Eight days later, the time came to circumcise the baby, and he was given the name Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived.
Then, after their purification had been completed in accordance with the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as prescribed in the law of the Lord, “Every first-born male shall be deemed to belong to the Lord”); and also to make the offering as stated in the law of the Lord: “A pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.”
Turtle-dove: What was the meaning of the turtle-doves? *
Thoughts: on being poor — Donna Ross
In Jesus’ time the Law made provision for the poor, but they still felt the weight of their poverty. How Joseph and Mary must have wished they had enough money to purchase a lamb for their special baby!
Yet even if they had money to buy a lamb, that lamb might have been rejected; perfect lambs, more expensive lambs, had to be purchased at the sanctuary: that way God got a perfect sacrifice, and the Temple made a profit.
In our time the laws also make some provision for the poor, but the poor still are made to feel the weight of their poverty, labeled as lazy, and roundly criticized for their lack of planning for their own futures.
After childbirth, women were excluded from all religious ceremonies until their mandated time had passed (see Leviticus 12). At the end of that time, the new mother was required to bring a lamb and a young turtle-dove (or pigeon) to the Temple for sacrifice. Since this offering was expensive, poor women could bring two turtle-doves if they could not afford a lamb.