ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 249



18:30–19:14
N u mbers
237
“Also, give these instructions to the Levites: When you present the best
part as your offering, it will be considered as though it came from your
own threshing floor or winepress. You Levites and your families may eat
this food anywhere you wish, for it is your compensation for serving in
the Tabernacle. You will not be considered guilty for accepting the Lord’s
tithes if you give the best portion to the priests. But be careful not to treat
the holy gifts of the people of Israel as though they were common. If you
do, you will die.”
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Here is another legal requirement
commanded by the Lord: Tell the people of Israel to bring you a red
heifer, a perfect animal that has no defects and has never been yoked to a
plow. Give it to Eleazar the priest, and it will be taken outside the camp
and slaughtered in his presence. Eleazar will take some of its blood on
his finger and sprinkle it seven times toward the front of the Tabernacle.
As Eleazar watches, the heifer must be b­ urned—­its hide, meat, blood,
and dung. Eleazar the priest must then take a stick of cedar, a hyssop
branch, and some scarlet yarn and throw them into the fire where the
heifer is burning.
“Then the priest must wash his clothes and bathe himself in water.
Afterward he may return to the camp, though he will remain ceremonially unclean until evening. The man who burns the animal must also wash
his clothes and bathe himself in water, and he, too, will remain unclean
until evening. Then someone who is ceremonially clean will gather up the
ashes of the heifer and deposit them in a purified place outside the camp.
They will be kept there for the community of Israel to use in the water for
the purification ceremony. This ceremony is performed for the removal
of sin. The man who gathers up the ashes of the heifer must also wash
his clothes, and he will remain ceremonially unclean until evening. This
is a permanent law for the people of Israel and any foreigners who live
among them.
“All those who touch a dead human body will be ceremonially unclean for
seven days. They must purify themselves on the third and seventh days
with the water of purification; then they will be purified. But if they do
not do this on the third and seventh days, they will continue to be unclean
even after the seventh day. All those who touch a dead body and do not
purify themselves in the proper way defile the Lord’s Tabernacle, and they
will be cut off from the community of Israel. Since the water of purification
was not sprinkled on them, their defilement continues.
“This is the ritual law that applies when someone dies inside a tent: All





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