1 The LordI spokeII to MosesIII and Aaron,IV saying,
2 “This is a statuteV of the lawVI that the Lord has commanded:VII
TellVIII the IsraelitesIX to bringX you
a redXI heiferXII without defect,XIII
in which there is no blemishXIV and on which no yokeXV has been laid.XVI 3 You shall giveXVII it to the priestXVIII Eleazar,XIX
and it shall be takenXX outsideXXI the campXXII and slaughteredXXIII in his presence.XXIV
4 The priest Eleazar shall takeXXV some of its bloodXXVI with his fingerXXVII and sprinkleXXVIII itXXIX
sevenXXX timesXXXI toward the frontXXXII of the tentXXXIII of meeting.XXXIV
5 Then the heifer shall be burnedXXXV in his sight;XXXVI its skin,XXXVII its flesh,XXXVIII and its blood, with its entrails,XXXIX shall be burned.
6 The priest shall takeXL cedarwood,XLI hyssop,XLII
and crimson materialXLIII and throwXLIV them intoXLV the fire in which the heifer is burning.XLVI
7 Then the priest shall washXLVII his clothesXLVIII and batheXLIX his bodyL in water,LI
and afterwardLII he may comeLIII into the camp, but the priest shall remain uncleanLIV until evening.LV 8 The one who burns the heifer shall wash his clothes in water and bathe his body in water; he shall remain unclean until evening.
9 Then someoneLVI who is cleanLVII shall gather upLVIII
the ashesLIX of the heifer and depositLX them outside the camp in a clean place,LXI
and they shall beLXII keptLXIII for the congregationLXIV of the Israelites for the water for cleansing.LXV It is a purification offering.LXVI 10 The one who gathers the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening.
“This shall be a perpetualLXVII statute for the Israelites and for the alienLXVIII residingLXIX amongLXX them.
11 Those who touchLXXI the dead bodyLXXII of anyLXXIII human beingLXXIV shall be unclean seven days.LXXV
12 They shall purifyLXXVI themselves with the water on the thirdLXXVII day and on the seventhLXXVIII day and so be clean,LXXIX but if they do not purify themselves on the third day and on the seventh day, they will not become clean.LXXX
13 AllLXXXI who touch a corpse,LXXXII the bodyLXXXIII of a human being who has died,LXXXIV
and do not purify themselves defileLXXXV the tabernacleLXXXVI of the Lord;LXXXVII such personsLXXXVIII shall be cut offLXXXIX from Israel.
Since water for cleansing was not dashedXC on them, they remain unclean;XCI their uncleannessXCII is stillXCIII on them.
14 “This is the law when someoneXCIV dies in a tent: everyoneXCV who comes into the tent and everyone who is in the tent shall be uncleanXCVI seven days. 15 And everyXCVII openXCVIII vesselXCIX
with no coverC fastenedCI on it is unclean.CII 16 WhoeverCIII in the openCIV fieldCV touches
one who has been killedCVI by a swordCVII or who has died naturally, or a human bone,CVIII or a graveCIX shall be uncleanCX seven days.
17 For the uncleanCXI they shall takeCXII some ashesCXIII of the burntCXIV purification offering, and runningCXV water shall be addedCXVI in a vessel;
18 then a clean personCXVII shall takeCXVIII hyssop, dipCXIX it in the water, and sprinkle it on the tent, on all the furnishings,CXX on the personsCXXI who were there, and on whoever touched the bone, the slain,CXXII the corpse, or the grave.
19 The clean person shall sprinkle the uncleanCXXIII ones on the third day and on the seventh day, thus purifying them on the seventh day. Then they shall wash their clothes and bathe themselves in water, and at evening they shall be clean. 20 AnyCXXIV who are uncleanCXXV but do not purify themselves,
those personsCXXVI shall be cut off fromCXXVII the assembly,CXXVIII for they have defiled the sanctuaryCXXIX of the Lord. Since the water for cleansing has not been dashed on them, they are unclean.
21 “It shall be a perpetual statute for them. The one who sprinkles the water for cleansing shall wash his clothes, and whoever touches the water for cleansing shall be uncleanCXXX until evening. 22 Whatever the uncleanCXXXI person touches shall be unclean,CXXXII and anyoneCXXXIII who touches it shall be uncleanCXXXIV until evening.”
Image credit: “Red Heifer” by Rennett Stowe, 2015.