Leviticus 12

Listen to Leviticus 12

Purification After Childbirth

1 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
2 "Speak to the people of Israel, saying, 'If a woman conceives and bears a male child, then 1she shall be unclean seven days. 2As at the time of her menstruation, she shall be unclean.
3 And on the 3eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.
4 Then she shall continue for thirty-three days in the blood of her purifying. She shall not touch anything holy, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying are completed.
5 But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her menstruation. And she shall continue in the blood of her purifying for sixty-six days.
6 4"'And when the days of her purifying are completed, whether for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the entrance of the tent of meeting a lamb a year old for a burnt offering, and a pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering,
7 and he shall offer it before the LORD and make atonement for her. Then she shall be clean from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who bears a child, either male or female.
8 And if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take 5two turtledoves or two pigeons,[a]6one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. 7And the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean.'"

Leviticus 12 Commentary

Chapter 12

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.

Cross References 7

  • 1. [Luke 2:22]
  • 2. Leviticus 15:19
  • 3. Genesis 17:12; Luke 1:59; Luke 2:21; John 7:22, 23
  • 4. [See ver. 2 above]
  • 5. Leviticus 1:14; Leviticus 5:7; Cited Luke 2:24
  • 6. ver. 6
  • 7. Leviticus 4:26

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Septuagint two young pigeons

Chapter Summary


This chapter treats of the purification of a new mother, the time of whose purification for a man child was forty days, and for a maid child eighty, Le 12:1-5 at the close of which she was to bring her offerings to the priests, to make atonement for her, Le 12:6-8.

Leviticus 12 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.