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QUESTION: Was the Water in the Brazen Laver Blessed?


In the wilderness temple or the temple that Moses built, the brazen laver was for washing and sanctification. My question: was the water used for washing blessed or was it plain water?

The Brazen Laver

The Brazen Laver

In Exodus 30:18 The Lord told Moses, “Make a bronze basin, with it bronze stand, for washing. Place it between the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and put water in it.

The priests were to wash themselves with water whenever they approached the altar (see Exodus 30:21 and many other passages).

I could find no reference to this being anything other than plain water.

Numbers 19 describes the “water of purification” and its use by the people for personal purification. This water was mixed with the ashes of a red heifer, slaughtered and burned outside the camp. This is not the same as the water in the laver or basin by the altar. I have, only half jokingly, referred to it as being similar to the lye soap my grandmother used to make from ashes with which she washed her clothes. These ashes mixed with water were for ritual purification, for example when someone should touch a dead body or anything else that would make one ritually “unclean”.

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