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Monday, March 9, 2009

The Shedding of Blood

"When the days of her purification are fulfilled ... she shall bring to the priest a lamb of the first year as a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove as a sin offering ... Then he shall offer it before the LORD, and make atonement for her. And she shall be clean from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who has borne a male or a female."
~ Leviticus 12:6-7 (NKJV)

"And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting.... Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man. As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it."
~ Genesis 9:5-7 (NIV)

Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
~ Hebrews 9:22 (ESV)

When God pronounced sin's consequences to Adam and Eve, woman's destiny became much toil in pregnancy and great pain in giving birth—and the desire for her husband that would ensure pregnancy. The process would involve bloodshed, both before and after pregnancy.

The Lord demands an accounting for the shedding of blood. His law required a woman (not her husband) to make atonement for the bloodshed of childbirth. God also commanded mankind to be fruitful and multiply, which requires childbirth. A catch-22 if ever there was one.

Before thinking "unfair," consider the process of being "born again." Before we receive spiritual life, our sins require an atonement [Hebrew kaphar, a covering which changes the nature of the thing covered]. For this God required the shedding of blood, and that blood was shed by His Son.

Most Holy God, You are good to make our lives and blood precious in Your sight. Please let us likewise see all human life as precious, valued no matter its circumstances. Please let us value most highly the blood of Your Son, by which we have forgiveness and eternal life.

Feedback invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. Life is a precious gift, please do not let us waste it Lord.

  2. I was just thinking I hope there's some great reward in Heaven for women for having to maintain a monthly for the better half of their lives. What a timely and educational post!

  3. T. Anne, God actually gives us an out. Nurturing life by nursing a child is one way to avoid that unpleasantness. In biblical times (and some cultures today) nursing typically lasted three years. On top of nine months pregnancy, each child could mean about three and a half years of suppressed ovulation and its accompanying bloodshed.

    I suspect this is at least part of the application of 1 Timothy 2:15: "Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control."


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