Numbers 19: Killing a Red Cow To Clean The Dead


God commands that a red cow without blemish be given to Eleazor who is to take the cow out of the camp and to slay her, then take her blood and sprinkle it directly before the tabernacle. The other person shall then burn the cow completely down to ashes. At which point they are to clean their clothes and take a bath. Another person who is already clean is to take the ashes and put them in a clean place so they will be available to people to use to cleanse themselves if they touch a dead body. The rest of the chapter explains the rules of using the ashes of the cow as “water of separation” to clean yourself after coming in contact with someone who is dead. It comes down to this. Three days after someone dies, you have to clean yourself with the “water of separation” which is the ashes of the dead cow, and then on the 7th day you will be considered “clean” again.

In other words:

The ashes of a dead burned cow are used to clean away disease that might come from touching or handling a dead body.

Favorite bit:

Don’t have one. This chapter is a little wierd. I understand the need to have some rules to keep disease transmission at bay after a death, I just don’t get how the ashes of a dead cow would help.

Moral Lesson Learned:

Be careful around dead people, they can carry disease (Numbers 19)