From ArticleWorld

A Scapegoat is the term used for a person, group, or inanimate object upon which the blame for the crimes or misfortunes of others is thrown. The person or group blamed may have had nothing, or little, to do with what happened or did not happen. The original scapegoat was Biblical, a real goat which metaphorically carried sins of the whole community into the desert.

Different origins

According to the Hebrew bible on the day of Yom Kippur two goats and a bull were brought to the Holy Temple as a part of the various ceremonies to be held that day. The bull and one of the goats was sacrificed as burnt offerings while one of the goats was kept aside. The priest of the temple confessed the sins of the people of Israel on this goat’s head and cast him out into the wilderness. Another version of the legend says that the goat was pushed over a mountain cliff. While he took the blame of all the people of the country, the people themselves were held blameless.

In Christianity, the Lord Jesus is supposed to be the scapegoat having taken upon himself the sins of the people and then cast in the wilderness. Another version talks of two goats, one representing Jesus, who atones for the sins while the other represents Satan on whom the sins of the world will be placed, at the end of time as a punishment for his sins.

Derived meaning

Any person who is set up or framed for a calamity or a loss is known as a scapegoat. Well known examples of scapegoats can be in every field and all pats of the world. Some important scapegoats were:

  1. Jews in Germany, who were blamed for its economic and political collapse.
  2. Many minority groups the world over who are less equipped to defend themselves.
  3. Andres Escobar, who was shot dead after his team lost the chance to play in the 1994 World Cup after he shot a same side goal.