Then the priest shall wash his clothes
The Targum of Jonathan has it,
``he that slew the cow,''and Aben Ezra, the priest that burnt it; but it seems to mean Eleazar, the priest that sprinkled the blood, and by touching that was defiled and needed washing; and so the Jews F12 say, all that were employed about it, from the beginning to the end, were defiled in their garments; not only he that slew it, and burnt it, and sprinkled its blood, but he that took and cast in the cedar wood as we find also he that gathered the ashes of it as well as burnt it: this creature was reckoned so impure, though its ashes were for purifying, that whoever had anything to do with it was unclean, as the scapegoat, which had the sins of all Israel on it; and this as that was typical of Christ, made sin for his people, that he might cleanse them from sin: it may point at the sin of the priests and people of Israel, in putting Christ to death, and yet there was cleansing from that sin, in the precious blood of Christ, as well as from all others:
and he shall bathe his flesh in water;
in forty seahs of water, as the Targum of Jonathan; not his clothes only, but his body was to be dipped in water:
and afterward he shall come into the camp:
when his clothes and flesh are washed, but not before:
and the priest shall be unclean until the even;
though washed, and therefore, though he is said to go into the camp upon washing, this is to be understood, after the evening is come: so Jarchi directs to interpret the passage, transpose it, says he, and so explain it; and he shall be unclean until the evening, and after that he may come into the camp, not only the camp of Israel, but the camp of the Shechinah, as the same writer.
F12 Misn. Parah, c. 4. sect. 4.