19 1-3 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Here is another of my laws: Tell the people of Israel to bring you a red heifer without defect, one that has never been yoked. Give her to Eleazar the priest and he shall take her outside the camp and someone shall kill her as he watches. 4 Eleazar shall take some of her blood upon his finger and sprinkle it seven times toward the front of the Tabernacle. 5 Then someone shall burn the heifer as he watches—her hide, meat, blood, and dung. 6 Eleazar shall take cedar wood and hyssop branches and scarlet thread, and throw them into the burning pile.
7 “Then he must wash his clothes, and bathe, and afterwards return to the camp and be ceremonially defiled until the evening. 8 And the one who burns the animal must wash his clothes and bathe, and he too shall be defiled until evening. 9 Then someone who is not ceremonially defiled shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and place them in some purified place outside the camp, where they shall be kept for the people of Israel as a source of water for the purification ceremonies, for removal of sin. 10 And the one who gathers up the ashes of the heifer must wash his clothes and be defiled until evening; this is a permanent law for the benefit of the people of Israel and any foreigners living among them.
11 “Anyone who touches a dead human body shall be defiled for seven days, 12 and must purify himself the third and seventh days with water run through the ashes of the red heifer[a]; then he will be purified; but if he does not do this on the third day, he will continue to be defiled even after the seventh day. 13 Anyone who touches a dead person and does not purify himself in the manner specified has defiled the Tabernacle of the Lord, and shall be excommunicated from Israel. The cleansing water was not sprinkled upon him, so the defilement continues.
14 “When a man dies in a tent, these are the various regulations: Everyone who enters the tent, and those who are in it at the time, shall be defiled seven days. 15 Any container in the tent without a lid over it is defiled.
16 “If someone out in a field touches the corpse of someone who has been killed in battle or who has died in any other way, or if he even touches a bone or a grave, he shall be defiled seven days. 17 To become purified again, ashes from the red heifer sin offering[b] are to be added to spring water in a kettle. 18 Then a person who is not defiled shall take hyssop branches and dip them into the water and sprinkle the water upon the tent and upon all the pots and pans in the tent, and upon anyone who has been defiled by being in the tent, or by touching a bone, or touching someone who has been killed or is otherwise dead, or has touched a grave. 19 This shall take place on the third and seventh days; then the defiled person must wash his clothes and bathe himself, and that evening he will be out from under the defilement.
20 “But anyone who is defiled and doesn’t purify himself shall be excommunicated, for he has defiled the sanctuary of the Lord, and the water to cleanse him has not been sprinkled upon him; so he remains defiled. 21 This is a permanent law. The man who sprinkles the water must afterwards wash his clothes; and anyone touching the water shall be defiled until evening. 22 And anything a defiled person touches shall be defiled until evening.”
New International Version
The Water of Cleansing
19 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 2 “This is a requirement of the law that the Lord has commanded: Tell the Israelites to bring you a red heifer(A) without defect or blemish(B) and that has never been under a yoke.(C) 3 Give it to Eleazar(D) the priest; it is to be taken outside the camp(E) and slaughtered in his presence. 4 Then Eleazar the priest is to take some of its blood on his finger and sprinkle(F) it seven times toward the front of the tent of meeting. 5 While he watches, the heifer is to be burned—its hide, flesh, blood and intestines.(G) 6 The priest is to take some cedar wood, hyssop(H) and scarlet wool(I) and throw them onto the burning heifer. 7 After that, the priest must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water.(J) He may then come into the camp, but he will be ceremonially unclean till evening. 8 The man who burns it must also wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he too will be unclean till evening.
9 “A man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer(K) and put them in a ceremonially clean place(L) outside the camp. They are to be kept by the Israelite community for use in the water of cleansing;(M) it is for purification from sin.(N) 10 The man who gathers up(O) the ashes of the heifer must also wash his clothes, and he too will be unclean till evening.(P) This will be a lasting ordinance(Q) both for the Israelites and for the foreigners residing among them.(R)
11 “Whoever touches a human corpse(S) will be unclean for seven days.(T) 12 They must purify themselves with the water on the third day and on the seventh day;(U) then they will be clean. But if they do not purify themselves on the third and seventh days, they will not be clean.(V) 13 If they fail to purify themselves after touching a human corpse,(W) they defile the Lord’s tabernacle.(X) They must be cut off from Israel.(Y) Because the water of cleansing has not been sprinkled on them, they are unclean;(Z) 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(AA) 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,(AB) or anyone who touches a human bone(AC) or a grave,(AD) will be unclean for seven days.(AE)
17 “For the unclean person, put some ashes(AF) from the burned purification offering into a jar and pour fresh water(AG) over them. 18 Then a man who is ceremonially clean is to take some hyssop,(AH) dip it in the water and sprinkle(AI) 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(AJ) or anyone who has been killed or anyone who has died a natural death. 19 The man who is clean is to sprinkle(AK) those who are unclean on the third and seventh days, and on the seventh day he is to purify them.(AL) Those who are being cleansed must wash their clothes(AM) 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(AN) the sanctuary of the Lord.(AO) The water of cleansing has not been sprinkled on them, and they are unclean.(AP) 21 This is a lasting ordinance(AQ) 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(AR) person touches becomes unclean, and anyone who touches it becomes unclean till evening.”