12:7 The priest15 is to present it before the Lord and make atonement16 on her behalf, and she will be clean17 from her flow of blood.18 This is the law of the one who bears a child, for the male or the female child.
sn See the note on Lev 1:4 “make atonement.” The purpose of sin offering “atonement,” in particular, was to purge impurities from the tabernacle (see Lev 15:31 and 16:5–19, 29–34), whether they were caused by physical uncleannesses or by sins and iniquities. In this case, the woman has not “sinned” morally by having a child. Even Mary brought such offerings for giving birth to Jesus (Luke 2:22–24), though she certainly did not “sin” in giving birth to him. Note that the result of bringing this “sin offering” was “she will be clean,” not “she will be forgiven” (cf. Lev 4:20, 26, 31, 35; 5:10, 13). The impurity of the blood flow has caused the need for this “sin offering,” not some moral or relational infringement of the law (contrast Lev 4:2, “When a person sins by straying unintentionally from any of the commandments of the Lord”).
tn Or “she will be[come] pure.”