In this study of Leviticus 12–15, we will be taking a step up and a step back the topics discussed. Some of it is unsettling, and it is easy to lose ourselves in some of the more distasteful details, while forgetting the important life lessons the Holy One of Yisra’el is communicating to us.
Life starts with contamination. It starts out dirty. Childbirth is messy. It’s not sinful; it’s just a fact of life.
The general Bible term for infections of skin and surfaces is “leprosy,” but it covers a host of conditions. It’s also a good parable for “rot” in our character — if the lesson isn’t taken too far.
The Torah reading תזריע Tazria (“she will conceive,” Leviticus 12–13) is concerned about what is physically dirty vs. clean, but the LORD’s lesson for us is more than skin-deep.
The phrase “unclean” and “abomination” are different words. The reason that God introduces certain animals clean and fit to eat versus unclean and unfit to eat is a lesson to us to look at the character of the animals. The length of a woman’s purification is twice as long for a female child as a male child. Liberals claim this is about a lack of thankfulness for the female child, but the real issue is the health of the mother after childbirth.