In a society where women and children were not valued, God took a step and showed concern. In such communities, their needs for rest and care would be ignored.
But God weaved into their religious system the necessary care and rest for women and children. In Leviticus 12, the text deals with purification after childbirth. They had seven days of being unclean, then 33 days (for a boy child) and 60 days (for a girl child) of purification.
These days of “purification” were a form of maternity leave for them. Even today in Israel there’s 14 weeks of paid maternity leave.
Without these ceremonial and religious laws, ancient women may be required to return to work quickly after childbirth. This was God’s provision for care and rest.
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