Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A study in the book of Leviticus 12: 1 – 8

Leviticus 12: 1 – 8

It’s not what you think

12 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘If a woman has conceived, and borne a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of her customary impurity she shall be unclean. 3 And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. 4 She shall then continue in the blood of her purification thirty-three days. She shall not touch any hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary until the days of her purification are fulfilled. 5 ‘But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her customary impurity, and she shall continue in the blood of her purification sixty-six days. 6 ‘When the days of her purification are fulfilled, whether for a son or a daughter, she shall bring to the priest a lamb of the first year as a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove as a sin offering, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 7 Then he shall offer it before the LORD, and make atonement for her. And she shall be clean from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who has borne a male or a female. 8 ‘And if she is not able to bring a lamb, then she may bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons—one as a burnt offering and the other as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement for her, and she will be clean.’”

In the present time in which we live there are major conflicts regarding ‘equality’. Would you agree? Today we are going to come across some scripture in which some people have a conflict with. However, once we go over these precious words of our Holy Spirit you will find out that everything you might be in conflict with is really not what you think.

I present to you a question that someone wanted an answer to. This is what the person wrote, ‘As I was reading Leviticus, the uncleanness of women was something that particularly stood out to me. From a literary point of view, I wondered why they thought a woman had to go to such great measures to be considered “clean” and why giving birth to a baby made them unclean to begin with? Why was the cleanliness period longer for baby girls than baby boys? In addition, I want some insight as to why is the woman unclean for seven days after a male birth and after the birth of a female the mother is unclean for fourteen days. Then in addition, why the difference of 40 days of purification for the birth of baby boys and 80 days of purification for baby girls?’

To begin I would like to state that the word "cleanliness," really is talking about ‘ritual purity.’ A woman's "impurity," during her menstruation is a built-in component of her natural monthly cycle. Her status of "impurity" demonstrates her descent from a peak level of holiness, when she had the ability to conceive a precious new life through her union with her husband.

The status of "impurity" is not meant to imply sinfulness, degradation or inferiority. On the contrary, it emphasizes, in particular, the great level of holiness inherent in woman's Godly power to create and nurture a new life within her body, and the great holiness of a husband and wife's union, in general. Since a woman possesses this lofty potential, she, also bears the possibility of its void; hence her status as impurity, ritually impure. Since she experienced "the touch of death," so to speak, with the loss of potential life, as reflected by her menstruation, she enters this status of "impure."

After having given birth to a baby boy, a woman must wait a minimum of seven days before beginning her pure days; while after a baby girl is born, she must wait a minimum of fourteen days. Since the female child inherently carries a higher degree of holiness, due to her own biological, life creating capability, a greater void, or impurity, remains after her birth. Thus, the greater impurity after a baby girl's birth reflects her greater capacity for holiness (due to her creative powers) and necessitates the longer wait to remove this ritual

You also have to understand that By being called unclean, this provided rest for the mother. If she was unclean, she would not be required to work around the home or travel to the sanctuary to make an offering. Travel would have been very strenuous for a young mother. Moreover, by being called unclean, this would prevent the spread of childbed fever, which took many lives back then. However, these solutions do not address the male-female problem. The male-female objection can be met with at least three solutions:

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