Hereinafter is a consideration of claims made by TJ Steadman within his book Answers to Giant Questions.
You can find all of my articles regarding TJ Steadman here.
…the text of 1 Enoch 10:6-12 reveals that Azazel was held chiefly responsible for the corruption of the whole world and that all sin should be ascribed to him.
As his punishment, the angel Raphael was commanded to take Azazel, bind him and throw him in a pit (literally an opening) in the desert, burying him under sharp rocks, where he must await the final judgment in darkness.
Indeed, such is that is revealed in a pseudepigraphical text from millennia after the Torah was written and centuries after the Tanakh as a whole was written—and a text that contradicts the Bible so much that I wrote a whole chapter about that issue in my book In Consideration of the Book(s) of Enoch.
In any case, there are not biblical Angels named Azazel or Raphael.
Yet, there is a reason, to which we shall get, why Azazel is correlated to “a pit (literally an opening) in the desert.”
TJ Steadman further writes:
…now we can identify the language of salvation and judgment in the Flood narrative. And having delved into the story of Azazel, the chief proponent of the spread of depravity that led to the Flood, we will find an odd connection to the 150 days that the waters prevailed over the earth.
The Nephilim, who ravaged and destroyed the world, died during the initial 40-day period of rain, and their mortal bodies perished. Their spirits lived on, but they found no habitation.
If that sounds cryptic, it is so because it would require a lot of context, various lengthy quotations, to lay everything out. Thus, let us focus on my contextual focus.
The text of 1 Enoch aka Ethiopic Enoch is an amplification of the Genesis 6 affair, as I term it, which, among other details, rather than referring to the “sons of God” in general, mentions various of them by name—and calls them “Watchers” (which helps us date the text to the era of pseudepigrapha (roughly 300 BC to 300 AD with this one dating on the BC side of the scale since fragments of it were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls).
That Nephilim “spirits lived on, but they found no habitation” is a statement based also on the Enoch text as well as Jubilees which is another pseudepigraphical text, both of which claim that dead Nephilim became demons.
Granted, physical/material calamities do not cause the death of spirits but that does not mean that they become demons or, as TJ Steadman’s theo-sci-fi theory has it, that they possessed humans via Nimrod’s occult practices at the Tower of Babel and came to be called Rephaim who are Nephilim 2.0.
TJ Steadman also writes:
There were no living bodies to inhabit, and since God Himself had sealed up Noah’s ark, they could not gain access there (Revelation 3:7 “what He shuts, no one can open, and what He opens, no one can shut”).
They were forced to change from being the spirits of fleshly creatures into something else – disembodied spirits, detached from physical boundaries.
They became something different from what they had been previously – forced to adapt, they had regenerated into a new form, stripped of its former power. Again, this is supported by the text of 1 Enoch.
Sure, that is “supported by the text of 1 Enoch” but not by the Bible.
It is a simple fact that the Second Temple Era (516 BC-70 AD), particularly the era of the pseudepigrapha was an era of well, we know not what exactly. Were the texts produced during those times frauds, hoaxes, historical fiction, did the writers think they were real prophets (during the silent period between the testaments) or what?
What we do know is that it was an era of wildly vivid speculation, of texts that purported to expand upon points about which the Bible is brief, etc.
TJ Steadman also wrote:
The fallen angel Azazel was identified with a goat in the atonement ritual, upon which the sins of the people were cast. This goat was effectively cursed with the burden of sin.
The Jewish rabbis had a tradition that connected the curse of sin with the bearing of offspring (see God’s pronouncement in Genesis 3:14-16), and they believed that the curse had varying effects on different kinds of animals, in terms of how long each would endure pregnancy.
They mention that for an animal such as a goat (“small clean cattle” according to the rabbis), the gestation period for bearing offspring is 150 days, a fact that bears out in reality.
Now, let us take this slowly since “The fallen angel Azazel was identified with a goat in the atonement ritual, upon which the sins of the people were cast” is a very brief statement.
We may say that Azazel was thusly identified but not “The fallen angel Azazel.”
He is mixing pseudepigrapha and the tradition of “Jewish rabbis,” which is another hint at how late-dated this stuff about “The fallen angel Azazel” is—since there is no Rabbinate in the Torah nor Tanakh as a whole.
By the way, I quoted “Jewish rabbis” since that term is a pet-peeve of mine—which is actually a common term so I am not solely directing this at TJ Steadman—since “Jewish rabbis” as opposed to whom, Goyim (Gentile) rabbis?
In any case, I am unsure what the Azazel issue has to do with “the curse of sin with the bearing of offspring” of Gens 3:14-16 (wherein there is no “curse of sin with the bearing of offspring” but about Eve’s pain in childbirth).
Let us bottom line this and get to the “reason, to which we shall get, why Azazel is correlated to ‘a pit (literally an opening) in the desert.’”
My book What Does the Bible Say About Various Paranormal Entities? A Styled Paranormology contains a chapter titled “Is Azazel a Fallen Angel or a Goat?” so I will direct readers interested in the minutia to that book.
The bottom line is that Leviticus 16:8, 10 state, “Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat…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.”
Did you notice all of the stuff about a fallen Angel? No? Well, “goats” is sa`iyr and “scapegoat” is `aza’zel.
They are both good ol’ goats, “two goats,” but one is meant to be taken “into the wilderness.”
Moreover (vss. 21-22, 26):
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, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:
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…
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.
Thus, the goat is not being take to be given to Azazel rather, azazel is the (scape) goat.
Besides, if a fallen Angel named Azazel is buried under rocks, where he must await the final judgment in darkness then he is not receiving a goat: as a sin offering nor for a BBQ.
It is fairly obvious to me that what happened is that the Bible states that which it does. Centuries nay, millennia later folklore told a tall tale about how a goat for (form some odd reason) given to a fallen Angel.
Yet, moreover, since azazel refers to the scapegoat then the folklore took that term and concept and invented a story about a fallen Angel actually names Azazel about whom, note carefully, we are told that “all sin should be ascribed to him” so that he is the scape-Watcher.
Such stuff is actually fairy simple to suss out. This is much like what I wrote in that same book about Lilith whom folklore has as Adam’s first wife who turned into a demoness who steals away human babies.
In the Bible lilith is a reference to an owl and I can see how such folklore would come about from observing an animal who hunts at night, which stealthily swoops down upon prey, and carries it away.
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