Abortion in the First Degree

By Wendell Tenison/Vernon Gruver

As early in the Law of Moses after crossing the Red Sea and immediately after he received the ten commandments, he gave this commandment regarding the abortion of a child without the permission of the mother. According to the law, whether it was accidental or intentional, the penalty varied from the judges verdict of payment of money or death, depending on the age of the unborn. If the premature child had not reached the point of survival, then the lesser penalty would be imposed. If the child had reached the point of living, then the death penalty would be in given.

Exo 21:22-23 "If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine......And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,"

Below is the quotation from the Septuagint, which is the translation of all Hewbrew scriptures into the Greek language. This occurred 285 years before Christ in the city of Alexandria, Egypt, by 70-72 Greek speaking Jewish scholars.

Exo.21:22-23 "And if two men strive and smite a woman with child, and her child be born imperfectly formed, he shall be forced to pay a penalty: as the woman's husband may lay upon him, he shall pay with a valuation....But if it be perfectly formed, he shall give life for life."

Abortion is such a highly emotional issue that it has divided a nation. Laying aside emotions and the "buts and what ifs", what is God's perspective on the matter?

God forms the spirit within man.

Zec 12:1 "The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him."

Before birth, the child sleeps, kicks, sucks his thumb and hiccups. While John the Baptist was in his mother's womb, his spirit caused him to leap for joy at the news that Mary the mother of Jesus had conceived, being at the end of his second tri-mester.This strongly indicated that John used his intellegence to display one of his emotions. No one disagrees that our spirit animates us. My grand daughter-in-law is expecting twins and while being viewed on the sonogram, they sometimes fight each other. By the way, they are both girls.

Luke 1:41-44 "And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:.....And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb......And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?.....For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy."

The Patriarch Job asked the question as to why he did not give up the ghost when he came out of the womb?

Job 3:11 "Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?"

Job 10:18 "Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me!"


Jeremiah states that God knew him before he formed him in the belly and before he came out of the womb he sanctified him to be a prophet unto the nations. Jeremiah had an identity before he was conceived, because God knew him as he does all of us. We came from eternity and that is where we are going back to. A common belief is that Adam did not become a living soul until after God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, Gen.2:7. Therefore, a fetus is only an extention of a woman's body. If Adam became a livng soul, then obviously, he was a dead one before. After a person dies, do they cease to be a soul, seeing they no longer have the breath of life within them? That is a valid argument if it were true, but it is not. Our Lord put to silence the nay-sayer in the following verses regarding the life of one after death.

Jer 1:5 "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."

Luke 8:49-55 "While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master......But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole....And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden......And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.....And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.....And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise......And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat."

Again, we see that the soul is alive even after death.

Rev 6:9 "And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:"

And even yet better, the words of king David concerning himself and the Lord.

Acts 2:27-31 "Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption......Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance......Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day......Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;.....He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption."

Job and Jeremiah were not just a blob when they were born. The unborn child is on life support from his mother the same as one in the hospital. Both have their spirits and neither are dead.

Now to our judicial system: if someone takes the life of a pregnant mother and both the mother and child dies, the killer is charged with double murder. On the other hand, if a pregnant mother has an abortion at a lawfully recognized clinic, that is considered lawful and not murder. What is the difference? Without permission it is murder, but with permission it is not. Without any contradiction, life begins at conception.

Suppose, Mary the mother of Jesus decided to have an abortion, where would the world be? The answer lies within Paul's letter to the Ephesians.

Eph 2:11-12 "Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;.....That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:"

Let God be thanked for his unspeakable gift, Jesus the Christ.

2 Cor 9:15 "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift."

Did our creator bring us into this world to dishonor him? Denying God of his reward is treading on dangerous ground. The Holy Spirit of God does his work as man dies, he creates new life.

Psa 127:3 "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward."

Psa 104:29 -30 "Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust......Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth."



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© 2013 by Wendell Tenison/Vernon Gruver