Azazel and His Place of Binding
The etymology of Azazel (lzaz[e - Strongs 5799) is not entirely agreed upon. The KJV and others presume it
to be derived from a combination of ez azal (lza z[e), which the KJV understands as “goat sent away” -- with
ez (z[e - Strongs 5795) meaning “goat”, and azal (lza - Strongs 235) meaning “sent away”. However, ez might
best be understood as having the literal meaning of its underlying root.* This underlying root is azaz (zz[e -
Strongs 5810), which means “prevalence”, “strengthened”, or “impudence” in the sense of being
strengthened against someone. Thus Azazel may be understood to be more properly derived from the roots
azaz azal (lza zz[), and a better literal translation of the name might be “prevalence sent away” or perhaps
“impudence sent away”. This name makes sense if Azazel were the seed of Lilith. She would name her son
after her and his circumstances, namely that in her perception a “prevalence” against God, which was her and
her seed, had been sent away from the garden. Lilith’s key feature is that she in rivalry against Eve and her
seed, God’s select, and that Lilith believes she and her seed should be prevalent on earth, just as Lucifer
believed he should be prevalent in heaven.
Although the etymology of Azazel is in doubt, there is some confirming evidence to suggest that azaz azal
(‘prevalence sent away’) is on the right track. This evidence comes from the name of Azazel’s place of
imprisonment, Dudael, mentioned in 1 Enoch 10:4-8. Dudael is most likely derived from dadah el (la hdd),
meaning “submission to God”. Dadah (hdd - Strongs 1718) is rendered “to go softly” by KJV, but it is clear
from its two uses in the Bible (Ps 42:4, Isa 38:15) that it more properly means ‘to submit’. Gesenius holds this
meaning also, noting that it comes from a related Arabic root meaning ‘to waver’ or ‘to totter’ in going. So we
see that be being bound in Dudael, Azazel was bound in a place of “submission to God”. This is in perfect
contrast to his boasting name, which was ‘prevalence sent away’ or ‘impudence sent away’. So in judgement
the impudent against God is bound in submission to God’s power.
Dudael is sometimes referred to by other names. Yoma 6:8 of the Mishnah refers to the place as Beth Hadudu
(wdwdx tyb), which literally means ‘house of his piercing.’ The second word comes from the root hadad (ddx
-Strongs 2300), meaning ‘to be sharp’. As Conick points out, Beth Hadudu is probably based on some clever
Hebrew wordplay, for in Enoch 10:5 Azazel is tossed upon rough and jagged rocks, and the root hadad sounds
similar to dadah.
* The tendency for understanding the ez root as meaning “goat” instead of its literal interpretation doubtlessly draws
heavily upon the fact a goat is used in the ceremony.