The Bible in Its Traditions

Numbers 19:1–22

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And YHWH spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying

And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying,

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This is the statute of the law which YHWH hath commanded, saying: Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer, faultless, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke.

This is the constitution of the law, as the Lord has commanded, saying, Speak to the sons of Israel, and let them take for thee a red heifer without spot, which has no spot on her, and on which no yoke has been put.

“This is the ritual that the Lord has appointed for a victim. Instruct the sons of Israel, so that they may bring to you a red cow of full maturity, in which there is no blemish, and which has not carried a yoke.

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And ye shall give her unto Eleazar the priest, and she shall be brought forth without the camp, and she shall be slain before his face.

And you shall deliver it to Eleazar the priest, who, having led it out beyond the camp, shall immolate it in the sight of all.

And you shall give her to Eleazar the priest, that he may bring her forth outside the camp, and one shall slaughter her in his sight;

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And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood toward the front of the tent of meeting seven times.

And Eleazar shall take of her blood, and sprinkle of her blood seven times in front of the tabernacle of witness.

And dipping his finger in its blood, he shall sprinkle it seven times, opposite the door of the tabernacle.

And the heifer shall be burnt in his sight; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall be burnt.

And they shall burn her to ashes before him; and her skin and her flesh and her blood, with her dung, shall be consumed.

And he shall burn it, while all are watching, delivering into the flame, not only its skin and flesh, but also the blood and dung.

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And the priest shall take cedar-wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer.

Likewise, cedar wood, and hyssop, and twice-dyed scarlet he shall cast into the flame, by which the cow is consumed.

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Then the priest shall wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he may come into the camp, and the priest shall be unclean until the even.

And the priest shall wash his garments, and bathe his body in water, and afterwards he shall go into the camp, and the priest shall be unclean till evening.

And then finally, having washed his garments and his body, he shall enter into the camp, and he shall be deeply stained until evening.

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And he that burneth her shall wash his clothes in water, and bathe his flesh in water, and shall be unclean until the even.

Then he also who had burned it shall wash his garments and his body, and he shall be unclean until evening.

And a man that is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and lay them up without the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a water of sprinkling; it is a purification from sin.

Then a clean man shall gather the ashes of the cow, and he shall pour them out beyond the camp, in a very pure place, so that they may be preserved for the multitude of the sons of Israel, and for the water of aspersion, because the cow was burned for sin.

10  And he that gathereth the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even; and it shall be unto the children of Israel, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among them, for a statute for ever.

10  And when he who had carried the ashes of the cow will have washed his garments, he shall be unclean until evening. The sons of Israel, and the newcomers who live among them, shall have this as a holy and perpetual right.

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11  He that toucheth the dead, even any man's dead body, shall be unclean seven days;

11  Whoever touches the corpse of a man, and is, because of this, unclean for seven days,

11  He who touches the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days.

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12  the same shall purify himself therewith on the third day and on the seventh day, and he shall be clean; but if he purify not himself the third day and the seventh day, he shall not be clean.

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13  Whosoever toucheth the dead, even the body of any man that is dead, and purifieth not himself--he hath defiled the tabernacle of YHWH--that soul shall be cut off from Israel; because the water of sprinkling was not dashed against him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him.

13  Anyone who will have touched the dead body of a human life, and who has not been sprinkled with this mixture, pollutes the tabernacle of the Lord, and he shall perish out of Israel. For not having been sprinkled with the water of expiation, he shall be unclean, and his filth shall remain upon him.

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14  This is the law: when a man dieth in a tent, every one that cometh into the tent, and every thing that is in the tent, shall be unclean seven days.

14  And this is the law; if a man die in a house, every one that goes into the house, and all things in the house, shall be unclean seven days.

14  This is the law of a man who dies in a tent. All who enter into his tent, and all the vessels which are there, shall be polluted for seven days.

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15  And every open vessel, which hath no covering close-bound upon it, is unclean.

15  The vessel that has no cover or binding over it shall be unclean.

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16  And whosoever in the open field toucheth one that is slain with a sword, or one that dieth of himself, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.

16  And every one who shall touch a man slain by violence, or a corpse, or human bone, or sepulchre, shall be unclean seven days.

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17  And for the unclean they shall take of the ashes of the burning of the purification from sin, and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel.

17  And they shall take some of the ashes from the burning and the sin offering, and they shall pour living waters over them into 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 that were there, and upon him that touched the bone, or the slain, or the dead, or the grave.

18  And into it a man who is clean shall dip hyssop, and he shall sprinkle from it the entire tent, and all its articles, and the men who were polluted by means of contact.

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 him; and he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even.

19  And so, in this manner, what is clean shall purify what is unclean, on the third and seventh days. And have been expiated on the seventh day, he shall wash both himself and his garments, and he shall be unclean until evening.

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20  But the man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from the midst of the assembly, because he hath defiled the sanctuary of YHWH; the water of sprinkling hath not been dashed against him: he is unclean.

20  And whatever man shall be defiled and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from the midst of the congregation, because he has defiled the holy things of the Lord, because the water of sprinkling has not been sprinkled upon him; he is unclean.

20  If anyone has not been expiated by this ritual, his soul shall perish from the midst of the Church. For he has polluted the Sanctuary of the Lord, and he has not been sprinkled with purifying waters.

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21  And it shall be a perpetual statute unto them; and he that sprinkleth the water of sprinkling shall wash his clothes; and he that toucheth the water of sprinkling shall be unclean until even.

21  This precept shall be an everlasting ordinance. Likewise, the one who has sprinkled the waters shall wash his garments. All who will have touched the waters of expiation shall be unclean until evening.

22  And whatsoever the unclean person toucheth shall be unclean; and the soul that toucheth him shall be unclean until even.

22  Whatever has been touched by something unclean will itself be made unclean. And the soul who touches any of these things shall become unclean until evening.”