|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 7. - The priest shall be unclean until the even, i.e., the priest who superintended the sacrifice, and dipped his finger in the blood. Every one of these details was devised in order to express the intensely infectious character of death in its moral aspect. The very ashes, which were so widely potent for cleansing (verse 10), and the cleansing water itself (verse 19), made every one that touched them, even for the purifying of another, himself unclean. At the same time the ashes, while, as it were, so redolent of death that they must be kept outside the camp, were most holy, and were to be laid up by a clean man in a clean place (verse 9). These contradictions find their true explanation only when we consider them as foreshadowing the mysteries of the atonement.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
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 (l) 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, &c. 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.
(l) Misn. Parah, c. 4. sect. 4.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. the priest shall be unclean until the even—The ceremonies prescribed show the imperfection of the Levitical priesthood, while they typify the condition of Christ when expiating our sins (2Co 5:21).
Numbers 19:7 Parallel Commentaries
Numbers 19:7 NIV
Numbers 19:7 NLT
Numbers 19:7 ESV
Numbers 19:7 NASB
Numbers 19:7 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible