But if she bear a maid child
A daughter, whether born alive or dead, if she goes with it her full time:
then she shall be unclean two weeks;
or fourteen days running; and on the fifteenth day be free or loosed, as the Targum of Jonathan, just as long again as for a man child:
as in her separation;
on account of her monthly courses; the sense is, that she should be fourteen days, to all intents and purposes, as unclean as when these are upon her:
and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying sixty
which being added to the fourteen make eighty days, just as many more as in the case of a male child; the reason of which, as given by some Jewish writers, is, because of the greater flow of humours, and the corruption of the blood through the birth of a female than of a male: but perhaps the truer reason may be, what a learned man F16 suggests, that a male infant circumcised on the eighth day, by the profusion of its own blood, bears part of the purgation; wherefore the mother, for the birth of a female, must suffer twice the time of separation; the separation is finished within two weeks, but the purgation continues sixty six days; a male child satisfies the law together, and at once, by circumcision; but an adult female bears both the purgation and separation every month. According to Hippocrates F17, the purgation of a new mother, after the birth of a female, is forty two days, and after the birth of a male thirty days; so that it should seem there is something in nature which requires a longer time for purifying after the one than after the other, and which may in part be regarded by this law; but it chiefly depends upon the sovereign will of the lawgiver. The Jews do not now strictly observe this. Buxtorf F18 says, the custom prevails now with them, that whether a woman bears a male or a female, at the end of forty days she leaves her bed, and returns to her husband; but Leo of Modena relates F19, that if she bears a male child, her husband may not touch her for the space of seven weeks; and if a female, the space of three months; though he allows, in some places, they continue separated a less while, according as the custom of the place is.