Why Abortion is not Biblical, Part 3 – The topic of abortion

Exodus 21:22-25
“If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges {decide.} “But if there is {any further} injury, then you shall appoint {as a penalty} life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.


– There are some people that will use this verse to support abortion by using a mistranslated version of the word birth ‘prematurely’ to ‘miscarriage’. The typical term for miscarriage (Hebrew word nephel used 3 times in the Old Testament) is not used in this text. Most Bible translations use the word ‘prematurely’ or a word meaning prematurely to include; King James, The New King James, New International Version, The New Living Version, New American Standard Bible (1995 updated from ‘miscarriage’ to ‘gives birth prematurely’), The Darby, God’s Word, Young’s Literal Translation and many others. The Hebrew word for prematurely is yatsa (used 990 times in the Old Testament) which means to go out, come out, go forth, depart. It’s found in other verses as live child birth such as in Gen 25:26.

Even if one assumes that miscarriage is the correct translation, the text does not condone abortion in anyway:

  1. Assuming for the sake of argument that the pro-abortion interpretation of this passage is correct (i.e., that the unborn’s death is treated differently from the mother’s), it still does not follow that the unborn are not fully human.
  2. Abortion is not accidental but intentional, the passage speaks to accidental injury. It does not suggest that a woman can willfully and/or electively abort her child.
  3. You still have to conclude that the death of the infant is wrong as a penalty is still required.
  4. It is in keeping with the law of Moses which normally does not require the death penalty for accidental death (Exodus 21:13 – 14, 20-21; Numbers 35:10-34; Deuteronomy 19:1-13).
  5. The passage seems to convey that both the mother and the child are covered by the law of retribution. Another related article on this topic


  1. An abortion is a procedure to end a pregnancy. It uses medicine or surgery to remove the embryo or fetus and placenta from the uterus. The procedure is done by a licensed health care professional. The decision to end a pregnancy is very personal. If you are thinking of having an abortion, most healthcare providers advise counseling.;.`.

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