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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words

Goat-Demons

Śâ‛ı̂yr (שָׂעִר, Strong's #8163), “goat-demons; goat-idols.” This word occurs 4 times in biblical Hebrew. In its first biblical appearance, the word represents “goat-demons” (some scholars translate it “goat-idols”): “And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils [NASB, “goat demons”], after whom they have gone a whoring” (Lev. 17:7). This passage demonstrates that the word represents beings that were objects of pagan worship. Worship of these “demons” persisted long in the history of Israel, appearing under Jeroboam I (929-909 B.C.), who “… ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils [RSV, “satyrs”], and for the calves which he had made” (2 Chron. 11:15). In this instance, śâ‛ı̂yr represents idols that Jeroboam had manufactured. Josiah’s revival probably involved the breaking down of the high places of the goat-demons (2 Kings 23:8).

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Goat-Demons'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/vot/g/goat-demons.html. 1940.

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