The Unborn have Spirits and are Alive

The Bible shows us that unborn children are just as human as the born are.

The Biblical term for pregnancy is “with child,” not “with fetus” or “with something not yet alive.”

Ge 16:11; 19:36; 38:24-25; Ex 21:22; 1Sa 4:19; 2Sa 11:5; 2Ki 8:12; 15:16; Ec 11:5; Jer 31:8; Ho 13:16; Am 1:13; Mt 1:18,23; 24:19; Mr 13:17; Lu 2:5; 21:23; 1Th 5:3; Re 12:2

“Child” begins at conception:

2 Samuel 11:5 And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.

The Bible refers to born babies and unborn babies with the same term (babe). Also, unborn children exhibit awareness. Compare:

Luke 1:44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

Luke 2:16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

The issue of the Spirit

A person must have a spirit to be alive.

James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

It is obvious to any who have been around pregnant women that unborn children are not “undead bodies,” so by this principle alone we know they have their own spirit. Compare this to Luke 1:44 above and the question is settled.

We also have specific and direct statements from Job:

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!

In Job’s grief he did what many of us have done at some time: he “wished he had never been born.” And even in this Job knew that if he had died in his mother’s womb that he would have given up his ghost (spirit). Further, to “die” one must have life first. We also see something similar from Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 20:17-18 Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb to be always great with me. Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?

The issue of the law (an objection answered)

There is only one passage in the Bible that deals with the death of an unborn in the context of law.

Exodus 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,

A misreading of this passage has caused many to conclude that unborn life is not true life, supposing that “if any mischief follow” must refer only to the mother. However, that is not the correct way to read the text, and is done so only if one has a preconceived position against life of the unborn. When the rest of Scripture is compared and the life of the unborn is understood as being a result of having a spirit (ghost), the magnitude of Exodus 21:22-23 is finally seen.

In the passage above, it is a case where men fight, and one causes hurt to a woman with child so that she delivers prematurely (her fruit departs). If either the child or the mother dies, the one who caused the death was to pay with his own life.

The objection to this hinges on what is meant by “her fruit depart from her.” But if the unborn life were not true life, it would make little sense for it to be even mentioned. The punishment for non-lethal harm is described in verses 18-19 and referenced here in verse 22. The death of the miscarried child is certainly “mischief following,” and as we have already seen, the death of an unborn child is “lethal” as it is described elsewhere with words like “die” and “slew” (see above).

Finally, the phrase “fruit of the womb” appears elsewhere in Scripture (such as De 7:13 and Ps 127:3) and means children:

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

There is no cause to assume that “her fruit depart from her” must mean a miscarriage or stillbirth. It simply means birth (an in this specific case, a premature birth). So a reading of this passage compared with other verses regarding the life of the unborn clearly shows that Mosaic law provided for a death penalty for someone who directly caused the premature birth and resulting death of a child.

(Please note that I am not arguing for any particular law here based on “the Law” from Exodus — my point is to show that the Bible never imples that the life of an unborn child is any less human than the life of a born child.)

Conclusion

There are other points of debate (such as the “breath of life” which is claimed, by some, to be a literal breath of a human rather than a spiritual breath from God) that I have not gone in to.  Maybe I will at a future point.  But this short study should be enough to show the Bible believer that unborn children have spirits are are living human beings. While one may not be able to conceive of a days-old growing unborn baby being alive in the same sense as a days-old growing born baby, it is not for us to demand of God that we be able to comprehend his glorious works! We only need trust the witness of his word. I end with this:

Ecclesiastes 11:5 As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.

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The Sin of the Tower of Babel

What was the real problem with the tower of Babel?

There are varying ideas about this.  One movie I watched as a child showed the completion of the Tower and then a man (presumably Nimrod) shooting an arrow from the top of the tower “in to heaven.”  Others say that the tower was a plan to “get to heaven” without God.

But the act of erecting a tall structure was not the problem.  The Bible does not tell us that the people who built it thought they were going to reach God. It uses the phrase “let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven” (Gen 11:4) but when we look elsewhere in Scripture we find that this simply means the city and its tower was built very high:

Deuteronomy 1:28  Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.

So what, exactly, was the sin?

Like so many things, the Tower of Babel was an act of disobedience. It starts in Genesis chapter 9 just after the flood:

Genesis 9:1  And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

Note the end of the command: replenish the earth.

Genesis 10 gives us genealogy, which ends with an explanation of God’s will for Noah’s progeny:

Genesis 10:32  These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.

In chapter 11, we see man’s rebellion and disobedience:

Genesis 11:1-2  And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

Notice that it starts with defiance to God’s commandment to replenish the earth and to emmigrate and form different nations. Instead of travelling to separate lands, they stopped in one place together.

Genesis 11:4  And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

And there is the crux of the matter. The people wanted to be “one people” and did not want to obey God’s will to  spread across the earth. They wanted a single name for themselves. (I suppose they all figured they were “citizens of the world” and not of nations!)

God’s response to this disobedience has led some to come up with some wildly strange notions about the “Old Testament God” of the Bible.

Genesis 11:5-7  And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

I’ve seen some strange interpretations of this passage, but the meaning is not so strange.  Let’s go back to before the Flood:

Genesis 6:5  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

The key word to compare here is imagination. Men are wicked and their hearts imagine evil. When it says “and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do” it does not mean that man would accomplish any task he set out to do (thus making God fearful of man!). It simply means that man would continually come together in disobedience and rebellion without restraint of wickedness.

Finally, we see God accomplishing his will:

Genesis 11:7-8  Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

And there we see: God’s will was for men to spread over the earth, as he said in Genesis 9:1. The building of Babel was a collective act of defiance against God. That was the Sin of the Tower.

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Did Old Testament Saints “Look Forward” to the Cross?

When describing salvation in the Old Testament, it is common to hear one say:

“Old Testament saints looked forward to the cross, like we look back at the cross.”

While it is a nice, understandable saying, it is simply incorrect.

We need not even go back to the Old Testament to show the error of this teaching. Let’s just look at Peter for a minute.  Peter was an Apostle of Christ living with the Lord during his earthly ministry.  Surely of anyone was looking forward to the cross before Calvary, Peter would have been?

Here is the Lord Jesus Christ putting “the cross” in a nutshell:

Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

What was Peter’s response?

Mark 8:32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.

Peter’s response was to rebuke the Lord. Today, when someone rebukes the Gospel, we call that person lost.

Peter certainly wasn’t “looking forward to the cross.” What about looking “back” to the cross?

Luke 24:6-11 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

What do we call someone who “believes not” the resurrection? Lost! If Peter (and the other Apostles) were “looking forward to the cross” they certainly would not have denied the resurrection after it happened.

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What’s going on here?

A few years ago, I registered BelievingStudy.com with an idea: I would edit a repository of Bible studies and devotionals with user-submitted content.

Well, that failed.

Kinda, anyway. Basically, it never really got off the ground, and I realized that having to decide what was and wasn’t acceptable content just wasn’t something I was “in to.”

So now I have a new idea. Start over.  Only this time, just make it a blog, and just post my own studies, gleanings, and devotionals, and maybe, sometimes, paste in good stuff from old commentaries I may come across.

I already have a personal blog. What I have realized over time is that my own blog is too much of a mish-mash of topics.  So this one will be where I stick all my Bible-related writings.

I hope you’ll get something edifying out of it.

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