And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.
3 And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.
4 And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled.
5 But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days.
6 And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest:
7 Who shall offer it before the Lord, and make an atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood. This is the law for her that hath born a male or a female.
8 And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.
After the “Fall” (Gen 3), all humans became mortal and subject to death because of sin (Rom 6:23). Certain things, called “impure,” were associated with the birth to death cycle of mortality. These included blood, semen, and other fluids that flow from reproductive organs, also deteriorating skin, and corpses. Such impurity was not literal, but a category that emphasized the physical state of sinfulness that ends in death. Therefore, impurity was to be separated from holy things. Now that the earthly temple has ended, ritual purification is unnecessary. However, the record of the system still teaches us about our nature in relation to that of God.
After childbirth, a mother bled for several weeks, so she was impure. Perhaps because a baby girl can be born with blood in her genital area, the mother would bear the baby’s impurity twice as long than if she had a boy. Emphasis on female impurity here does not devalue females below males, who could also have plenty of impurity (Lev 15). To complete her purification, the mother had to offer sacrifices, including a “sin offering.” This is better translated “purification offering” because she had not committed an act of sin and needed no forgiveness.