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Bible Commentaries

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible

Leviticus 12

Verses 1-8

LAWS CONNECTED WITH CHILDBIRTH

Every child born into the world adds to the sin that was first introduced by the woman. Yet God had told Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28), and this instruction was not changed when they sinned, though God told the woman, “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children” (Genesis 3:16). But each child born is a reminder that sin requires a sacrifice. So in Israel when a woman had borne a male child, she was to be unclean for seven days. On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin was to be circumcised. The number eight signifies a new beginning, which takes place when the flesh is cut off, for “the flesh profits nothing” (John 6:63).

Then she was to remain 33 days “in the blood of her purification” (v. 4). She was not to touch anything that was consecrated to the service of God, nor enter the sanctuary, until her purification was complete. But if she should bear a female child, the time was twice as long, two weeks being unclean and 66 days of waiting until purification was accomplished. This stems from the fact that “Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived fell into transgression” (1 Timothy 2:14), and it is through the woman that the race of sinners is perpetuated.

In each case, however, when the time was completed, whether for a male or female, the mother was to bring to the priest a lamb of the first year as a burnt offering and a young pigeon or turtledove as a sin offering (v. 6). Notice here that there was no trespass offering, for it was not a matter of her having done anything wrong. But the sin offering deals with the sinful nature that is inherited by birth, so that this offering speaks of God having, by the cross of Christ, condemned sin in the flesh (Romans 8:3). The burnt offering tells us that God's glory is really the first consideration in this matter. When God is glorified and sin condemned, then the unclean is rendered clean (v. 7).

However, a provision of grace was made for one who was poor (v. 8). If she could not bring a lamb, then another young pigeon or turtledove would substitute for the lamb. Joseph and Mary took advantage of this provision for poverty, when presenting the Lord Jesus to God in the temple (Luke 2:22-24).

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Bibliographical Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on Leviticus 12". L.M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lmg/leviticus-12.html. 1897-1910.