And the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet,
&c.] Another priest, according to the Targum of Jonathan; but it seems to design Eleazar the priest, and so, in later times, the same priest that burnt the cow took these things; the Jews say F8, when he took them he said, is this cedar wood? is this hyssop? is this scarlet? so he said three times for everyone of them, and he was answered, yes, three times to each of them: these were the same that were used at the cleansing of the leper, ( Leviticus 14:4 ) ;
and cast [it] into the midst of the burning of the heifer;
these were rolled or bound up together, as the Jews say F9, and made one bundle of, that they might the more easily be cast into the fire; the hyssop was wrapped about the cedar wood with the scarlet wool: the true reason of the use of these, Maimonides says F11, was never clear to him; but the cedar wood, being durable, may denote the continued efficacy of Christ's sufferings; the hyssop, being purgative and of a good smell, the purging nature of Christ's sacrifice, who by himself purged away our sins, and the sweet odour thereof ascended to the Lord; and the scarlet, the sins of his people destroyed thereby.
F8 Misn. Parah, c. 3. sect. 10.
F9 Misn. Parah, c. 3. sect. 11. & Maimon. & Bartenora in ib.
F11 Moreh Nevochim, par. 3. c. 47.