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Leviticus 12:1-8 (Purification After Childbirth)

Jul 30, 2017   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   Leviticus, Leviticus (written), Old Testament, Sermons, Torah, Torah (written)  //  No Comments

Leviticus 12:1-8
Purification After Childbirth

Who does God favor? The book of Isaiah says that the Lord, who is the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, and whose name is Holy – whose throne is heaven and whose footstool is the earth – this great One will look upon the one who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at His word.

There are lots of rich folk in the world. Some have millions, some hundreds of millions, and some billions. The world is working towards its first trillionaire, and it’s a coin toss who it will be. But just ask the Lord about that. “Big deal” He will say. In fact, Jesus said You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15).

Fancy cars, lots of money, a big house with a great view… it is as temporary as the next market crash, or the sudden telephone pole that runs in front of your car. And more, if that is where you have put your hope, it truly is an abomination to God. He despises your priorities.

Nothing like those things lasts forever, but the favor of God does. And He favors the poor that has a contrite spirit far more than He favors an arrogant rich son of a nuther rich guy. The question is, just how poor can you get and yet still be in favor with Him? Well, we can go to the Bible and find out…

Text Verse: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9

The Bible says that Jesus Christ was rich – rich indeed was He! He possessed all of heaven’s riches, power, and glory. And yet, He came and walked among us. He was so poor that we read in the book of Luke that certain women, whom Luke goes on to name, provided for Him from their substance.

In today’s world, that might seem like a real bonus, to have a lady support you, but in Israel of old, that would have been a very humbling experience. It is not the kind of thing one would openly brag about. But the Bible actually highlights it so that we know His state among the people.

And more, it was pretty much always this way for Him. Take time to read through the New Testament, and you will get hints of it elsewhere. Maybe we’ll bring it up again later in this sermon. Yes, I think we will. So stay awake, pay attention, and we’ll get through these verses that you are shaking your head over and saying, “What on earth do I care about these eight verses Charlie just read to me?”

You will… you will care. Do you know why? Because it is a part of His magnificent and superior word. And you, like me, are the type who trembles at His word. It is perfect, it is holy, and it is a delight to the eyes and a joy to the heart. It is the wisdom of God, revealing His Son in each passage, on every page, and through every word. It is His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.

I. After the Birth of a Child (verses 1-8)

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

Chapter 11 dealt with clean and unclean foods, all things which could be eaten, or which were forbidden to be eaten. It opened with the words, “Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them…” Chapter 12 begins an entirely new thought, one which is introduced in the normal way by stating the words, v’dabber Yehovah el Mosheh lemor, or “And spoke Yehovah unto Moses, saying…” Aaron is once again left out of the words of instruction. What will be spoken is a completely different thought than Chapter 11, but it still deals with what is clean and that which is unclean.

Interestingly, the pattern follows that of the Genesis creation account. The animals were first described as having been created, and only then were humans created. The animals which could render an Israelite unclean were first detailed, and then that which is from man and which caused impurity in man is then detailed.

As we saw, the named animals each gave a picture of something else. Therefore, that which is outside the body and physical, but which caused spiritual defilement was first named. Now, that which comes from within the body and which is spiritual (inherited sin), and which caused more spiritual defilement, is named.

This is a chapter which has caused consternation for some people. It is as if they feel the Lord is saying there is some type of wrongdoing in having children. For example, a general search on Leviticus 12 on Google came up with the question, “Is Leviticus 12 saying that giving birth to a child is sin?” This type of question, or one about why female children bring about a longer duration of uncleanliness than a male, are most common.

There certainly must be a valid reason for each thing instructed in this chapter, but the words certainly seem foreign to anything we consider in our normal day to day thoughts.

“Speak to the children of Israel, saying:

The contents of this chapter were to be relayed to all of the people. This was not a set of instructions merely for the priests to receive and contemplate, but all of Israel was to be informed of the guidelines which are presented here. It was something to be ingrained in the national psyche so that when the issue came about, it would be adhered to.

(con’t) ‘If a woman has conceived, and borne a male child,

ishah ki tazria v’yaledah zakar – “Woman if bring forth seed and bears male.” The word translated as “conceived” is the verb form of the word zera, or seed, commonly used in the Genesis creation account, and which was also used in Genesis 3:15 with the promise of the coming Redeemer. It is that by which life continues on. The woman here has conceived, zara, because she has received seed, or zera, in order for that to come about. In this case, the result is a male child.

(con’t) then she shall be unclean seven days;

A state of defilement is noted because of the birth of the child. The uncleanness belonged to her, however, not to the child. Nothing is mentioned concerning premature birth, and so this indicates that whenever the child is born, the state of uncleanness exists. And so, even though the uncleanness belongs to her, it is the result of the beginning of the life. The life began, and at some point a child would be born, resulting in uncleanness for the mother.

(con’t) as in the days of her customary impurity she shall be unclean.

The “days of her customary impurity” is speaking of the monthly period cycle. This is specifically recorded in Leviticus 15 with very detailed instructions. The first verse of that section says –

If a woman has a discharge, and the discharge from her body is blood, she shall be set apart seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening.” Leviticus 15:19

The word for “customary” is niddah. This is the first of 29 times it will be used, mostly in Leviticus and Numbers. It comes from the word nadad, meaning “to flow” or “depart.” Thus it is that which flows. The word for “impurity” is found only here in the Bible. It is davah. It gives the sense of being sick, as if in menstruation. The state of impurity for childbirth follows the same line of reasoning as for that of the menstrual cycle. There has been an issue of blood which then causes defilement to the woman.

The fact that the impurity of childbirth is to be the same as that for having a period, even before the law of the period has been given, shows that the custom was already known and practiced, even before it became a part of the law. This is evident from an account all the way back in Genesis –

Now Rachel had taken the household idols, put them in the camel’s saddle, and sat on them. And Laban searched all about the tent but did not find them. 35 And she said to her father, “Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise before you, for the manner of women is with me.” And he searched but did not find the household idols.” Genesis 31:34, 35

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

Surprisingly, this is the only time that mul, or circumcision, is mentioned in all of Leviticus. Upon the ending of the time of the flow of her sickness, the child was then to be circumcised. This however, corresponds to what was originally prescribed for circumcision in the first place. That is recorded in Genesis 17 –

And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. 10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; 11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. 13 He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.” Genesis 17:9-14

The ending of the woman’s customary impurity coincides with the time for the rite of circumcision. The importance of these two events coinciding in this way is because anything or anyone who touched a woman in such a time of impurity was considered unclean until evening. Thus, the child whom she nursed and held, would be considered as such.

Therefore, the circumcision of the child needed to be conducted after this time of defilement, and also in accord with what was prescribed to Abraham in Genesis 17. Everything fits perfectly in God’s law to ensure all will come out as it is intended to for His people. Unlike laws in America today, nothing in the law will cause a person to break one law while being obedient to another.

She shall then continue in the blood of her purification thirty-three days.

The noun tahorah, or purification, is introduced here. It will be seen 15 times, mostly in Leviticus, but a few other times throughout the Old Testament. It comes from the verb taher which means to make clean or pure. Thus, it is the state of purification, and in this case, the state of pure blood. The state was to continue for 33 days, making the total time of cleansing 40 days.

What needs to be understood is why these things are decreed. Leviticus 17:11 tells us that the life of the flesh is in the blood. When a woman has her period, it is blood that is no longer used for the purpose of life, thus death is associated with it. As death is the result of sin, it is considered unclean.

When a woman becomes pregnant, periods end and the blood is redirected for the purpose of advancing life. When that life finally comes forth, the blood is no longer needed for the child in the same way and the body begins to go back to the previous state, but she does produce milk for the child. During this transition phase, the blood is in its state of purification.

(con’t) She shall not touch any hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary until the days of her purification are fulfilled.

During these final 33 days, she was not considered as unclean except in regard to the holy things. She could not touch the first-tithes, the flesh of offerings, and so on. Further, she was forbidden from entering the sanctuary during this time. However, other than being kept separate from these holy things, she could live a normal life in any other respect. Her blood was regarded as tahorah, or in a state of purification, and not nidah, or in an impure state.

‘But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her customary impurity,

The period of impurity is doubled for that of a female child. Again, it is not the child who is deemed impure; it is the mother. And, instead of 7 days, it is 14. However, the child will remain with the mother during the time of impurity. She will be breastfed and tended to here constantly.

The only difference that is noted in the entire passage is that the boy is circumcised, and the girl is not. Thus, including circumcision, which would otherwise seem superfluous, must have bearing on the period of purification. It is showing us a theological reason for the doubling.

Although unknown to the Hebrew people why they circumcised, they knew they were to circumcise. We know now that it was a picture of the coming Christ in whom the sin nature would be cut. As sin transfers from father to child, the rite of circumcision, or cutting the male sex organ, symbolized a cutting away of the sin nature. In the coming of Christ, who had no human father, the transfer of sin was cut in reality. His Father being God, no sin was transmitted to the Son.

The picture being made is that in the circumcision of the child, the blood of sickness, that word davah of verse 2, which is found nowhere else in Scripture, is cut from the child. Only the mother had it, and her time of sickness had run its course. But with the female child, there was no circumcision, and so she would continue on the sickness in her own life. Thus a doubling of the time of uncleanness symbolizes this.

The boy was an Israelite, but not yet a Hebrew until he was circumcised. But the girl, though an Israelite, was not considered as such, and so a doubling of the time of impurity is mandated to rectify this.

(con’t) and she shall continue in the blood of her purification sixty-six days.

Fourteen days plus sixty-six days totals eighty days. This is the time of purification for a female child, not because there is anything wrong with being a female, or with having a female, but because of the typology which the Lord is presenting to us. The time of separation is doubled because the girl was not circumcised. Thus, in type, her positional uncleanness as a female required its own forty-day period of separation. As John Lange notes –

The totality of the forty days of purification at the birth of a boy corresponds to the former explanation of the forty days in the life of Moses and Elijah: it is the symbolical time of purification, of exclusion from the world, as it was extended for the whole people to forty years. And the doubling of the forty days in the case of the new-born girl explains itself, if forty days are reckoned for the girl and forty for the mother; a doubling which could not be applied to the circumcised boy.” John Lange 

What is seen here is typology, not actual human uncleanness. The boy is circumcised, and is considered to have crossed over, or become a Hebrew – as the name implies. The girl has not, and must go through her own time of separation, and so the period is doubled in order to be inclusive of mother and child. The reason for that is, as I have already said, the mother and the child are always in contact with one another. Therefore, their state of uncleanness is shared between one another. In the case of a male, it is only in one direction. Thus, the ending of her forty days ends the time of separation for both.

‘When the days of her purification are fulfilled, whether for a son or a daughter,

On the 41st day for a male, or on the 81st day for a female, the days of purification were considered fulfilled. It is at this time that…

(con’t) 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.

There is an equalizing of male and female here which completely discounts any notion of greater uncleanness being derived from a female as there is for a male. The entire argument is shown as absurd by these words. The same sacrifice is required for either a male or a female. The state of uncleanness is then theological and typological, not natural. The Lord is giving us insights into the coming Messiah and the process of redemption in these verses.

In the offering itself, the burnt offering is noted first, and it is the greater and more expensive offering. The sin-offering is then noted, and it is small in proportion to that of the burnt-offering. These come in the opposite for the normal order of offerings where the sin-offering was always presented first.

The burnt-offering is a demonstration of the consecration of dedicating new life to the Lord. The sin offering is for the ending of the extended period of uncleanness of the mother. This sin-offering is not for sin committed, but for the state of human sin which exists in her. It is a type of ceremonial defilement.

For these, a kebes ben sh’nato or “lamb son of his year” was to be presented for the burnt offering. This is a lamb still within its first year. Along with that, a dove or a turtledove was to be presented for a sin offering. Together, these were to be presented, as it says, at the door of the tent of meeting.

This actually means, as we have seen in multiple sermons, at the altar of burnt offering. However, the sacrifice at the altar is what symbolically allows access through the door of the tent of meeting. From there, the person would symbolically be brought into the Holy Place of the tabernacle.

Each of these offerings, typical of Christ – as previously seen, was made in anticipation of the truths which they picture in His coming. They were to be presented to the officiating priest.

Then he shall offer it before the Lord, and make atonement for her.

Here the stress is laid on the sin offering. It is that which makes a covering, or atonement, for the mother. It is typical of the atonement of Christ for all sin, both inherited and committed.

(con’t) And she shall be clean from the flow of her blood.

Upon the completion of the sin offering, the woman was atoned for, and she is considered clean from the flow of her blood. The word for flow here, maqor, is new to Scripture. It indicates a spring or a fountain which has been dug out, and thus it is euphemistically applied to the flow of menstruation. It will be used just 18 times, and only in Leviticus is it used in this way. It is elsewhere at times used when speaking of the Lord, as in Him being the fountain of living waters, or the fountain of cleansing, and so on.

The flow of her blood has made the woman unclean, and yet the blood which flowed within the woman to nurture Christ formed the most precious blood of all, even springing up to be the Fountain of living waters which can heal all people from all sin and uncleanness.

(con’t) This is the law for her who has borne a male or a female.

It is this law, prescribed in the previous verses, which is to be fulfilled according to its words for a woman who has born a male or a female. There are no exceptions, and this verse, when taken in connection with Scripture found in the New Testament, disproves wholly and completely, the idea of Immaculate Conception. It is a false teaching which is heretical in what it states and implies. This will be explained while evaluating the final verse of the chapter…

*‘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.’”

The way the Hebrew reads here is, “And if her hand is not able to reach what is sufficient for a lamb.” In other words, the hand is used to describe what the hand acquires. It would be like saying, “Charlie’s face could never make him a model.” The face is being used to describe the woeful appearance which no modeling agency would hire. In this verse, the words are intended to mean that the woman is too poor to be able to afford a lamb.

In such a case, an allowance was made that the family might bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons instead of a lamb and a pigeon or a turtledove. The burnt offering could be lessened from the lamb to the bird. This gracious act would probably have been very infrequently used.

First, in such a case of rejoicing, the family would surely have extended family who could help out with such a thing. Secondly, there was an extended time to prepare for it. From the time it was known a child was due, until the time of the days of purification were over, the family could prepare for such a wonderful offering to the Lord. To come with just two birds would thus show the magnitude of the poverty of the couple who so came forward.

And yet… this is what occurred at the temple in Jerusalem just after the time of the birth of Israel’s true King. The One who possessed all of heaven’s riches condescended to come to earth to dwell among men. But he didn’t do it in a king’s house, at least not the house of an earthly king. Instead, he came to the poorest of poor. In the Gospel of Luke, we read these words –

Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” Luke 2:22-24

In this case, the Child who was called “holy to the Lord,” was and is the Lord, and yet His parents were in such abject poverty that they could afford but a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. With the presentation of these humble offerings of sacrifice, the priest would have thus declared Mary, the mother of the Lord, cleansed.

And so that brings us back to the concept of Immaculate Conception. If Mary was born sinless, if she remained sinless throughout her life, and if she was the receptacle for the sinless Son of God, then there would be no sin of any kind to be atoned for – imputed or committed. And thus the offering would not have to be made. But Mary did have to offer for herself, and thus the Bible bears witness that there is but One who is sinless, Christ the Lord.

It is heretical to say that she bore no sin, for several important reasons. First, if God could make a person sinless apart from Christ, then there would be no need for Christ. Secondly, if Mary was sinless, then she could be an acceptable redemptrix or mediatrix for man, but the Bible says otherwise of both. All typology, and all written Scripture demonstrates that Christ alone is sinless, and that we are to fix our eyes and thoughts on Christ alone. And we are to submit our prayers to God through Him alone.

Soon I will be cleansed from all defilement
The time of purification is now complete
And so at the sanctuary I have an appointment
Yes, towards the sanctuary, I will move my feet

I will make an offering to my God
A burnt offering and a sin offering too
And so, with my sandals I am shod
To the sanctuary I go, and this I shall do

There for my impurity and my sin comes my atonement
The priest will perform the rite, and I will be clean
I will certainly not miss this appointment
And so the trek to the sanctuary I now convene

And with me will go this beautiful Child
The One whom God gave me, when upon me He smiled

What a marvel and a mystery, how will it all turn out?
Praise the Lord who has brought this thing about

II. Pictures of Christ and His Work

Having looked at these verses, and seen the requirements of the law, we still need to ask ourselves, “If the defilement of the woman was typological, then what type is being presented to us?” We have seen shades of Christ, but just dabs here and there. What is the overall picture showing us?

Well, first of all we see the concept of inherited sin. Man is born of woman, and that very act, according to the law, brings about a state of uncleanness. Thus, it is something that is inherited in all people because all are born of woman, and all can potentially be the parent of a woman. As this state of uncleanness is a part of the biological processes of women, then it shows that the uncleanness is an inherited one.

As this is so, then there must have been an original sin from which it came. Sin cannot evolve into a being. Rather it occurred as an infraction against God, and it is then transmitted to those who follow after. As I said in verse 2, the uncleanness belongs to the mother. It is the result of the beginning of the life. The life began, and at some point a child would be born, resulting in uncleanness for the mother. The uncleanness is not acquired from the child, but from the childbearing process; it is already within her.

Further, the fact that this defiled state, which resulted from the issue of blood, was understood before the time of the giving of the law – as was seen in the account of Rachel and Laban – it shows that the law did not introduce the uncleanness. Instead, it simply defined it, and what was to be done with it.

The time periods, however, are introduced now. Seven days and thirty-three days, and fourteen days and sixty six days. The only remarkable distinction between the two which could justify the difference is the rite of circumcision. As we know, circumcision points directly and specifically to Christ.

And so the forty days and the eighty days must then point to what He has done as well. To understand the significance of what is being seen, we first must remind ourselves of what the number forty signifies in Scripture. EW Bullinger defines it for us. It…

“…has long been universally recognized as an important number, both on account of the frequency of its occurrence, and the uniformity of its association with a period of probation, trial, and chastisement—(not judgment …). It is the product of 5 and 8, and points to the action of grace (5), leading to and ending in revival and renewal (8). This is certainly the case where forty relates to a period of evident probation.”

A time of probation, trial, and chastisement, but not punishment, is seen in picture by bearing of the male child. However, John Lange was right as to why it was doubled for the female when he said –

And the doubling of the forty days in the case of the new-born girl explains itself, if forty days are reckoned for the girl and forty for the mother; a doubling which could not be applied to the circumcised boy.” John Lange 

The mother with the circumcised child, picturing Christ, was cleansed by a period of forty days. However, the female required an additional forty days because there was no circumcision involved to purify the female. And so their time of uncleanness was served not concurrently, but sequentially, and in full for each. Here then we have a picture of the law and of grace. This was first seen in the account of Moses receiving the law.

He was on Mt. Sinai for forty days and forty nights, the same length of time as for the cleansing from giving birth to a male child. But Israel was down in the valley whipping up a golden calf, even after having agreed to accept the covenant. They broke the covenant and the covenant was broken, symbolized by Moses’ dashing the tablets to the ground. What we don’t see until Deuteronomy, is that Moses’ second ascent up the mountain was also for forty days and forty nights –

And I fell down before the Lord, as at the first, forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all your sin which you committed in doing wickedly in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger.” Deuteronomy 9:18

He petitioned the Lord for mercy, and they received it. When he came down with the second set of tablets, they were placed inside of the Ark, which clearly pictures Christ. He is the embodiment of the law, pictured by them being placed inside the Ark and under the Mercy Seat. The two periods of forty days, in themselves, look forward then to the work of Christ which still lay ahead.

And so here we have a picture of Israel being born of woman, and being circumcised on the eighth day which in type ends the nidah, or impure state. From there she is in the state of tahorah or purification for thirty-three more days, or to the end of the full forty. However, this is only a picture. No Israelite could meet the demands of the law. And so they still needed grace.

This was until the coming of Christ, the true Israel and the fulfillment of the picture of circumcision. Sin was cut in Him. Literally, forty days after His birth from the womb of Mary, Christ – the second Adam – was presented to the temple in Human flesh.

After that, and during His life, He endured forty days of trial, carefully recorded in all three synoptic gospels. He defeated the devil then, and He continued to defeat him throughout his life, finally going to the cross, still sinless, and thus an acceptable offering to God for the sins of the people. This is the time of the law. Forty days of trial for the law.

From there, He rose again, offering grace to His people. But remember, the forty days of purification under the law was only typical of Christ, not Israel under the law. They were not cleansed by the law, because they had inherited sin. Only those under the law who looked forward to Christ in faith were truly saved, and that by faith, not by the law.

Like the mother who was awaiting the end of her forty days, they were progressing towards a state of cleanness, but only in picture. Those forty days are a period of probation leading to revival and renewal in Christ. This is the law, leading to grace.

The mother who bore a female, however, had to go through eighty days. This is symbolized by Christ’s first forty days, and then his second forty days. These second forty days are recorded in Acts 1 –

The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” Acts 1:2, 3

There was the law; there was the fulfillment of the law in Christ, and then there was the pouring out of grace. After His resurrection, or what could be considered His birth from the grave – as is seen in Colossians 1:18 and Revelation 1:5 – He was again presented in Human flesh, but this time it was at the Ascension and to the heavenly temple. There, we are presented in Him, cleansed and purified. This is the time of grace. Forty days for grace.

Throughout the years, it has been argued that the longer period of cleansing for a female represented a lower status of women within the society, but this is incorrect. Samuel Balentine explains –

The logic of this interpretation is faulty for at least two reasons. First Lev 27 assigns a higher value to males because of their ability to carry out the heavy labour associated with the sanctuary, not because of their inherent worth. Second, the rationale behind the priestly purity system would suggest that the potential for defilement is related to an object or a person’s power, not weakness. Thus, if a female’s impurities require more attention, it might well be argued that she must be accorded more regard, not less, than a male. (Samuel Balentine, Leviticus. (Interpretation). John Knox Press, 2002).

And so it is. In the Bible, there is far more regard for those under grace than those under law. In fact, the law sets up a barrier between God and His people, except for that of the intervention of Christ Himself who is the fulfillment of these types and pictures. As He is perfect and without sin, the first forty days was for Him, proving that He is the true and circumcised male Child. For all in the body looking forward to Him, they are cleansed by His word.

The time after His resurrection from the grave was for those of us who come after as the fully cleansed female. This is why the terms “congregation” or edah in Hebrew, and church, or ecclesia in Greek, are both feminine words. Both are purified, completely and wholly, through the grace of Jesus Christ, and we will be presented as a called-out group and as a chaste virgin to one Husband, free from all defilement because of the work of Christ.

And so in this passage today, we see that everything points to Him. The circumcised Male child; the purification of the female through His grace, the time frames given to show us pictures of this, the burnt offering of the lamb – the perfect and acceptable fragrant offering to God – or the dove or turtledove! The sin offering – the dove and the turtle dove. The cleansing, the atonement, it is all about Jesus Christ. Every beautiful word of this almost completely ignored or misinterpreted passage of Scripture points to Christ.

And a point we should consider before we close concerns what Christ went through for us in His earthly life. As I said earlier, the law states that anyone who touched a woman in the time of her customary impurity would be considered unclean until evening. This means that Jesus was in this state for the first seven days of His life. Think it through, the Lord of all creation, was considered ceremonially unclean according to His own law which He gave to Israel, for the first seven days of His life. On the last day of His life, He then took all of the uncleanness of man upon Himself, thus becoming an unclean thing for us before His Father. If this doesn’t show to you the extent to which God was willing to go to reconcile us to Himself, I’m not sure what else would.

The amazing thing is that right in the middle of a book which causes eyes to glaze over and heads to nod, there is treasure – rich and abundant – if we will just look for it. Never stop asking yourself, “Lord, what are these verses here for?” With time and study, it will be revealed to you. But, there is a truth that you need to consider. You cannot tie in the rest of Scripture with passages like this if you DO NOT KNOW the rest of Scripture. Open it! Read it! Listen to it as you drive! Meditate on it! Contemplate it! Memorize it! Return to the well day and night. The more you are in it, the more it all comes together to make complete sense.

In the end, it is all about Jesus. Each section is intended to show us this. And with Jesus, there is a plan that is being worked out. It is a marvelous plan where life and purity is drawn out from death and impurity. If that life isn’t drawn out, then we will remain forever unclean and impure. And so the fact is that we need Jesus. You need Jesus. Let me tell you about how you too can have JESUS.

Closing Verse:“Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation
31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.” Luke 2:29-32

Next Week: Leviticus 13:1-17 Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Won’t this be fun… (The Law of Leprosy, Part I) (19th Leviticus Sermon)

The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if you have a lifetime of sin heaped up behind you, He can wash it away and purify you completely and wholly. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.

Purification After Childbirth

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying
These are the words He was then relaying 

Speak to the children of Israel, saying:
If a woman has conceived, and borne a male child
Then she shall be unclean seven days
So shall her state be, as one defiled

As in the days of her customary impurity
She shall be unclean, so shall she be

And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin
Shall be circumcised, so shall it be done to him 

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 during this phase

Until the days of her purification are fulfilled
Thus shall it be as I have willed

But if she bears a female child
Then she shall for two weeks be unclean
As in her customary impurity
That totals days fourteen

And she shall continue in the blood of her purification
Sixty-six days according to this notification

When the days of her purification are fulfilled
Whether for a son or a daughter, remember this thing
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

Then he shall offer it before the Lord
And make atonement for her, according to this detail
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

And if she is not able to bring a lamb
Then she may two turtledoves or two young pigeons bring
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; no longer impure

Lord, who can bring out purity from that which is impure
How can we be cleansed, when we are already found with sin?
It seemed like we were goners, a disease the law couldn’t cure
Yes, surely it looked like we were done in

But from the woman came a Child, born without sin
And from Him came cleansing for us all
No longer are we fearful of being done in
When upon the name of JESUS, we do call

Hallelujah that purity can come to we who are impure
By calling on Jesus and being washed from all our sin
Now eternity is ours, His shed blood this does ensure
No longer are we fearful that we are done in

Thank You, O God, for our precious Lord Jesus
Thank You, O God, for all You have done for us

Hallelujah and Amen…

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