I Enoch refers to the fallen angels of Genesis 6:1f as “Watchers.” They were angels sent to watch over humans but were seduced in their lusts for the daughters of men and cohabited with them. The book of Daniel refers to angels as “Watchers” three times. 200 of the heavenly watchers united in defiance of God and became demons upon the earth. I Enoch gives the names of the 20 leaders of ten. Another of the two hundred is mentioned by name: Azazel. He is credited with leading the human race astray. I Enoch chapter 8 says, “Azazel taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals of the earth and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and all colouring tinctures. And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they were led astray and became corrupt in all their ways.” The holy “watchers,” Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel saw all the evil and reported it to the Most High. They told God, “Thou seest what Azazel hath done, who hath taught all unrighteousness on earth and revealed the eternal secrets which were preserved in heaven, which men were striving to learn.”

God sends Raphael to deal personally with Azazel. He tells him to, “Bind Azazel hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert, which is in Dudael, and cast him therein.” Dudael is the prison of all the fallen angels, especially the evil Watchers. The way this place is described, Dudael is sometimes considered as a region of the underworld, comparable to Tartarus or Gehenna. The last two letters “el” is a reference to God Almighty. It is the “Dungeon of God” or the “Prison of God.” The most interesting thing about Azazel is that God tells the Holy Ones to attribute the current state of man’s sinfulness to him. God says, “And the whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azazel: to him ascribe all sin.”

In Leviticus, we read about the “scapegoat.” Two goats are to be selected and Leviticus 16:8-10 says, “And Aaron shall cast lots over the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for Azazel. And Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the Lord and use it as a sin offering, but the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel shall be presented alive before the Lord to make atonement over it, that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Azazel.” The blood of the first goat makes atonement for the sins of man. Those sins are then removed from man and symbolically placed on the head of the scapegoat and returned to the one who corrupted all mankind.  According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, “Far from involving the recognition of Azazel as a deity, the sending of the goat was, as stated by Naḥmanides, a symbolic expression of the idea that the people’s sins and their evil consequences were to be sent back to the spirit of desolation and ruin, the source of all impurity.”[1]

[1] https://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/2203-azazel