a man in Nebraska is breeding red cows and sending them to Israel in hopes of a pure red heifer being born there; such an event will allegedly prompt Jews to build a Third Temple, which fundamentalist Christians believe will usher in Jesus’ Second Coming.
The Book of Numbers stipulates that the animal must not have hairs of any other color, must be in perfect health, and it must not have been used to perform work (Numbers 19:2). The heifer is then ritually slaughtered (Numbers 19:3) and burned outside of the camp (Numbers 19:3–6). Cedar wood, hyssop, and wool dyed scarlet are added to the fire, and the remaining ashes are placed in a vessel containing pure water (Numbers 19:9).
In order to purify a person who has become ritually contaminated by contact with a corpse, water from the vessel is sprinkled on him, using a bunch of hyssop, on the third and seventh day of the purification process (Numbers 19:18–19).
The priest who performs the ritual then becomes ritually unclean, and must then bathe himself and his clothes in a ritual bath. He is deemed impure until evening.
The non-canonical Epistle of Barnabas (8:1) explicitly equates the Red Heifer with Jesus. In the New Testament, the phrases “without the gate” (Hebrews 13:12) and “without the camp” (Numbers 19:3, Hebrews 13:13) have been taken to be not only an identification of Jesus with the Red Heifer, but an indication as to the location of the crucifixion. This is the thesis of Ernest L. Martin in his 1984 book Secrets of Golgotha.
Some Fundamentalist Christians believe that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ cannot occur until the Third Temple is constructed in Jerusalem, which requires the appearance of a red heifer born in Israel. Clyde Lott, a cattle breeder in O’Neill, Nebraska, United States, is attempting to systematically breed red heifers and export them to Israel to establish a breeding line of red heifers in Israel in the hope that this will bring about the construction of the Third Temple and ultimately the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.