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The Red Heifer Ritual

19:1 1 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron: 19:2 “This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord has commanded: ‘Instruct2 the Israelites to bring3 you a red4 heifer5 without blemish, which has no defect6 and has never carried a yoke. 19:3 You must give it to Eleazar the priest so that he can take it outside the camp, and it must be slaughtered before him.7 19:4 Eleazar the priest is to take8 some of its blood with his finger, and sprinkle some of the blood seven times9 directly in front of the tent of meeting. 19:5 Then the heifer must be burned10 in his sight—its skin, its flesh, its blood, and its offal is to be burned.11 19:6 And the priest must take cedar wood, hyssop,12 and scarlet wool and throw them into the midst of the fire where the heifer is burning.13 19:7 Then the priest must wash14 his clothes and bathe himself15 in water, and afterward he may come16 into the camp, but the priest will be ceremonially unclean until evening. 19:8 The one who burns it17 must wash his clothes in water and bathe himself in water. He will be ceremonially unclean until evening.

19:9 “ ‘Then a man who is ceremonially clean must gather up the ashes of the red heifer and put them in a ceremonially clean place outside the camp. They must be kept18 for the community of the Israelites for use in the water of purification19—it is a purification for sin.20 19:10 The one who gathers the ashes of the heifer must wash his clothes and be ceremonially unclean until evening. This will be a permanent ordinance both for the Israelites and the resident foreigner who lives among them.


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