HISTORY BEHIND THE WORD’ SCAPEGOAT’

DO U KNOW WHAT ‘SCAPEGOAT’ REALLY MEANS?

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The use of scapegoats is as old as civilization itself, and examples of it can be found in cultures around the world. The main idea behind these sacrifices is the shifting of guilt or sin to an outside figure- object, animal, or man- which is then banished or destroyed. The Hebrews used to take a live goat (hence the term ‘scapegoat’) upon whose head the priest would lay both hands while confessing the sins of the Children of Israel. Having thus had those sins transferred to it, the beast would be led away and abandoned in the wilderness. With the Athenians and the Aztecs, the scapegoat was human, often a person fed and raised for the purpose. Since famine and plague were thought to be visited on humans by the Gods, in punishment for wrong doing, the people suffered not only from famine and plague themselves but from blame and guilt. They freed themselves of guilt by transferring it to an innocent person, whose death was intended to satisfy the divine powers and banish the evil from the midst.

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