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Numbers 19 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

The Special Water That Makes People “Clean”

19 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron. He said, “Here is what the law I have commanded requires. Tell the Israelites to bring you a young red cow. It must not have any flaws at all. It must never have pulled a load. Give it to Eleazar the priest. It must be taken outside the camp and killed in front of him. Then Eleazar the priest must put some of its blood on his finger. He must sprinkle the blood toward the front of the tent of meeting. He must do it seven times. While he watches, the young cow must be burned. Its hide, meat, blood and guts must be burned. The priest must get some cedar wood, branches of a hyssop plant, and bright red wool. He must throw them on the young cow as it burns. After that, the priest must wash his clothes. He must also take a bath. Then he can come into the camp. But he will be ‘unclean’ until evening. The man who burns the young cow must wash his clothes. He must also take a bath. He too will be ‘unclean’ until evening.

“A man who is ‘clean’ will gather up the ashes of the young cow. He must put them in a place that is ‘clean.’ The place must be outside the camp. The ashes must be kept by the community of Israel. They will be added to the special water. The water will be used to make people pure from their sin. 10 The man who gathers up the ashes of the young cow must wash his clothes. He too will be ‘unclean’ until evening. This law is for the Israelites. It is also for the outsiders living among them. The law will last for all time to come.

11 “Anyone who touches a dead person’s body will be ‘unclean’ for seven days. 12 They must make themselves pure and ‘clean’ with the special water. They must do it on the third day. They must also do it on the seventh day. Then they will be ‘clean.’ But suppose they do not make themselves pure and ‘clean’ on the third and seventh days. Then they will not be ‘clean.’ 13 Anyone who touches a dead person’s body and does not make themselves pure and ‘clean’ makes my holy tent ‘unclean.’ They must be separated from Israel. The special water has not been sprinkled on them. So they are ‘unclean.’ And they remain ‘unclean.’

14 “Here is the law that applies when a person dies in a tent. Anyone who enters the tent will be ‘unclean’ for seven days. Anyone in the tent will also be ‘unclean’ for seven days. 15 And anything in it that is open and has no lid will be ‘unclean.’

16 “Suppose someone is out in the country. And suppose they touch someone who has been killed by a sword. Or they touch someone who has died a natural death. Or they touch a human bone or a grave. Then anyone who touches any of those things will be ‘unclean’ for seven days.

17 “Here is what I want you to do for someone who is ‘unclean.’ Put some ashes from the burned young cow into a jar. Pour fresh water on the ashes. 18 Then a man who is ‘clean’ must dip branches of a hyssop plant in the water. He must sprinkle the tent with it. Everything that belongs to the tent must be sprinkled with it. The people in the tent must also be sprinkled. Anyone who has touched a human bone or a grave must be sprinkled. So must anyone who has touched someone who has been killed. And so must anyone who has touched someone who has died a natural death. 19 The man who is ‘clean’ must sprinkle those who are ‘unclean.’ That must be done on the third and seventh days. On the seventh day those who are ‘unclean’ must be made pure and ‘clean.’ Those being made ‘clean’ must wash their clothes. They must take a bath. Then that evening they will be ‘clean.’ 20 But what if those who are ‘unclean’ do not make themselves pure and ‘clean?’ Then they must be separated from the community. They have made my holy tent ‘unclean.’ The special water has not been sprinkled on them. They are ‘unclean.’ 21 This law will apply to all those people for all time to come.

“The man who sprinkles the special water must also wash his clothes. Anyone who touches the water will be ‘unclean’ until evening. 22 Anything that an ‘unclean’ person touches becomes ‘unclean.’ And anyone who touches it becomes ‘unclean’ until evening.”

New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Numbers 19 New 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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