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Numbers 19:2

    Numbers 19:2 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke:

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD has commanded, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring you a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and on which never came yoke:

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    This is the statute of the law which Jehovah hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    This is the rule of the law which the Lord has made, saying, Give orders to the children of Israel to give you a red cow without any mark on her, and on which the yoke has never been put:

    Webster's Revision

    This is the statute of the law which Jehovah hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke.

    World English Bible

    "This is the statute of the law which Yahweh has commanded: Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring you a red heifer without spot, in which is no blemish, [and] on which never came yoke.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    This is the statute of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke:

    Definitions for Numbers 19:2

    Without - Outside.

    Clarke's Commentary on Numbers 19:2

    Speak unto the children of Israel that they bring thee, etc. - The ordinance of the red heifer was a sacrifice of general application. All the people were to have an interest in it, and therefore the people at large are to provide the sacrifice. This Jewish rite certainly had a reference to things done under the Gospel, as the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews has remarked: "For if," says he, "the blood of bulls and of goats," alluding, probably, to the sin-offerings and the scape-goat, "and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God!" Hebrews 9:13, Hebrews 9:14. As the principal stress of the allusion here is to the ordinance of the red heifer, we may certainly conclude that it was designed to typify the sacrifice of our blessed Lord.

    We may remark several curious particulars in this ordinance.

    1. A heifer was appointed for a sacrifice, probably, in opposition to the Egyptian superstition which held these sacred, and actually worshipped their great goddess Isis under this form; and this appears the more likely because males in general were preferred for sacrifice, yet here the female is chosen.

    2. It was to be a red heifer, because red bulls were sacrificed to appease the evil demon Typhon, worshipped among the Egyptians. See Spencer.

    3. The heifer was to be without spot - having no mixture of any other color. Plutarch remarks, De Iside et de Osiride, that if there was a single hair in the animal either white or black, it marred the sacrifice. See Calmet, and see the note on Numbers 8:7.

    4. Without blemish - having no kind of imperfection in her body; the other, probably, applying to the hair or color.

    5. On which never came yoke, because any animal which had been used for any common purpose was deemed improper to be offered in sacrifice to God. The heathens, who appear to have borrowed much from the Hebrews, were very scrupulous in this particular. Neither the Greeks nor Romans, nor indeed the Egyptians, would offer an animal in sacrifice that had been employed for agricultural purposes. Of this we have the most positive evidence from Homer, Porphyry, Virgil, and Macrobius.

    Just such a sacrifice as that prescribed here, does Diomede vow to offer to Pallas - Iliad, lib. x., ver. 291.

    Ὡς νυν μοι εθελουσα παριστασο, και με φυλασσε·

    Σοι δ' αυ εγω ῥεξω βουν ηνιν ευρυμετωπον,

    Αδμητην, ἡν ουπω ὑπο ζυγον ηγαγεν ανηρ·

    Την τοι εγω ῥεξω, χρυσον κερασιν περιχευας.

    "So now be present, O celestial maid;

    So still continue to the race thine aid;

    continued...

    Barnes' Notes on Numbers 19:2

    A red heifer - Red, in order to shadow forth man's earthly body, even as the name Adam bears allusion to the red earth of which man's body was fashioned.

    Without spot, wherein is no blemish - As with sin-offerings generally Leviticus 4:3.

    Upon which never came yoke - So here and elsewhere (see the marginal references), in the case of female victims.