Was the scapegoat sent away to wander freely in the desert?
The Torah, in referring to the sending away of the scapegoat in the
desert (Lev.16:22), uses the term "eretz gezerah". Targum Onkelos
translates "gezerah" as "uninhabited", but Targum Yonasan translates
it as "steep" or "mountainous".
The Mishnah (Yoma 6:6) says explicitly that the scapegoat was pushed
off a cliff. The Talmud (Yoma 67b) derives various aspects of the
procedure from (midrashic) interpretations of the word "gezerah".
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