12:5 maid child. The purification period after the birth of a son was forty days, but eighty days in the case of a daughter. The reason for the difference is not given, but possibly had to do with two considerations. It was the woman who had originally been deceived, with the resultant pronouncement of travail in childbirth (Genesis 3:16), with the additional purification period symbolic of the future travail the daughter must also anticipate. The second factor could be that the rite of circumcision, applicable only to the male child, symbolized the more direct entrance into covenant relation with God. See also note on Genesis 17:11.