|New International Version (©2011)|
"This is a requirement of the law that the LORD has commanded: Tell the Israelites to bring you a red heifer without defect or blemish and that has never been under a yoke.
New Living Translation (©2007)
"Here is another legal requirement commanded by the LORD: Tell the people of Israel to bring you a red heifer, a perfect animal that has no defects and has never been yoked to a plow.
English Standard Version (©2001)
“This is the statute of the law that the LORD has commanded: Tell the people of Israel to bring you a red heifer without defect, in which there is no blemish, and on which a yoke has never come.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"This is the statute of the law which the LORD has commanded, saying, 'Speak to the sons of Israel that they bring you an unblemished red heifer in which is no defect and on which a yoke has never been placed.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
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:
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
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.
International Standard Version (©2012)
"This is the ordinance of the law that the LORD commanded that the Israelis be told: They are to bring you a spotless red heifer, without physical defect, that has never been fitted with a yoke.
NET Bible (©2006)
"This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD has commanded: 'Instruct the Israelites to bring you a red heifer without blemish, which has no defect and has never carried a yoke.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
"This is what the LORD's teachings have commanded: Tell the Israelites to bring you a red cow that is perfect, with no defects. Also, it must never have worn a yoke.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD has commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring you a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came a yoke:
American King James Version
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
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.
This is the observance of the victim, which the Lord hath ordained. Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee a red cow of full age, in which there is no blemish, and which hath not carried the yoke:
Darby Bible Translation
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 blemish, wherein is no defect, and upon which never came yoke;
English Revised Version
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:
Webster's Bible Translation
This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, in which is no blemish, and upon which never came a 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.
Young's Literal Translation
This is a statute of the law which Jehovah hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the sons of Israel, and they bring unto thee a red cow, a perfect one, in which there is no blemish, on which no yoke hath gone up;
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
19:1-10 The heifer was to be wholly burned. This typified the painful sufferings of our Lord Jesus, both in soul and body, as a sacrifice made by fire, to satisfy God's justice for man's sin. These ashes are said to be laid up as a purification for sin, because, though they were only to purify from ceremonial uncleanness, yet they were a type of that purification for sin which our Lord Jesus made by his death. The blood of Christ is laid up for us in the word and sacraments, as a fountain of merit, to which by faith we may have constant recourse, for cleansing our consciences.
Verse 2. - This is the ordinance of the law. חֻקַּת הַתּורָה. Law-statute: an unusual combination only found elsewhere in Numbers 31:21, which also concerns legal purifications. A red heifer. This offering was obviously intended, apart from its symbolic significance, to be studiedly simple and cheap. In contradiction to the many and costly and ever-repeated sacrifices of the Sinaitic legislation, this was a single individual, a female, and of the most common description: red is the most ordinary colour of cattle, and a young heifer is of less value than any other beast of its kind. The ingenuity indeed of the Jews heaped around the choice of this animal a multitude of precise requirements, and supplemented the prescribed ritual with many ceremonies, some of which are incorporated by the Targums with the sacred text; but even so they could not destroy the remarkable contrast between the simplicity of this offering and the elaborate complexity of those ordained at Sinai. Only six red heifers are said to have been needed during the whole of Jewish history, so far-reaching and so long-enduring were the uses and advantages of a single immolation. It is evident that this ordinance had for its distinguishing character oneness as opposed to multiplicity, simplicity contrasted with elaborateness. Without spot, wherein is no blemish. See on Leviticus 4:8. However little, comparatively speaking, the victim might cost them, it must yet be perfect of its kind. The later Jews held that three white hairs together on any part of the body made it unfit for the purpose. On the sex and color of the offering see below. Upon which never came yoke. Cf. Deuteronomy 21:3; 1 Samuel 6:7. The imposition of the yoke, according to the common sentiment of all nations, was a species of degradation, and therefore inconsistent with the ideal of what was fit to be offered in rids ease. That the matter was wholly one of sentiment is nothing to the point: God doth not care for oxen of any kind, but he doth care that man should give him what is, whether in fact or in fancy, the best of its sort.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord hath commanded,.... By which it appears, that this law was not of the moral, but of the ceremonial kind, being called an ordinance, a statute, a decree of God, the King of kings; and which was founded not on any clear plain reason in the thing itself, but in the will of God, who intended it as a type and shadow of the blood and sacrifice of Christ, and of the efficacy of that to cleanse from sin; and it also appears by this, that it was not a new law now made, but which had been made already: "which the Lord hath commanded": as is plain from what has been observed; see Gill on Numbers 19:1; and the Jews (q) say, that the red heifer was slain by Eleazar the day after the tabernacle was erected, even on the second day of the first month of Israel's coming out of Egypt; and it was now repeated both on account of the priests and people, because of the priest to whom it belonged, as Aben Ezra observes, Aaron being now established in the priesthood; and because of the people, who were afraid they should die if they came near the tabernacle; now hereby they are put in mind of a provision made for the purification of them, when under any uncleanness, which made them unfit for coming to it:
saying, speak unto the children of Israel; whom this law concerned, and for whose purification it was designed; and it was at the expense not of a private person, but of the whole congregation, that the water of purifying was made; and that, as the Jews say (r), that the priests might have no personal profit from it:
that they bring thee a red heifer; or "young cow", for so the word properly signifies; one of two years old, as the Targum of Jonathan, and so says the Misnah (s); though some of the Rabbins say one of three years, or of four years, or even one of five years old, would do. This instance, with others, where females are ordered to be slain, see Leviticus 3:1; confutes the notion of such, who think the laws of Moses were made in conformity to the customs of the Egyptians, this being directly contrary to them; if they were the same in the times of Moses, they were in the times of Herodotus, who expressly says (t), male oxen the Egyptians sacrifice; but it is not lawful for them to sacrifice females, for they are sacred to Isis. Indeed, according to Plutarch (u) and Diodorus Siculus (w), the Egyptians in their times sacrificed red bullocks to Typhon, who they supposed was of the same colour, and to whom they had an aversion, accounting him the god of evil; and because red oxen were odious to them, they offered them to him; as red-haired men also were slain by them for the same reason, at the tomb of Osiris, who they say was murdered by the red-haired Typhon; but these were superstitions that obtained among them after the times of Moses, and could not be retorted to by him; a better reason is to be given why this heifer or cow was to be of a red colour:
without spot, wherein is no blemish; the first of these, without spot, the Jews understand of colour, that it should have no spots in it of any other colour, black or white, nor indeed so much as an hair, at least not two of another colour; and so the Targum of Jonathan, in which there is no spot or mark of a white hair; and Jarchi more particularly,"which is perfect in redness; for if there were in it (he says) two black hairs, it was unfit;''and so Ben Gersom, with which agrees the Misnah (x); if there were in it two hairs, black or white, in one part, it was rejected; if there was one in the head, and another in the tail, it was rejected; if there were two hairs in it, the root or bottom of which were black, and the head or top red, and so on the contrary; all depended on the sight: and it must be owned, the same exactness was observed in the red oxen sacrificed by the Egyptians, as Plutarch relates (y); for if the ox had but one hair black or white, they reckoned it was not fit to be sacrificed; in which perhaps they imitated the Jews: it being without blemish was what was common to all sacrifices, such as are described in Leviticus 22:22,
and upon which never came yoke; and so among the Heathens in later times, very probably in imitation of this, they used to offer to their deities oxen that never had bore any yoke; as appears from Homer, Horace, Virgil, Ovid, and Seneca, out of whom instances are produced by Bochart (z). Now, though this red cow was not properly a sacrifice for sin, yet it was analogous to one, and was a type of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom all these characters meet, and are significant. It being a female may denote the infirmities of Christ's human nature, to which it was subject, though sinless ones; he was encompassed with, and took on him, our infirmities; and may have some respect to the woman, by whom the transgression came, which brought impurity on all human nature, which made a purification for sin necessary; and the red colour of it may point at the flesh and blood of Christ he partook of, and the sins of his people, which were laid upon him, and were as crimson and as scarlet, and the bloody sufferings he endured to make satisfaction for them; and its being without spot and blemish may denote the perfection of Christ in his person, obedience, and sufferings, and the purity and holiness of his nature; and having never had any yoke upon it may signify, that though he was made under the law, and had commands enjoined him by his father as man, yet was free from the yoke of human traditions, and from the servitude of sin, and most willingly engaged, and not by force and compulsion, in the business of our redemption and salvation.
(q) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 7. p. 22. (r) Misn. Shekalim, c. 7. sect. 7. & Maimon, in ib. (s) Misn. Parah, c. 1. sect. 1.((t) Euterpe, sive, l. 2. c. 41. (u) De lside. (w) Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 79. (x) Parah, c. 2. sect. 5. (y) Ut supra. (Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 79.) (z) Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 2. c. 33. vol. 322.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. This is the ordinance of the law—an institution of a peculiar nature ordained by law for the purification of sin, and provided at the public expense because it was for the good of the whole community.
Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, &c.—This is the only case in which the color of the victim is specified. It has been supposed the ordinance was designed in opposition to the superstitious notions of the Egyptians. That people never offered a vow but they sacrificed a red bull, the greatest care being taken by their priests in examining whether it possessed the requisite characteristics, and it was an annual offering to Typhon, their evil being. By the choice, both of the sex and the color, provision was made for eradicating from the minds of the Israelites a favorite Egyptian superstition regarding two objects of their animal worship.
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