Growing up, I learned that there is one spiritual entity that tempts us believers and scatters us, Satan. Some people, including the younger me, can ask about what Satan looks like or how he can manifest himself. There are so many depictions of Satan, and the most famous of them is the goat. As a Christian, I felt I should understand the depiction of Satan as a goat because he can come in any form to distract me from my faith. Therefore I was curious to find out the answer to the question, “Why is Satan a goat?”
It is suggested that Satan is the goat because it is believed that during Christ’s time on the earth, Satan was associated with Pan, god of wild animals. The Bible implies that Satan could be depicted as a goat through the parable of sheep and goat that Christ taught about. The goats were separated from the sheep by the shepherd and sent into hell, where Satan was burning.
Join me in this article as I write about why Satan is a goat. I will also explain why he has horns like a goat and the symbolic meaning of the goat in the Baphomet. Read on to find out.
Why is Satan Depicted as a Goat in Scripture?
It is speculated that Satan is depicted as a goat in the scripture because, during the days of Christ on earth, Satan was associated with the Greek god called Pan. During the time when Jesus was in this world, Jews were well aware of the Pan, the god whom they had built a shrine called Banias. Pan was the god of wild animals in ancient Greece. The Banias Shrine is believed to be located where Jesus and his disciples were traveling, and Peter started talking bout the death that was awaiting Jesus. In Mark 8:33, Jesus rebuked Peter and called out to Satan to get out and go behind him, as people suggest, in the shrine.
Also, Satan is depicted as a goat because of the parable that Jesus talks about in Matthew 25:31-46. The scripture gives a parable that compares how God will choose his people, the righteous will be like the sheep, and the goats are those who chose Satan. The scripture goes on to imply that the goats will be thrown into eternal fire. From this parable, Satan is often depicted as a goat because his followers seem to be just like him.
What is the symbolic meaning of the goat on the Baphomet statue?
It could symbolize satanic things and Satanism
The goat on the Baphomet statue could symbolize Satanism because of its use in the church of Satan. Also, it could symbolize Satanism because of the Biblical association of goats with sinners who would burn in the eternal fire with Satan, as suggested by the parable of sheep and goats. Also, the goat represents Satan himself, possibly because goats and Satan in the Bible were found in the desert. A goat was sent with the sins of the Israelites to the desert, and Satan was also present in the desert to tempt Jesus. So a goat is symbolic of Satanism.
Also, it could symbolize rebellion and destruction
A goat is always known to be rebellious and destructive, and for this reason, it could be compared to Satan. The presence of the goat could be to echo Satan’s attributes and the creators of Baphomet rebellious attitude toward Christ. Also, it could symbolize their will to cause destruction and distraction to believers of Christ.
When did Satan start getting associated with the goat?
It is speculated that Satan started getting associated with goats during the 6th Century Italy. There was a Mosaic that depicted Satan to be choosing goats while the angel beside Jesus chose the sheep. This art represents the parable of the sheep and goats, and it is suggested that the Devil’s horns come from this goat thing. Also, during that time, the goat was associated with fertility, but it is suggested that it came from underworld deities. In this sense, the goat is associated with Satan, who is believed to be an evil underworld deity.
Why does the Devil have goat horns?
In ancient times and even the current day, goats are always associated with rebellion and being stubborn; they destroy anything in their way, which could be a possible reason why the Devil is depicted to be having goat’s horns. The goats’ horns echo his pride and love for destruction. Goats are known to destroy everything unless they are keenly watched, which is one characteristic that Satan has and could be symbolized by the horns. Also, Satan is thought to be having horns like those of goats because of his main purpose; to scatter believers like goats go on to scatter the sheep.
Are all goats associated with the Baphomet statue?
It is implied that not all goats are associated with the Baphomet statue because goats are part of God’s beautiful creation and are often believed to symbolize positive things. First, it is believed that the goats were part of the temple in the sense that their hair was part of the material used to make the ark of the covenant. The ark of the covenant was the dwelling place of God in the temple. This implies that God was present where a goat’s material was, to mean that not all goats are satanic.
Also, goats were used as a form of sacrifice to cleanse the sins of the Israelites. On the Day of Atonement in the Biblical Israel culture, Yom Kippur, two goats were selected to be offered as a sacrifice so that Israelites’ sins were washed away. The two goats would be brought to the altar, and the priest would touch one of the goats as a sign that all the sins of the Israelites had landed on the goat, and it would be sent into the desert while the other goat would be slaughtered as a sacrifice. This is how the scapegoat idea came because the goat that was sent into the desert would die because of the sins of the Israelites. If truly all goats were satanic, there is no way that a goat would be used as a sacrifice in the temple of God, and again, there would be no way that a satanic creature could suffer for the sake of humanity. Also, people often compare the sacrificial lamb idea, when Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, to the Yom Kippur scapegoat—implying that Jesus was a scapegoat for humanity.
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.