Numbers 19:18 MEANING

Numbers 19:18
Verse 18. - Shall take hyssop. See Exodus 12:22, and cf. Psalm 51:7.

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.And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water,.... Three stalks of hyssop bound together, as the Targum of Jonathan, and this man was to be a clean priest, according to the same; but it does not seem necessary that he should be a priest, but that anyone free from ceremonial pollution might do it:

and sprinkle it upon the tent; where there was a dead body: but this, we are told, is to be understood not of a tent made of wood, or stone, or clay, but made of anything woven, as linen: or of skins (u):

and upon all the vessels; in such a tent, that is, open ones, as before observed:

and upon the persons that were there: when the man died in it, or came into it since, and while the dead body was in it:

and upon him that touched a bone; of a dead man, or, as the Targum of Jonathan, the bone of a living man that is separated from him:

or one slain, or one dead; slain with a sword, or dead of the pestilence, as the same Targum, or of any other disease, or in any other way:

or a grave; or the covering or side of one, as the same Targum adds.

(u) Maimon. in Misn. Sabbat, c. 2. sect. 3.

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