Leviticus12.docx - This week's reading from Leviticus...

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This week's reading from Leviticus chapters 11-15 is all about the importance of cleanliness and how to get clean. When we get physically dirty, we are taught to wash ourselves before we join the company of others. So God gracious made provision for cleansing and restoring a person who became defiled. For most situations of uncleanliness the normal procedure was for people to wash themselves and their clothing and remain outside the camp until evening. But with some cases like a mother after her childbirth (or infectious skin diseases - Leviticus 13-15), it required a longer time of waiting and purification. Today's reading in Leviticus chapter 12 is not about personal holiness but ritual purification for the mother, without which she could not return to normal life in her home and in the camp. In giving birth to a baby, a mother experiences bleeding, as well as the secretion of other bodily fluids. Post pregnancy were a very dangerous physical state for a woman. I'm sure the infant mortality rates were much higher in ancient Israel than it is today. Equally, the maternal
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