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Bible Commentaries

Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Leviticus 12

Introduction

A.M. 2514. B.C. 1490.

Laws concerning the uncleanness of women in child-birth, Leviticus 12:1-3.12.5 . Concerning their purification, Leviticus 12:6-3.12.8 .

Verse 1

Leviticus 12:1. From uncleanness contracted by the touching or eating of external things, he now comes to that uncleanness which ariseth from ourselves.

Verse 2

Leviticus 12:2. Seven days 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. Seven days, or thereabouts, nature is employed in the purgation of most women. Her infirmity Her monthly infirmity. And it may note an agreement therewith not only in the time, (Leviticus 15:19,) but in the degree of uncleanness.

Verse 4

Leviticus 12:4. In the blood of her purifying In her polluted and separated estate; for the word blood, or bloods, signifies both guilt and uncleanness, as here and elsewhere. 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. 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

Leviticus 12:5. Threescore and six days The time in both particulars is double to the former; the law, as some think, being adapted to a received opinion that women are sooner purified after the birth of males than of females; an opinion which, however questioned, Grotius shows to be supported by no less authority than that of Aristotle and Hippocrates. Others, however, suppose that this difference was made to put an honour on the ordinance of circumcision, which, being administered to the males, put an end to that pollution sooner than otherwise would have been the case.

Verse 6

Leviticus 12:6. For a son or a daughter For the birth of either; but the purification was for herself, as appears from the following verses. A sin- offering Because of her ceremonial uncleanness, which required a ceremonial expiation.

Verse 8

Leviticus 12:8. The morality of this law obliges women who have received mercies from God in child-bearing, with all thankfulness to acknowledge his goodness to them, owning themselves unworthy of it, and (which is the best purification) to continue in faith, and love, and holiness, with sobriety.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Leviticus 12". Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rbc/leviticus-12.html. 1857.