S&W: I don’t know if you attended a seminary to obtain your religious thoughts but, if you did go, you must have skipped a few classes and missed out on a lot. You are professing YOUR beliefs and interpretation of the Scriptures. It is amazing how you “Millenial” people distort Biblical truths to conform to what you want them to mean, not what they really mean.
“Is Numbers 5:11-31 referring to God causing an abortion? What was the jealousy offering?”
Answer: Numbers 5:11-31, describes an unusual procedure, known as the jealousy offering, a husband could use to determine if his wife had been unfaithful to him. Essentially, the husband and wife would come to the priest, the priest would then create a concoction of unpleasant ingredients, and then the wife would have to drink the concoction. If the wife was guilty of adultery, she would get sick and her belly would swell. If the wife was innocent, God would protect her from the effects of the concoction. There was nothing magical about the concoction. It was entirely a matter of God using the result to demonstrate whether a woman was innocent or guilty. So, in summary, Numbers 5:11-31 affirms the truth of Numbers 32:23, “Be sure your sin will find you out.”
Some propose that Numbers 5:11-31 refers to God causing an abortion. The 2011 edition of the NIV mistakenly states that the drink will cause miscarriage in Numbers 5:21-22, 27. However, this is not what the passage is talking about. Pregnancy is nowhere mentioned, or even hinted at, in the text. The only thing that even sounds like pregnancy is the guilty wife’s stomach becoming bloated, but even in that instance, it has nothing to do with pregnancy. Further, the passage does not say that drinking the concoction would cause an abortion/miscarriage. While drinking a poisonous mixture of ingredients could very well cause a miscarriage, that is not what this text is speaking of.
If a wife was found guilty, the punishment was death (Leviticus 20:10). If the wife was found innocent, she would be “cleared of guilt” and “able to have children” (Numbers 11:28). So, again, Numbers 5:11-31 does not refer to abortion in any sense. Rather, it is describing a method that God allowed to be used to determine if a wife had committed adultery against her husband.
“Does the Bible teach that life begins at conception?”
Answer: The Bible does teach that life begins at conception. Every culture’s view of when human life begins changes as society’s values, moral standards, and knowledge about the process of embryonic development change. Prior to the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed abortion on demand, developing embryos were considered unborn persons. Now, even a fetus that could survive on its own outside its mother’s womb could be aborted, under certain medical circumstances. This demonstrates that we do not consider an unborn child to be a true human being.
Science tells us that human life begins at the time of conception. From the moment fertilization takes place, the child’s genetic makeup is already complete. Its gender has already been determined, along with its height and hair, eye and skin color. The only thing the embryo needs to become a fully-functioning being is the time to grow and develop.
More importantly, God reveals to us in His Word that not only does life begin at conception, but He knows who we are even before then (Jeremiah 1:5). King David said this about God’s role in our conception: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb . . . your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:13, 16).
Society continually seeks to devalue the lives of the unborn, creating its own definitions of humanity based on distorted views of morality. But the undeniable fact is that life begins at creation, and a human is created as soon as he or she is conceived. God is present at our creation; He is, in fact, our Creator. Our value as human beings created in His image is conceived even before we are.