Numbers 19 — The red heifer

One of the most mysterious passages regarding the sacrifices involved with the sanctuary and temple of Israel is the red heifer. In fact, this teaching in Numbers 19 is intimately connected with the mission of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus).

Thought questions

  • Does God expect us to do things without knowing the meaning, such as the red heifer?
    • What is “the decree/statute of the Torah,” as prefaced at the beginning of this chapter?
  • What does “the third day” always signify in prophecy?
    • Why must a person who handled death do on the third day?
    • What happened on the third day after Messiah’s death?
  • Why are those made impure from contact with dead bodies washed on the seventh day?
    • What does “the seventh day” represent in prophecy?
  • What is the seventh-day washing of the red heifer typify in Messiah’s life?
  • Why is the red heifer killed outside the tabernacle, when all the other sacrifices killed inside?
  • Where did the red heifer and Messiah die in relation to the tabernacle and Yerushalayim, respectively?
  • Why is the Mount of Olives a large graveyard?
  • Why will Messiah put His feet down on the Mount of Olives first when He returns?
  • Does God want us to be associated with dead things?
  • How does the red heifer apply today?
    • Who is our High Priest?
  • Is this a cleaning of the dead or the living?
  • Why are the Orthodox Jews waiting and breeding for a red heifer?
    • What are they looking to re-establish?
  • Where is God’s resting place that we are longing for Him to finally move to?
  • What does that have to do with the cleansing from the death?
  • How long does the “cut off from the people” sentence last?
    • What does it mean to be “cut off”?
  • What happened when Messiah touched a dead body?
  • What happened when Paul and Eliyahu did?
  • How does the red heifer related to the discussion of the “old covenant” and “new covenant” in Hebrews 8 and 9?
    • How clean are the just and unjust at their resurrection?
  • A common teaching is that all you need to do is pray the “sinner’s prayer” and be baptized and one is saved. Based on Numbers 19 and Hebrews 9, is that true?
  • How does “not part of this creation” (Hebrews 9:11) relate to Genesis 1:1?
    • How does this relate to the design of the Tent of Meeting?
  • How is Yeshua’s sacrifice superior to the blood of goats, bulls and the red heifer (Hebrews 9:13-14)?
  • How does the red heifer represent “dead works” described in Hebrews 9:14?
  • How does this relate to the Numbers 19 command to purify one who has touched the dead else that person is barred from the Tent of Meeting?
    • How is that barring equivalent to being barred from haShamayim, or Heaven?
  • Why is the red heifer killed in the presence of the high priest but not by the high priest?
    • Why is the red heifer slaughtered outside the community/Tent and its blood brought back to be sprinkled at the entrance?
    • What is the significance of cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet-colored wool in Numbers 19?
  • How does rabbinic teaching on Job 14:4 that no one can bring pure from impure but Messiah relate to Numbers 19?
    • How does it relate to the “dead works” described in Hebrews 9?

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