Numbers19.docx - There are two ways to be ceremonially...

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There are two ways to be ceremonially clean in the Old Testament. The first way to remove uncleanness is by washing with water and waiting until evening. For more serious cases you had to offer a sacrifice. Contact with death is one of the more serious forms of defilement. Those who are made unclean by contact with death is that a sin offering had to be made. But offering a sacrifice was an expensive and time consuming procedure. You had to go to the sanctuary, you had to purchase or part with an expensive animal and it would have added to the burden already felt by a family who had suffered a death. So what they were given here was an alternative method for removing uncleanness that was much simpler, without expense, and with very little inconvenience to the worshipper. Instead of the sin offering itself the person could be treated with a concoction of water that contained all the ingredients of a sin offering.
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