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Numbers 19Lexham English Bible (LEB)

Ashes of the Red Heifer

19 And Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “This is the decree of the law that Yahweh has commanded, saying, ‘Speak to the Israelites[a] and let them take to you a red heifer without a physical defect, on which a yoke has not been placed.[b] And you will give it to Eleazar the priest, and it will be brought[c] out to a place outside the camp, and it will be slaughtered[d] in his presence. Then Eleazar the priest will take some of its blood on his finger and spatter it toward the mouth of the tent of assembly seven times. The heifer will be burned[e] in his sight; its skin, its meat, and its blood, in addition to its offal, will burn. The priest will take cedar wood, hyssop, and crimson thread, and he will throw them in the midst of the burning heifer.[f] The priest will wash his garments and his body in the water, and afterward he will come to the camp; the priest will be unclean until the evening. The one who burns it will wash his garments and his body in water; he will be unclean until the evening. A clean man will gather the ashes of the heifer, and he will put them in a clean place outside the camp;[g] it will be for the community of the Israelites[h] as a requirement for waters of impurity; it is a purification offering. 10 The one who gathers the ashes of the heifer will wash his garments; he will be unclean until evening. It will be an eternal decree for the Israelites[i] and for one who dwells as an alien in their midst.

11 “‘The one who touches a corpse of any person[j] will be unclean for seven days. 12 He will purify himself on the third day, and on the seventh day he will be clean. If he does not purify himself on the third day, he will not be clean on the seventh day. 13 Anyone who touches a corpse, the person of a human being who died, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of Yahweh, and that person will be cut off from Israel because the waters of impurity were not sprinkled on him. He will still be unclean, and uncleanness is on him.

14 “‘This is the law of a person who dies in a tent: everyone who comes into the tent and all who are in the tent will be unclean seven days. 15 Every container that is opened that does not have a lid cord[k] on it is unclean. 16 Anyone in the open field[l] who touches one who has been slain,[m] or a corpse, or a bone of a person, or a burial site, he will be unclean for seven days. 17 For the unclean person they will take[n] from the powder of the burnt purification offering,[o] and they will put[p] running water into a container. 18 A clean person will take hyssop and dip it into the water and sprinkle it on the tent and on all the objects and persons who were there, and on one who touched the bone, or the one slain, or the dead, or the burial site. 19 The clean person will spatter the unclean on the third day and on the seventh day; and on the seventh day he will purify him, and he will wash his garments; he will bathe in the waters, and in the evening he will be clean. 20 But the man who is unclean and does not purify himself, that person will be cut off from the midst of the assembly because he defiled the sanctuary of Yahweh; the water of impurity was not sprinkled on him; he is unclean.

21 “‘It will be an eternal decree for them. The one who spatters the waters of impurity will wash his garments, and the one who touches the waters of impurity will be unclean until the evening. 22 Anything that the unclean person touches will be unclean, and the person who touches it will be unclean until the evening.’”

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 19:2 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  2. Numbers 19:2 Literally “has not gone up”
  3. Numbers 19:3 Or “he will bring it out”
  4. Numbers 19:3 Or “he will slaughter it”
  5. Numbers 19:5 Hebrew “The heifer will burn”
  6. Numbers 19:6 Literally “the burning of the heifer”
  7. Numbers 19:9 Literally “an outside place of the camp”
  8. Numbers 19:9 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  9. Numbers 19:10 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  10. Numbers 19:11 Literally “any human person”
  11. Numbers 19:15 That is, “that does not have a lid tied shut”
  12. Numbers 19:16 Literally “upon the face of a field”
  13. Numbers 19:16 Literally “the dead of sword”
  14. Numbers 19:17 Hebrew “he will take”
  15. Numbers 19:17 Or “burning of the sin offering”
  16. Numbers 19:17 Hebrew “he will put”
Lexham English Bible (LEB)

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Numbers 19New International Version (NIV)

The Water of Cleansing

19 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: “This is a requirement of the law that the Lord has commanded: Tell the Israelites to bring you a red heifer without defect or blemish and that has never been under a yoke. Give it to Eleazar the priest; it is to be taken outside the camp and slaughtered in his presence. Then Eleazar the priest is to take some of its blood on his finger and sprinkle it seven times toward the front of the tent of meeting. While he watches, the heifer is to be burned—its hide, flesh, blood and intestines. The priest is to take some cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet wool and throw them onto the burning heifer. After that, the priest must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water. He may then come into the camp, but he will be ceremonially unclean till evening. The man who burns it must also wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he too will be unclean till evening.

“A man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and put them in a ceremonially clean place outside the camp. They are to be kept by the Israelite community for use in the water of cleansing; it is for purification from sin. 10 The man who gathers up the ashes of the heifer must also wash his clothes, and he too will be unclean till evening. This will be a lasting ordinance both for the Israelites and for the foreigners residing among them.

11 “Whoever touches a human corpse will be unclean for seven days. 12 They must purify themselves with the water on the third day and on the seventh day; then they will be clean. But if they do not purify themselves on the third and seventh days, they will not be clean. 13 If they fail to purify themselves after touching a human corpse, they defile the Lord’s tabernacle. They must be cut off from Israel. Because the water of cleansing has not been sprinkled on them, they are unclean; their uncleanness remains on them.

14 “This is the law that applies when a person dies in a tent: Anyone who enters the tent and anyone who is in it will be unclean for seven days, 15 and every open container without a lid fastened on it will be unclean.

16 “Anyone out in the open who touches someone who has been killed with a sword or someone who has died a natural death, or anyone who touches a human bone or a grave, will be unclean for seven days.

17 “For the unclean person, put some ashes from the burned purification offering into a jar and pour fresh water over them. 18 Then a man who is ceremonially clean is to take some hyssop, dip it in the water and sprinkle the tent and all the furnishings and the people who were there. He must also sprinkle anyone who has touched a human bone or a grave or anyone who has been killed or anyone who has died a natural death. 19 The man who is clean is to sprinkle those who are unclean on the third and seventh days, and on the seventh day he is to purify them. Those who are being cleansed must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and that evening they will be clean. 20 But if those who are unclean do not purify themselves, they must be cut off from the community, because they have defiled the sanctuary of the Lord. The water of cleansing has not been sprinkled on them, and they are unclean. 21 This is a lasting ordinance for them.

“The man who sprinkles the water of cleansing must also wash his clothes, and anyone who touches the water of cleansing will be unclean till evening. 22 Anything that an unclean person touches becomes unclean, and anyone who touches it becomes unclean till evening.”

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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