1 "Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

2 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying: ‘When a woman gives birth and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean for seven days, as in the days of her menstruation she shall be unclean.

6 When the days of her purification are completed, for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the doorway of the tent of meeting a one year old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering. 7 ‘Then he shall offer it before the Lord and make atonement for her, and she shall be cleansed from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who bears a child, whether a male or a female.

8‘But if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two young pigeons, the one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for her, and she will be clean.’”

(Book of Leviticus Chapter 12)

My question is, is the price of a one year old lamb so high that St.Joseph cannot afford to buy it? It would be a stain in the dignity of a just man not able to be a good provider for his family. I mean St.Joseph had a decent job as a carpenter and he has nine months to pull out resources for the offering. I just don't believe the idea that somehow they neglect an important offering and prepare or plan for it fulfillment ahead is somehow neglected considering they are both known to virtouos in obedience & humility.

Is one of the biblical reason why they don't need to offer a one year old lamb is because they already have the "Lamb of God"?

What I'm looking for, is a biblical commentaries or Church teaching that the reasoning of cannot afford to buy a one year old lamb is not true and that a deeper biblical meaning exists.

Catholic commentaries on the real biblical reasons why Joseph & Mary only offered or preferred to offered two turtle doves. Is the two turtle doves connotes a prophetic or some mysterious message?

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    Are you asking why they chose voluntary poverty? Or are you looking for the tropological sense of Luke 2:24? Also, St. Joseph knew she was pregnant for less than 9 months. – Geremia Aug 16 '18 at 19:58
  • Even if Joseph had a decent job, he had also encountered some unexpected expenses --- the need to travel to Bethlehem for the census and the need to stay there for the 40 days until the Purification. (I don't think the Gospel explicitly says that the Holy Family stayed in Bethlehem for that time, but if they returned to Nazareth then there would have been the added expense of a trip to Jerusalem for the Purification. I think Bethlehem is considerably closer to Jerusalem than Nazareth is.) – Andreas Blass Aug 17 '18 at 2:23
  • Divine Providence will not be lacking to St.Joseph & Mary, if the "one year old lamb" is the inspiration of God to Mary based on His commandment then God will provide, if the two turtle dove connotes a message to convey to us then it the more profound reason for me. – jong ricafort Aug 17 '18 at 3:54
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    You deliberately reject the obvious conclusion and you search for a 'commentary' that suits your opinion. What on earth is the point of that ? – Nigel J Aug 17 '18 at 12:28
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    @jongricafort Comments aren't for personal jabs. You can edit your posts to be more clear in response for requests for clarification or to fix problems noted by commentors, but comments aren't for debate. (Nor are they for complaining about this site, if you have a question about how something is supposed to work ask about it on Christianity Meta.) – Caleb Aug 17 '18 at 13:39

Luke 2:24:

And to offer a sacrifice, according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons:

Venerable Bede commentates on this verse (quoted in St. Thomas Aquinas's Catena Aurea on Luke 2):

Now this was the victim of the poor. For the Lord commanded in the law that they who were should offer a lamb for a son or a daughter as well as a turtle dove or pigeon; but they who were not able to offer a lamb should give two turtle doves or two young pigeons. Therefore the Lord, though he was rich, deigned to become poor, that by his poverty He might make us partakers of His riches.

See also Cornelius à Lapide, S.J.'s commentary on Luke 2:24:

Tropologically, the turtle-doves and the pigeons which the woman used to offer for her sin, i.e., her defilement or legal uncleanness, signified the groaning or compunction of the penitent by which sins are expiated, especially when they accompany the sacrament of expiation.

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  • There's a parallel on Leviticus and Luke gospel on this your correct on citing the Lord commandment.What I'm looking for is a biblical or logical reason why Joseph having a decent job as a carpenter did not perhaps care to obey the highest offering considering they are known for obedience. I'don't see the poor being the reason,as I've mentioned there's no need to offer a lamb, because Jesus is the "Lamb of God". I'm looking if there's a symbol corresponding to two turtle dove.Godbless – jong ricafort Aug 16 '18 at 21:43
  • @jongricafort "I'm looking if there's a symbol corresponding to two turtle dove." See the quote I added from Conelius à Lapide, S.J.'s commentary. – Geremia Aug 16 '18 at 21:49
  • Ok there's the explanation why the two turtle dove was chosen symbolism of body & soul, humility,meekness, chastity and other attributes of dove is correlated to the choice offering.So,its not because they cannot afford to buy a one year old lamb.Can you include the commentary explanation on your answer for complete answer.Godbless – jong ricafort Aug 16 '18 at 22:10
  • @jongricafort "Can you include the commentary explanation on your answer for complete answer." What do you mean? – Geremia Aug 16 '18 at 23:47
  • I saw the explanation on the turtle dove on your link, I think it's a good explanation to cite in your answers on Bede & Athan their commentaries speaks well of the meaning of the two turtle dove.can you inlcude those reflections? – jong ricafort Aug 17 '18 at 0:02

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