Leviticus Chapter 12

Chapter 12 of Leviticus gives details on how a woman should handle her time of uncleanness after she gives birth. During this time, a woman was considered to be just as unclean as when she was on her monthly cycle. The amount of time that she remained unclean depended on the sex of her baby.

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Birthing a Baby Boy

Leviticus Chapter 12 explains that if a woman gave birth to a baby boy, she was considered unclean for seven days. By unclean, the Scriptures meant that the woman was ceremonially not fit to set foot in the temple or participate in any holy rituals.

On the eighth day, the baby boy was circumcised. After this time, the mother was to wait 33 days while her bleeding stopped. She was forbidden from entering the temple and she could not touch anything holy.

Birthing a Baby Girl

If a woman gave birth to a baby girl, she was considered unclean for twice as long as if she had given birth to a male. For 14 days the mother was considered unclean. In addition, even after the 14 days were over, she was forbidden from entering the temple and she could not touch anything that was considered sacred. The period of time after a woman was unclean was considered her purification time.

Once the period of purification was over, the woman was to bring two offerings to the Tent of Meeting. A one-year-old lamb, a pigeon, or a dove was to be given to the priest for sacrificing. These sin offerings were for the atonement of the woman and were done by the priest on the mother’s behalf. Once the sin offerings were made, she was then considered clean and was allowed to return to worshiping as usual.

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Leviticus 12 (King James Version)

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.

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.

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:

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.

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