The Red Heifer, Jewish Beliefs, and the End of the World

Red Heifer
Red Angus Heifer

By COGwriter

Have you heard about the red heifers? Do you know what one is?

Here is a definition of a heifer:

heif·er [hef-er] noun a young cow over one year old that has not produced a calf. ( accessed 06/28/14)

heif·er noun \ˈhe-fər\ : a young female cow; especially : one that has not had a calf ( accessed 06/28/14)

heifer noun [C] /ˈhef.ər/ US /-ɚ/ a young cow, especially one that has not yet given birth to a calf (= baby cow) ( accessed 06/28/14)

Some consider cows are heifers after about six months. Whether it is under or over a year, a 'red' heifer is a female cow that is reddish brown in color which has not produced a calf. They mainly look brown, but with some reddishness.

Certain Jews believe that God will provide a red heifer just before the Messiah will arise. Some farmers are even raising cattle in the hope of providing the red heifer certain Jews feel is needed. Essentially some feel this is for a type of re-sanctification of the priesthood. Without that "red heifer" and/or the related sanctification, the sacrifices the Bible says will be stopped (Daniel 9:27, 11:31) cannot be resumed according to certain Jews.

Thus, if the relevant Jews willing to sacrifice animals believe this is needed, the location of a ritualistically proper red heifer can be a major milestones in the sequence of end-time events.

Here is a link to a related video: Red Heifers and the Fate of the World.

Red Heifers Havee Been Claimed to Have Been Found

Years ago, a reddish heifer found in the USA had some in Israel concerned:


Institute reports required ‘red heifer’ being raised in U.S.

The Jerusalem-based Temple Institute has taken on the goal of rebuilding the Third Jewish Temple, regarded by Jews and Christians as a precursor to the coming of the Messiah.

The plan is guaranteed to provoke world conflict, since the Islamic Dome of the Rock now sits on the presumed Temple site…

The organization posted a video this month showing what appears to be a perfect red heifer that is being raised at an unidentified location in the United States.

“In truth, the fate of the entire world depends on the red heifer,” the institute says.

“For G-d has ordained that its ashes alone are the single missing ingredient for the reinstatement of biblical purity – and thereafter, the rebuilding of the Holy Temple.”

The Temple Institute says purification with the red heifer “reminds us that man has the potential to rise above his transitory physical existence, with all its false sense of hopelessness and misery … the impurity of death.”

Finding a red heifer is like finding a needle in a hay stack. But early this week some overly industrious Jew managed to do just that in the United States of America.

This finding is all the more intriguing considering that on the coming Sabbath (Shabbat) Jews will read in the synagogues the Torah portion that begins with one of the mysterious commandment of the Red Heifer: “Tell the Israelites to procure for you a red heifer that is free from every blemish and defect and on which no yoke has ever been laid…” (Num. 19:2ff).

The Red Heifer is an extremely rare creature. According to Jewish tradition, during the two thousand years from the time this commandment was given until the destruction of the Second Temple in the first century AD, only nine red cows that met the biblical criteria were ever found.

For a cow to be a Red Heifer it has to be without blemish, one that was never put to work and completely reddish. Jewish law requires keeping the young cow under strict care until it reaches three years old. During this time, leaning on the cow, riding it even once or even putting a piece of cloth on its back disqualifies it from becoming a Red Heifer…

The discovery of a red calf that could potentially become a Red Heifer excites many Jews who believe that Moses prepared the first Red Heifer and Messiah will prepare the last one.

The possibility of finding a real Red Heifer prompted the Temple Institute to make the logistic preparations needed for bringing the American calf to Israel and to train priests that will perform this sacred and rare sacrificial ceremony.

At least in theory, this calf could help Jews sufficiently purify themselves to engage in real Temple activities. For now, however, believers will have to chew their nails for at least two and a half years before it will be known whether or not this import is the Red Heifer.

A Passover Sign form God?

April 5, 2015

A possible parah adumah, a full red heifer, is attracting attention across the Jewish world as the cow, located on a small farm outside of Lakewood, NJ, is getting set to reach its second birthday, Hamodia reported.

An extremely rare phenomenon, according to Jewish law, the cow would only become permissible for use after its second birthday, in which it will be fully inspected for any blemishes, included hairs that are not red.

A red heifer is necessary to make ash needed for the ritual purification process to carry out services in the Jewish Temple.

“Somebody from Brooklyn called and offered me one million dollars for her, but I told him that she’s not for sale. This is a gift from Hashem (God),” owner Herbert Celler told the newspaper. “When he asked what I’m going to do with her, I told him that I’m going to be the first in line when Moshaich (the Messiah) comes.”

According to Celler, the cow was born on April 2, 2013 during Passover. The farmer explained that he has been “extremely vigilant” in making sure that the cow does not engage in any work or sustaining any blemishes, which may disqualify the cow according to Jewish law.

The fate of the world does not depend on upon a red heifer being found, though at some point in time, at least one will apparently be pointed to as important. The one 'found' in 2014 was later determined ineligible--hence it ws not a Passover sign.

Here are some Jewish claims of red heifer features/requirements:

The heifer must be three years old and perfect in its redness. This means that the presence of as few as two hairs of any other color will render it invalid; it is related that for this reason, the red heifer was always very expensive to procure. Even its hooves must be red. It must also be totally free from any physical blemish or defect, whether internal or external.

Although the red heifer is not a sacrifice per se, for it is not slaughtered in the Temple, it is forbidden that the heifer should possess any of those blemishes which render any sacrifice invalid - such as those enumerated in the book of Leviticus, chapter 22. The red heifer also has an additional, unique requirement: it must have never been used to perform any physical labor. In fact, using the animal in any physical sense at all would render it invalid, even for the slightest, most minor thing. This would include riding, or even leaning on her. The only exception would be some labor which is intrinsically necessary for the heifer's own welfare, such as tying her for her own safety. But if a yoke were placed upon her even once, even if she were not used to plow - this would be enough to render the heifer unfit for use. Thus Scripture states, "that a yoke never went on."

The commandment calls for the animal to be a "heifer," that is, 3 or 4 years old; although an older animal could also be used. Since the verse instructs us to take a heifer, we do not purchase a calf and wait for it to grow older while in our custody; "and take a heifer" means that the act of acquisition has to take place while the animal is a heifer. However, if a red calf is available, a price can be set with its owner, and the transaction can be concluded, but we do not take possession until it reaches the proper age as mandated by the Bible. (The Red Heifer. The Temple Institute. accessed 09/12/18)

Now, I will add that some of the requirements that the Jews have are NOT biblical, so compromise on some points would seem to be possible.

That being said, in 2022 the Temple Institute reported that five red heifers arrived in Israel:

Elul 20, 5782/September 16, 2022 …

Red Heifers Arrive In Israel! On Thursday, September 15, 2022, 5 PM, 5 perfect, unblemished red heifers arrived in Israel from the USA. A modest ceremony was held at the unloading bay of the cargo terminal at Ben Gurion airport, where the new arrivals were greeted and speeches were made by the incredible people who have put their hearts and souls and means into making this historic/prophetic day become a reality.

Israel365 News reported:

September 16, 2022

The Temple Institute and Boneh Israel made a huge step towards reinstating the Temple service on Thursday when five red heifers landed at Ben Gurion International Airport.

The red heifer was the main component in the Biblically mandated process of ritual purification for impurity that results from proximity or contact with a dead body. Because the elements needed for this ceremony have been lacking since the destruction of the Second Temple, all Jews today are considered ritually impure, thereby preventing the return of the Temple service. …

even in Temple times, an animal that fulfilled the Biblical requirements was exceedingly rare. Failing to produce a suitable candidate from ranchers in Israel, The Temple Institute began investigating alternative sources for a red heifer.

Boneh Israel, an organization that connects Christian lovers of Israel to the Holy Land, stepped in to help. … One of the major difficulties was that the government requires tagging calves right after birth. The ear tag creates a hole in the calve’s ear, a blemish that disqualifies the calf for the Mitzvah. The farmer explained that because of COVID, the employee who normally puts in the tags did not come to the farm when these five calves were born. …

The cows were between 5-8 months old. To be suitable for the red heifer ceremony, the cow must be two years and one day old so these heifers will be raised in Israel until they reach the proper age. …

Chanan Kupietzky, an Orthodox Jewish resident of Efrat …

Chanan pointed out that last year was 5781 in the Hebrew calendar.

“In Hebrew numerology, this is תשפא. That is an acronym for תהיה שנה פרה אדומה (it will be the year of the red heifer). The cows we are looking at now were conceived last year,” Kupietzy said. “This year is תשפ,ב 5782, an acronym for תהיה שנה פרה בישראל (It will be a year for the heifer in Israel). In two weeks we will begin תשפג, 5783, the year in which the ceremony of the Red Heifer will be performed. This is an acronym for תהיה שנה פרה גאולה (It will be a year of the Red Heifer of redemption).”…

According to Jewish tradition, there will only be ten red heifers in human history with the tenth heifer ushering in the Messianic era. Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (Maimonides), the most renowned medieval Jewish scholar known by the acronym Rambam, wrote in his explanation of the mitzvah that “the tenth red heifer will be accomplished by the king, the Messiah; may he be revealed speedily, Amen, May it be God’s will.”

Let me clearly state that two years past was not year 5781 anno mundi (year of the world), the next one was not 5782, and the from September 25, 2022 through sunset September 15, 2023 is not 5783 despite Jewish claims. Jewish scholars know full well that their ‘year count’ is off by over 200 years. For details, check out the article, Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?

We will see what “redemption” ceremony Jews may or may not perform this year (which for the Jews, the current year ends at sunset on September 15, 2023). While the Temple Institute has information about a Levitical priest conducting a red heifer sacrifice ceremony (see, despite the statement from Chanan Kupietzky, I have not seen anything from the Temple Institute suggesting it is about to have one of the red heifers killed soon.

However, it is likely that if one red heifer is still acceptable to the Temple Institute--hence the last and tenth one to come according to Jewish tradition--this sacrifice will happen in 2023 or 2024 as they do not want to have the red heifer be too old.

That said, presuming they do not disqualify all of them, all but one red heifer candidate will be disqualified. If a cow gets hurt, gets bred, or “too many” white hairs come, those factors would disqualify a cow. Notice also:


This coming Shabbat we read in synagogues around the world, the third of the four special (additional) Torah readings that are read during the month of Adar, in anticipation of the upcoming holiday of Passover. Parashat Para, (Numbers 19:1-22) presents the chok (statute) of the Red Heifer (Para Aduma). This serves as a reminder that the ashes of the red heifer are necessary for the purification of Passover pilgrims heading to the Holy Temple with their Passover offerings. Tum'at met - the impurity contracted by contact with a corpse - must be remedied by the sprinkling of the ashes of the red heifer before the Passover pilgrim can ascend the Temple Mount with his offering.

Since the destruction of the Holy Temple 2,000 years ago, parashat Para has been read during the month of Adar as a reminder of what used to be. But today, following the ingathering of the exiles, as prophesized by the Hebrew prophets of old, the establishment of the independent state of Israel, and the liberation of the Temple Mount, parashat Para also serves as an urgent reminder as to what needs to be done in anticipation of the rebuilding of the Holy Temple and the renewal of the Passover offerings, may it be soon!

The five red heifer candidates that were greeted at Ben Gurion airport this past summer, we are happy to relate, are healthy and thriving. One of the five, unfortunately, has grown some non-red hairs and is therefore disqualified from becoming the red heifer which can provide the much longed for ashes. The remaining four, however, are still viable candidates.

It should be noted that the Temple Institute only needs ONE, not five, red heifers. And since they believe that there have only been nine in recorded history, at least three of the remaining heifers will some day be disqualified.

This red heifer matter is a BIG DEAL to various Jews, such as those in the Temple Institute. The group also has some political influence and may point to having at least one red heifer as a Divine sign that the Jews can re-implement regular sacrifices.

Related to the red heifers, the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) put together the following Bible News Prophecy video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel,:


The Temple Institute announced that “5 perfect, unblemished red heifers arrived in Israel from the USA” on September 15, 2022.. Chanan Kupietzky, an Orthodox Jewish teacher, pointed out that last year was 5781 in the Jewish calendar, pointing to the year these red heifers were conceived, 5782 is when they were to arrive in Israel, and that the year beginning sunset September 25, 2022 is supposedly 5783, which is supposed to be the year of red heifer redemption. Is that the correct year anno mundi (year of the earth) or is 5989 to 5992 more in line with history? What about the claimed Shemitah year? Might the appearance of a proper red heifer encourage the Sanhedrin to begin regular animal sacrifices? Might political considerations result in the resumption of animal sacrifices? Does the Bible show that animal sacrifices in Israel will be stopped? Does possibly having a red heifer mean that a massive Jewish temple is about to be rebuilt in Jerusalem? Do Christians need the sacrifice of Jesus or the blood of a red heifer to be purified? How close do we seem to be for Daniel 9:27b to be fulfilled?

Here is a link to our video: 5 Red Heifers and Year 5783?

We are getting closer to the time when Daniel 9:7 and 11:31 are to be fulfilled.

There is Already Opposition to the Idea of Animal Sacrifices

It should be pointed that many are opposed to animal sacrifices, and would oppose things such as sacrificing a red heifer.

In a book I wrote in 2009, I warned that the prophesied "starting of sacrifices in Israel might be perceived as the terrible crime" (2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect, p. 302) that the King of the North may point to as a reason to stop them as is taught in Daniel 11:31.

In late 2014, a court in India banned religious animal sacrifices as barbaric (see India court bans religious animal sacrifices: will this impact the Jews?).

Certain Jewish groups, like The Temple Institute, believe that the fate of the world depends on upon a red heifer being found and then sacrificed. The Old Testament clearly teaches that those who follow it alone (without the New Testament) are to sacrifice animals (e.g. Exodus 12:1-7; Leviticus 16:15-16).

Although, the New Testament does away with this (Hebrews 9:9-12; 10:1-7), the Jews that do not accept that Jesus was the Christ (which is the vast majority of them), do not consider that the New Testament is scripture, hence their only religious text commands them to sacrifice animals. And the Bible shows that this will happen again and will be stopped by the final King of the North:

27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate. (Daniel 9:27)

31 And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. (Daniel 11:31)

It is not just the Indian court decision that I believe that the King of the North will point to. I believe that animal rights' groups will scream in protest against Israel once it allows animal sacrifices again.  I also believe that the Arab and Islamic world will protest such sacrifices.

Interestingly, notice the following Catholic writings:

Abbot Herman of Lehnin (died 1300) Towards the end of the world “Israel will commit a terrible crime for which it will suffer death.” (Culleton, R. Gerald.  The Prophets and Our Times. Nihil Obstat: L. Arvin.  Imprimatur: Philip G. Scher, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno, November 15, 1941.  Reprint 1974, TAN Books, Rockford (IL), p. 151)

Catholic priest and writer R. Gerald Culleton (20th century): After the birth of Anti-Christ and shortly before the rise of the Great Monarch, the false doctrines were to multiply …In the last days before Anti-Christ, there are to appear many anti-christs… Towards the end of the world the Jews are to commit some atrocious crime for which they will be greatly persecuted…the Great Monarch…This Lion Monarch… together with the Great Pope or Angelic Pastor, shall appear after socialism…(Culleton, pp. 25,27,28,50)

Perhaps “after socialism” may mean after communism falls, like it mainly did in the late 20th century.  True Church of God Christians with “Jewish practices,” who could be considered a type of “Anti-Christ” by Greco-Romans (see Do Certain Greco-Roman Catholic Prophecies About Antichrist Warn Against Jesus? ), are to be greatly persecuted around the time of the Great Roman Catholic “Lion” Monarch (see Persecutions by Church and State).  The “atrocious crime” could refer to the “crime” of pointing out that the modern Roman Catholics are not the faithful representatives of true apostolic Christianity and that their apparent Great Monarch represents not the solution, but the ten-horned beast of Revelation. Or maybe it refers to the Jews re-instituting sacrifices. Or perhaps a combination of factors.

Either way, the King of the North is prophesied to stop animal sacrifices.  He may very well state that he is stopping international 'crime' by causing animal sacrifices to cease.

The Bible Teaches About a Red Heifer

Here is what the Bible says about a red heifer:

1 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 2 “This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord has commanded, saying: ‘Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring you a red heifer without blemish, in which there is no defect and on which a yoke has never come. 3 You shall give it to Eleazar the priest, that he may take it outside the camp, and it shall be slaughtered before him; 4 and Eleazar the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, and sprinkle some of its blood seven times directly in front of the tabernacle of meeting. 5 Then the heifer shall be burned in his sight: its hide, its flesh, its blood, and its offal shall be burned. 6 And the priest shall take cedar wood and hyssop and scarlet, and cast them into the midst of the fire burning the heifer. 7 Then the priest shall wash his clothes, he shall bathe in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp; the priest shall be unclean until evening. 8 And the one who burns it shall wash his clothes in water, bathe in water, and shall be unclean until evening. 9 Then a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and store them outside the camp in a clean place; and they shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for the water of purification; it is for purifying from sin. 10 And the one who gathers the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until evening. It shall be a statute forever to the children of Israel and to the stranger who dwells among them. (Numbers 19:1-10)

Jews have interpreted this to mean that another red heifer needs to be sacrificed for sacrifices to be resumed or for the Messiah to return. While that is not directly stated above, it could be implied from that one is again needed. And if those who want to sacrifice will not do so until they have a red heifer, then in that respect a red heifer is important. Certain Jews, like those of the Temple Institute, have added non-biblical requirements for the 'tenth red heifer' that while not biblically essential (and Jesus complainted that the Jews in His day did that as well as is recorded in Mark 7:9-13), may be humanly necessary for the Jews to accept a particular red heifer as rabbinically valid.

Some Jews believe that the Books of Daniel and Isaiah tell about a future red heifer, despite the fact that they do not specify one. Notice the following passages that are sometimes cited starting with those in Daniel:

9 And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.

11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. (Daniel 12:9-12)

While certain Jews tie the purification in verse 10 to the removal of sacrifices in verse 11, the Bible does not tie this in with a red heifer. Some Jews then tie in the following from Isaiah:

18 “Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

Some Jews tie the burning of scarlet in Numbers 19:6 to the above. Yet, while sins can be as scarlet, the Bible is not saying that this is related to a red heifer. It is a call from God to repent. And Christians do this without a red heifer (Acts 2:38) as it is not possible that the blood of bulls or goats to take away sins (Hebrews 10:4). Jesus takes away sins (John 1:36).

Notice also the following:

11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:11-15)

Christians do not need any heifer, but certain Jews who reject Jesus' sacrifice think that they do.

While Jesus DID NOT specifically mention a 'red heifer' as a sign to look for in Matthew 24, He did refer to the Book of Daniel, which discusses sacrifices being stopped (Daniel 9:27; 11:31). In order for them to be stopped, they first must be started. And if the Jews who want to re-institute animal sacrifices do not believe that they can without a red heifer, then having one would seem to be of prophetic significance.

Jewish Teachings and Traditions

The Jews have various traditions about the red heifer. In the Mishnah (Parah 3.5) it was claimed that “Moses prepared the first, Ezra prepared the second, and five were prepared after Ezra.”

Supposedly there have been only nine proper prepared ones and the tenth one is what is needed.

The Living Church of God has taught:

Farmers are even raising cattle in the hope of providing the "red heifer" needed for the re-sanctification of the priesthood (Numbers 19:1–10). Without that sanctification, the sacrifices cannot be made—so those who are watching end-time prophetic events know that the slaughter of the red heifer is one of the first major milestones in this final sequence of end-time events. (Wakefied D. The Bright Line. Tomorrows World magazine, July-August 2009)

However, this is not quite the case. It might be that a red heifer will be sacrificed. However, not all Jews who believe in the need for a red heifer believe that it must be slaughtered before sacrifices can be resumed. They simply believe one is needed and that perhaps the Messiah will later sacrifice it. Those who expect that a red heifer must be sacrificed prior to the sacrifices of Daniel 9:27, 11:31 taking place may find that they are in error and will discount true biblical end time fulfillments.

Notice the following:

Before the Temple can be rebuilt and Temple worship can be resumed, a perfect red heifer must be found.

And now one has been discovered.

According to Orthodox Jewish authorities, a suitable red heifer cannot even have a single black hair.  So finding such a creature is not easy.  According to Jewish tradition, only nine such red heifers were found during the entire time when the first two temples were standing.  And if this current red heifer ever does any work or ever mates it will be disqualified.  The following comes from a Jewish source

The sages infer that the Red Heifer must be completely red—even two black hairs would render it invalid. And it must not have done any work in its lifetime—even having a yoke placed on its back or having mated would disqualify it.

Once a candidate was found, and there was need for more purifying ash water, the cow would be slaughtered and burned on a pyre, along with a cedar branch, hyssop sprig, and crimson wool. The ceremony took place on the Mount of Olives, opposite the Temple Mount.

All of this has huge implications for world events.

Traditionally, many Orthodox Jews have believed that the spotting of a red heifer would herald the coming of the Messiah.

And if this red heifer does indeed turn out to be a suitable candidate, one of the biggest obstacles to rebuilding the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem will have been removed. ( June 24, 2014)

Well, the above heifer was disqualified.

Notice some of what the Temple Institute teaches about the need for a red heifer:

But in truth, the fate of the entire world depends on the red heifer. For G-d has ordained that its ashes alone are the single missing ingredient for the reinstatement of Biblical purity – and thereafter, the rebuilding of the Holy Temple…

The Divine ordinance of the heifer, beyond the grasp of man’s frail intellect, with all the details of its preparation and ceremony, calls out to Israel and to all who seek to cling to the living word of the G-d of Israel: “Purify yourselves! Shake off your despair! Death is an illusion!” Thus it is written, “…but all of you who cling to the Lord your G-d…you are all alive today” (Deut. 4:4)…

G-d uses many devices to bring His children back to Him. …  the rabbis observed: “And if one should wonder, how could a man turn his life around, and come close to G-d on account of a heifer?! Do not wonder: For it is through the heifer that all of Israel becomes pure.

The Mishna teaches that up until the destruction of the Second Temple, ashes had been prepared from a total of only nine red heifers. The very first red heifer was processed by Moses himself – as the verse states, “… have them bring you a red heifer.” The second was done by the prophet Ezra in the days of the First Temple, and during the entire era of the Second Temple only seven more heifers were used for ashes. This was enough to provide for the nation’s needs for purification throughout all those years.

The names of all the High Priests who prepared those seven heifers during Second Temple times are recorded by the Mishna: Simon the Just and Yochanan each made two; El’yhoeini ben Hakof, Chanamel HaMitzri and Yishmael ben Pi’avi processed one heifer each. Thus, from the time that Moses received the commandment of the red heifer from the Holy One, blessed be He, until the destruction of the Second Temple, purifying ashes had been produced by the hands of these great leaders from a total of nine red heifers.

The Tenth Red Heifer Will be Prepared by the Messiah

In recounting this historical record in his commentary to the Mishna, the great Maimonides ends with the enigmatic statement: “… 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.

With this amazing statement, Maimonides recounts an ancient tradition – that the tenth red heifer is associated with the Messianic era. Does this perhaps mean that the appearance of a red heifer in these waning end times is an indication, a forerunner of the appearance of the Messiah himself, who will officiate at its preparation?

If there has been no red heifer for the past 2,000 years, perhaps it is because the time was not right; Israel was far from being ready. But now… what could it mean for the times we live in, to have the means for purification so close at hand? With the words of Maimonides in mind, we cannot help but wonder and pray: If there are now red heifers… is ours the era that will need them?

Some believe that the tenth red heifer came prior to the destruction of the last temple. Whether it did or not, the Bible simply does not mention ten red heifers.

Not the Abomination, and other Red Heifers have Been Hoped For ...

Some have wondered if the abomination of desolation Jesus mentioned in Matthew 24:15 that Daniel taught spoke of is the sacrificing of the next agreed upon Jewish red heifer. Let me simply state that no it is not. That abomination has to do more with the final coming Beast of the Sea of Revelation 13 and not a sacrifice of the Jews.

Some Jews, like those affiliated with the Temple Institute, want to resume animal sacrifices and believe having a red heifer is a sign that the time is right. An agreed upon red heifer may increase pressure on the nation of Israel to allow such sacrifices–though it may not happen until the deal of Daniel 9:27 is fulfilled (see also The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27).

Many evangelical prophecy watchers seem to believe that a third Jewish Temple needs to  be rebuilt in Jerusalem in the Temple Mount area near the Dome of the Rock for many end time prophecies to come to pass.

That belief is in error. An employee of the Temple Institute told me personally that his group did not believe that they needed a rebuilt Jewish Temple to resume animal sacrifices.  He basically said is that all they need is an altar, which they have, and permission for the Israeli government, which they expect will happen some day. Years earlier, a representative of the ‘reconstituted Sanhedrin’ emailed me and said the same thing (see Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?).

There have been a few claimed red heifers over the past decade or two, but supposedly they were not sufficiently blemish-free. Notice the following:

The Temple Institute … thought to have identified two candidates, one in 1997 and another in 2002.[7] The Temple Institute had initially declared both kosher, but later found each to be unsuitable. During a March 2010 radio interview a Temple Institute representative claimed that there is now “definitely a kosher red heifer here in Israel.” (Red Heifer.  Wikipedia, viewed 06/27/14)

(a 2014 American born red heifer, later rendered ineligible) (Temple Institute newsletter, March 9, 2018)

It is my belief is that once there is permission to start regular sacrifices, that whichever red heifer may be available then will be considered to be the right and acceptable one (even if it was not so before hand).

Notice something from the Temple Institute's newsletter in 2021:

Tammuz 8, 5781/June 18, 2021

“Zot chukat haTorah!” So begins this week’s parashat Chukat’s incredible reveal of the red heifer, the laws surrounding its preparation and application, and its unparalleled power to bestow the highest level of Biblical purity upon its recipients. …

The red heifer is the key to attaining Biblical purity and the key to the renewal of the Divine service in the rebuilt Holy Temple!  …

The Temple Institute is continuing with its efforts to produce a perfect, unblemished red heifer, whose ashes can be used for the purification of the people of Israel in preparation for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple and the renewal of the Divine service. Unfortunately, all our current candidates have been disqualified due to two or more hairs on their body which are not red. Meanwhile, the Institute is exploring other ways to expand our efforts and increase our chances of success.

So, the most promising heifers have been disqualified, so the Temple Institute is exploring other means.

At its Facebook page tin June 2021, the Temple Institute posted:

RED HEIFER UPDATE … we see the great challenge of raising a perfectly red, unblemished red heifer. But this is a challenge given to us by G-d, and, as we all know, there is no greater occupation in life the trying to fulfill the challenges that G-d has set before us. We remain confident that we will meet the challenge at the proper time and proceed toward our goal of acquiring the ashes of the red heifer. We remain confident that we will meet the challenge at the proper time and proceed toward our goal of acquiring the ashes of the red heifer.

No, getting a red heifer is not the greatest occupation anyone needs to have. But this fixation is getting the Temple Institute looking at different ways to get one.

Temple Not Required For Jewish Sacrifices

As far as a temple goes, it should also be noted that many doubt whether or not the claimed Temple Mount is truly the location of the last Jewish temple.  Furthermore, many of the stones from that temple were moved to the Western Hill in Jerusalem, commonly referred to as Mount Zion (see Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill).

Notice that the Bible shows that during the time of Ezra animal sacrifices in the Temple were made before the second Jewish Temple was built:

2 Then Jeshua the son of Jozadak and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and his brethren, arose and built the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings on it, as it is written in the Law of Moses the man of God. 3 Though fear had come upon them because of the people of those countries, they set the altar on its bases; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening burnt offerings. 4 They also kept the Feast of Tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings in the number required by ordinance for each day. 5 Afterwards they offered the regular burnt offering, and those for New Moons and for all the appointed feasts of the Lord that were consecrated, and those of everyone who willingly offered a freewill offering to the Lord. 6 From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, although the foundation of the temple of the Lord had not been laid. (Ezra 3:2-6)

So, while a red heifer is at least desired for the Temple Institute to sacrifice, an actual rebuilt temple on the Temple Mount is not.

That being said, the Temple Mount area is a likely location for end time sacrifices to resume, especially considering that the Temple Institute insists that it is the correct location (which is truly debatable).

On December 10, 2018, the reconstituted Sanhedrin (which maintains ties with the Temple Institute) did perform a ritualistic sacrifice. And the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) put out the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:


Sanhedrin makes burnt offering to dedicate altar!

The Reconstituted Sanhedrin performed a ceremony on December 10, 2018 to dedicate a new altar for the use of daily sacrifices. High Priest Rabbi Baruch Kahane officiated. How does this align with Bible prophecy? Daniel wrote three times that the daily sacrifices must stop, hence they first must resume. The Great Tribulation will begin shortly after these sacrifices stop. In this video Dr. Thiel, who has also been to Israel and spoken with The Temple Institute quotes several scriptures and explains why the actions by the Sanhedrin align with prophecy and the end times.

Here is a link to our video: Sanhedrin makes burnt offering to dedicate altar!

So obviously, animal sacrifices can be done without a proper slain 'red heifer.'

As the Temple Institute stated again in 2019, they still want a red heifer for purification purposes (see The Temple Institute: The Red Heifer In Preparation For Passover). as well as in 2021. They also hope the Sanhedrin will be given government permission to resume regular animal sacrifices.

Here is a video we produced on the red heifer topic:

Red Heifers and the Fate of the World

The Temple Institute has claimed that the fate of the world depends on something called a red heifer. What is a red heifer? Is it mentioned in the Bible? Could one be tied in with end of the world prophecies? Will animal sacrifices resume in Israel? Is a red heifer or a 'third temple' needed for this? What does the Bible teach about such things? What have representatives of the Temple Institute and the Sanhedrin told Dr. Thiel? How many red heifers have there been claimed to be? Do Christians need the ashes of a red heifer? Must Numbers 19, Daniel 12, and Isaiah 1 tie together as proof of the need for a red heifer? Can prophecy be fulfilled for the Messiah without a red heifer? Dr. Thiel answers these questions and also explains Who, according to Jesus' words, the fate of the world really depends on.

Here is a link to our video: Red Heifers and the Fate of the World.

If Jews will not resume regular animal sacrifices until there is a red heifer, then looking out for one would seem to be a sign that ties in with end time prophecy. The Bible shows that the Jews will again have animal sacrifices (cf. Daniel 9:27; 11:31). The fact is that The Temple Institute and others are taking steps that are consistent with that.

Notice also the following video from 2024:


Temple Institute, Heifers, Hamas, and a Tent

In March 2024, the Temple Institute recently pointed out that how God blessed the Sabbath, He also blessed the construction of a tent tabernacle. They pointed out progress from the ancient Israelites. Should Christians be making spiritual progress each year before Passover? The Temple institute has stated that the area called ‘the Temple Mount’ needs to be cleared of Muslim mosques, etc. so that a ‘third temple’ can be built. It also claims that it has four thriving red heifers, one of which it want to sacrifice before the implementation of regular animal sacrifices. Has Hamas claimed that the existence and possible use of a red heifer was a factor in its attack in Israel on October 7, 2023? Does the Temple Institute believe it must have a massive temple in order for sacrifices to resume? Or is having a priesthood, an altar, and a tent enough? What does the Sanhedrin say about that? Did Ezra write that animal sacrifices were made after the first temple was destroyed, but before the second temple was started? Is that believed by numerous modern Jewish rabbis and scholars? Does the Bible teach that regular animal sacrifices will be resumed? Could there be any relationship to the stopping of them and the return of Jesus? Is the day of Jesus coming getting much closer? Dr. Thiel and Steve Dupuie address these issues.

Here is a link to our video: Temple Institute, Heifers, Hamas, and a Tent.

What About 2024?

Notice the following from CBS News:

What these red cows from Texas have to do with war and peace in the Middle East

March 5, 2024

Jerusalem — When Hamas spokesman Abu Ubaida began a speech marking the 100th day of the war in Gaza, one confounding yet eye-opening proclamation escaped the headlines. Listing the motives for the Palestinian militant group’s Oct. 7 massacre in Israel, he accused Jews of “bringing red cows” to the Holy Land.

The cows he was talking about are red heifers, which now graze at a secure, undisclosed location in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Some Jews and Christians believe they’re key to rebuilding the Jewish temple that once stood in Jerusalem, and to beckoning the Messiah. …

But while they’re classed as pets, there are no plans to let the red heifers live out long happy lives.

A massive white altar awaits, where they are to be burned on a plot of land overlooking the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Mamo said the ceremony must be performed looking directly into where the ancient Second Temple stood, until it was destroyed by the Romans in the year 70.

“A Pandora’s box that nobody can close”

What Mamo didn’t mention is what stands in the temple’s place now: The Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque, which are among the holiest sites in Islam. …

“It’s so important for the Jews to return and rebuild the temple,” said New York native Kronfeld, who founded the High on the Har organization to lead the tours. “It’s not about taking anything from our Muslim brothers and sisters. It’s not about the destruction of Islamic holy sites. It’s about preserving this place and being guardians over the house of God for all people.”

But she makes no secret about what she wants to happen to the Dome of the Rock.

“I believe it’s going to go, 100%. The whole thing is going to go to build a temple,” she said, insisting that the shrine and its golden dome should be preserved, but relocated.

It’s a suggestion that many fear, if acted upon, could make the current war even bloodier, and see it spread rapidly beyond the Gaza Strip.

“Everyone says that the building, the Third Temple, is what will bring the war, it would destabilize the Middle East,” she said. “The Middle East seems pretty destabilized right now, and the war, if I’m not mistaken, is already here.”

To be clear, Kronfeld’s dream of seeing a Third Temple constructed on the site is just that, a dream, and it is not shared by the Israeli government or by the vast majority of Israelis or Jews. But the suggestion has been more than enough to incite numerous Islamist groups.

Hamas dubbed its Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel “the Al-Aqsa Wave,” and the group’s emblem features the Dome of the Rock behind two crossed swords.

While most Muslims do not support Hamas’ violence, they do share its unwavering devotion to sacred ground, says Mustafa Abu Sway, the Imam Al-Ghazali Chair at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Let’s look at three main things related to the above article.

First of all, some Jews do want the area known as the Temple Mount cleared of Islamic-related buildings. Even the Temple Institute has posted about that. Notice something from two webpages of the Temple Institute:

In our own times, the commandment of the red heifer takes on more and more significance. For without it, the Divine service of the Holy Temple cannot be resumed. There is a spiritual renaissance today in Israel; after almost 2,000 years, Israel is clearly moving towards the time when the Holy Temple on Mount Moriah – the prophesied Third Temple – will be rebuilt. accessed 03/11/24

Geo-politically, the Temple Mount has to be cleared of the Dome of the Rock and the mosques which are presently located upon it before the physical rebuilding of the Holy Temple can begin. Many scenarios can be imagined which would accomplish this, the most promising, and not necessarily the most far-fetched, would entail Moslem recognition of the Mount as the intended location for the rebuilt Temple. With the acquiescence of the Moslem world the Moslem structures currently on the Mount would be disassembled and reassembled elsewhere. …

As for the ashes of the red heifer, while these are essential, the possibility to temporarily proceed with the Divine service at the Holy Temple, when the majority of the nation of Israel is ritually impure, as is the case today, exists according to Torah. This is in order to assist the nation to begin, or continue, the service, even during extreme situations.

In short, it is not “technical” issues that are holding up the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, as these can be worked out. What is need is the will of the people of Israel, and the nations, to do what is necessary and build the house of G-d. accessed 03/17/24

So, yes, the idea that some Jews want the Al-Asqa Mosque, which is on the area called the Temple Mount, removed is not something that Hamas invented. And yes, there are ties to that removal and a red heifer according to the Temple Institute.

Second, the Jews do not need a temple in order to re-implement animal sacrifices. All they need is an altar and that they have. The Sanhedrin (another group that wants animal sacrifices) dedicated an altar back in December 2018.

Now the third point is that some believe that a red heifer may be sacrificed on the Mount of Olives. One can see old Jerusalem from there as the photo of me above, while on the Mount of Olives, shows.

Some believe that this could happen in April or June in 2024 (see ‘Red Heifers could be ready for the Temple by Passover’ or Pentecost?).

As far as timing goes, the Bible shows that the stopping of the animal sacrifices occurs just prior to the start of the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21) and what is commonly considered to be the end of the world.

As Jesus said, “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13:37).

Fate of the World Does Not Depend on Any Red Heifer

As far as the fate of the world, notice that it depends on God, not a red heifer:

19 For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be. 20 And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days. (Mark 13:19-20)

While we may well see a red heifer soon sacrificed, the fate of the world is not dependent upon one.

Yet, since we know sacrifices must be stopped, if Jews believe they need the ashes of s red heifer first, then a red heifer will be involved in the fulfillment of certain biblical prophecies.

Thiel B. The Red Heifer, Jewish Beliefs, and the End of the World. COGwriter (c) 2014/2015/2018/2019/2020/ 2021 /2022 2023 2024 0317

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