The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron,
"This is the legal statute that the Lord has commanded: Instruct the Israelites to bring you an unblemished red cow that has no defect and has never been yoked.a3
Give it to Eleazar the priest, and he will have it brought outside the camp and slaughtered in his presence.
Eleazar the priest is to take some of its blood with his finger and sprinkle it seven times toward the front of the tent of meeting.
The cow must be burned in his sight. Its hide, flesh, and blood, are to be burned along with its dung.
The priest is to take cedar wood, hyssop, and crimson yarn,b and throw [them] onto the fire where the cow is burning.
Then the priest must wash his clothes and bathe his body in water; after that he may enter the camp, but he will remain ceremonially unclean until evening.
The one who burned the cow must also wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and he will remain unclean until evening.
"A man who is clean is to gather up the cow's ashes and deposit them outside the camp in a ceremonially clean place. The ashes must be kept by the Israelite community for [preparing] the water [to remove] impurity; it is a sin offering.c10
Then the one who gathers up the cow's ashes must wash his clothes, and he will remain unclean until evening. This is a perpetual statute for the Israelites and for the foreigner who resides among them.
"The person who touches any human corpse will be unclean for seven days.
He is to purify himself with the waterd on the third day and the seventh day; then he will be clean.e But if he does not purify himself on the third and seventh days, he will not be clean.
Anyone who touches a body of a person who has died, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of the Lord. That person will be cut off from Israel. He remains unclean because the water for impurity has not been sprinkled on him, and his uncleanness is still on him.
"This is the law when a person dies in a tent: everyone who enters the tent and everyone who is [already] in the tent will be unclean for seven days,
and any open container without a lid tied on it is unclean.
Anyone in the open field who touches a person who has been killed by the sword or has died, or a human bone, or a grave, will be unclean for seven days.
For [the purification of] the unclean person, they are to take some of the ashes of the burnt sin offering, [put them] in a jar, and add fresh water to them.
A person who is clean is to take hyssop, dip [it] in the water, and sprinkle the tent, all the furnishings, and the people who were there. He is also to sprinkle the one who touched a bone, a grave, a corpse, or a person who had been killed.
"The one who is clean is to sprinkle the unclean person on the third day and the seventh day. After he purifies the unclean person on the seventh day, the one being purified must wash his clothes and bathe in water, and he will be clean by evening.
But a person who is unclean and does not purify himself, that person will be cut off from the assembly because he has defiled the sanctuary of the Lord.f The water for impurity has not been sprinkled on him; he is unclean.
This is a perpetual statute for them. The person who sprinkles the water for impurity is to wash his clothes, and whoever touches the water for impurity will be unclean until evening.
Anything the unclean person touches will become unclean, and anyone who touches [it]g will be unclean until evening."