by Charles Ryalls
The purification by the Red Heifer is a subject that has been
a mystery even to the Jews who
were given this ritual to perform. It has been understood by
the Jewish Rabbis in the sense of
an act of obedience. In other words do these things and do it
in this way and your cleansing
can be assumed. But from the perspective of the church there
may be a little more insight that
is not apparent to the Rabbis. Lets look first at the ritual
and see if we can understand some
of this mystery.
NU 19:1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron:  "This
is a requirement of the law that the LORD has commanded: Tell
the Israelites to bring you a red heifer without defect or blemish
and that has never been under a yoke.  Give it to Eleazar
the priest; it is to be taken outside the camp and slaughtered
in his presence.  Then Eleazar the priest is to take some
of its blood on his finger and sprinkle it seven times toward
the front of the Tent of Meeting. 
While he watches, the heifer is to be burned--its hide, flesh,
blood and offal.  The priest is to take some cedar wood, hyssop
and scarlet wool and throw them onto the burning heifer. 
After that, the priest must wash his clothes and bathe himself
with water. He may then come into the camp, but he will be ceremonially
unclean till evening.  The man who burns it must also wash
his clothes and bathe with water, and he too will be unclean
The Red Heifer is a type of Yeshua. This is why it remains
to this day a mystery to the Jews,
because they are blinded for a time to the things concerning
Messiah. The Red Heifer
symbolizes a rare find. In order for a cow to qualify, it must
be perfect, without blemish,
and must be totally red. There can be no white hairs at the time
it is to be slaughtered
Yeshua is that kind of rare find, that bit of the miraculous
that only comes around in life
once. He is Gods Grace, and forgiveness made manifest as man.
. It is to be a cow that has
never been yoked. This can be seen as having never been put to
other service such as the
priesthood, or can symbolize having never been married, and both
would apply to Yeshua.
The Heifer was not a sacrifice in the sense of a blood covering
for sin, but was a means or a
process that was to bring a cleansing from defilement, or sin.
It wasn't a substitutional
sacrifice like the male goat of Yom Kippur, but a day by day
cleansing as needed. It was a cow
and not a bull. I believe this speaks of the continuous access
of this cleansing, like a
mother who is always close at hand to her children, as opposed
to the father who is often
times away from the children as required by his labors.
The cow was taken outside the camp to be slaughtered. Yeshua
also was taken outside the city,
to Golgatha to be slaughtered. The actual killing of the heifer
was carried out by Priests of
the second order. Eleazar was the son of Aaron, who was then
the high priest. It is much like
the time of Yeshua, when the chief priest and Pharisee's sought
His death and it was approve
of by Caiaphas, the high priest. Yet it was the Romans who served
as the workers to do the
This slaughter is to take place outside the camp. Yet there
is still a unbreakable connection to the throne of God as Eleazar
was to take a small amount of the blood and with his fingers
and sprinkle it toward the tent of meeting, the holy place. Seven
times because this is Gods seal. Anything that is done seven
times is a permanently fixed thing, that can not be broken. It
speaks of finality. Think of Joshua and the seven days of marching
around Jericho, and the seven blasts on the trumpet, in Revelation
the seven seals, seven trumpets and seven bowls. So here the
priest makes the binding connection to the place of God's presence,
the tent of meeting. Yet some of the blood will be lost, spilled
on the ground.
The heifer itself will be burned in it's entirety. It will
not be separated out or the hide
removed or the fat separated or anything like this. It's bones
are not broken, it is burned
all at once. Yeshua went as he was, having been inspected for
days by the priests and the
teachers of the law, and they could find no flaw in Him, yet
they killed Him. It was like
those priest that inspected the red cow for any sign of defect
or any white hairs. And like
the Heifer he became a cleansing for us all. The slaughter of
the cow and it's burning are a
picture of the death and burial of Yeshua.
They were to take Cedar, probably red cedar, Hyssop, and red
stuff, probably red wool and throw it onto the heifer when it
was burning. These items refer to the cleaning aspect of the
ashes that were to be produced from this cow. The sort of paint
brush that was made to sprinkle the people or item to be cleaned,
was made from hyssop tied with red wool to a cedar handle. Hyssop
was used to spread the lambs blood on the door posts in the exodus.
So these items added to the fire are ritual, (not magic) that
speak of the sprinkling of purification.
NU 19:9 "A man who is clean shall gather up the ashes
of the heifer and put them in a ceremonially clean place outside
the camp. They shall be kept by the Israelite community for use
in the water of cleansing; it is for purification from sin.
It was Joseph of Aramathea and Nicodemus who had come secretly
to the Lord, who then were to deliver the Lords body to its resting
place, in an undefiled tomb in which no man had even
been laid. They themselves would become unclean and unable to
eat the Passover Meal if they
had not already done so, as Yeshua and his followers had.
The priest and the worker who burn the heifer are considered
unclean. They must wash
themselves and their cloths in water, and they still remain ceremonially
unclean until the end
of the day. Yet those who are sprinkled with this same ash will
be considered clean. It is
interesting that for a Jew, if you touch, or embrace Yeshua,
you have become unclean, yet we
know that when Yeshua touches you, you become pure. He is that
one grace that saves us from
our uncleanness, not once a year, but in our daily walk with
Lets look at how these ashes of the heifer might be used.
Contact with the dead would defile a
person. If your relative died, whether by sword or by natural
causes you needed to prepare
their bodies and bury them. Yet by doing so you became unclean.
If you were in a room that had
a container with the remains of the dead in it and the container
was opened, then everyone in
the room was defiled and would also need purification.
These ashes, which were ceremonially mixed with water, would
be that which would cleanse. If you failed to follow this ritual
and get cleansed, not only did you remain unclean and tainted
by sin, but the holy sanctuary was also considered unclean and
there was a risk of driving the Lord's presence from among the
people. So this is a picture of God's daily grace to us, that
cleanses us from our unrighteousness each time we become defiled.
Unlike Yom Kippur which is once a year and is a picture of our
repentance and God's salvation. The Red Heifer is a picture of
Sanctification and purification.
Heb 10:  let us draw near to God with a sincere heart
in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse
us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with
1JN 1:8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves
and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is
faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us
from all unrighteousness.
So Yeshua cleanses us every day so that we can enter once
again into His presence, and not be
considered ceremonially unclean. For He cleanses us by sprinkling
our hearts, to wash us of
our defilement. He does this so that we can serve Him. This is
the Grace of God that is always
available to us.
HEB 9:13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of
a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify
them so that they are outwardly clean.  How much more, then,
will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered
himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts
that lead to death,* so that we may serve the living God!
Another aspect of this cleansing was the timing of the rituals.
It was to be done on specific
days. This too has been a mystery even to the Jews who practiced
it. But it was adhered to in
obedience without understanding, because failure to do so defiled
not only the person but also
NU 19:11 "Whoever touches the dead body of anyone
will be unclean for seven days.  He must purify himself with
the water on the third day and on the seventh day; then he will
But if he does not purify himself on the third and seventh days,
he will not be clean.  Whoever touches the dead body of anyone
and fails to purify himself defiles the LORD's tabernacle. That
person must be cut off from Israel. Because the water of cleansing
has not been sprinkled on him, he is unclean; his uncleanness
remains on him.
Here is what I see in this as it applies to us today. We as
believers in Yeshua are continually going through the process
of sanctification for the purpose of being able to serve Him.
We can not be unclean and serve. There is a process that begins
when we are Born again.
Part of the ceremony of the Red Heifer is mixing the ashes
with water and the water then is
used to wash away the defilement or sin. This is like our own
water baptism, that washes away
our sins. Yet baptism is part of the law and deals more with
outward things than inner things
and the spirit.
The law says "You shall not Kill" but Yeshua says
that if you have anger in your heart towards someone you have
killed them in your heart and are guilty of murder. So the things
that Yeshua brought are deeper and cut to the bone even to the
marrow, the center of the bone. So we must be cleansed in a deeper
way. We must have our very nature changed. We must be born again,
this time born of the spirit. When we are born again, we have
a little problem, because we are still daily in contact with
a dead body, our own and are defiled. We say that our flesh has
been crucified with Yeshua on the cross, but we all know that
it still has it's effect on us, because we are stuck in this
RO 7:21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good,
evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight
in God's law;  but I see another law at work in the members
of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making
me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this
body of death?  Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our
When will we see the final victory over this body and it's
power of sin and death? In the
resurrection or for those who remain alive, in the Rapture when
we are changed in a moment of
RO 6:5 If we have been united with him like this in his
death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.
1CO 15:42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead.
The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;
 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown
in weakness, it is raised in power;  it is sown a natural
body, it is raised a spiritual body....
 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep,
but we will all be changed--  in a flash, in the twinkling
of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the
dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 
For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable,
and the mortal with immortality.
This process began for us when the Holy spirit was given to
us, when we were born again, and
it will be completed when we are at last delivered from the confines
of this sinful and faulted flesh, the body of sin. The Lord does
this in stages. We accept Him as savior, and are baptized like
the washing with the water and ashes. He gives us the Holy Spirit
to help us in our walk in this life. And then the resurrection
will deliver us from the body of sin and liberate us totally
in the Spirit.
So in baptism we each have a type of death experience and
a washing ceremony. Then we have a
Pentecost experience where the Holy Spirit is poured out on our
lives to begin the actual work
of purification or sanctification, and then the Rapture or Resurrection
experience, which is yet to come. We can see in the ritual of
the Red Heifer that there were two days that a person had to
come and be sprinkled with the ashes. On the Third day and on
the Seventh day.
Num 19:19 The man who is clean is to sprinkle the unclean
person on the third and seventh days, and on the seventh day
he is to purify him.
There may be a reason why these two days were specified. The
clue is in Leviticus 23, the
feast days of the Lord. There were seven days that were to be
a Holy convocation, a Holy
gathering. These are the days of the Lord:
1 The first day of Unleavened Bread 2.The seventh day of
Unleavened Bread 3.Pentecost 4.Rosh Ha Shannah or Trumpets 5.Yom
Kippur, or the Day of Atonement 6.The First day of Sukkot or
Tabernacles 7.The Eighth day of Sukkot which is Simchat Torah,
the eighth day.
The purification with the ashes of the Red Heifer was to take
place on the third day and the
seventh day. Looking at this list may bring us yet another picture
of Gods plan and His
timing. The third day of the Holy yearly cycle is Pentecost.
This is when both the old
covenant, the law, was given and the new covenant when the Spirit
was poured out on the
believers and the church began. We must remember that the things
that are connected to Yeshua
are New covenant, which speaks to the Spirit and not just the
So the first step of out purification is on our Pentecost
experience as we receive the Holy Spirit. And the completion
of it is on the seventh day, when we are delivered from the body
of sin and death, in the resurrection or Rapture. So lets look
for a moment to the picture that is painted for
us in the seventh day of convocation which is the eighth day
of the feast of Tabernacles.
It is an extra day. The feast runs for seven days, beginning
on the 15th of Tishreri . It is a
feast that looks forward to our living in His presence. The feast
is known by the following
1. The feast of In-gathering 2. The feast of the Final
harvest 3. The time of our dwelling (with Him) 4. The season
of our Joy 5. The feast of dedication. (because the Temples were
dedicated on this feast)
On the eighth day there is the extra day, which is known as
the holding back, the time to
tarry in His presence. It is a picture of the beginning of a
new time, as well as the ending
of a previous time. It is the end of the Torah reading cycle
and the beginning of a new one.
The Torah is read from the preachers pulpit known as the Bema
Seat. This is all a picture of
the Bema judgment and our beginning to dwell with Yeshua in the
Millennial Kingdom. It would
therefore also be after the final victory for the believer has
been won, deliverance from the
flesh, the body of death. Being delivered from the body of death
he is now cleansed for
service to the Lord. Could this seventh day of convocation, the
eighth day of the Tabernacles,
be the day of our redemption?
I guess only time will tell, but I will never view this day
in the same way as I have in the past. Every thing the Lord does
is for a reason, to show us something, to reveal some other aspect
of Himself or His plan for us, and the two days chosen to complete
our purification must be viewed the same way. It was the third
and the seventh days that we were to be washed in the Ashes of
the Red Heifer, washed in the waters of Yeshua.
We wait now for the washing on the seventh day. Maybe that
is the eighth day of Tabernacle for
us, the seven day of the Lords Holy days the day that look forward
to the Bema judgement when
believers works of righteousness are rewarded by the Lord. In
so far as Yeshua and the fulfillment of the feast days, Pentecost
was expressly for those who would become the church.
Perhaps the seventh day, the day of lingering with Him, the end
of the cycles of time, the
beginning of eternity, will be the conclusion for the church