The Red Heifer - Torah Portion Chukat
Numbers 19:1 – 22:1
Chukat means “decree” in Hebrew.
In this portion of scripture we read about the red heifer and the sprinkling of the purification
water made from its ashes. This procedure has never been fully understood by
Jew or Christian throughout time. We do know that death is considered by YHVH
to be one of the most unclean of all things. Death and decay go against everything that YHVH is; in His Being.
The ashes and purification water were only
used for the purification of individuals who had come into contact with the dead in
any way. We know that in the New Heaven and Earth that there will be no death
or decay. I have often wondered if the “water” that flowed from Yeshua's body on
the cross had representation of the purification of the red heifer. We know the
purpose of the shedding of His blood, but why are we told about the “blood and
water” which flowed from His body? Perhaps there is a deeper meaning there
that we have not yet grasped.
In Ezekiel 36:24-28 we read about the coming time when YHVH will regather and
sanctify His people Israel:
“For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries,
and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you,
and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I
cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within
you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an
heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my
statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the
land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your
The sprinkling of clean water in this scripture most assuredly has its allusion in
the sprinkling of the water made from the ashes of the red heifer.
In the Brit Hadashah (New Testament) we read in John 13:8:
“Peter told him, "You must never wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "Unless I
wash you, you cannot be involved with me."” (ISV)
He did not say to Peter, unless I wash your feet, but unless I wash you. This
makes me wonder about the deeper meaning. By Yeshua's “blood and water” I
believe that we are made clean. In the age to come, Yeshua will destroy death and the grave and cleanse us, with the sprinkling of purification water, of all things brought about by the “wages of sin” which brought death upon the world.
Yeshua will do this complete cleansing by the “blood and the water” which flowed
from His body.
Let us consider this:
...Yeshua had no sin, yet
...He became sin
...As an accursed man hanging on the cross, His shed blood makes one clean/without sin
...Those (Nicodemus and Joseph) who cared for His dead body became unclean so that they
could not partake of Passover that evening
...Yet, He had made them clean from their sins
This can all sound confusing but yet reminds me of the same principles that apply to the red heifer. Read about the red heifer: Numbers 19.
Isn't our Elohim good? Like one big jigsaw puzzle, all the pieces fit perfectly together in the right place, at the right time.
I would also like to encourage everyone to study the portion of scripture which talks about tzaraat or as we say in English - leprosy. It is interesting how this disease, its consequences, and its cure, had many features in common with the ritual of the sprinkling of the ashes of the red heifer. For more on tzaraat please see my teaching, Lashon Hara (evil tongue).