I am reading Leviticus and came across references to a scapegoat offering to the desert (Leviticus 16). The footnotes in the NIV mention Azazel, but the Message translation attributes the goat sacrifice to Azazel. I searched your website and found a reference to a fallen angel, Azazel, in 1 Enoch. So, my question is, Why did God command the Israelites to make a sacrifice to Azazel and to Him? What's the purpose of the scapegoat if the goat sacrificed on the altar purified the Israelites? -- Bill Newton
Many words from mythology are recycled, with new meanings, in ancient Judaism. Azazel is Hebrew for "removal, carrying away." The Greek OT has apopompaios, which also means "carrying away." Some English versions don't bother to translate the word, just keeping it as Azazel. Check the versions and you will see the uncertainty that has led to different renderings.
Were there more information, we could be more definitive in our view... But alas...!