Do The Gods Value An Unborn Fetus Or A Newborn Child?

Robert Howard Kroepel

Copyright © 2002

New Durham, New Hampshire USA

Is it possible that the gods do not value a newborn fetus?

Leviticus 27:6 And if it be a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be of three shekels of silver.

This passage shows that in early Jewish law a born baby has no value/estimation until the age of one month. This is not a matter of dispute, for the words written were quotes from God as spoken to Moses, the Jewish law-giver. Therefore, God does not value/estimate the born until they are one month old.

Numbers 3:15 Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families; every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them.

Is it possible that the gods care not for an unborn fetus?

Exodus 21:22-25 And if men struggle and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is no further injury, he shall 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.

Exodus 21:22-25 [KJV] And if men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he surely shall be punished, according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. and if any mischief follow, then shalt thou give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

Words have meanings. The actual Hebrew words describing a ‘miscarriage’ or ‘her fruit depart from her’ mean ‘that a woman should lose her offspring.’ Moreover, the Hebrew words do not tell us if or not a departed fruit survives. In the days in which the Hebrew words were written miscarraiges must have had a low survival rate, because in contemporary times, despite modern medicine the survival rate of miscarriages is only 60% with the reciprocal death rate being 40%. It is clear from these two versions of Exodus 21:22-25 that the fetus of an injured woman has no value and is not to be included in deliberations of the punishment of the individual(s) who injured the woman. If the baby is lost, there is to be no punishments for those who injured the woman; but if the woman should be injured, then there is to be punishments for those who injured her.

What is the possibility that in the Old Testament of the Xn Bible an unborn baby is not a ‘person’ until it breathes?

Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Notice the sequence: 1. God forms a man -> 2. God breathes the breath of life into the man’s nostrils -> 3. the man becomes a 'living soul'-- a person.

The following is another Biblical passage in which flesh is not alive and therefore a person until it breathes.

Ezekiel 37:1-10 [KJV] The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and lo, they were very dry. And he said, Son of man, can these bones bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. And he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God into these bones,: Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: and I will lay sinews upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. The he said unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. And so I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came unto them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

Notice the sequence: 1. The bones are ‘dry’ and therefore the previously living are dead -> 2. The skin covered the bones -> 3. Breath was breathed into the flesh and bones and they lived/became alive--live soldiers, individuals, persons.

Words have meanings. The meanings of these words clearly indicate that a person is not a person until he has breath, until he breathes. Since a fetus cannot and therefore does not have breath until birth, then a fetus is not a person until birth.

If a fetus cannot have breath until after birth and is therefore not a person until after it breathes, then is abortion the murder of a person? Arguably, it is not. Murder means the willful termination of an innocent person; thus, if a fetus is not a person because it is not breathing, then the willful termination of a fetus is not the willful termination of an innocent person and abortion as the willful termination of a fetus is not murder. Thus, the sixth Commandment [Exodus 20:13], Thou shalt not kill [murder], does not apply to the willful termination of a fetus in an elective abortion.


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