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Rules for New Mothers

12 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the ·people [L sons; children] of Israel this: ‘If a woman [L conceives; becomes pregnant and] gives birth to a son, she will become unclean [C in a ritual sense] for seven days, as she is unclean during her ·monthly period [menstruation; 15:19]. On the eighth day the ·boy [L flesh of his foreskin] must be circumcised [Gen. 17:10–14]. Then it will be thirty-three days before she becomes clean from her loss of blood. She must not touch anything that is holy or enter the ·Holy Tent [L sanctuary] until her time of ·cleansing [purification] is finished. But if she gives birth to a daughter, the mother will be unclean for two weeks, as she is unclean during her ·monthly period [menstruation]. It will be sixty-six days before she becomes clean from her loss of blood.

“‘After she has a son or daughter and her days of ·cleansing [purification] are over, the new mother must bring certain sacrifices to the Meeting Tent. She must give the priest at the entrance a year-old lamb for a burnt offering [1:1–17] and a dove or young pigeon for a ·sin [or purification; 4:3] offering. He will offer them before the Lord to make her clean [C in a ritual sense] ·so she will belong to the Lord again [L to make atonement for her]; then she will be clean from her ·loss [flow] of blood. These are the ·teachings [laws; instructions] for a woman who gives birth to a boy or girl.

“‘If she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering [1:1–17] and one for a ·sin [or purification; 4:3] offering. In this way the priest will make her clean [C in a ritual sense] ·so she will belong to the Lord again [L and make atonement for her], and she will be clean.’”

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