Where Does the Term “Scapegoat” Come From and What Does the Word Mean?

The term scapegoat or escape goat entered the English language with William Tyndale’s translation of the Hebrew Bible in 1525.

Under the Law of Moses, the Yom Kippur ritual of atonement involved two goats.

One was sacrificed to the Lord, while all the sins of the people were transferred to the other.

The scapegoat was then led into the wilderness, taking all the sins of the Israelites with it.

An innocent person who takes the blame for others is called a “scapegoat”.

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