Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Did God Really Ordain Sacrifices to Satan?

Refuting the Blasphemous Lies of A Leading Taqiyyist Pt. 1

Sam Shamoun

Would Christians be surprised to learn that Muslim–turned apostate–turned Muslim again–turned apostate again–turned Muslim once again Ibn Anwar is not above distorting sources in order to attack the Holy Bible? Would it come as a shock to learn that this neophyte dishonestly imputes to God’s revealed Word, the Holy Bible, things that it does not teach by deceptively wrenching the statements of scholars out of their intended contexts in order to make them claim something that is completely different from what they do in fact say?

This Muslim greenhorn has produced an article (*) where he blasphemously claims that God actually ordained that sacrifices should be made to Satan!

He argues that according to Leviticus 16:8, 10, Aaron was commanded to present one of the goats to Azazel on the Day of Atonement. This greenhorn claims that Azazel is a name of Satan and concludes from this that Satan must have played an important role in procuring “the remission, atonement and expiation of sins”.

He then mines for quotes which he thinks actually prove his case.

Before we begin addressing his rather highly selective citations it is vitally important that we first quote the entire context of Leviticus 16 to see what is really going on here:

“The LORD spoke to Moses after the death of two of Aaron’s sons when they approached the presence of the LORD and died. The LORD said to Moses: ‘Tell your brother Aaron that he may not come whenever he wants into the holy place behind the veil in front of the mercy seat on the ark or else he will die, because I appear in the cloud above the mercy seat.

“‘Aaron is to enter the most holy place in this way: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. He is to wear a holy linen tunic, and linen undergarments are to be on his body. He must tie a linen sash around him and wrap his head with a linen turban. These are holy garments; he must bathe his body with water before he wears them. He is to take from the Israelite community two male goats for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering.

“‘Aaron will present the bull for his sin offering and make atonement for himself and his household. Next he will take the two goats and place them BEFORE THE LORD at the entrance to the tent of meeting. After Aaron casts lots for the two goats, one lot for the LORD and the other for azazel, he is to present the goat chosen by lot for the LORD and sacrifice it as a sin offering. But the goat chosen by lot for azazel is to be PRESENTED ALIVE BEFORE THE LORD to make purification with it by sending it into the wilderness for azazel.

“‘When Aaron presents the bull for his sin offering and makes atonement for himself and his household, he will slaughter the bull for his sin offering. Then he must take a firepan full of fiery coals from the altar before the LORD and two handfuls of finely ground fragrant incense, and bring them inside the veil. He is to put the incense on the fire before the LORD, so that the cloud of incense covers the mercy seat that is over the testimony, or else he will die. He is to take some of the bull’s blood and sprinkle it with his finger against the east side of the mercy seat; then he will sprinkle some of the blood with his finger before the mercy seat seven times.

“‘When he slaughters the male goat for the people’s sin offering and brings its blood inside the veil, he must do the same with its blood as he did with the bull’s blood: he is to sprinkle it against the mercy seat and in front of it. He will purify the most holy place in this way for all their sins because of the Israelites’ impurities and rebellious acts. He will do the same for the tent of meeting that remains among them, because it is surrounded by their impurities. No one may be in the tent of meeting from the time he enters to make atonement in the most holy place until he leaves after he has made atonement for himself, his household, and the whole assembly of Israel. Then he will go out to the altar that is before the LORD and make atonement for it. He is to take some of the bull’s blood and some of the goat’s blood and put it on the horns on all sides of the altar. 19 He is to sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times to cleanse and set it apart from the Israelites’ impurities.

“‘When he has finished purifying the most holy place, the tent of meeting, and the altar, he is to present the live male goat. Aaron will lay both his hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the Israelites’ wrongdoings and rebellious acts—all their sins. He is to put them on the goat’s head and send it away into the wilderness by the man appointed for the task. The goat will carry on it all their wrongdoings into a desolate land, and he will release it there.

“‘Then Aaron is to enter the tent of meeting, take off the linen garments he wore when he entered the most holy place, and leave them there. He will bathe his body with water in a holy place and put on his clothes. Then he must go out and sacrifice his burnt offering and the people’s burnt offering; he will make atonement for himself and for the people. He is to burn the fat of the sin offering on the altar. The man who released the goat for azazel is to wash his clothes and bathe his body with water; afterward he may reenter the camp. The bull for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought into the most holy place to make atonement, must be brought outside the camp and their hide, flesh, and dung burned up. The one who burns them is to wash his clothes and bathe himself with water; afterward he may reenter the camp.

“‘This is to be a permanent statute for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month you are to practice self-denial and do no work, both the native and the foreigner who resides among you. Atonement will be made for you on this day to cleanse you, and you will be clean from all your sins BEFORE THE LORD. It is a Sabbath of complete rest for you, and you must practice self-denial; it is a permanent statute. The priest who is anointed and ordained to serve as high priest in place of his father will make atonement. He will put on the linen garments, the holy garments, and purify the most holy place. He will purify the tent of meeting and the altar and will make atonement for the priests and all the people of the assembly. This is to be a permanent statute for you, to make atonement for the Israelites once a year because of all their sins.’ And all this was done as the LORD commanded Moses.”Leviticus 16:1-34

It is rather apparent from the context that whoever or whatever azazel was/is, no sacrifices were offered to him/it. Rather, both goats belonged to the Lord, which is why they were presented to him alone, who then decided which of the goats would be sent into the wilderness for azazel.

The context also makes it clear that the reason why the goat for azazel was cast off into the wilderness is because all of Israel’s sins had been imputed to it. By banishing it into the desert with the entire sins of the nation placed upon it, God was showing his people that their transgressions had been cast off from them so that they could enjoy intimate fellowship with their holy and righteous God who cannot and will not tolerate sin in his majestic and glorious presence:

For You are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil cannot dwell with You. The boastful cannot stand in Your presence; You hate all evildoers. You destroy those who tell lies; the LORD abhors a man of bloodshed and treachery. But I enter Your house by the abundance of Your faithful love; I bow down toward Your holy temple in reverential awe of You.” Psalm 5:4-7

“If I had been aware of malice in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” Psalm 66:18

“Indeed, the LORD’s hand is not too short to save, and His ear is not too deaf to hear. But your iniquities have built barriers between you and your God, and your sins have made Him hide His face from you so that He does not listen.” Isaiah 59:1-2

“Then they will cry out to the LORD, but He will not answer them. He will hide His face from them at that time because of the crimes they have committed.” Micah 3:4

Your eyes are too pure to look on evil, and You cannot tolerate wrongdoing. So why do You tolerate those who are treacherous? Why are You silent while one who is wicked swallows up one who is more righteous than himself?” Habakkuk 1:13

The goat therefore reassured the Israelites that Yahweh had removed all their sins from his righteous and holy sight, and so they didn’t have to fear whether God would abandon and/or destroy them, provided of course that they maintained covenant faithfulness as a sign of their sincere repentance and regret over having transgressed against God’s revealed will.

With that said, it is time for us to move to the next part where we will examine the scholars which the neophyte cited to prove his blasphemous assertions.