Leviticus 12: 1—14: 32
The next part makes all my feminist tendencies rear their head! But, if you are like me in that way, take a breath, give God a chance to explain Himself to you. God does not hate women. He does not make the uncleanness last longer for baby girls because He hates baby girls. This whole thing is to make the Israelites holy (set apart and unique). As I see it, and again, we have established I am not a scholar, a mom of a boy had to become ceremonially clean to take her son to be dedicated to the Lord through circumcision. She then gets another 30 days to remain unclean. She stays out of society, home with her baby. It sounds like kindness to me. The baby girl does not have to be circumcised. So, the mom and baby get to enjoy a longer time of being ceremonially unclean, home, out of society, together. I think this is where maternity leave must have started. The consecration process is to bring a burnt offering and pigeon or turtle dove for a purification offering. This shows us that being ceremonially unclean is not a sin, otherwise, they would have had to bring a guilt or sin offering. Unclean meant that you were separated from society for a time.
EWWWW. This section turned my stomach this morning. Can you imagine dealing with all these skin rashes and no antibacterial gel? PTL for Purell. Also, I am thankful I do not have to deal with this super-powered mildew that could come back after you got rid of it. Remember they did not have Clorox wipes either.
I do love how the Lord taught them how to deal with these things. This prevented them from falling into trying to heal their maladies with the awful practices of the pagans around them. Think of all the most horrific practices like when we thought it was a good idea to “bleed” people who were ill and then multiply that by 1000. Not good.
Those who have been healed of one of these skin diseases have to go through a consecration process. The process looks more like what Aaron had to go through to be ordained because of the blood on the earlobes and stuff like that. There is no actual mention of sin causing the necessary sacrifices, but it seems to be implied that either by not participating in worship while you were in quarantine or because you were healed you needed to atone for the situation. And of course, provision is made for the poor who could not bring the heavy stock sacrifices. The use of the hyssop made me think of the procedure for Passover. The visual aid with the two birds is profound. One bird is killed symbolizing the escape from death from a disease and the other is released to freedom symbolizing the disease being lifted off the person. That is beautiful and I think would remind the Israelites to thank the Lord for their deliverance. And again, we have to remember that this is all in the context of setting Israel apart from the people they will encounter in Canaan and making them ceremonially clean so they can commune with God to atone for their sin. God also gives instruction for the future dealings with mildew in the stone houses they will live in when they get to Canaan. This makes me doubly thankful for Clorox wipes.
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