Numbers 19: 6 The priest is to take some cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet wool and throw them onto the burning heifer. (NIV) (See my post-Jesus Asked for a Drink )
Cedar Wood If you do a search on what wood was used as Jesus’ cross you get the basic answer that no one knows. Some answers are curt and use verses like Numbers 19 to make their point that it was cedar; a nice American tradition is that the cross was Dogwood. The problem with that is I could not find a species that grew in the Holy Land area. I would probably throw my vote for cedar as the cross just because the type and shadow needed to be fulfilled. The Hebrew for cedar is erez and it refers to the tenacity of the root of the tree. My idea of cedar is the Eastern Red Cedar just because I grew up in the south and that is only one I know but I know that the Cedars of Lebanon are not like that.
Hyssop – Please see
It is a post from God as a Gardener and is very informative on the topic of hyssop. Like many words that are describing plants and animals in the Bible, we have a general idea of what is there now and infer what the Bible could have meant.
Scarlet Wool This part of the verse was fun to search through. Scarlet is tolaatha in Hebrew and deals with a crimson grub or maggot. It mainly refers to the color that is gotten from the animal but a few times it refers to the animal itself: Examples:
- Psalm 22:6 “I am a worm and not a man.” David prophesying about how the Messiah would feel.
- Isaiah 66: 24 “their worm will not die” – A picture of an agony in Hell.
- Jonah 4:7 “God prepared a worm” the one that ate his vine and made him mad.
I will offer this as a fulfillment of the shadow of the scarlet wool, it was Jesus’ outer garment that they cast lots for. It would have been stained red with His blood. The cedar was the cross and the hyssop was the “pole” for the sponge with the drink for Jesus.