A Mother's Purification [Leviticus 12]

1Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,  2"Speak to the sons of Israel, saying: 'When a woman gives birth and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean for seven days, as in the days of her menstruation she shall be unclean. 3'On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall  circumcised. 4'Then she shall remain in the blood of her purification for thirty-three days; she shall not touch any consecrated thing, nor enter the sanctuary until the days of her purification are completed.

 5'But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean for two weeks, as in her menstruation; and she shall remain in the blood of her purification for sixty-six days. 6'When the days of her purification are completed, for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the doorway of the tent of meeting a one year old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering. 7'Then he shall offer it before the LORD and make atonement for her, and she shall be cleansed from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who bears a child, whether a male or a female. 8'But if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two young pigeons, the one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for her, and she will be clean.'"


It is intriguing to read about the purification mandates.  Usually when I read this passage I wonder why God gave such different time frames for purification between a boy baby and a girl baby.  The main thing to remember is that this about worship and being pure in order to worship.  Today what I am pondering is that the mother herself was to bring the offering and that what she was being cleansed from was the flow of blood. 


I am also reminded of the young girl, Mary, who came with her offering after her time of purification. It was forty days because Jesus was a boy.  She went home so full of blessing after hearing the things spoken over her and her son by Simeon and Anna.  

Luke 2:22-33 And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "EVERY firstborn MALE THAT OPENS THE WOMB SHALL BE CALLED HOLY TO THE LORD"), and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, "A PAIR OF TURTLEDOVES OR TWO YOUNG PIGEONS." And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.

 And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, "Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, according to Your word;  For my eyes have seen Your salvation,   Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, and the glory of Your people Israel." And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him.


Lord, we praise You for Jesus.  We are reminded that He came into this world the same way we have come - by birth.  Thank You that You provided a way for the woman to be pure for worship after experiencing the blood that brought life into the world.  Thank You, again that You, Jesus, have made purification for us and is sitting at God's right hand. (Hebrews 1:3) Our eyes have also seen Your salvation.

Verna McCrillis, 6/17/2010