Heifer, Red

Numbers 5:1-4; 1 John 1:9; John 13; Numbers 19:1-22; Hebrews 9:13
This was a unique offering. The red heifer was killed outside the camp, and its blood was sprinkled by the priest seven times directly before the tabernacle. The whole of the heifer was then burnt, and the priest cast cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet into the burning of the heifer. The ashes were gathered up and laid in a clean place outside the camp. When the ashes were used, a person that was clean mixed in a vessel some of the ashes with running water, then he dipped hyssop into the water, and sprinkled the person, tent, etc., that was unclean. It was a water of separation—a purification for sin.
The ordinance of the red heifer was an exceptional form of sin offering. It had not atonement in view, but the cleansing by water of those who, having their dwelling and place in the camp, where Jehovah’s sanctuary was, had become defiled by the way (compare Num. 5:1-41And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead: 3Both male and female shall ye put out, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camps, in the midst whereof I dwell. 4And the children of Israel did so, and put them out without the camp: as the Lord spake unto Moses, so did the children of Israel. (Numbers 5:1‑4)). Upon the basis of sin being condemned in the cross, it corresponds to 1 John 1:99If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9). The washing of the feet of those that are clean, as taught by the Lord in John 13 has this character of cleansing with water. The Holy Spirit applies, by the word, the truth of the condemnation of sin in the cross of Christ to the heart and conscience, to purify the believer, without applying the blood again (Num. 19:1-221And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 2This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke: 3And ye shall give her unto Eleazar the priest, that he may bring her forth without the camp, and one shall slay her before his face: 4And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood directly before the tabernacle of the congregation seven times: 5And one shall burn the heifer in his sight; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall he burn: 6And the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer. 7Then the priest shall wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp, and the priest shall be unclean until the even. 8And he that burneth her shall wash his clothes in water, and bathe his flesh in water, and shall be unclean until the even. 9And 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 separation: it is a purification for sin. 10And 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. 11He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days. 12He shall purify himself with it on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean: but if he purify not himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be clean. 13Whosoever toucheth the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifieth not himself, defileth the tabernacle of the Lord; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel: because the water of separation was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him. 14This is the law, when a man dieth in a tent: all that come into the tent, and all that is in the tent, shall be unclean seven days. 15And every open vessel, which hath no covering bound upon it, is unclean. 16And whosoever toucheth one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days. 17And for an unclean person they shall take of the ashes of the burnt heifer of purification for sin, and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel: 18And 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 a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave: 19And 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 himself, and wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even. 20But the man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from among the congregation, because he hath defiled the sanctuary of the Lord: the water of separation hath not been sprinkled upon him; he is unclean. 21And it shall be a perpetual statute unto them, that he that sprinkleth the water of separation shall wash his clothes; and he that toucheth the water of separation shall be unclean until even. 22And whatsoever the unclean person toucheth shall be unclean; and the soul that toucheth it shall be unclean until even. (Numbers 19:1‑22); Heb. 9:1313For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: (Hebrews 9:13)). But John 13 goes further. The Lord applies the truth of His departure out of this world to the Father to the walk of His disciples.