Bible Commentaries

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Leviticus 12

Verse 2

From uncleanness contracted by the touching or eating of external things, he now comes to that uncleanness which ariseth from ourselves.

She shall be unclean; not for any filthiness which was either in the conception or in bringing forth, but to signify the universal and deep pollution of man’s nature even from the birth, and from the conception. For

seven days, or thereabouts, nature is employed in the purgation of most women.

For her infirmity, i.e. for her monthly infirmity. And it may note an agreement therewith not only in the time, Leviticus 15:19, but in the degree of uncleanness, which was such that she defiled every thing she touched, &c.

Verse 3

Which law is here repeated, because the woman’s uncleanness lasting for seven days, was one, though not the only, reason why the child’s circumcision was put off till the eighth day.

Verse 4

She shall then continue, Heb. sit, i.e. abide, as that word is oft used, as Genesis 22:5 34:10, or tarry at home, nor go into the sanctuary.

In the blood of her purifying; in her polluted and separated estate; for the word blood or bloods signifies both guilt, as Genesis 4:10, and uncleanness, as here and elsewhere. See Ezekiel 16:6. And it is called the blood of her purifying, because by the expulsion or purgation of that blood, which is done by degrees, she is purified.

She shall touch no hallowed thing; she shall not eat any part of the peace-offerings which she or her husband offered, which otherwise she might have done; and if she be a priest’s wife, she shall not eat any of the tithes or first-fruits, or part of the hallowed meats, which at other times she together with her husband might eat.

Verse 5

The time in both particulars is double to the former, not so much from natural causes, because the purifications in female births are longer and slower, which if it were true, yet doth not extend to any such time as here is mentioned, as for moral reasons; either to be as a blot upon that sex for being the first in man’s transgression, 1 Timothy 2:14, or to put an honour upon the sacrament of circumcision, which being administered to the males, did put an end to that pollution sooner than otherwise had been; or to show the privilege of the man above the woman, and that the women were to be purified, sanctified, and saved by one of the other sex, even by the man Christ Jesus, without whom they should have still continued in their impurity.

Verse 6

For a son, or for a daughter; for the birth of a son, or of a daughter; but the purification was for herself, as appears from the following verses.

For a sin-offering; either because of her ceremonial uncleanness, which required a ceremonial expiation; or for those particular sins relating to the time and state of child-bearing, of which she is justly presumed to be guilty, which might be many ways.

Verse 7

For though there was a difference in the time of her uncleanness for the one and for the other, yet both were to be purl fled one and the same way; to note, that though all sins and sinners were not equal, yet all were to be cleansed by the same means, to wit, by Christ, and by faith. See 1 Corinthians 7:14 Galatians 3:28.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Leviticus 12". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.