Does The Bible Talk About Abortion?

Written by Josiah Nichols

January 6, 2022

Bed, Baby, Newborn, Child, Blanket

“When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, … But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life,(Exodus 21:22a, 23, ESV).

Introduction

There is much debate on the topic of abortion. Though it is legal in most of the Western world, there are many who realize it is the murder of a human being. The Christian needs to ask himself or herself if the Bible speaks about this issue. While the Bible does not say specifically, “thou shalt not have an abortion”, there are principles on how the Bible views unborn babies and infants. It also addresses how one should treat them and what should happen if a child is murdered.[1]

How God Views the Unborn

The above passage, while not directly talking about abortion, addresses how one should handle an accidental miscarriage that was caused by a fight. This refers to a legal case in Israel where two men are fighting while a pregnant woman is standing by. The man apparently accidentally hits the pregnant woman and her child comes out (v. 22a). If the child is fine, the man will be fined (v. 22b). Yet, if the man kills the child, he shall die (v. 23).

This passage shows God views the life of an unborn child is the same as that of a human being. In context, the murderer receives the same punishment as one who kills a slave or a negligent owner of an ox who kills people (vv. 20, 28 – 32). God views all human life as sacred representations of himself (Genesis 1: 26 – 26). So those who take a human life must be killed (9: 5 – 7).

How God views children. Here are some passages on how God views child sacrifice:

  • “You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 18: 20, ESV).
  • “Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones.” (Leviticus 20: 2, ESV).
  • “that you slaughtered my children and delivered them up as an offering by fire to them?” (Ezekiel 16: 21, ESV).
  • “When you present your gifts and offer up your children in fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, declares the Lord God, I will not be inquired of by you.” (Ezekiel 20: 31, ESV).

It is clear by the above passages God hates it when children are murdered for idolatry or people’s lusts. States who have legalized not only abortion but also infanticide will be judged for what they have done. Think about that for a minute.

What Should Happen if a Child is Murdered

While the above verses make clear God wanted his people to publicly condemn and take the life of those who took the life of the innocent, consider what God did to his own people for taking the lives of their children:

The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? Therefore, thus says the Lord: Behold, I am giving this city into the hands of the Chaldeans and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall capture it. The Chaldeans who are fighting against this city shall come and set this city on fire and burn it, with the houses on whose roofs offerings have been made to Baal and drink offerings have been poured out to other gods, to provoke me to anger. For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have done nothing but evil in my sight from their youth. The children of Israel have done nothing but provoke me to anger by the work of their hands, declares the Lord. This city has aroused my anger and wrath, from the day it was built to this day, so that I will remove it from my sight because of all the evil of the children of Israel and the children of Judah that they did to provoke me to anger—their kings and their officials, their priests and their prophets, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They have turned to me their back and not their face. And though I have taught them persistently, they have not listened to receive instruction. They set up their abominations in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. (Jeremiah 32: 26 – 35, ESV).

God despised idolatry an the killing of children so much, he sent his people into severe captivity for seventy years, took away their independence, and suspended their kingly rule until Christ came. People who murder children should be judged.

Disclaimer

Now the Church is not Israel and has not been called to do corporate justice, that is the state’s job (Romans 13: 1 – 7). God has called the church to warn people of the wrath to come because of their sin, endure patiently though trials until the return of Christ, and live godly lives (1 Peter 2: 13 – 17, 3: 13 – 18). We are called to make disciples, not take justice into our own hands (Matthew 28: 18 – 20).

Conclusion

Does the Bible talk about abortion? Not directly, but God does view the unborn as human, and the killing of children as murder. God’s wrath was poured out on his people for killing their children and sacrificing their children to false gods. What will happen to abortionists who have offended the God who hears the cries of the fatherless and widows (Exodus 22: 22 – 23)? Will he not also hear the millions of cries of the unborn?

If you still have breath, you are not without hope. Repent of your sin, stop killing children and the preborn, and trust in Christ’s sacrifice to save you from sin. Jesus died on the cross to save his people form sin. If you repent and trust in Jesus today, you will be saved.

If you want to dive deeper in your understanding in biblical interpretation, check out the resources section at strivingforeternity.org/store. There are tons of biblical resources to help you grow in your faith. Lord bless you.

[1] I address the above passage in my book When My Ox Gores My Neighbor: Using Hermeneutics to Travel From Mt. Sinai to Mt. Zion available at https://strivingforeternity.org/store/books/when-my-ox-gores-my-neighbor/

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