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Leviticus 12:4

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

The blood of her purifying - A few words will make this subject sufficiently plain.

  1. God designs that the human female should bring forth children.
  • That children should derive, under his providence, their being, all their solids and all their fluids, in a word, the whole mass of their bodies, from the substance of the mother.
  • For this purpose he has given to the body of the female an extra quantity of blood and nutritious juices.
  • Before pregnancy this superabundance is evacuated at periodical times.
  • In pregnancy, that which was formerly evacuated is retained for the formation and growth of the fetus, or the general strengthening of the system during the time of pregnancy.
  • After the birth of the child, for seven or fourteen days, more or less according to certain circumstances, that superabundance, no longer necessary for the growth of the child as before, continues to be evacuated: this was called the time of the female's purification among the Jews.
  • When the lacerated vessels are rejoined, this superfluity of blood is returned into the general circulation, and, by a wise law of the Creator, becomes principally useful to the breasts, and helps in the production of milk for the nourishment of the new-born infant.
  • And thus it continues till the weaning of the child, or renewed pregnancy takes place. Here is a series of mercies and wise providential regulations which cannot be known without being admired, and which should be known that the great Creator and Preserver may have that praise from his creatures which his wonderful working demands.
  • The term purifying here does not imply that there is any thing impure in the blood at this or the other times referred to above; on the contrary, the blood is pure, perfectly so, as to its quality, but is excessive in quantity for the reasons above assigned. The idle tales found in certain works relative to the infectious nature of this fluid, and of the female in such times are as impious as they are irrational and absurd.

    Albert Barnes
    Notes on the Whole Bible
    Verses 1-8

    This chapter would more naturally follow the 15th chapter of Leviticus. See the note to Leviticus 15:1.

    Albert Barnes
    Notes on the Whole Bible

    The Levitical law ascribed impurity exclusively to the mother, in no degree to the Child.

    Ellen G. White
    The Desire of Ages, 50

    About forty days after the birth of Christ, Joseph and Mary took Him to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord, and to offer sacrifice. This was according to the Jewish law, and as man's substitute Christ must conform to the law in every particular. He had already been subjected to the rite of circumcision, as a pledge of His obedience to the law. DA 50.1

    As an offering for the mother, the law required a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering. But the law provided that if the parents were too poor to bring a lamb, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering, the other for a sin offering, might be accepted. DA 50.2

    The offerings presented to the Lord were to be without blemish. These offerings represented Christ, and from this it is evident that Jesus Himself was free from physical deformity. He was the “lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Peter 1:19. His physical structure was not marred by any defect; His body was strong and healthy. And throughout His lifetime He lived in conformity to nature's laws. Physically as well as spiritually, He was an example of what God designed all humanity to be through obedience to His laws. DA 50.3

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    Ellen G. White
    The Desire of Ages, 456

    He now gave a test by which the true teacher might be distinguished from the deceiver: “He that speaketh from himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh the glory of Him that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.” John 7:18, R. V. He that seeketh his own glory is speaking only from himself. The spirit of self-seeking betrays its origin. But Christ was seeking the glory of God. He spoke the words of God. This was the evidence of His authority as a teacher of the truth. DA 456.1

    Jesus gave the rabbis an evidence of His divinity by showing that He read their hearts. Ever since the healing at Bethesda they had been plotting His death. Thus they were themselves breaking the law which they professed to be defending. “Did not Moses give you the law,” He said, “and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill Me?” DA 456.2

    Like a swift flash of light these words revealed to the rabbis the pit of ruin into which they were about to plunge. For an instant they were filled with terror. They saw that they were in conflict with Infinite Power. But they would not be warned. In order to maintain their influence with the people, their murderous designs must be concealed. Evading the question of Jesus, they exclaimed, “Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill Thee?” They insinuated that the wonderful works of Jesus were instigated by an evil spirit. DA 456.3

    To this insinuation Christ gave no heed. He went on to show that His work of healing at Bethesda was in harmony with the Sabbath law, and that it was justified by the interpretation which the Jews themselves put upon the law. He said, “Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; ... and ye on the Sabbath day circumcise a man.” According to the law, every child must be circumcised on the eighth day. Should the appointed time fall upon the Sabbath, the rite must then be performed. How much more must it be in harmony with the spirit of the law to make a man “every whit whole on the Sabbath day.” And He warned them to “judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” DA 456.4

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    Ellen G. White
    Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 141-2

    If every family realized the beneficial results of thorough cleanliness, they would make special efforts to remove every impurity from their persons, and from their houses, and would extend their efforts to their premises. Many suffer decayed vegetable matter to remain about their premises. They are not awake to the influence of these things. There is constantly arising from these decaying substances an effluvia that is poisoning the air. By inhaling the impure air, the blood is poisoned, the lungs become affected, and the whole system is diseased. Disease of almost every description will be caused by inhaling the atmosphere affected by these decaying substances. 4aSG 141.1

    Families have been afflicted with fevers, some have died, and the remaining portion of the family circle have almost murmured against their Maker because of their distressing bereavements, when the sole cause of all their sickness and death has been the result of their own carelessness. The impurities about their own premises have brought upon them contagious diseases, and the sad afflictions which they charge upon God. Every family that prizes health should cleanse their houses and their premises of all decaying substances. 4aSG 141.2

    God commanded that the children of Israel should in no case allow impurities of their persons, or of their clothing. Those who had any personal uncleanliness were shut out of the camp until evening, and then were required to cleanse themselves and their clothing before they could enter the camp. Also they were commanded of God to have no impurities upon the premises within a great distance of the encampment, lest the Lord should pass by and see their uncleanliness. 4aSG 141.3

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