The Red Heifer
Wisdom's Corner
The Red Heifer

In Numbers 19:1-10 we read about the red heifer that was to be sacrificed by the High Priest. The High Priest was to take the live heifer out of the camp. Then he was to kill it and sprinkle the blood toward the tabernacle. The red heifer had to be without blemish.

The entire heifer was then burned completely. The High Priest returned to the tabernacle before this was done. It was another priest that did the burning. The ashes were kept so that they could be mixed with water. This water was used at certain times to purify the people.

We know from historical sources that this water was used at the east gate of the Temple during the time of Christ. Those who had certain sins could receive the sprinkling before going into the Temple. Sins which were worse caused the person to be outside the camp of Israel. These individuals could receive the sprinkling close to the place that the red heifer was sacrificed and the ashes were kept.

The Jews believed that God used the red heifer to purify them from ritualistic sins. Before priests could work in the Temple they had to be sprinkled with the red heifer water. The red heifer sacrifice was very important.

The red heifer is referred to in Hebrews 9:13-14. These verses tell us that Jesus blood is greater than the blood of bulls and goats and the sprinkling of red heifer water. Most Bible scholars believe that the sacrifices were symbols of Christ. This would mean that Jesus is our red heifer. In Hebrews 13:12 we are told that Jesus was crucified outside of the gate (this is another way of saying outside of the camp). Only the red heifer was killed outside of the camp. Thus Jesus was seen as the red heifer.

We must come to Jesus and let his blood purify us. The only way to come to Jesus is to study the Bible and learn how he wants us to come to him.

Keep reading your Bible. And if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.

Mark McWhorter

Copyright 2002

Published by The Old Paths Bible School