ. Washing before returning to camp, however, seems to better describe the saints since Christ, as high priest, sends the fit man with the goat and since He also washes at the end of the judgment time (Lev. 16:23, 24).

Satan's time of trial, and Christ's time
    Being locked in the "bottomless pit" will give Satan and his angels a thousand years to reflect on the chaos and hurting they caused. In rejecting the divine appeal before their expulsion from heaven, they also rejected the love of righteousness (2th0211) and will not repent.
    It is interesting that Christ had a similar time of trial which began before His crucifixion. In this time He submitted to the evil and darkness of Satan and was finally resurrected in glory. The following passages describe that time: mt1240, lu2252-4
    On the morning of the first day of the week He arose from the tomb, but did not immediately return to His father jn2017. Thus we count the "three days and three nights" as Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and the days of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. As we saw, the abyss or bottomless pit recalls the chaos at the beginning of Creation week. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. . . ." (Gen. 1:1, 2).

Satan involved in the atonement?
   Satan is not our Saviour. He is, however, part of the atonement picture in that he bears the forgiven sins of the righteous out of the camp. He brought sin into the universe and to this planet and sin will go out with him and all who have accepted his evil way. When he told Eve that God's prediction of death for sin was untrue, he became responsible for his lie. The righteous who accept the way of salvation in Christ receive forgiveness and cleansing. Christ took their place (became sin for them on the cross) so they could experience His righteousness 2co0521. In their victory, they show the injustice of Satan. They also reject Satan's claim that sin is good. Thus he is responsible for the suffering he has caused Christ and them in leading them into the disobedience. In this sense, Satan will bear the sins out of the camp.

Might Christ be represented by the "fit man"?
   Some may see Christ as the "fit man." I held that idea, then reconsidered. The fit man seems to better represents the righteous who have been vindicated in the preadvent judgment because (1) the term "hand" often implies "human action," Dan. 8:25 da0825 (2) The washing in Lev. le1626, seems better applied to humans, and (3) Christ is seen as the sacrificed goat who received the lot for the Lord. This indicates that the other goat was not the true Lord.
   Christ was led into the wilderness by the Spirit lu0401. There He was victorious over Satan's temptations and returned to Galilee in the Spirit. Satan, led by the fit man, goes into the abyss and eventually dies there ez2819.

Identification of the Scapegoat / Azazel as Satan
    The word transliterated as Azazel does not appear outside of Leviticus 16 in the Bible. However, it does appear in pre-Christian literature and this gives us an idea of how it had been understood earlier when Moses wrote Leviticus. The author of 1 Enoch (dated as first century BC) would have been familiar with Leviticus. Eight passages in 1 Enoch use the term. Here is the first one:
8:1 And Azazel taught men to make swords, and daggers, and shields and breastplates. And he showed them the things after these, and the art of making bracelets, and ornaments, and the art of making up the eyes and beautifying the eyelids, and the most precious and choice stones, and all kinds of coloured dyes. And the world was changed. And there was great impiety and much fornication, and they went astray, and all their ways became corrupt. (The Apocryphal Old Testament, 1984, 174. This and the other quotations on Azazel are quoted by William Shea, 2002.)

    We can see how this would have been a description of Satan's early work on the earth. Indeed Enoch could have made such an observation about the pre-flood world. The third passage from from 1 Enoch below (second one not quoted) describes what happens in Revelation 20. The desert that opens would be the abyss (bottomless pit) of re2001. It also reminds us of the fate of Korah and friends nu1631. We see two phases of executive judgment of Azazel: into the darkness (abyss) and into the fire. re2001, re2010.
....Also note that "for ever" was not intended to mean time without end.

10:4 And further the Lord said to Raphael, Bind Azazel by his hands and feet and throw him into the darkness. And split open the desert which is in Dudael, and throw him there. And throw on him jagged and sharp stones and cover him with darkness and let him stay there for ever, and cover his face that he might not see light, and that on the great day of judgment he may be hurled into the fire. (Ibid,190-191 Translation by M.A. Knibb.)

    The Apocalypse of Abraham,  a Jewish work from the second century AD and including interpolations by a Christian writer after that also reveals that the people of that time viewed Azazel as Satan.

Apocalypse of Abraham 22:9-12: And he said, This is the human world. this is Adam and this is their desire upon the earth: this is Eve. And what is between them is the wicked path they started on towards perdition, namely Azazil. (Ibid. Translation by A Pennington.)

    The Jews of of the times when the apocraphyl books were written had a high respect for the Torah which is the books of Moses including Leviticus. They would thus have understood Azazel in Leviticus to refer to Satan.

How the story of the goats plays out in reality
   The feast of tabernacles represents rejoicing in the heavenly Canaan. The day of atonement comes just before it, thus just before the coming of Christ in glory to receive us to Himself. Our first thousand years in heaven are a time of judgment of the wicked, to vindicate God's decision. The day of atonement ceremony shows how it is based on the past and prepares for the future. Thus we can look at a timeline within it.

The goats
Christ and Satan
Two goats are presented before the Lord at the doorway of the tabernacle and lots are cast (Lev. 16:7, 8). The sacrifice of Christ was pledged before the world began 1308b.
The goat of the Lord's lot is sacrificed (9, 15a). The other goat is held alive (10) Christ paid the price of our sins at Calvary, but Satan's guilt is not yet clear to all.
The blood is taken into the most holy and the holy places to cleanse the sanctuary of the iniquities of the people.  (15b-19) The ministry of atonement the preadvent judgment of investigation (Before this time, sins were forgiven and transferred to the sanctuary. Lev. 4, le0427)
After the cleansing of altar and both rooms of the sanctuary, sins are transferred to the scapegoat. The goat was led into the wilderness by a fit man. (20, 21) Judgment of the thousand years where humans, having been vindicated in the preadvent judgment, then live and reign to judge the wicked.
The goat is released to die in the wilderness (22). Satan never returns. He is destroyed at the end of the thousand years re2010, ez2819.

Praise God that the universe will one day be cleansed and perfect again.

Chapter 20
Or click your "back" button to return to where you were.