- 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 offal.
- 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 shall be kept by the Israelite community for use in the water
of cleansing; it is for purification from sin.
- 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 aliens
living among them.
- "Whoever touches the dead body of anyone
will be unclean for seven days.
- He must purify himself with the water on
the third day and on the seventh day; then he will be clean. But if he does
not purify himself on the third and seventh days, he will not be clean.
- Whoever touches the dead body of anyone
and fails to purify himself defiles the LORD'S tabernacle. That person must
be cut off from Israel. Because the water of cleansing has not been sprinkled
on him, he is unclean; his uncleanness remains on him.
- "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,
- and every open container without a lid fastened
on it will be unclean.
- "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
- "For the unclean person, put some ashes
from the burned purification offering into a jar and pour fresh water over
- 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 someone who has been killed or someone
who has died a natural death.
- The man who is clean is to sprinkle the
unclean person on the third and seventh days, and on the seventh day he is
to purify him. The person being cleansed must wash his clothes and bathe with
water, and that evening he will be clean.
- But if a person who is unclean does not
purify himself, he must be cut off from the community, because he has defiled
the sanctuary of the LORD. The water of cleansing has not been sprinkled on
him, and he is unclean.
- 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.
- Anything that an unclean person touches
becomes unclean, and anyone who touches it becomes unclean till evening."