And if she be not able to bring a lamb
As everyone was not in circumstances sufficient to be at the expense of buying a lamb for this purpose, having none of their own:
then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons;
which was a kind and merciful provision for the poorer sort; since it was necessary that by them the favour received should be acknowledged, as well as the sin attending them in such circumstances should be atoned for. This being the offering brought by the mother of our Lord, shows the state of poverty in which she was; and by this, and the circumcision of her child, and the presentation of it before the Lord at the time of her purification, it appears that they were both under the law, and obedient to it:
the one for a burnt offering, and the other for a sin [offering];
Jarchi observes, that in oblations the sin offering goes before the burnt offering, for sin being atoned for, the gift was accepted; but here the burnt offering went first, the reason is not very apparent:
and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be
equally the same as if she had brought a lamb, instead of young pigeons, or turtledoves.