6 And on the day of the great judgement he shall be cast into the fire. And heal the earth which the angels have corrupted, and proclaim the healing of the earth, that they may heal the plague, and that all the children of men may not perish through all the secret things that the Watchers have disclosed and have taught their sons. 8 And the whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azâzêl: to him ascribe all sin.' 9 And to Gabriel said the Lord: 'Proceed against the bastards and the reprobates, and against the children of fornication: and destroy [the children of fornication and] the children of the Watchers from amongst men [and cause them to go forth]: send them one against the other that they may destroy each other in battle: for length of days shall they not have. 10 And no request that they (i.e. their fathers) make of thee shall be granted unto their fathers on their behalf; for they hope to live an eternal life, and that each one of them will live five hundred years.' 11 And the Lord said unto Michael: 'Go, bind Semjâzâ and his associates who have united themselves with women so as to have defiled themselves with them in all their uncleanness.
The Gemara asks: And the other, what does he do with this word gezeira? The Gemara answers: He needs it for that which was taught in a baraita with regard to the word gezeira: Gezeira means nothing other than cut. That is, he must send the goat away to a place cut up by rocks standing upright and sticking out. Alternatively, gezeira is referring to nothing other than something that breaks apart and falls, a reference to the goat, which is torn limb from limb. Alternatively, the word gezeira is written lest you say the procedure of the scapegoat is a meaningless act, since what sanctity and atonement is achieved in sending the goat to Azazel and pushing it from the cliff? Therefore, the verse states: “I am the Lord” (Leviticus 18:5), i.e., I, the Lord, decreed it [gezartiv], and you have no right to question it. Having clarified the reasoning of each opinion, the Gemara concludes its discussion of whether the limbs of the goat are permitted for benefit. Rava said: It is reasonable to rule in accordance with the one that said the limbs of the goat are permitted, since the Torah did not say: “And send the goat” to cause mishap. Once the man pushes the goat off the cliff, he is no longer responsible for it. Therefore, if it were prohibited to derive benefit from the goat’s remains, the mitzva itself could lead to a mishap if someone were to find the goat’s remains and make use of them. § The Sages taught: The word Azazel indicates that the cliff the goat is pushed from should be rough and hard. I might have thought that it may be located in a settled area. Therefore, the verse states: “In the wilderness.” And from where does one derive that the goat is pushed from a cliff? The verse states “gezeira,” indicating an area that is sharp, like a cliff. It was taught in another baraita: Azazel is a reference to the hardest mountain, and so it says: “And the mighty [eilei] of the land he took away” (Ezekiel 17:13). Azazel is interpreted as azaz-el, with the term el connoting something rough and hard. The school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: Azazel is so called because it atones for the actions of Uzza and Azael. These are the names of “sons of God” who sinned with “daughters of men” (Genesis 6:2) and thereby caused the world to sin during the generation of the Flood.