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Monday, July 11, 2011

The Red Heifer Sacrifice Fulfilled in Messiah

By Maria Merola אריאל 
© Copyright Double Portion Inheritance, March 2012
http://www.DoublePortionInheritance.com/


Most people are familiar with the concept of our Messiah as the Passover Lamb in the New Testament Scriptures. We will now examine every place where it says that he was, indeed, the Passover Lamb.

1st Corinthians 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Messiah our Passover is sacrificed for us.

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

John 1:29 The next day Yahuwchanon (John) saw Yahuwshuwa (Jesus) coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of Elohiym (God), which takes away the sin of the world.

John 1:36 And looking upon Yahuwshuwa (Jesus) as he walked, he said, Behold the Lamb of Elohiym!

Acts 8:32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth.

1st Peter 1:19 But with the precious blood of Messiah, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

Exodus 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: you shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats.

For those who believe in the validity of the New Testament Scriptures (Briyth Chadashah), it is apparent that the Messiah of Israel fulfilled the pattern of the Passover Lamb. However, for a Jew who does not believe that Yahuwshuwa (Jesus) is the Messiah of Israel, the concept of him as a Passover Lamb presents a few problems from the Mosaic Law (Towrah).

Scripture tells us that after YaHuWaH brought Israel into the Promised Land, they were to slaughter the Passover Lamb only in Jerusalem, “Where he has chosen to place his name.”

Where & When Does Towrah Command That We Kill the Passover?

Deuteronomy 16:2 You shall therefore sacrifice the Passover unto YHWH your Elohiym, of the flock and the herd, in the place which YHWH shall choose to place his name there.

Deuteronomy 16:6 But at the place which YHWH your Elohiym shall choose to place his name in, there you shall sacrifice the Passover at evening, at the going down of the sun, at the season that you came forth out of Mitzrayim (Egypt).

And Where Has YaHuWaH Chosen To Place His Name?

1st Kings 11:36 And unto his son will I give one tribe, that Dawiyd (David) my servant may have a light alway before me in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), the city which I have chosen me to put my name there.

2nd Kings 21:4 And he built altars in the house of YHWH, of which YHWH said, In Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) will I put my name.

2nd Kings 21:7 And he set a graven image of the grove that he had made in the house, of which YHWH said to Dawiyd (David), and to Shelomo (Solomon) his son, In this house, and in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), which I have chosen out of all tribes of Yisra’el, will I put my name forever.

2nd Kings 23:27 And YHWH said, I will remove Yahuwdah (Judah) also out of my sight, as I have removed Yisra’el, and will cast off this city Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.

2nd Chronicles 6:6 But I have chosen Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), that my name might be there; and have chosen Dawiyd (David) to be over my people Yisra’el.

2nd Chronicles 33:4 Also he built altars in the house of YHWH, whereof YHWH had said, In Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) shall my name be forever.

2nd Chronicles 33:7 And he set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of Elohiym, of which Elohiym had said to Dawiyd (David) and to Shelomo (Solomon) his son, In this house, and in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), which I have chosen before all the tribes of Yisra’el, will I put my name forever.

Since our Messiah was slaughtered outside the city limits of Jerusalem (at the Place of the Skull), most Jews disqualify him as the Passover Lamb. What they fail to recognize, is that our Messiah was killed in the very same place where Abraham offered up his son, Isaac on Mount Moriah!

Thus, there are two altars in Jerusalem:

1.) In the Temple, where all the animal sacrifices are to be offered.

2.) On the Mount of Olives where the Red Heifer is to be offered outside of the city.

Rico Cortes explained in one of his lectures, that Yitzchaq (Isaac) was offered up by Abraham on Mount Moriah at the base of the Mount of Olives----not on the Temple Mount as many have supposed!

The Towrah teaches that the “altar” sanctifies the sacrifice:

Matthew 23:19 You fools and blind: for which is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifies the gift?

Exodus 40:10 And you shall anoint the altar of the burnt offering, and all his vessels, and sanctify the altar: and it shall be an altar most holy.

In Numbers 19 there is an ordinance for the Red Heifer sacrifice to be killed whenever the altar had become defiled in the Temple. A perfect Red Heifer was to be escorted outside the city walls of Jerusalem, and then killed by the priest. The ashes of the Red Heifer would be used to cleanse the altar.

Now we understand why our Messiah had to also perform the role of the Red Heifer. He was escorted outside the city limits of Jerusalem, he was then killed, and his remains served as an offering to cleanse the altar in the Temple!

This is precisely why the veil in the Temple was torn in half at the precise moment when our Messiah drew his last breath and gave up his spirit (Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45).

The Mount of Olives is also where Yahuwshuwa prayed the night before his crucifixion (Luke 22:39; John 8:1).

This means that the “Holy Place” where the Abomination of Desolation will be seen may not necessarily be on the Dome of the Rock as many have speculated. It could effectively be on an altar built at the base of the Mount of Olives!

This would explain why Pope Benedict conducted a Roman Catholic Mass at the base of the Mount of Olives in 2009!

Is it possible that the Vatican knows something that we do not? Perhaps they were marking their so-called “territory” for the future Abomination of Desolation. See this blog for more details:


The sacrifice is what sanctifies the altar in the Temple. And since the altar was defiled on that day, (when as a nation), the Jewish people shed innocent blood corporately. Scripture demands blood for blood:

Genesis 9:6 Whoso sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of Elohiym made he man.

Numbers 35:33 So you shall not pollute the land wherein you are: for blood it defiles the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.

Mark 15:13 And they cried out again, Crucify him.

Mark 15:14 Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil has he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.

Luke 23:21 But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.

Luke 11:50 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation.

Luke 11:51 From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zachariah which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.

As we can see, that generation of the Jewish nation disqualified themselves when they unanimously shouted “Crucify him, crucify him!”

The ashes of a Red Heifer was the only thing that could cleanse the altar in the Temple that year, so that the Passover Lamb was acceptable in heaven.

Messiah Seen as the Red Heifer

Hebrews 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh.

Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to Elohiym, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living Elohiym?

What is the significance of the Red Heifer, and more importantly how does it relate to the Messiah and the Temple? Let us examine the Bible texts on the matter.

Numbers 19:

1 Now YHWH said to Moshe and to Aaron,

2 “This is the statute of the law which YHWH has commanded: Tell the people of Israel to bring you a red heifer without defect, in which there is no blemish, and upon which a yoke has never come.”

*Note: this gives meaning to what Messiah said in Matthew 11. The yoke is a symbol of slavery to a man-made religious system.

Matthew 11:

28 Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Numbers 19:3 And you shall give her to Elea’zar the priest, and she shall be taken outside the camp and slaughtered before him;

Numbers 19:4 and Elea’zar the priest shall take some of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle some of her blood toward the front of the tent of meeting seven times.

Numbers 19:5 And the heifer shall be burned in his sight; her skin, her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall be burned;

Numbers 19:6 and the priest shall take cedarwood and hyssop and scarlet stuff, and cast them into the midst of the burning of the heifer.

Numbers 19:7 Then the priest shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterwards he shall come into the camp; and the priest shall be unclean until evening.

Numbers 19:8 He who burns the heifer shall wash his clothes in water and bathe his body in water, and shall be unclean until evening.

Numbers 19:9 And a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and deposit them outside the camp in a clean place; and they shall be kept for the congregation of the people of Israel for the water for impurity, for the removal of sin.

*Note: the word “clean” in the above passage is the Hebrew word “tahor” which means “Ceremonially, or ritually clean.”

This is borne out in the fact that Joseph of Arimathea donated his brand new tomb (wherein no dead body had ever been laid) according to John 19:41. Additionally, Joseph of Arimathea was a man who would have been “Ceremonially, or ritually clean” since he did was a follower of the Messiah, a righteous Pharisee.

Numbers 19:10 And he who gathers the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until evening. And this shall be to the people of Israel, and to the stranger who sojourns among them, a perpetual statute.

Numbers 19:11 “He who touches the dead body of any person shall be unclean seven days;

Numbers 19:12 he shall cleanse himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day, and so be clean; but if he does not cleanse himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not become clean.

*Note: Our Messiah was crucified on the 4th day of the week (what we today call Wednesday). He resurrected after “three days and three nights” (on the third day). The duration of that week of Unleavened Bread lasted for seven days according to Exodus 12:15. This ordinance in Numbers 19 is meant to point us to the week of Unleavened Bread wherein our Messiah was sacrificed on Passover; He was resurrected on the third day, which was also on the seventh day of the week just before sundown; and then he appeared to his disciples before the completion of the week of Unleavened Bread.

Numbers 19:13 Whoever touches a dead person, the body of any man who has died, and does not cleanse himself, defiles the tabernacle of YHWH, and that person shall be cut off from Israel; because the water for impurity was not thrown upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is still on him.”

The purpose of the Red Heifer was to cleanse the tent of meeting. It was to bear sin and the impurity of Israel. The ashes were to be gathered up and stored in a clean place outside the camp.

What is the significance of the place for the ashes being stored as being a clean, or unused place?

Mark 15:43 Joseph of Arimathea, an honorable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of Elohiym, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Yahuwshuwa.

John 19:38 And after this Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Yahuwshuwa, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Yahuwshuwa: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Yahuwshuwa.

John 19:41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.

The ashes of the Red Heifer were kept for the people of Israel for the water for impurity. Thus, this object was the source of the material used for the sanctifying waters that purified Israel. This whole structure was to make the sacrifice of purification. It is followed immediately by the rite of the cleansing of those that were impure by reason of their handling a dead person.

All these times and events relate back also to the Passover Sacrifice. Messiah is widely understood to have been the Passover Sacrifice and, by his death on 14th of Abib/Nissan, he saved and sanctified Israel. He fulfilled a number of other sacrifices at the same time to enable the all-saving aspects of the redemption to take effect.

All those that buried Messiah were held to be unclean for seven days. In other words, they were unclean up until the last Holy Day of Unleavened Bread. On the Passover, therefore, they had to see the corpse down off the cross (stake, stauros) before sundown so that the people were not unclean.

Given some of the rabbinical views, they would have been unclean for the entirety of the feast. However, the Dead Sea Scrolls show that the later interpretations were wrong. They took the body down before dark so that they did not profane the first Holy Day.

This Holy Day commenced on Wednesday evening at nightfall. The Red Heifer was the instrument that sanctified the people in this circumstance. It was not the Passover lamb that performed that function initially. It was for this reason that Messiah had to be placed in a clean tomb that had borne no other corpse. This was symbolic of the remains of the heifer. Messiah had to remain uncontaminated until his ascension. His death satisfied the entire sacrificial requirements of the Temple once and for all.

He was buried at sunset, and his resurrection was widely accepted in the early centuries as being in the evening at sunset. Thus he was three full days in the tomb from sunset to sunset.

The Gospel of Matthew makes it clear that the resurrection took place before the sun went down on the seventh day of the week (what we today call Saturday). It was approaching the end of the Sabbath, which means Saturday evening before the sun went down.

The word used in the King James Version is “dawn” (epiphosko) which can also mean “dusk” as the literal meaning is “a mixture of light and darkness.” It also means “to draw on.”

Luke 23:54 uses the same word “epiphosko” in this way: And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on [epiphosko].

Matthew 28:1 In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn [draw on] toward the first [day] of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

*Note: the word “day” is italicized in the above passage in the King James Version, indicating that it was added by the English translators. This was not the daylight hours. This was approaching sundown on the Sabbath, which commences the first calendar date of the week. Thus, Saturday at sundown officially begins the first calendar day of the week.

Matthew 28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of YHWH descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

Matthew 28:3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

Matthew 28:4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

Matthew 28:5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not you: for I know that you seek Yahuwshuwa which was crucified.

Matthew 28:6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Master lay.

Matthew 28:7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goes before you into Galilee; there shall you see him: lo, I have told you.

The resurrection of many righteous souls took place at this time:

Matthew 27:

50 Yahuwshuwa, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up his spirit.

51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the set-apart ones which slept arose,

53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

The purpose here is to note the texts as understanding the resurrection to have taken place at the end of the Sabbath, approaching the beginning of the first day of the week. Thus, Messiah was in the tomb three days and three nights. This clean receptacle was symbolic of the receptacle for the remains of sanctification.

This sacrifice was also the mark of salvation and the inheritance of Israel given to Abraham.

Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of YHWH came to Abram in a vision, “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.

Genesis 15:2 But Abram said, “O Master ELOHIYM, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Elie’zer of Damascus?”

Genesis 15:3 And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring; and a slave born in my house will be my heir.”

Genesis 15:4 And behold, the word of YHWH came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; your own son shall be your heir.”

Genesis 15:5 And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”

Genesis 15:6 And he believed YHWH; and he reckoned it o him as righteousness.

Genesis 15:7 And he said to him, “I am YHWH who brought you from Ur of the Chalde’ans, to give you this land to possess.

Genesis 15:8 But he said, “O Master ELOHIYM, how am I to know that I shall possess it?”

Genesis 15:9 He said to him,“Bring me a heifer three years old, a she-goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”

*Note: Our Messiah had a ministry that lasted for three and a half years. All three of these sacrifices point us to him. The Red Heifer is for the cleansing of the altar. The she-goat is for Yom Kippur to make atonement for Israel. The Ram is the substitute offering for the first-born sons of Israel. These three sacrifices were divided in half, because later on in history, Israel would be divided as a nation, and become “Two Houses of Israel.” The turtledove and pigeon are for sin offerings (Leviticus 12:6), therefore they were not divided in half.

Genesis 15:10 And he brought him all these, cut them in two, and laid each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two.

Genesis 15:11 And when birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

Genesis 15:12 As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram; and lo, a dread and great darkness fell upon him.

Genesis 15:13 Then YHWH said to Abram, “Know of a surety that your descendants will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs, and will be slaves there, and they will be oppressed for four hundred years;

Genesis 15:14 but I will bring judgment on the nation which they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions.

Genesis 15:15 As for yourself, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age.

Genesis 15:16 And they shall come back here in the fourth generation; for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

Genesis 15:17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.

Genesis 15:18 On that day YHWH made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphra’tes,

Genesis 15:19 the land of the Ken’ites, the Ken’izzites, the Kad’monites,

Genesis 15:20 the Hittites, the Per’izzites, the Reph’aim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Gir’gashites and the Jeb’usites.

Elohiym told Abraham he would receive an inheritance. Eliezar of Damascus was his heir at that time. He was also told to sacrifice a heifer, a she-goat and a ram all three years’ old with the dove and the pigeon.

This sacrifice pointed towards the heir and the replacement of the priesthood symbolized by Eliezar with the sons of the promise of the priesthood of Melchizedek. The sacrifices were three years’ old, seemingly symbolizing the witness of the ministry of Messiah and John the Baptist. The sun was dark at the evening as it was with the crucifixion and, at evening when it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between the pieces of the sacrifices which had been split in two.

The presence of Elohiym is symbolized here passing between the pieces which was identified with the establishment of His covenant. This process involved the promise of the birthright and the redemption of the nations of Abraham within Israel which would bear the messianic promise. This act looked towards the covenant that would be fulfilled in Messiah.

The sacrifice of an unyoked heifer also involves cleansing Israel for the shedding of innocent blood:

Deuteronomy 21:

1 If in the land which YHWH your Elohiym gives you to possess, any one is found slain, lying in the open country, and it is not known who killed him,

2 then your elders and your judges shall come forth, and they shall measure the distance to the cities which are around him that is slain;

3 and the elders of the city which is nearest to the slain man shall take a heifer which has never been worked and which has not pulled in the yoke.

4 And the elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a valley with running water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer’s neck there in the valley.

5 And the priests the sons of Levi shall come forward, for YHWH your Elohiym has chosen them to minister to him and to bless in the name of YHWH, and by their word every dispute and every assault shall be settled.

6 And all the elders of that city nearest to the slain man shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley;

7 and they shall testify, ‘Our hands did not shed this blood, neither did our eyes see it shed.

8 Forgive, O YHWH your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, and set not the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of your people Israel; but let the guilt of blood be forgiven them.’

9 So you shall purge the guilt of innocent blood from your midst, when you do what is right in the sight of YHWH.

It has been rumored that Pontius Pilate later on became a believer in Messiah because of his wife Claudia who had foreboding dreams about the Messiah. Perhaps him washing his hands of innocent blood was a witness to the Red Heifer?


Matthew 27:24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see you to it.

Deuteronomy 21:1-9 is an ordinance that was done to remove the guilt of innocent blood from Israel. The unyoked requirement signifies freedom from slavery to another religious system. The power of judgment also passed into the kingship. Thus, judgment also rested with Messiah, again symbolized by this form of sacrifice.

1st Samuel 16:1 YHWH said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, seeing I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.”

1st Samuel 16:2 And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And YHWH said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to YHWH.’

1st Samuel 16:3 And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me him whom I name to you.”

1st Samuel 16:4 Samuel did what YHWH commanded, and me to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?”

1st Samuel 16:5 And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to YHWH; consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice.

1st Samuel 16:The sons of Jesse were both the sacrifice and the guests. Messiah was of the line of David through Nathan and secondarily of Levi through Shimei.

The Red Heifer was sacrificed outside of the camp. This could not be closer than the one thousand yards from the Ark of the Covenant which was given as the distance of the tribes from the Ark of the Covenant on the march. The cities then had a thousand cubits for the Levites as pasture grounds and then the outer areas from the wall were also two thousand cubits (see Numbers 35:1-5).

The Mosaic Law forbade anyone but the sons of Aaron to camp in the east of the tabernacle and anyone who came into that area was to be put to death (Numbers 3:38). This applied also to Jerusalem. Then the sons of Aaron sanctified the Kohathites (Numbers 4:19) and so on down to each level of the priesthood and of the nation. Thus, the sacrifice and sanctification process began at the high priest and worked through the orders of the priesthood and the nation.

The sacrifices were understood according to the Mishnah as follows:

Jerusalem did not have to bring a heifer whose neck is to be broken (9.2. H Neusner Mishnah, Yale University Press, p. 462).

A blemish does not invalidate the heifer for the blood guilt (9.5.C, ibid.).

The elders of the town wash their hands in the place where the heifer’s neck was broken saying Our hands have not shed this blood (9.6.A & B, p. 463). Pilate did this for them in the case of Messiah.

The priests say Forgive O, Lord your people Israel whom you have redeemed, and do not allow innocent blood in the midst of your people Israel (Deuteronomy 21:8). They did not have to say And the blood shall be forgiven them (Deuteronomy 21:8) because it is a function of Elohiym through Messiah and not of the priesthood.

The Red Heifer is traditionally slain in a rugged valley, hence across the Kidron.

If the neck of the Red Heifer is broken and then the murderer is found, then the murderer is to be put to death in its place. If he is found before the heifer is killed, then the heifer is not required to be killed and goes to pasture. However, Messiah died for the sins of the world and the blood guilt was on Israel and could not be removed except through his sacrifice.

If murderers became many then the rite of breaking the Red Heifer’s neck is cancelled. This cancellation was based on Hosea 4:14. The composite rules of the Mishnah regarding other sacrifices and Red Heifers:

The red heifer is not to be kept waiting unless a hair turns black [and] it should not [otherwise] become unfit (1.1.E.2; pp. 1012-1035).

If there were on it, two black hairs or white ones inside a single follicle it is unfit (2.5.A, p. 1015).

If they were in two hollows or opposite [adjacent] to one another, it is unfit. Rabbi Aqiba says Even four even five, and they are scattered about - let one uproot them. Eliezer says even fifty but Joshua b. Beterah says even one on its head and one on its tail it is unfit.

The Midrash has conflict in the interpretation and thus the Red Heifer now in Israel would be unfit, but Aquiba would root them out and this is no doubt what will be done. When two rabbis disagree, who is right? The answer would be given both of them. So it will be the case here.

Seven days before the burning of the cow they bring the priest from his house to the chamber and bring him into the north-east corner of the Temple building called the stone house (3.1.A). He is purified with the waters of purification. He is sprinkled every day for seven days (3.1.B).

However, it is only to be done on the third and the seventh days according to Rabbi Yose (3.1.C) and this applies to the one for the Day of Atonement.

The Mishnah records that there were courtyards in Jerusalem built on rock which had hollows under them so that there could be no grave beneath for these purification rites.

The priest proceeds from the Temple Mount to the Mount of Olives. A cup, with stones, is filled from the pool of Siloam (Div. 6, Purities 3.3, pp. 1015-1016). They made a causeway from the Temple Mount to the Mount of Olives with arches (ibid., 3.6). The costs of the Red Heifer, the Azazel goat and the red thread (Lev. 16:5) were all borne from the funds of the heave offering of the [sheqel] chamber (Div. 2, Sheqalim 4.2, ibid., p. 256). The ramp for the red cow was at the high priest’s expense according to Abba Saul (ibid., 4.2.C). The cow went alone (Div. 6, ibid., 3.7, cf. Num. 19:3).

The elders of Israel preceded them on foot to the Mount of Olives where there was a house for immersion (3.7.F,G). They rendered the priest who burns the cow unclean because of the Sadducees (3.7.H) (i.e. the literal intent of the Bible) so that they could not say that it was done by one on whom the sun has set (3.7.I). So they immersed him once here before the sacrifice (3.8.A-C, cf. Neusner, ibid., p. 1017).

The high priest was immersed there and the logs of wood were laid out for a fire. It was made into a kind of tower and windows were in it facing westward (3.8.A-D) – in other words, back to the Temple Mount.

Water was taken from the pool at Siloam by youth detailed for the task.

The heifer was bound and laid with its head southward and its face westward (3.9.A). The priest stood on the east and slaughtered the animal with his right hand facing towards the west and received the blood in his left hand. He then dipped his finger in the blood and sprinkled seven times, once for each dipping, towards the house of the Holy of Holies (3.9.B-G).

Having completed sprinkling, he wiped his hand on the body of the animal. He then descended and kindled the fire, which Aqiba says were the dry branches of palm trees. (These were waved before Messiah on the 10th of Abib, perhaps symbolically). This would be on what most Christians erroneously call “Palm Sunday.”

The heifer was burnt and cedar hyssop and scarlet wool were bound together and thrown into the fire and the beast was then beaten with rods and crushed with stone hammers and stone sieves. The ashened cinders and the bone are crushed and the rest is left (3.10; 3.11.A-E).

The ashes are divided into three parts – one is placed on the rampart (3.11.G), one is placed on the Mount of Olives (3.11.H) and one is divided among all the priestly watches (3.11.I).

The act is done in white garments and it must be aimed directly at the Holy of Holies (4.1 to 4.2). The regulations concerning the mixing of the waters of purification are extensive and quite too tedious to be concerned with here.

The Red Heifer is required for the purification of those who were unclean because of dead bodies and other matters. We see from the Dead Sea Scrolls (4Q, 276-277, Frag. 1) that they were only considered unclean until the evening from and by this process (see Wise, Abegg and Cook The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation, Hodder and Stoughton, 1996, pp. 284-285).

However, the sun must set on them for this purpose (4QMMT:4Q394-399, Section B5, ibid., p. 360, cf. Num. 19:2-10; Mishnah Parah 3.7; 4.4).


In 70 A.D, the Temple was destroyed because it had to be destroyed in order to be replaced by a spiritual edifice not built by human hands. The tenth heifer sanctified a new priesthood of the order of Melchizedek which replaced the old order of Aaron.

2 comments:

  1. Does this mean we are no longer unclean for coming in contact with the dead? Are we still unclean seven days and make everything we touch unclean? Is there a way to be protected from the uncleanness?

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  2. Does this relate to "the Balfour century" as detailed at http://otis-a.com/30512.html

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