Red Heifer Mania :: By Jeff Van Hatten

Prophecy continues to be fulfilled at an alarming pace. The state of Israel is a fact. Jerusalem is controlled by the Jews and belongs to Israel. The Hebrew language has been revived, and all Israeli citizens are required to learn it. The desert is blooming. And Jewish authorities are preparing to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.

On October 13, 2004, the Sanhedrin was reestablished for the first time since 425 AD and reconvened on February 9, 2005, to discuss the topic of the Third Temple. Since that time, all the gold and silver utensils and garments needed for Temple worship have either been recovered or re-manufactured. Only the Ark of the Covenant awaits recovery. The Temple building itself has been prefabricated and can be rebuilt as soon as permission is given to do so. Two hundred Kohen priests have been identified through DNA testing and are being trained to re-institute animal sacrifices according to scriptural requirements outlined in the Scroll of Leviticus. The breeding program for the red heifer has been established by the Temple Institute.


Heifers in scripture are very important. Deuteronomy Chapter 21:1-9 recounts the process for forgiving a town that is nearby a murder victim when the perpetrator of the murder is not known. The elders of the city nearest to the victim are to take a heifer that has never been put to work or yoked for use as a draft animal.

Jeremiah 48:34 recounts the wailing of the cities of Heshbon and Elealah that could be heard as far away as Jahaz, sounding like the cries of a three-year-old heifer.

A red heifer is necessary for purification from sin, according to Numbers Chapter 19. Today, once again, the headlines are ablaze with the news that a pure red heifer has been found.

The Perfect Heifer Requirements

Numbers 19:2 – “Tell the people of Israel to bring you a young red female cow without fault or defect and which has never borne a yoke.”

There are several main requirements:

  1. It must be a female cow.
  2. It must be a red heifer that has no blemish. In other words, if it has more than only two other color hairs, it is disqualified. Additionally, it must not have any physical blemishes or spots.
  3. It must have never been used for labor. In other words, never harnessed or yoked. It must have never been pregnant, nor have even been allowed to mate with a male cow.
  4. It must be within its third year. In other words, at least one day older than two years old.
  5. It must be slaughtered outside the holy city of Jerusalem but within sight of the Temple.

The first requirement, that the heifer be female, is exactly in opposition to the Egyptian superstition that only male cows were suitable for sacrifice and worship of their goddess Isis. Herodotus states that it is, in fact, not lawful for the Egyptians to offer females.

The second requirement, that the heifer was unblemished, applies to all animals that may be sacrificed; it must be unblemished and without defect in order to be accepted; it cannot have one limb too long, bruised, crushed, torn or cut genitals (Leviticus 22:21-24), as it points to Yeshua, whom Ephesians 5:27 affirms was without spot, wrinkle, or blemish, but who is holy and blameless.

Additionally, the heifer must also be red in color, maybe because the Egyptians only sacrificed red bulls to the evil demon Typhon. Those males were selected with great care. Plutarch states that the Egyptians “sacrifice red bulls, and select them with such scrupulous attention, that if the animal has a single black or white hair, they reckon it unfit to be sacrificed.”

Thirdly, an animal that had been used for a common purpose was deemed improper for sacrifice. An animal that had been yoked and used to plow the ground would be disqualified. An animal that had become pregnant would also be considered disqualified due to its use for a common purpose; bearing fruit.

The Priestly Requirements

The two hundred Kohen priests that have been identified through DNA testing must now be consecrated for service. The anointing oil was found in an archaeological dig in April 1988. The Mediterranean Sea Snail, which disappeared in 70 AD, has returned in great numbers and now makes it possible for the precious blue and the purple dye required for the High Priestly garments to be manufactured.

Only one requirement is still missing; the red heifer. None of the current priests are ceremonially clean. They cannot be cleansed until the water of separation is recreated. And that requires the ashes of a perfect red heifer!

The Breeding Program

Israeli law does not allow the importation of live cattle into Israel, so the Temple Institute imported frozen embryos of red Angus cows from the United States and implanted them into the wombs of Israeli domestic cows. Several calves have been born to those domestic cows.

Three years ago, the Temple Institute in Jerusalem established a breeding program called “Raise a Red Heifer in Israel” to raise the necessary item needed for purification of the Temple and its priests. The Jerusalem Post commented about the red heifer program saying, “an ancient commandment meets modern technology.”

Tradition, History, and Red Heifer Mania

According to Jewish tradition, the perfect heifer must be over two years old but under four years old, and perfect red heifers are extremely rare. Scripture says Moses prepared the first one during the Exodus. Ezra sacrificed the second red heifer during the days of the First Temple. The Mishna records the names of those who performed the sacrifice during the time of the Second Temple. They are: Simon the Just and Yochanan the High Priest each sacrificed two red heifers; El’yhoeini ben Hakof, Hanameel the Egyptian, and Yishmael ben Pi’avi sacrificed one each (Mishna Parah 3:5).

Scripture and other documents say that from the time of the Exodus until the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, only nine perfect red heifers have been sacrificed. Jewish tradition also informs us that there are to be only ten red heifers, and according to Maimonides, the tenth heifer will usher in the messianic age! He states: “…and the tenth red heifer will be accomplished by the king, the Messiah; may he be revealed speedily, Amen, May it be God’s will.”

The Temple Institute had identified two candidates, one in 1997 and another in 2002, both initially thought to have met the requirements but later found each to be unsuitable. The headlines read: “Apocalypse Cow” in the New York Times (1997) and News Flash: Red Heifer Born In Israel in a Temple Institute web posting (2002). In 2014 the headlines read Torah-Condition-For-3rd-Temple-Now-Met, and articles reported that the Temple Institute had posted a video showing what appeared to be a perfect red heifer that was being raised at an unidentified location in the United States.

A report from Right Side News said a “qualified” red heifer has not been seen in Israel for nearly 2,000 years. Other headlines said there really is a red heifer today that could move the progress on the Third Temple forward! Hot news at the time, but how could this heifer be used since it wasn’t born in Israel?

Seeing Red

In 2018, the headlines were once again ablaze with red heifer hysteria. Bible-Prophecy-Heifer-Apocalypse; A Red Heifer!; Prophecy fulfilled after red cow is born at Temple of Israel; and Apocalyptic cow: Does the first red heifer born in Israel portend bad news for us all? the headlines proclaimed.

According to The Temple Institute, on the 17th day of Elul, 5778 (August 28th, 2018, on the Gregorian calendar), a red [adom H122 אָדֹם] heifer [parah H6510 פָּרָה] (Parah Aduma) was born in the land of Israel, foreshadowing the rebuilding of the Third Temple and the arrival of their long-awaited Mashiach (Messiah). At one week of age, the heifer underwent an extensive examination by rabbinical experts and has been certified by the Rabbis as meeting all of the scriptural requirements. Two new red heifers were born in the early months of 2020 and are currently possible candidates for the Parah Aduma (10th Heifer).

In August, Rabbi Azaria Ariel inspected the current red heifer candidates and found that one of the two candidates has a few hairs which aren’t sufficiently red but could still qualify according to Jewish Law. The red heifer candidates will be examined again to determine whether they continue to possess the necessary requirements, according to Numbers 19:1-22 and the Mishna Tractate Parah.


Current global events appear to be lining up with the prophecies written in the Bible. However, other red heifers have initially been found to be qualified but later became disqualified as they began to age. Will this red heifer be The tenth, or will it too become disqualified as time goes on?

If…and I say, if…this red heifer turns out to be The tenth Parah Aduma, then the building of the Third Temple may be close at hand, even at the door. However, this will not usher in the arrival of the Jews’ long-awaited Mashiach (Messiah). Instead, it will usher in an unprecedented time of agony, bloodshed, disaster, pandemics, wars, and death, the likes of which this world has never seen. Yeshua says of this time: “For there will be great tribulation worse than there has ever been from the beginning of the world until now, and there will be nothing like it again!” (Matthew 24:21). The Third Temple will allow the False Messiah, the Antichrist, to enter into the Holy of Holies and declare himself to be God.

Final Thought

The great day of Yahweh is getting really near, even at the door. It hastens forth and will not delay. We do NOT set dates, but clearly, Yahweh is getting ready to change the course of human history once again. The signs are clear for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.