Leviticus Chapter 12


Ceremonial purification

This chapter deals the separation of the woman from the congregation of Israel for a period of time after childbirth; this suggests recognition of the fact that the human race is sinful and of the necessary consequence that every child is born in sin.

1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.

3 And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.

[Gen 17:12, Gen 21:4, Acts 7:8, Phil 3:5]

4 And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled.

5 But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days.

I am sure you are asking yourself why a woman, who bears a maid (daughter) will remain unclean for twice as long as for a man child (two weeks), and why does she remain in the blood of her purifying twice as long as for a man child as well (sixty-six days).

First of all, we must address all the things related to childbirth in order to get a better understanding of the situation. Let’s go back to the garden for a moment and remember the words of LORD God to Eve after her sin of eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

God pronounced a curse upon Eve and all women in the area of childbearing and that was that he would greatly multiply their sorrow in childbirth.

So, God’s original plan for child bearing was multiplied better for women than it is today prior to sin entering into the world.

Next, we must remember that when a child is born today, they are born sinners because sin has passed down to every man at the moment of conception a little sinner is forming in his mother’s womb.

When Eve gave birth to Cain, she in sorrow gave birth to a sinner who would one day become a murderer.

Every month a woman goes through her “period” which is dealt with in another chapter in Leviticus, but it is God’s way of purifying the womb to make it a clean/sterile place for a child to come into this sinful world that is free from all the pollutants this world has to offer.

Imagine ladies if you had to carry your child in your hands from the moment of conception and care for it outside the womb.

That child and all children would not survive so God in his wisdom protects the child by having it nurtured in the safe environment of your womb.

When a woman has her “period” (which simply means the “time” of her body’s purifying) she is less healthy, just as when she has just given birth.

So, God in his omniscience know this, and has instructed women how to be protected during this time of physical venerability that happens at the time of child birth as well but differently at the time of her monthly menstruation (period).

Some believe that because Eve sinned by listening to the Devil and eating of the tree of knowledge first and then she gave the fruit to her husband to eat that God was punishing Eve and giving every woman a reminder of what took place back in the garden and all that was lost because of that day.

Why was there a sin offering needed when a woman brought a child into the world? Because she brought a sinner into the world. We are born in sin. What about the burnt offering? That was an offering of consecration saying they were dedicating that child to the LORD.

The main issue people tend to overlook here is the Blood. Since the life is in the blood, when the blood is not where it was originally and is leaking out of a woman it will begin to lose its ability to sustain life rapidly and begin to coagulate.

When the blood leaves the body it immediately begins to die and can cause terrible health problems if it remains inside the body or in areas around the womb.

God has devised a way for a woman to remain to be clean from the impurities associated with the blood and has instructed them in another chapter how to keep herself and those around her from being susceptible to her issues during her time of purifying (period).

God is the giver of life and the life is in the blood as long as the blood remains within the body but once the blood is no longer in the place intended but it is being flushed from the body then that body is unclean.

Because she was unclean, she should not contaminate those around her so God’s word instructed women how to purify themselves. This is widely practiced today especially in religious Jewish communities amongst their women.

Why does a woman have to wait twice as long if she bares a daughter instead of a son? 33 days verses 66 days plus one week, verses two weeks for a daughter. First of all, the time for the woman’s purifying from a period lasted seven days.

On the eighth day after a man child was born, she could go and offer a sacrifice for that new born sinner/baby and have him circumcised.

Why didn’t God want the child to be circumcised at birth? The baby’s body doesn’t produce enough Vitamin K which deals with the blood until days 5-7 so the eighth day is the first day it is healthy for the child to undergo such an operation.

The reason for a woman having to wait twice as long after the birth of a daughter to be clean ceremoniously is purely for spiritual reasons.

They relate to women and their remembering of Eve’s role in being the mother of all living who first entered into sin and through her all future sinners would proceed.

I don’t know if there are any health reasons related to have a daughter verses a son if you do please send them to me for consideration in editing this study I would love to know more on this as I am no expert.

I believe it was just God’s way of a mother reminding her daughter when she asks why she can’t be ceremoniously cleansed for an additional 40 days if she has a daughter instead of a son.

So, the mother can share with her the story of how sin entered into the world and how that all are born in sin.

Both Adam and Eve had a role in that, but women were meant to teach that to their daughters to help them come to faith by hearing the word of God concerning this matter.

Lazy people have done so much damage with the scriptures and have just decided that sex must be bad or evil and that is why there seems to be a punishment here when there is not.

It is simply an opportunity for a mother to teach her daughter about the origin of sin and the solution for mankind’s sin that is found in the seed of the woman (Jesus).

Some of the most misunderstood verses in all the Bible are 1 Timothy 2:13-15 and that is because people think it is talking about all women of all ages and it is not. It is referring to only one-woman Eve.

Go back and read it again and put Eve as the one who is saved in childbearing and it makes perfect sense, but put all women there and you have a strange new doctrine that teaches eternal life to all woman who bare children as long as they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. Context my friend, context.

6 And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest:

[Luke 2:24]

A woman who had given birth could only be restored to the congregation by bringing a sin offering to the tabernacle. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Mary was born without sin and remained sinless throughout her life – the passage in Luke however clearly shows that the RC doctrine of Mary’s “immaculate conception” is false. Mary had to go to the Temple to offer a SIN offering, just like every other sinful Jewish mother. (See Luke 2:22-24)

7 Who shall offer it before the LORD, and make an atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood. This is the law for her that hath born a male or a female.

8 And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.

[turtles – turtledoves]

When Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the Temple on the eighth day Mary brought two turtledoves for an offering. Was it a sin offering?

It wasn’t for Jesus’ sin as he was born of a virgin and since sin is passed down from the seed of the man and there was no seed from any man as Mary conceived Jesus of the Holy Ghost.

It was for Mary’s cleansing from her blood. Scripture does not mention specifically a lamb being offered for a burnt offering consecrating the Child unto God as commanded in the law.

In the verses below, we do see an offering was made because it says they fulfilled all that the law commanded concerning every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord.

This is also one of the reasons why the amount of time for cleansing differed for a female child because the male child was consecrated unto the Lord to be the spiritual leader of his future family one day.

Luke 2:21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. 22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; 23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) 24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. 25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. 26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, 28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;  32  A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. 33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. 34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. 36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; 37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. 39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.


Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

After the laws concerning clean and unclean food, come the laws concerning clean and unclean persons. Man imparts his depraved nature to his offspring, so that, excepting as the atonement of Christ and the sanctification of the Spirit prevent, the original blessing, “Increase and multiply,” Genesis 1:28,. is become to the fallen race a direful curse, and communicates sin and misery. Let those women who have received mercy from God in child-bearing, with all thankfulness own God’s goodness to them; and this shall please the Lord better than sacrifices.