Acts 1:18;

(Then indeed this man acquired a field out of the reward of unrighteousness, and having fallen headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out.

Lev 16:6-10 Azazel on Yom Kippur

6 Aaron is to present the bull for his sin offering and make atonement for himself and his household. 7 Then he shall take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.

8 After Aaron casts lots for the two goats, one for the LORD and the other for the scapegoat, [= "Azazel"] 9 he shall present the goat chosen by lot for the LORD and sacrifice it as a sin offering. 10 But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat [= "Azazel"] shall be presented alive before the LORD to make atonement by sending it into the wilderness as the scapegoat [= "Azazel"].

  • 1
    Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics. Your question is unclear. Acts 1:18 informs us that Judas Iscariot took his life and Leviticus 6:6-10 is about bringing a ram as a guilt offering tothe priest, then goes onto talk about the burnt offering. Would you please copy and paste the exact Bible verses you refer to and clarify what your question is? You may wish to take our Tour to understand what we look for in questions that show evidence of your own research: hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/tour
    – Lesley
    Oct 20, 2023 at 15:17
  • also, please include the actual passages, not just the verse numbers. An apparent typo has led to serious confusion, because the reference to the scapegoat is in chapter 16, not 6. Oct 20, 2023 at 16:17
  • I'm missing something here. There is no indication of why anyone would think the two cited scriptures are in any way related. Oct 22, 2023 at 16:09
  • The OP seems to be looking at the OT idea of atonement at Yom Kippur... Jesus is the sacrificial offering, Judas is the one who is sent away. The parallel doesn't hold up but I can see how one might think that. Oct 23, 2023 at 5:22

1 Answer 1


I will address two possible meanings of the question: 1) Judas as the scapegoat and Jesus as the sacrifice; and 2) Judas as the scapegoat and Matthias as the one who remains in the camp.

Acts 1:18 is the story of Judas "falling headlong" into the potters field. The OP's "6:6-10" was a typo. Lev. 16:6-10 reads:

Aaron shall offer the bull, his purification offering, to make atonement for himself and for his household. Taking the two male goats and setting them before the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting, he shall cast lots to determine which one is for the Lord and which for Azazel. The goat that is determined by lot for the Lord, Aaron shall present and offer up as a purification offering. But the goat determined by lot for Azazel he shall place before the Lord alive, so that with it he may make atonement by sending it off to Azazel in the desert.

Judas and Jesus

If Judas is the one sent away while Jesus is the one sacrificed, then there does seem to be a parallel. But Christian theology does not accept that Judas' death in any way atoned for our sins, while Leviticus says that the priest confesses the congregation's sins and lays them on the scapegoat. (see. vs. 21). Also the priest "shall make atonement (for the congregation) by sending it off to Azazel in the desert." For Christians, Jesus combines the roles of both the sacrificial goat and the scapegoat. So ultimately, the analogy fails.

Judas and Matthias

If Judas is the one sent away and his replacement is the one who remains in the camp, it is a different matter. The key to the this interpretation the issue of the casting of lots. Acts 1:23-26

So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this apostolic ministry from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.” Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was counted with the eleven apostles.

Conclusion: If the OP means that Judas was "sent away" while Jesus was sacrificed, then the parallel works in one sense but fails in major way, because Jesus combined the symbolic roles of the both goats. In other words, Jesus alone atoned for the people's sins while Judas' death had no redemptive value. If the OP means that Judas was sent away while Matthias was chosen by lot to replace him, the parallel also fails, because Judas left the fold before the lots were cast.

  • I do notice this: [Num 25:10, 13 NASB95] [10] Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ... [13] and it shall be for him and his descendants after him, a covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the sons of Israel.'" He did this by murdering the irreverent.
    – Ruminator
    Oct 20, 2023 at 17:11
  • I don't see what this has to do with the question of Judas as the scapegoat. Oct 20, 2023 at 17:18
  • 1
    Ruminator, Azazel means "entire removal" in Hebrew. One goat is sacrificed and it serves as a blood offering for the sin of Israel. The other goat, called "entire removal," is set free in the wilderness (demonstrating atonement). So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” - Matthew 27:17 NIV Pilate then washed his hands after releasing Barabbas, reminding us of Leviticus 16. BUT, John the Immerser introduced Jesus as "the lamb of God," reminding us of Passover and personal atonement.
    – Dieter
    Oct 21, 2023 at 3:17
  • In Jewish tradition Azazel is the name of a desert demon or evil power, to whom the goat is sent. It is not the name of the goat. jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/2203-azazel Oct 22, 2023 at 15:33

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