1Adonai said to Moshe and Aharon, 2“This is the regulation from the Torah which Adonai has commanded. Tell the people of Isra’el to bring you a young red female cow without fault or defect and which has never borne a yoke. 3You are to give it to El‘azar the cohen; it is to be brought outside the camp and slaughtered in front of him. 4El‘azar the cohen is to take some of its blood with his finger and sprinkle this blood toward the front of the tent of meeting seven times. 5The heifer is to be burned to ashes before his eyes — its skin, meat, blood and dung is to be burned to ashes. 6The cohen is to take cedar-wood, hyssop and scarlet yarn and throw them onto the heifer as it is burning up. 7Then the cohen is to wash his clothes and himself in water, after which he may re-enter the camp; but the cohen will remain unclean until evening. 8The person who burned up the heifer is to wash his clothes and himself in water, but he will remain unclean until evening. 9A man who is clean is to collect the ashes of the heifer and store them outside the camp in a clean place. They are to be kept for the community of the people of Isra’el to prepare water for purification from sin. 10The one who collected the ashes of the heifer is to wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. For the people of Isra’el and for the foreigner staying with them this will be a permanent regulation.
11“Anyone who touches a corpse, no matter whose dead body it is, will be unclean for seven days. 12He must purify himself with [these ashes] on the third and seventh days; then he will be clean. But if he does not purify himself the third and seventh days, he will not be clean. 13Anyone who touches a corpse, no matter whose dead body it is, and does not purify himself has defiled the tabernacle of Adonai. That person will be cut off from Isra’el, because the water for purification was not sprinkled on him. He will be unclean; his uncleanness is still on him.
14“This is the law: when a person dies in a tent, everyone who enters the tent and everything in the tent will be unclean for seven days. 15Every open container without a cover closely attached is unclean. 16Also whoever is in an open field and touches a corpse, whether of someone killed by a weapon or of someone who died naturally, or the bone of a person, or a grave, will be unclean for seven days.
17“For the unclean person they are to take some of the ashes of the animal burned up as a purification from sin and add them to fresh water in a container. (LY: ii) 18A clean person is to take a bunch of hyssop leaves, dip it in the water and sprinkle it on the tent, on all the containers, on the people who were there, and on the person who touched the bone or the person killed or the one who died naturally or the grave. 19The clean person will sprinkle the unclean person on the third and seventh days. On the seventh day he will purify him; then he will wash his clothes and himself in water; and he will be clean at evening. 20The person who remains unclean and does not purify himself will be cut off from the community because he has defiled the sanctuary of Adonai. The water for purification has not been sprinkled on him; he is unclean. 21This is to be a permanent regulation for them. The person who sprinkles the water for purification is to wash his clothes. Whoever touches the water for purification will be unclean until evening. 22Anything the unclean person touches will be unclean, and anyone who touches him will be unclean until evening.”