The entire heifer, without blemish and never having been under a yoke, was to have been taken outside the camp to be slaughtered in the presence of the priest, but not BY the priest. The entire animal was to be burned, and the priest was to add “cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet wool” to the fire. The ashes were then to be kept in a ceremonially clean place and added to “cleansing water” for purification. Verse 11 tells us “They are to be kept by the Israelite community for use in the water of cleansing; it is for purification from sin.” But specifically the other verses speak of removing defilement incurred through contact with the dead. Ashes and water. Dead and living.
This site (click here) explains about the antifungal and antibacterial agents that were present when the red heifer was burned with “cedarwood and hyssop and scarlet stuff.” Basically, burning the entire animal rendered fat also so the animal ashes and wood ashes mixed with water became soap! The cedar wood and hyssop smelled nice plus had the antiseptic qualities necessary to make an antibacterial soap! But it doesn’t address any spiritual significance to this law.
The mystery deepens.
Then I found this article by Chuck Missler that addresses PROPHETIC SIGNIFICANCE: “It is this water, the Water of Purification, which is required by the Israelites today. It is needed to “purify” today’s Levitical priesthood and to “purify” the temple mount in preparation for the building of the Third Temple.”
And guess what is needed for this Water of Purification? Uh, huh. A new red heifer’s ashes to be mixed with the OLD ashes that according to Jewish tradition “all the heifers are sanctified through Moses’ original heifer, and a portion of those ashes were put away for the future sanctification of Israel. ” And guess what? There are people trying to breed this red heifer.
Other articles I found such as this one (scroll down its page) from a few years ago discuss this process, although none of these have been found to have been acceptable.
And guess what else? The Mishnah or Oral Law (read about that here) holds that there have only been 9 red heifers up until the destruction of the Second Temple “… and the tenth red heifer will be accomplished by the king, the Messiah; may he be revealed speedily, Amen, May it be God’s will.“ The great Rabbi Maimonides
Amazing, isn’t it? Of course, I haven’t even addressed the issue of any relationship of the red heifer to Jesus….and I found several sites about that, too. If you’re interested, you’ll need to look those up yourselves.
Well, well. It’s been quite a foray for me. From being intrigued by a weird-to-me sacrifice to a mind-blowing revelation!!!!! As I wrote about here, my theme verse for 2012 was Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Or as the Amplified Bible says: “Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).” I’d say so.
There is a very interesting site called The Temple Institute that “ is a non-profit educational and religious organization located in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. The Institute is dedicated to every aspect of the Biblical commandment to build the Holy Temple of G-d on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. “ I had heard that the utensils, etc. have been made or in the process of being made, and it seems The Temple Institute has been the guiding force. It has an extensive section on the red heifer.
I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts about this!