Water that makes people clean
1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 2 ‘This is another rule in the Lord's law that I am telling to you: Tell the Israelites that they must bring to you a young red cow. It must not have anything wrong with it. And nobody must have put a yoke on it. 3 They must take the cow outside the camp. They must kill it and then give it to Eleazar the priest. 4 Eleazar must take some of the blood from the cow. He must splash it seven times in front of the Tent of Meeting. 5 Then they must burn the whole cow while Eleazar is watching. They must burn its body with the skin, meat, blood and everything that is inside its body. 6 The priest must take some wood, some plants and some red wool. He must throw them on the fire. 7 Then he must wash his clothes and he must wash his body with water. After that, he can come into the camp, but he will not be clean until the evening. 8 And the man who burns the animal must also wash his clothes in water. And he must wash his body in water. He will not be clean until the evening.
9 Then a man who is clean must pick up all the ashes of the cow. And he must put them outside the camp in a clean place. Keep them safe there for all the Israelites. You must mix them with water to make special water. It will be water for someone who is not clean to make them holy again. It is water to remove sin. 10 The man who picks up the ashes must also wash his clothes. He will not be clean until evening. This rule is for the Israelites and for all the people who are living with them.
11 Any person who touches a dead body will not be clean for seven days. 12 He must use the water to wash himself on the third day and on the seventh day. Then he will be clean. If he does not wash himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not be clean. 13 A person might touch the body of a dead person. If he does not make himself clean, he has made the Lord's Tent of Meeting unclean. You must make that person separate from the Israelites. Because they did not splash the special water on him, he will not be clean. He will continue to be unclean.
14 This is the rule when a person dies in a tent. Any person who is in the tent will not be clean for seven days. 15 Any pot in the tent that does not have a lid will not be clean.
16 Also, a person might have killed someone with a sword out in the country. Or someone may have died because he was old or ill. Anyone who touches a dead body in the country will become unclean for seven days. Also if they touch a human bone, or a grave, that person will be unclean for seven days.
17 Then for the person who is not clean, you must take some of the ashes of the young red cow. That is the cow to make people clean. You must put these ashes into a pot and you must mix them with water from a river. 18 Then a person who is clean must take hyssop. He must put it into the water. Then he must use it to splash the water on the tent and on everything that is in it. He must also splash the water on all the people who have been there. And he must splash it on the person who touched the bone or the dead body or the grave. 19 And the clean person must splash the water on the unclean person on the third day too. And he must do it on the seventh day. On the seventh day he will make the person clean again. Then the person who had not been clean must wash his clothes. And he must wash himself in water. In the evening, that person will become clean. 20 The person who is not clean might not wash himself and his clothes. If he does not do it, you must make that person separate from the people. That is because he has made the Lord's Holy Place become unclean. Because the priest did not splash special water on him he will not be clean. 21 This rule is for now and for ever. The man who splashes the special water must also wash his clothes. Any person who touches the special water will not be clean until evening. 22 If an unclean person touches anything, that thing also becomes unclean. If anyone touches the unclean person, he also becomes unclean until evening.’