Abortion and the Hebrew Bible Book Report

Excerpt from Book Report :

'? 17 but the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men-children alive? 18 and the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them: 'Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men-children alive?'? 19 and the midwives said unto Pharaoh: 'Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwife come unto them.'? 20 and God dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty? 21 and it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that He made them houses. (Exodus 1: 15-21)

The lord does not speak here of the Hebrew male children as being alive before their birth, instead he speaks of the favor he gives to the midwives who save the Hebrew male children at their birth, in defiance of their king. Interestingly, the Egyptian king does not order the midwives to perform abortions on Hebrew women, as he might have if he had truly desired the extinction of their race, as there is significant evidence that abortion was practiced in biblical times, but neither he or the Lord (through Moses) supported this idea in the text. In other words there is no evidence that abortion was mentioned either in favor or in abomination in the Hebrew Bible. Children, above the age of one month have value but it is value based on their potential for industry and it is often monetary, where the opposite is the case, say when the Lord is speaking of killing children and pregnant women it is in the context of non-believers, and especially those who have taken arms against his followers or refused to worship the Lord by his commandment and customs. The issue of abortion is therefore not addressed by the Hebrew bible and not either condemned or accepted, it is simply supported that unborn children and those of less than one month of age have little value.



Sources Used in Document:


A Hebrew - English Bible According to the Masoretic Text and the JPS 1917 Edition (2005) retrieved December 10, 2010 from: http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0.htm

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