Prophetic circles are abuzz about the significance of the red heifer mentioned in Numbers 19. The excitement centers on the fact that five solid red heifers were bred in America and flown to Israel in late 2022. They will be examined when they are two years and a day old. If one of them is found to be suitable, it would be sacrificed.
Rabbinical tradition (think Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof) holds that once a red heifer is killed and its ashes collected, the priesthood can be restored, and the third temple can be built. Since cows are very much a part of the created order, it is appropriate to consider this as a natural “sign.”
Many Christians who have visited Israel know that the Temple Institute has been planning and preparing to rebuild the temple for some time. It already has various implements that will be used in a rebuilt temple. You can see the beautiful menorah crafted for that purpose in Quarter Square in the Old City of Jerusalem — funded by a Ukrainian Jew and estimated to be worth millions of dollars.
In Number 19, the Lord told Moses and Aaron to sacrifice an unblemished red heifer (a young female cow that has never been pregnant, yoked, or milked) as an ordinance of purification.
Zealous Jews who long for the temple to be rebuilt want to fulfill the “lasting ordinance” of the red heifer in the Old Testament — which initially involves a humble cow. Some of them are motivated by sincere religious zeal, while others merely want to reclaim the location that is central to Jewish identity and national pride, much like the zealots of Jesus’ time.
The prophetic buzz focuses on the hope that these red heifers might be a sign that Israel is on the cusp of rebuilding its temple.
The Temple, the Temple, the Temple