Leviticus 12:4 Commentary - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)
(4) Continue in the blood of her purifying.—Better, continue in the blood of purification, that is, pure blood. Though the discharge consequent upon the birth ceases after two or three weeks, the period in this case, as in the former instance, is nearly doubled, to include exceptional cases. During these thirty-three days, which constituted the second stage, the mother was only debarred from touching holy things, such as first tithes, the flesh of thank- and peace-offerings, &c, and from entering the sanctuary. Having bathed at the end of the seven days which constituted the first and defiling period, she could now partake of the second tithes, and resume conjugal intercourse, since any blood that might now appear was regarded as pure blood, in contradistinction to the (dam nidah) blood of monthly courses. Her proximity, therefore, no longer defiled. The Sadducees and the Samaritans during the second Temple, and their followers, the Karaite Jews, interpreted this law more rigidly. Though admitting that there is a difference of degree in the two periods, they maintained that the woman was too unclean for conjugal intercourse even during the second period. They therefore pointed the text differently so as to yield the rendering “blood of her purifying.” The Authorised Version, which, in this instance, follows the opinion of the Sadducees, departs from the received text.
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Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)
Charles John Ellicott (1819 - 1905) was a distinguished English Christian theologian, academic and churchman. He briefly served as Dean of Exeter, then Bishop of the united see of Gloucester and Bristol.
His works include:
- An Old Testament Commentary for English Readers, 1897. (Editor)
- A New Testament Commentary for English Readers, 1878.