Leviticus 12:1-8 NIV
Purification After Childbirth
1The Lord Said to Moses, 2“Say to the Israelites: ‘A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. 3 On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised.
4Then the woman must wait thirty-three days to be purified from her bleeding. She must not touch anything sacred or go to the Sanctuary until the days of her purification are over.5If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding.
6“ ‘When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering. 7He shall offer them before The Lord to make atonement for her, and then she will be ceremonially clean from her flow of blood.
“ ‘These are the regulations for the woman who gives birth to a boy or a girl. 8 But if she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.’ ”
Two doves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering
Though the occasion was of a festive character, yet the sacrifices appointed were not a peace offering, but a burnt offering and sin offering, in order to impress the mind of the parent with recollections of the origin of sin, and that the child inherited a fallen and sinful nature. The offerings were to be presented the day after the period of her separation had ended—that is, forty-first for a boy, eighty-first for a girl.
This was the offering made by Mary, the mother of JESUS, and it affords an incontestable proof of the poor and humble condition of the family.