Ordinance of the Red Heifer

19 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “This is the statute of the law which the Lord has commanded, saying, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel that they bring you an (A)unblemished red heifer in which there is no defect and (B)on which a yoke has never [a]been mounted. And you shall give it to (C)Eleazar the priest, and it shall (D)be brought outside the camp and be slaughtered in his presence. And Eleazar the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger and (E)sprinkle some of its blood toward the front of the tent of meeting seven times. Then the heifer shall be burned in his sight; (F)its hide, its flesh, and its blood, with its refuse, shall be burned. And the priest shall take (G)cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet material, and throw it into the midst of the [b]burning heifer. The priest (H)shall then wash his clothes and bathe his [c]body in water, and afterward come into the camp; but the priest will be [d]unclean until evening. The one who burns [e]the heifer shall also wash his clothes in water and bathe his [f]body in water, and will be unclean until evening. Now a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and put them outside the camp in a clean place, and [g]the congregation of the sons of Israel shall keep them for (I)water to remove impurity; it is [h]purification from sin. 10 And the one who gathers the ashes of the heifer (J)shall wash his clothes and will be unclean until evening; and it shall be a permanent statute for the sons of Israel and for the stranger who resides among them.

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  1. Numbers 19:2 Lit gone up
  2. Numbers 19:6 Lit burning of the heifer
  3. Numbers 19:7 Lit flesh
  4. Numbers 19:7 I.e., ritually unclean, and so throughout the ch
  5. Numbers 19:8 Lit it
  6. Numbers 19:8 Lit flesh
  7. Numbers 19:9 Lit it shall be to the congregation...Israel, for a guarding as water of impurity
  8. Numbers 19:9 Or a sin offering

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