sprin’-k’-l, sprin’-kling (zaraq, nazah; rhantizein): The first word means "to toss" or "scatter abundantly," e.g. in handfuls, as dust on the head (Job 2:12) or blood from a bowl (Ex 9:8). The other Hebrew word is used of sprinkling with the finger (Le 14:7; 16:14, etc.). In the account of Jezebel’s death the word is used in its literal meaning of "spurt" (2Ki 9:33).
In the case of persons who had contracted uncleanness through contact with a corpse, sprinkling with the "water of separation" was part of the process of cleansing. The water of separation consisted of the ashes of a red heifer (slain for the purpose) mixed with running water (Nu 19). A sprinkler was used as in the case of the leper (Nu 19:18). The final sprinkling--on the 7th day--was followed by a bath (Nu 19:19). The "tent" in which the corpse lay, together with all the contents, were thoroughly disinfected.
See Red Heifer.
According to Ex (9:8,10) the plague of "boils and blains" was caused through the sprinkling of ashes ("soot" the Isa 63:3 the sacrificial allusion is obvious. The conqueror who strides triumphantly from Bozrah is "besprinkled" with the life-blood (or juice) of his victims. In Isa 52:15 "sprinkle" is a doubtful rendering. There is no apparent connection between bodily disfigurement and national purification. the Revised Version margin renders "startle" (literally, "cause to spring"). The exalted dignity of the "martyr" will excite the wonder of kings and peoples.
In 1Pe 1:2, "sprinkling of the blood of " is used figuratively of its cleansing efficacy (compare Heb 9:13,14; 10:22).