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Leviticus 12 "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."

After a woman had a baby boy, she went through a period of forty days of purification. After seven days, the baby was to be circumcised, but the mother would continue her purification period for thirty-three more days for a total of forty days. One commentator's account of this chapter said the woman was deemed unclean because she had brought a sinner into the world. If this is true, what about Mary. She had a baby boy who was sinless! I believe the reason a woman was considered unclean after childbirth was because of the issue of blood that followed the birth. The purification time was doubled for a baby girl. The mother would be unclean for fourteen days and then continue in the blood of her purifying for sixty-six more days for a total of eighty days.

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Leviticus 12 "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."

After the mother's purification period had ended, she had to bring a burnt offering and a sin offering to the priest. If she could afford it, she was to bring a one year old lamb and a young pigeon or turtledove. If she was poor, she was allowed to bring two birds. Only after the priest had made atonement for her was she pronounced clean.

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