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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread May 9th, 2007, 01:53 am
emile's Avatar
Sifu
 
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Default Scapegoats

How did the word 'scapegoat' come about? Anyone know?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread May 9th, 2007, 02:26 am
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Clive Hawkins
 
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Default Re: Scapegoats

Hi there,

Interesting question. I found this on a site. Don't know if it's the true origin but here goes:

scapegoat - a person blamed for a problem - from the ancient Jewish annual custom, whereby two goats were brought before the alter of the tabernacle (place of worship) by the high priest on the Day of Atonement. Lots were drawn to determine which goat should be sacrificed. The surviving goat then had the sins of the priest and the people transferred to it by the priest's confession, after which it was taken into the wilderness and allowed to escape, hence 'scapegoat' ('scape' was a middle English abbreviation of 'escape' which is still a word but has disappeared from use).

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Unread May 9th, 2007, 08:37 pm
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Default Re: Scapegoats

Hey thanks Clive, that's interesting.

Also, it's interesting that they had the notion in those days of 'transferring sins' to others, which of course cropped up again in the New Testament!
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Unread May 10th, 2007, 10:03 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: Scapegoats

Yes - that's the origin. It's the subject of a painting by Holman Hunt - picture, description and sarcastic review quoted here.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread May 10th, 2007, 08:37 pm
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Default Re: Scapegoats

Thanks Susan. That's a weird painting, but more interesting when you know the story behind it.
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