Leviticus 12:4
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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) Continue in the blood of her purifying.—Better, continue in the blood of purification, that is, pure blood. Though the discharge consequent upon the birth ceases after two or three weeks, the period in this case, as in the former instance, is nearly doubled, to include exceptional cases. During these thirty-three days, which constituted the second stage, the mother was only debarred from touching holy things, such as first tithes, the flesh of thank- and peace-offerings, &c, and from entering the sanctuary. Having bathed at the end of the seven days which constituted the first and defiling period, she could now partake of the second tithes, and resume conjugal intercourse, since any blood that might now appear was regarded as pure blood, in contradistinction to the (dam nidah) blood of monthly courses. Her proximity, therefore, no longer defiled. The Sadducees and the Samaritans during the second Temple, and their followers, the Karaite Jews, interpreted this law more rigidly. Though admitting that there is a difference of degree in the two periods, they maintained that the woman was too unclean for conjugal intercourse even during the second period. They therefore pointed the text differently so as to yield the rendering “blood of her purifying.” The Authorised Version, which, in this instance, follows the opinion of the Sadducees, departs from the received text.

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.12:1-8 Ceremonial purification. - 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, Ge 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.The Levitical law ascribed impurity exclusively to the mother, in no degree to the Child. 2. If a woman, &c.—The mother of a boy was ceremonially unclean for a week, at the end of which the child was circumcised (Ge 17:12; Ro 4:11-13); the mother of a girl for two weeks (Le 12:5)—a stigma on the sex (1Ti 2:14, 15) for sin, which was removed by Christ; everyone who came near her during that time contracted a similar defilement. After these periods, visitors might approach her though she was still excluded from the public ordinances of religion [Le 12:4]. 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. And she shall continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days,.... That is, so many more, in all forty; for though at the end of seven days she was in some respects free from her uncleanness, yet not altogether, but remained in the blood of her purifying, or in the purifying of her blood, which was more and more purified, and completely at the end of forty days: so with the Persians it is said, a new mother must avoid everything for forty days; when that time is passed, she may wash and be purified (n); and which perhaps Zoroastres, the founder of the Persian religion, at least the reformer of it, being a Jew, as is by some supposed, he might take it from hence:

she shall touch no hallowed thing; as the tithe, the heave offering, the flesh of the peace offerings, as Aben Ezra explains it, if she was a priest's wife:

nor come into the sanctuary; the court of the tabernacle of the congregation, or the court of the temple, as the same writer observes; and so with the Greeks, a pregnant woman might not come into a temple before the fortieth day (o), that is, of her delivery:

until the days of her purifying be fulfilled; until the setting of the sun of the fortieth day; on the morrow of that she was to bring the atonement of her purification, as Jarchi observes; See Gill on Leviticus 12:6.

(n) Lib. Shad-der, port. 86. apud Hyde Hist. Relig. Vet. Pers. p. 478. (o) Censorinus apud Grotium in loc.

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

(b) Besides the first seven days.

(c) As sacrifice, or such like.

(d) That is, into the court gate till after forty days.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4, 5. The time of purification after the birth of a female was twice as long as that after a male. The belief that the birth of a girl was more dangerous for the mother than the birth of a boy prevailed among ancient nations, who considered that hostile supernatural beings were more to be feared in these cases. The practice, at here, survived the belief on which it was founded. Observe that the mother is regarded as unclean but not the child.Lastly, contact with edible animals, if they had not been slaughtered, but had died a natural death, and had become carrion in consequence, is also said to defile (cf. Leviticus 11:39, Leviticus 11:40 with Leviticus 11:24-28). This was the case, too, with the eating of the swarming land animals, whether they went upon the belly,

(Note: The large ו in גּחון (Leviticus 11:42) shows that this vav is the middle letter of the Pentateuch.)

as snakes and worms, or upon four feet, as rats, mice, weasels, etc., or upon many feet, like the insects (Leviticus 11:41-43). Lastly (Leviticus 11:44, Leviticus 11:45), the whole law is enforced by an appeal to the calling of the Israelites, as a holy nation, to be holy as Jehovah their God, who had brought them out of Egypt to be a God to them, was holy (Exodus 6:7; Exodus 29:45-46).

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