Leviticus 12:5-7 But especially vv. 5 and 7. 5 If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding. 6 “‘When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering. 7 He shall offer them before the Lord to make atonement for her, and then she will be ceremonially clean from her flow of blood. (The Bible exalts the position of motherhood saying, “Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine ... your children like olive plants” (Ps. 128:3). Nevertheless, mothers were commanded to bring a sacrifice to the altar for “purification” and “atonement” after the birth of a child (Lev. 12:5-7).)
Leviticus 12:1 - 8
ESV - 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 she shall be unclean seven days. As at the time of her menstruation, she shall be unclean.
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"If motherhood is blessed by God..." Is there any doubt that being able to do God's will is to be blessed by God or not? God determined that women would bear children. I don't think He meant it as punishment for sin. I know how it reads, (Gen 3:16) but I think our understanding of God's personality is flawed from the genesis of time. The man was "sentenced" by God to work for his food (by the sweat of his brow). I don't think that declaration was meant as punishment for sin. God cursed the ground, not Adam (Gen 3:17,18). The punishment for sin is death Rom 6:23). It isn't childbirth or hard work. It isn't having to sacrifice animals and birds for atonement. Think about it: what does the Bible tell us was perhaps the worst affliction a woman had to deal with? To be barren... To be unable to conceive. Women know the pain and discomfort of childbirth and yet are eager to have children. (One of my grandmothers gave birth ten times, the other seven). Do you think the ceremonial purification was a hassle? (Maybe it was) Were they being punished for having a baby? If having a child is a blessing, why are they pronounced to be unclean as if they've sinned? Have they dishonored God? How can you dishonor God and be blessed at the same time? The bloodletting makes them ceremonially unclean. What is ceremony? It is acknowledgement. It is observance. A ceremony acknowledges something (secular) or someone (spiritual). So what's the meaning of a ceremony for a woman to perform after she gives birth? What or who was she acknowledging? She was acknowledging God's part in the affair. She was confessing her weakness and observing His strength, her brokenness and His holiness. It's the cleanup after the crisis; it puts things back in order.
I would say that it would be necessary to consider the accomplished fact of the child's birth separately from the process of it. Children are a blessing because of their potential for saving faith, and the good works that will result from that faith. However, the process by which those children are born involves exposure to, or the shedding of, blood, which is regarded throughout the Bible (not just in connection with childbirth) as a source of ceremonial uncleanness that must be purified and atoned for through a sacrificial offering
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