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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Leviticus 12

Verses 1-8

Uncleanness connected with Childbirth

The functions of reproduction are in early stages of religion regarded with superstitious dread. The enactments in this chapter and the related regulations in Leviticus 15 had an important place in teaching the lesson of purity in sexual relationships.

3. Cp. Genesis 17:10-14. The purifications prescribed in this chapter are for the mother alone and not for the child, who does not seem to have been regarded as unclean, unless the rite of circumcision involved the idea of the purification of the child. Uncircumcision and uncleanness are frequently identical: see on Leviticus 19:23.

4. On the eighth day the mother is readmitted to society, but is still debarred from the services of the tabernacle till forty days after the birth.

5. In the case of the birth of a girl the two periods of uncleanness (see last note) are exactly doubled, the reason doubtless being the opinion of the ancients that the derangement of the system is greater.

8. Cp. Luke 2:24, which shows that the Virgin Mary offered the poor woman’s sacrifice.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Leviticus 12". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.