Origin: West Semitic
Se’irim (singular: se’ir) are goat-shaped Semitic spirits. Their name derives from sai’ir meaning “hairy” or “shaggy.” In Leviticus 17:7, Jews are forbidden to sacrifice to them, which of course indicates that some were following this practice, necessitating legislation against it. Information about them has been almost totally suppressed. It is possible that the medieval image of the goat-shaped devil derives from the Se’irim. The word is translated as “devil” but also as “goat.” Se’irim and Shedim are not synonymous.
See also: Azazel; Shedim
From the Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.