According to Rashi, quoting Chazal, the mitzvah of Parah Adumah was given at Marah and was included in the ספר הברית that Moshe wrote before Matan Torah.

In the Torah as it was eventually given, it's only explicitly mentioned later, in Chukas. The pesukim say that the mitzvah is supposed to be done by Elazar, and the Sifri, quoted by Rashi, says that this was in his role as Segan. (The parallel Gemara in Yoma does not say that part explicitly.)

At Marah and at Matan Torah, Nadav and Avihu were still alive, and Nadav, as the senior son, was presumably the Segan. Did the original version of the text, as taught by Moshe and as written in the ספר הברית, say ונתתם אתה אל נדב הכהן?

  • Wouldn't it have been the second oldest bechor or something like that?
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 12:36
  • BTW it's a whole sugya if Chazal really ever said that. The Gemara we have list Kibbud Av and not Para Aduma
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 14:16


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