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Numbers - Chapter 19

Numbers Chapters

1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron and said:

2 'This is a decree of the Law which Yahweh has prescribed. Tell the Israelites, they are to bring you a red heifer without fault or blemish that has never borne the yoke.

3 You will give it to the priest Eleazar. It will then be taken outside the camp and slaughtered in his presence.

4 The priest Eleazar will then take some of the victim's blood on his finger, and sprinkle this blood seven times towards the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.

5 The heifer will then be burnt while he looks on; its hide, flesh, blood and offal will be burnt.

6 The priest will then take some cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet material and throw them on the fire where the heifer is burning.

7 He will then wash his clothes and bathe himself; after which he will go back to the camp, though he will remain unclean until evening.

8 The man who has burnt the heifer will wash his clothes and bathe himself and will remain unclean until evening.

9 The man who gathers up the ashes of the heifer must be ritually clean; he will deposit them outside the camp, in a clean place. They will be kept for the ritual use of the Israelite community for making water for purification; it is a sacrifice for sin.

10 The man who has gathered up the ashes of the heifer will wash his clothes and remain unclean until evening. For the Israelites as for the resident alien, this will be a perpetual decree.

11 'Anyone who touches the corpse of anyone whatever will be unclean for seven days.

12 Such a person must be purified with these waters on the third and seventh day and will then be clean; otherwise he will not be clean.

13 Anyone who touches the corpse of anyone who has died and is not purified, defiles Yahweh's Dwelling; such a person will be outlawed from Israel, since the water for purification has not been sprinkled over him; he is unclean, and his uncleanness remains in him.

14 'This is the law when someone dies in a tent. Anyone who goes into the tent, or anyone who is already in it, will be unclean for seven days,

15 and every open vessel with no cover tied over it will also be unclean.

16 'Anyone in the open country who touches a murder victim, a corpse, human bones or a grave will be unclean for seven days.

17 'For someone thus unclean, some of the ashes of the victim burnt as a sacrifice for sin will be taken and spring water must be poured over them, in a vessel.

18 Someone who is ritually clean will then take some hyssop and dip it in the water. This person will then sprinkle the tent, all the vessels and people who were there, and similarly anyone who has touched human bones, a murder victim, a corpse or a grave.

19 On the third and the seventh day the clean one will sprinkle the unclean, who on the seventh day will be clean. The latter will then wash his clothes and bathe in water, and in the evening he will be clean.

20 Anyone who fails to be purified in this way will be outlawed from the community, and would defile Yahweh's sanctuary. Such a person is unclean, not having been sprinkled with the water for purification.

21 'This will be a perpetual decree for them. The person who sprinkles the water for purification will wash his clothes, and anyone who touches the water for purification will be unclean until evening.

22 Anything that an unclean person touches will be unclean, and anyone who touches it will be unclean until evening.'


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