DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SADITE)

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Hairy, demonic figure with the appearance of a goat, translating a Hebrew term otherwise translated “hairy” or “male goat.” Bible students differ in interpreting passages as to whether a demonic figure or a normal animals is meant. Israelites apparently sacrificed to such desert-dwelling demons, since they had to have a law forbidding such sacrifice (Lev 17:7). Some have even interpreted the scapegoat rites (Lev 16:20-22) as sending Israel’s sin back to their author, a desert demon with a different name from that

translate “satyr.” Jeroboam I (926-909 B.C.) appointed priests to serve these demons (2 Chron 11:15). Here idols in the forms of goats may be intended as parallel to the famous calves Jeroboam built. Isaiah promised that Babylon would become so desolate that the desert-dwelling demons would live in the ruins  (Isa 13:21; 34:14). Some commentators read 2 Kings 23:8 to refer to worship places for these demons at a gate in Jerusalem. A similar reality is expressed by a different Hebrew word in Deut 32:17 and Ps 106:37 (Matt 12:43; Mark 5:13; Luke 11:24; Rev 18:2). “Lilith” (Isa 34:14 NRSV) may also be a name for the desert demons.

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