Numbers 19:19
And the clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day: and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, and wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even.
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(19) He shall purify himself, and wash . . . —The rendering should be, he (i.e., the clean person) shall purify him (i.e., the unclean person), and he (the unclean person) shall wash . . .

19:11-22 Why did the law make a corpse a defiling thing? Because death is the wages of sin, which entered into the world by it, and reigns by the power of it. The law could not conquer death, nor abolish it, as the gospel does, by bringing life and immortality to light, and so introducing a better hope. As the ashes of the heifer signified the merit of Christ, so the running water signified the power and grace of the blessed Spirit, who is compared to rivers of living water; and it is by his work that the righteousness of Christ is applied to us for our cleansing. Those who promise themselves benefit by the righteousness of Christ, while they submit not to the grace and influence of the Holy Spirit, do but deceive themselves; we cannot be purified by the ashes, otherwise than in the running water. What use could there be in these appointments, if they do not refer to the doctrines concerning the sacrifice of Christ? But comparing them with the New Testament, the knowledge to be got from them is evident. The true state of fallen man is shown in these institutions. Here we learn the defiling nature of sin, and are warned to avoid evil communications.One practical effect of attaching defilement to a dead body, and to all that touched it, etc., would be to insure early burial, and to correct a practice not uncommon in the East, of leaving the deal to be devoured by the wild beasts. 14. when a man dieth in a tent, &c.—The instances adduced appear very minute and trivial; but important ends, both of a religious and of a sanitary nature, were promoted by carrying the idea of pollution from contact with dead bodies to so great an extent. While it would effectually prevent that Egyptianized race of Israelites imitating the superstitious custom of the Egyptians, who kept in their houses the mummied remains of their ancestors, it ensured a speedy interment to all, thus not only keeping burial places at a distance, but removing from the habitations of the living the corpses of persons who died from infectious disorders, and from the open field the unburied remains of strangers and foreigners who fell in battle. No text from Poole on this verse.

And the clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean,.... The clean priest shall sprinkle upon the unclean man, as the Targum of Jonathan; that is, he shall sprinkle the water of purification upon him that is unclean in any of the above ways:

on the third day, and on the seventh day; See Gill on Numbers 19:12,

and on the seventh day he shall purify himself; either the unclean person, who shall perfect his purification, as Jarchi interprets it, that is, by doing what follows; or else the clean person, who becomes in some measure unclean, by sprinkling and touching the water of separation, as appears from Numbers 19:21 as the priest that sprinkled the blood of the heifer, and the man that burnt it and gathered its ashes, Numbers 19:7.

and wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even; in like manner as the man that let go the goat into the wilderness, Leviticus 16:26.

And the clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day: and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, and {l} wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even.

(l) Because he had been among them that were unclean: or else had touched the water as in Nu 19:21.

19. he shall wash his clothes &c.] The defiled person must do this after having been sprinkled. This is absent from the law in Numbers 19:12.

Verse 19. - On the third day, and on the seventh day. The twice-repeated application of holy water marked the clinging nature of the pollution to be removed; so also the repetition of the threat in the following verse marked the heinousness of the neglect to seek its removal. Numbers 19:19Ceremony of purification. They were to take for the unclean person some of the dust of the burning of the cow, i.e., some of the ashes obtained by burning the cow, and put living, i.e., fresh water (see Leviticus 14:5), upon it in a vessel. A clean man was then to take a bunch of hyssop (see Exodus 12:22), on account of its inherent purifying power, and dip it in the water, on the third and seventh day after the defilement had taken place, and to sprinkle the tent, with the vessels and persons in it, as well as every one who had touched a corpse, whether a person slain, or one who had died a natural death, or a grave; after which the persons were to wash their clothes and bathe, that they might be clean in the evening. As the uncleanness in question is held up as the highest grade of uncleanness, by its duration being fixed at seven days, i.e., an entire week, so the appointment of a double purification with the sprinkling water shows the force of the uncleanness to be removed; whilst the selection of the third and seventh days was simply determined by the significance of the numbers themselves. In Numbers 19:20, the threat of punishment for the neglect of purification is repeated from Numbers 19:13, for the purpose of making it most emphatic.
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