T˛ V 1-10-. Preparation of water. W -10. A statute for ever. V 11-20. Use of the water. W 21,22. A statute forever.
1: And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying,
2: "This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord has commanded (= statute. The whole clause = Fig. Pleonasm, for emphasizing the lesson of the red heifer), saying, "Speak to the sons of Israel, that they take (this is the third of 3 events during the punishment wanderings. See note on "while", 15:32.) you a red heifer without defect (Christ is the Anti-type, see Heb. 9:14), wherein is no blemish (cp. 1 Pet. 1:19), and upon which never came yoke:
3: And you all shall give her to Eleazar the priest, that he may bring her forth outside the camp (cp. the Anti-type, Heb.13:12), and one shall slay her before his face:
4: And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood directly before the tent of the congregation seven times:
5: And one shall burn (down. Heb. sâraph) the heifer in his sight; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall he burn:
6: And the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer.
7: Then the priest shall wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp, and the priest shall be unclean until the even.
8: And he that burns her shall wash his clothes in water (cp. Lev.16:28), and bathe his flesh in water, and shall be unclean until the even.
9: And a man that is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and lay them up outside the camp in a clean place (cp. the anti-type, Joseph of Arimathea. Matt. 27:57-60. Luke 23:50-53. John 19:38-42), and it shall be kept for the congregation of the sons of Israel for a water of separation: it is a purification for sin.
10: And he that gathers the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening:
and it shall be to the sons of Israel, and to the stranger that sojourns among them, for a statute for ever.
V a 11,12. Purification. b 13. Threatening. a 14-19. Purification. b 20. Threatening.
11: He that touches the dead body (= soul, nephesh) of any man shall be unclean seven days.
12: He shall purify himself with it on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean (cp. the Anti-type, Heb. 9:14. #3 = Divine perfection, #7 = spiritual perfection.): but if he purify not himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be clean.
13: Whosoever touches the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifies not himself, defiles the tabernacle (dwelling place) of the Lord; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel: because the water of separation was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him.
14: This is the law, when a man dies in a tent: all that come into the tent, and all that is in the tent, shall be unclean seven days.
15: And every open vessel, which has no covering bound upon it, it is unclean.
16: And whosoever touches one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body (Heb. bemęth, no word for body = one dead, as in v.18, not vv.11 and 13), or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.
17: And for an unclean person they shall take of the ashes (= dust) of the burnt (down) heifer of purification for sin, and running water (= living water, i.e. not stagnant) shall be put thereto in a vessel:
18: And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons (= souls) that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave:
19: And the clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day: and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, and wash his clothes (the common rite, see Lev.11:25; 14:8,9, &c.), and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even.
20: But the man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul (Heb. nepesh, used of "living souls" and "dead souls". Cp. vv.11,13 where it is rendered "any" and "body" respectively) shall be cut off from among the congregation, because he has defiled the sanctuary of the Lord: the water of separation has not been sprinkled upon him; he is unclean.
21: And it shall be a perpetual statute to them, that he that sprinkles the water of separation shall wash his clothes; and he that touches the water of separation shall be unclean until evening.
22: And whatsoever the unclean person touches shall be unclean; and the soul that touches it shall be unclean until evening.