New International Version
Anything that an unclean person touches becomes unclean, and anyone who touches it becomes unclean till evening."
King James Bible
And whatsoever the unclean person toucheth shall be unclean; and the soul that toucheth it shall be unclean until even.
Darby Bible Translation
And whatever the unclean person toucheth shall be unclean; and the soul that toucheth it shall be unclean until even.
World English Bible
"Whatever the unclean person touches shall be unclean; and the soul that touches it shall be unclean until evening."
Young's Literal Translation
and all against which the unclean person cometh is unclean, and the person who is coming against it is unclean till the evening.'
Numbers 19:22 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
He shall purify himself with it - יתחטא בו yithchatta bo, literally, he shall sin himself with it. This Hebrew form of speech is common enough among us in other matters. Thus to fleece, to bark, and to skin, do not signify to add a fleece, another bark, or a skin, but to take one away; therefore, to sin himself, in the Hebrew idiom, is not to add sin, but to take it away, to purify. The verb חטא chata signifies to miss the mark, to sin, to purify from sin, and to make a sin-offering. See the note on Genesis 13:13.
The Hebrews generally sacrificed males, no matter of what color; but here a heifer, and a heifer of a red color, is ordered. The reason of these circumstances is not very well known.
"The rabbins, with all their boldness," says Calmet, "who stick at nothing when it is necessary to explain what they do not understand, declare that the cause of this law is entirely unknown; and that Solomon, with all his wisdom, could not find it out."
Several fathers, as well modern as ancient, profess to understand the whole clearly.
1. The red heifer with them signifies the flesh of our Lord, formed out of an earthly substance.
2. Being without spot, etc., the infinite holiness of Christ.
3. The sex of the animal, the infirmity of our flesh, with which he clothed himself.
4. The red color, his passion.
5. Being unyoked, his being righteous in all his conduct, and never under the yoke of sin.
6. Eleazar's sacrificing the heifer instead of Aaron, Genesis 13:3, signifies the change of the priesthood from the family of Aaron, in order that a new and more perfect priesthood might take place.
7. The red heifer being taken without the camp (Genesis 13:3) to be slain, points out the crucifixion of our Lord without the city.
8. The complete consuming of the heifer by fire, the complete offering of the whole body and soul of Christ as a sacrifice to God for the sin of man: for as the heifer was without blemish, the whole might be offered to God; and as Christ was immaculate, his whole body and soul were made a sacrifice for sin.
9. As the fire of this sacrifice ascended up to God, so it points out the resurrection and ascension of our blessed Lord.
10. And as the ashes of this victim communicated a legal purity to those who were defiled, so true repentance, signified by those ashes, is necessary for the expiation of the offenses committed after baptism.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
LibraryNor, in that the Law Orders a Man to be Purified Even after Intercourse...
23. Nor, in that the Law orders a man to be purified even after intercourse with a wife, doth it show it to be sin: unless it be that which is allowed by way of pardon, which also, being in excess, hinders prayers. But, as the Law sets  many things in sacraments and shadows of things to come; a certain as it were material formless state of the seed, which having received form will hereafter produce the body of man, is set to signify a life formless, and untaught: from which formless state, …
St. Augustine—On the Good of Marriage
Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.
"'If anyone becomes aware that they are guilty--if they unwittingly touch anything ceremonially unclean (whether the carcass of an unclean animal, wild or domestic, or of any unclean creature that moves along the ground) and they are unaware that they have become unclean, but then they come to realize their guilt;
or if they touch human uncleanness (anything that would make them unclean) even though they are unaware of it, but then they learn of it and realize their guilt;
Anyone who touches something unclean--whether human uncleanness or an unclean animal or any unclean creature that moves along the ground --and then eats any of the meat of the fellowship offering belonging to the LORD must be cut off from their people.'"
or if he touches any crawling thing that makes him unclean, or any person who makes him unclean, whatever the uncleanness may be.
The one who touches any such thing will be unclean till evening. He must not eat any of the sacred offerings unless he has bathed himself with water.
Then Haggai said, "If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled?" "Yes," the priests replied, "it becomes defiled."
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