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Numbers 19:17

17 “For the unclean person, put some ashes from the burned purification offering into a jar and pour fresh water over them.

Read Numbers 19:17 Using Other Translations

And for an unclean person they shall take of the ashes of the burnt heifer of purification for sin, and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel:
For the unclean they shall take some ashes of the burnt sin offering, and fresh water shall be added in a vessel.
“To remove the defilement, put some of the ashes from the burnt purification offering in a jar, and pour fresh water over them.

What does Numbers 19:17 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Numbers 19:17

And for an unclean person
Defiled by any of the above means:

they shall take of the ashes of the burnt heifer of purification for
from the place where they were laid up for this use; (See Gill on Numbers 19:9) and some have thought that they were laid up in various cities and places in the country, as well as at Jerusalem, that they might be come at easily upon occasion; otherwise they could not be had without great trouble and expense, and in some places not so soon as the law required for their purification, namely, on the third day after their defilement:

and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel;
the Targum Jonathan is,

``fountain water in the midst of earthen vessel;''

for no water but fountain, spring, or river water, was made use of; and it should seem by what is said that ashes were first put into the vessel, and then the running water was put to them; and yet the Jewish writers say F19, that if the ashes were put in first, and then the water, it was not right; and the meaning of what is said here is, that the water and ashes should be mixed together; for it is urged from the words: "running water in a vessel", that it is plain, that the water is put in the vessel and not to the ashes; and therefore that which is said, "shall be put thereto", is to caution the person, that after he has put the ashes upon the water, that he mixes them well with his finger, and cause the water below to rise above F20.


F19 Maimon. Milchot, Parah Adumah, c. 9. sect. 1.
F20 Bartenora in Misn. Temurah, c. 1. sect. 5.
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