1 Jehovah said to Moses and Aaron:
2 »This is a requirement of the law Jehovah has commanded: Tell the Israelites to bring you a red cow that is perfect, with no defects. Also, it must never have worn a yoke.
3 »Give it to Eleazar the priest. It must be taken outside the camp and slaughtered in his presence.
4 »Eleazar the priest will take some of the blood with his finger and sprinkle it seven times toward the front of the tent of meeting.
5 »Then the entire cow, the skin, meat, blood, and excrement, will be burned while he watches.
6 »The priest will take some cedar wood, a hyssop sprig, and some red yarn and throw them onto the burning cow.
7 »The priest must then wash his clothes and his body. After that, he may go into the camp. But he will be unclean until evening.
8 »The person who burned the calf must also wash his clothes and his body. He will be unclean until evening.
9 »A man who is clean will collect the ashes from the cow and put them in a clean place outside the camp. They will be kept by the congregation of Israel and used in the water that takes away uncleanness. The cow is an offering for sin.
10 »The one who collected the ashes must wash his clothes. He remains unclean until evening. This regulation is valid for all time to come, both for the Israelites and for the foreigners living among them.
11 »Those who touch a corpse are ritually unclean for seven days.
12 »They must purify themselves with the water for purification on the third day and on the seventh day. Then they will be clean. But if they do not purify themselves on both the third and the seventh day, they will not be clean.
13 »Those who touch a corpse and do not purify themselves remain unclean. This is because the water for purification has not been thrown over them. They defile Jehovahs tent, and they will no longer be considered Gods people.
14 »Here are your instructions for when a person dies in a tent: Everyone who goes into the tent and everyone who is in the tent will be unclean for seven days.
15 »Every container without a lid fastened on it is unclean.
16 »Whoever is outdoors and touches someone who was killed or has died naturally or anyone who touches a human bone or a grave will be unclean for seven days.
17 »Do this for people who become unclean from touching a dead body. Put some of the ashes from the red cow that was burned as an offering for sin into a container. Then pour fresh water on them.
18 »A person who is clean will take a sprig of hyssop, dip it in the water, and sprinkle the tent, all the furnishings, and all the people who were in the tent with the dead body. He must also sprinkle any person who has touched a human bone or a grave and any person who has touched someone who has been killed or who has died naturally.
19 »A person who is clean will sprinkle these types of unclean people on the third day and the seventh day. On the seventh day the clean person will finish taking away their sins. Then they must wash their clothes and bodies. In the evening they will be clean.
20 »If the person who becomes unclean does not have his sin taken away, that person must be excluded from the assembly. He has made the holy place of Jehovah unclean. The water to take away uncleanness was not sprinkled on him. He is unclean.
21 »This will be a long lasting law for them. He who sprinkles the water to take away uncleanness must wash his clothes. He who touches this water will be unclean until evening.
22 »Anything that an unclean person touches becomes unclean. The person who touches it will be unclean until evening.«