Tsok: and Beth Chadudo.
When they sent forth the goat Azazel, on the day of expiation, -- before that, they set up ten tents, a mile distant one from another: where some betook themselves before that day, that they might be ready to accompany him, who brought forth the goat. Those of the better rank went out of Jerusalem with him, and accompanied him to the first tent. There others received him, and conducted him to the second; others to the third, and so to the tenth. From the tenth to the rock Tsok, whence the goat was cast down, were two miles. They, therefore, who received him there, went not farther than a mile with him, that they might not exceed a sabbath day's journey: but, standing there, they observed what was done by him. "He snapped the scarlet thread into two parts, of which he bound one to the horns of the goat, and the other to the rock: and thrust the goat down; which, hardly coming to the middle of the precipice, was dashed and broke into pieces." The rock Tsok therefore was twelve miles distant from Jerusalem, according to later computation. But there are some, who assign nine-tenths only, and ten miles. -- See the Gemarists.

Tsok, among the Talmudists, is any more craggy and lofty rock. Hence is that, "she went up to the top of the rocks and fell." Where the Gloss writes, "Tsokin are high and craggy mountains."

The first entrance into the desert was three miles from Jerusalem, and that place was called 'Beth Chadudo.' The Misna of Babylon writes thus of it; "They say to the high priest, The goat is now come into the wilderness." But whence knew they, that he was now come into the wilderness? They set up high stones; and, standing on them, they shook handkerchiefs; and hence they knew that the goat was now got into the wilderness. R. Judah saith, 'Was not this a great sign to them?' From Jerusalem to Beth Chadudo were three miles. They went forward the space of a mile, and went back the space of a mile, and they tarried the space of a mile: and so they knew that the goat was now come to the wilderness.

The Jerusalem Misna thus: "R. Judah saith, Was not this a great sign to them? From Jerusalem to Beth-horon were three miles. They went forward the space of a mile," &c.

From these things compared, it is no improbable conjecture, that the goat was sent out towards Beth-horon, which both was twelve miles distant from Jerusalem, and had rough and very craggy rocks near it: and that the sense of the Gemarists was this, -- In the way to Beth-horon, were three miles to the first verge of the wilderness, -- and the name of the place was Beth Chadudo.

chapter 53 ephraim
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