There are 2 words translated as “sprinkle” or “sprinkling” in the Tanach. The first word is “nazah” and it means “to spurt, spatter, splash or sprinkle” and this word is also linked to “exult with joy.” Sprinkling was done as if you were “wielding a whip” (Mishnah, Division Moed, Yoma 5.4) which is a direct allusion to Yeshua and his scourging. Understanding these words and how it was done “as if with a whip” will help us see how this relates to the Messiah.
The word “nazah” can be found in Exo 29.21 with the consecration of Aaron and the priests (Lev 8.30). In Lev 4.6 it is used for a priest who sins. In Lev 5.9 it is related to the Korban Asham (guilt offering) and the Korban Chata’at (sin offering) in Lev 6.29 and in the consecration of the Mishkan in Lev 8.11. Nazah is used in cleansing the lepers in Lev 14.7,16,27. It is used in the Yom Kippur ceremony in Lev 16.14 and in the consecration of the Levites in Num 8.7. In the ceremony of the Red Heifer, it is used in Num 19.4,18,19,21. In Isa 52.15 it says that the Messiah will “sprinkle” the nations and it is also in Isa 63.1-3, which is the last passage read during the Yom Kippur Neilah service.
The other word used in the Tanach for “sprinkle” is “zarak” and it means “sprinkle, scatter throw or toss.” You will see this word used in Exo 24.6-8; 29.16; Lev 1.5,11, 3.2,8,13; 7.2,14; 8.19,24. In Lev 9 we have the priests beginning their ministry after seven days of consecration. This will happen again when the sacrifices begin on the Rosh Ha Shannah that the Rapture happens on (it has happened before on Rosh Ha Shannah-Ezra 3.1-6, and it will happen again). The day that the Lord comes to take the believers off the earth before the Birthpains begin, will also be the day that the sacrifices begin in Jerusalem, on earth. The believers are going to be resurrected, go to judgment, a coronation and a wedding on that day in heaven.
But before this happens, these believers will possibly see the consecration of the Temple altar, the priests and the Levites and the Red Heifer ceremony is a part of that. Israel will have the Temple Mount before the Rapture. A Red Heifer will be killed seven days prior to the Rapture. Other verses with “zarak” are Lev 17.6; Num 18.17; 19.13,20 and 2 Kings 16.13,15. A good chapter to study about what will happen when they rededicate the Tribulation Temple is 2 Chr 3 through 5. This will all start with the burning of a Red Heifer, then the consecration ceremonies will begin.
The hyssop plant, called the “striking plant” is tied in with this sprinkling (like wielding a whip). It was used in the Egyptian Passover in Exo 12.22 and the cleansing of a leper in Lev 4.6,49,51,52. We know that it was used in the Red Heifer ceremony in Num 19.6,18 and David used the imagery when he asked for cleansing in Psa 51.7 because hyssop was tied in with the Yom Kippur passage found in Isa 1.18. Hyssop was the “agent” used to make something acceptable, like Yeshua is the agent of the Father to bring the Basar.
Now, what have we defined so far? We have looked into how the ceremony was conducted. We know that the ashes of a Red Heifer is absolutely necessary for having a priesthood, a Temple and a people consecrated to enter the Temple. We also know that the holy things used in worship must also be sprinkled with the ashes. This requires a Red Heifer and the ceremony, with all the other korbanot accompanying the ceremony. All of this will also require a sitting Sanhedrin because there will be dissention and arguing over exactly how all this will be accomplished after 2000 years.
There have only been about nine heifers sacrificed since Moses, so it wasn’t something they did every day (once every 400 years on an average). This will need to be done in a unified manner, not to mention the resistance that will come from the world, the animal rights people and Christianity, who will say that all sacrifices have been “done away with” in “Jesus” which will fall right into the hands of the false messiah, who later will end the sacrifices at the mid-point of the Birthpains.
The Red Heifer ceremony stands out from everything else in the Torah. It is separate and different. It is contained in the Torah Sidrah (portion) called “Chukat” (Num 19.1-22.1) and “chukat” means “statute.” So, let’s go over this concept while we are here and this will be very important to remember.
The Scriptures use terms like, “teaching, law, statutes, judgments, testimonies and commandments.” The “Torah” is translated “law” but it means “instruction, guidance, teaching” not “law.” The word for “commandments” is “mitzva’ot” and it contains the moral laws, like “stealing and murder.” Statutes is the word “chukim” and these are laws that you cannot readily explain, like the kosher laws and the Red Heifer. Judgments is “mishpatim” and this means decrees and ordinances, like for the Temple services. Testimonies is the word “edut” and these contained prophecy and things used as a witness.
When you see a verse that talks about the law, commandments, statutes, judgments and testimonies, they mean different things so it is good to know what the differences are. The word “halakah” means “how to walk” in these things, and there are five levels.
First, we have the written Scripture, which is the literal word of God. The next level are the things that are derived from or alluded to in the Torah. The third level are those things that are not derived from the Torah, but tradition says that it was derived from the written text, dating back to Sinai, called the Oral Law. The fourth level are the Rabbinic decrees, or fences, around certain Torah commands. The last level are the customs (ethics) and these cannot contradict a commandment, but these are traditions that adapt to new situations. The Red Heifer ceremony falls into the “chukim” category because it was one of those ceremonies that was hard to explain.
There is a direct parallel between the Parah Adumah (Red Heifer) and the heifer whose neck was broken for an unsolved murder in Deut 21.1-9, the cleansing of a leper, Yom Kippur and the Azazel goat and the waters of the Sotah (adultery test in Num 5.11-31). In Part 4, we will pick up here and continue to discuss the concept of “sprinkling” and to proceed further and learn more about the Parah Adumah.