Pseudepigrapha

1 Enoch 10:1-10

1. Then said the Most High, the Holy and Great One spake, and sent Uriel to the son of Lamech, and said to him: 2. 'Go to Noah and tell him in my name "Hide thyself!" and reveal to him the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed, and a deluge is about to come upon the whole earth, and will destroy all that is on it. 3. And now instruct him that he may escape and his seed may be preserved for all the generations of the world.' 4. And again the Lord said to Raphael: 'Bind Azazel hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert, which is in Dudael, and cast him therein. 5. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there for ever, and cover his face that he may not see light. 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 Azazel: 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.'

Rabbinic

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”, i.e., I, the Lord, decreed it [gezartiv], and you have no right to question it.

... 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” and thereby caused the world to sin during the generation of the Flood.