Ashes of the Red Cow
1The LORD commanded Moses and Aaron 2to give the Israelites the following regulations. Bring to Moses and Aaron a red cow which has no defects and which has never been put to work, 3and they will give it to Eleazar the priest. It is to be taken outside the camp and killed in his presence.+ 4Then Eleazar is to take some of its blood and with his finger sprinkle it seven times in the direction of the Tent. 5The whole animal, including skin, meat, blood, and intestines, is to be burnt in the presence of the priest. 6Then he is to take some cedar wood, a sprig of hyssop, and a red cord and throw them into the fire. 7After that, he is to wash his clothes and pour water over himself, and then he may enter the camp; but he remains ritually unclean until evening. 8The man who burnt the cow must also wash his clothes and pour water over himself, but he also remains unclean until evening. 9+ Then a man who is ritually clean is to collect the ashes of the cow and put them in a ritually clean place outside the camp, where they are to be kept for the Israelite community to use in preparing the water for removing ritual uncleanness. This ritual is performed to remove sin. 10The man who collected the ashes must wash his clothes, but he remains unclean until evening. This regulation is valid for all time to come, both for the Israelites and for the foreigners living among them.
Contact with a Corpse
11Whoever touches a corpse is ritually unclean for seven days. 12He must purify himself with the water for purification on the third day and on the seventh day, and then he will be clean. But if he does not purify himself on both the third and the seventh day, he will not be clean. 13Whoever touches a corpse and does not purify himself remains unclean, because the water for purification has not been thrown over him. He defiles the LORD's Tent, and he will no longer be considered one of God's people.
14If someone dies in a tent, anyone who is in the tent at the time of death or who enters it becomes ritually unclean for seven days. 15Every jar and pot in the tent that has no lid+ on it also becomes unclean. 16If someone touches a person who has been killed or has died a natural death out of doors or if someone touches a human bone or a grave, he becomes unclean for seven days.
17To remove the uncleanness, some ashes from the red cow which was burnt to remove sin shall be taken and put in a pot, and fresh water added. 18In the first case, someone who is ritually clean is to take a sprig of hyssop, dip it in the water, and sprinkle the tent, everything in it, and the people who were there. In the second case, someone who is ritually clean is to sprinkle the water on the man who had touched the human bone or the dead body or the grave. 19On the third day and on the seventh the person who is ritually clean is to sprinkle the water on the unclean person. On the seventh day he is to purify the man, who, after washing his clothes and pouring water over himself, becomes ritually clean at sunset.
20Anyone who has become ritually unclean and does not purify himself remains unclean, because the water for purification has not been thrown over him. He defiles the LORD's Tent and will no longer be considered one of God's people. 21You are to observe this rule for all time to come. The person who sprinkles the water for purification must also wash his clothes; anyone who touches the water remains ritually unclean until evening. 22Whatever an unclean person touches is unclean, and anyone else who touches it remains unclean until evening.
Good News Translation® with Deuterocanonicals/Apocrypha (Today’s English Version, Second Edition) © 1992 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.
Anglicisation © The British and Foreign Bible Society 1976, 1994, 2004
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