Hymn For The Day: Psalm 8:6
“Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of they hands; thou has put all things under his feet: (Chanted over and over and over and over and over)
Prayer For The Day:
Oh Great Architect Of The Universe, once again we come before you, and ask to know of your truths and wisdom that you have given unto us. We thank you for the powers of reasoning that you have bestowed upon us that we may understand wholly your ancient truths; wholly in that we may know of what you have said, and of course, with our knowledge, realize what you have not said. Amen.
Once again, I welcome you to the halls of Ianism as we revisit our earlier quickie on “Let The Bible Speak On Abortion.”
Friends, we have a dissenter in our midst! One who would deny that abortion has anything to do with the text we studied earlier, from the Holy Scripture, Numbers Chapter 5, verses 20-22:
” But if you have gone astray while under your husband’s authority, if you have defiled yourself and some man other than your husband has had intercourse with you’ — let the priest make the woman take the oath of the curse and say to the woman— ‘the Lord make you an execration and an oath among your people, when the Lord makes your uterus drop, your womb discharge; now may this water that brings the curse enter your bowels and make your womb discharge, your uterus drop!’ And the woman shall say, ‘Amen. Amen.’”
~ Numbers Chapter 5 (New Revised Standard Version)
Numbers chapter 5 deals with a test, under Mosaic law, for adultery. English translations variously translate the passage describing the consequences of adultery as “her abdomen will swell and her thigh will waste away”, “her belly will swell and her womb shrivel”, or, as an alternate translation in the NIV, “she will have barrenness and a miscarrying womb”.
The consumed beverage has effect only if the woman has been unfaithful. Therefore, it simply cannot be equated with a medical or medicinally-induced abortion, and it is mischievious to suggest otherwise.
The following verse makes this explicitly clear: “If, however, the woman has not defiled herself and is free from impurity, she will be cleared of guilt and will be able to have children.”
The woman clearly needs not be pregnant for this curse to come upon her, and the curse is clearly one of barrenness (which may or may not entail a miscarriage).
Is this correct? Well, for a “believer” that applies an hermenuitic to a passage with the idea of proving a belief, instead of seeking truth, it might withstand criticism. And with that in mind, it is not my desire to change Richard Ball’s mind. Rather, it is my goal to provide truth and light to any who are willing to seek truth and light. Let us examine what Mr. Ball says about this passage:
or, as an alternate translation in the NIV, “she will have barrenness and a miscarrying womb”.
This is of course, a correct translation. Now, let us examine the word “miscarrying.” It is derived from the word “miscarriage.” Anyone who tries to tell you that “miscarriage” and “abortion” do not mean the same thing are merely playing word games with you. Semantics. A miscarriage is the abortion of a fetus. An abortion is the miscarriage of a fetus. We do, I will agree, have other words that sometimes will describe the act of abortion, such as “medically induced abortion.” Naturally, if abortion meant something different than miscarriage, the addition of “medically induced” would be redundant. If you don’t believe me, check it out in your own dictionary. “Abortion” and “Miscarriage” are synonims.
So let us dispense with the word games here. Miscarriage, discharging of the womb, abortion, whatever – what we’ve got when we look at this passage is the stoppage of the development of a fetus in a woman’s womb.
Why not take this a step further? Imagine I am a Witch of great power.. and that which I curse, is cursed. Someone comes to me, asking me to curse a woman’s womb, and make it discharge.. and sure enough, it discharges… would any who believed in my ‘curse’ ability say that I was not guilty of causing an abortion?
Let us carry on. Mr. Ball states:
” Can it be an abortion if the woman is not pregnant? There’s no conclusive indication in this passage that she is. And, even is she was, a best it would be a miscarriage resulting from a curse, rather than a medically-induced abortion.”
Mr. Ball begins with the argument that what is NOT said is what is important, ie, this scripture does not say explicitly that the woman is pregnant. Let’s examine that for a minute.
Folks, what we are talking about here is where a husband feels jealousy about the possibility that one of his wives screwed another man. Now, what happens when a man and a woman screw? Generally speaking, the man spurts ejaculate, which includes semen, inside the woman. This is generally speaking, how women get pregnant, and likely the ONLY way women got pregnant during the time when the book of Numbers was written.
As much as it is possible that the woman was NOT pregnant, in reference to this passage, how the hell can anyone suggest there was NO possibility of pregnancy? Indeed, this is a very mischevious hermeneutic style to even bring this up. Inference, as far as Biblical doctrine, is indeed a valid way to know a principle. I wonder if Mr. Ball believes in the “Trinity” of God the Father, God The Son, and God The Holy Spirit? Can Mr. Ball point to any single verse or passage that states explicitly that the Godhead is a Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?
No, he cannot. Instead, he will use inference from a variety of Biblical passages to support his belief. He will use reason, and try to ensure that his beliefs about a bodily human Christ match up to his beliefs that Christ was God the Son. Yet he has no explicit scripture to base this upon.
Therefore, it is Mr. Ball who is being mischevious when he points to this passage in Numbers Chapter 5 and tries to retort that there is no evidence of the woman being pregnant. Well, first off, the passage does not even speak of any specific woman, it speaks of ANY woman that has a husband who is jealous that she may have slept with another man.
And surely, it is obvious to anyone, that when a woman sleeps with another man, and his ejaculate ends up inside her, it is not far fetched to suggest that she might become pregnant, no? I mean.. that’s how pregnancies happen, in spite of what some might believe about storks, or whatever. Pregnancy, at least as the ancients knew, required intercourse, and ejaculation. Ejaculation while screwing did not guarantee pregnancy, but it was certainly a possibility that no one would generally question if and when it occurred, as to how it occurred.
Now, hermeneutics must be consistent, otherwise you are a fraud. For instance, many Christians believe that smoking is wrong – not because the Bible has anything to say about smoking, but instead by what may be “inferred” by some passages of Scripture. So, if one is going to allow for inferrance in a passage, one must allow for inferrance in any passage. Anything else is mischevious.
With this in mind, we can infer that it is POSSIBLE for the woman to have become pregnant. I mean, once again, it is how women became pregnant in those days – ejaculation through screwing.
Now, indeed, if a woman was carrying a fetus, and that fetus was considered a fully ensouled human being, I find it interesting what the passage we are looking at does NOT say. It does NOT say, wait a few months to find out if the woman is pregnant, so that she may carry the fetus to term before her womb is discharged, and then she can be cursed.
Furthermore, there is no thought even given for the possibility that the woman, even if she was pregnant, that the fetus that she might carry is a product of her husband’s sperm. The curse is what it is… if the bitter makes you sick, may your womb be discharged. Period. (No, no pun intended there, either).
This passage does NOT curse the fetus. It IS a curse upon the woman. But for those who wish to suggest that a fetus is ensouled at conception, one must then agree that not only is the woman cursed, but so is this other innocent being that she is carrying. But our passage does not say that, does it?
The passage does NOT say, “Wait, so that if indeed, a human being is being formed in her womb, that being is saved before the woman is cursed.”
No, in fact, it says what it says. If she is guilty, her womb shall be discharged. Call it a miscarriage if you wish – it’s still abortion. This drinking of the bitter water is still an action, that has a result – the womb will be discharged. Regardless of whether the woman is carrying a fetus or not. Anyone who tries to suggest otherwise is being mischevious. And of course must allow any of their inferred beliefs about anything else the Bible says to be challenged.
There is also another principle in exegesis and hermenutics that we must also be aware of, and that is the Principle Of First Mention. Many Biblical scholars will interpret a passage based upon a previous incident or report in the Bible. Does the Bible have anything similar in this regard to determine whether or not there is importance placed upon a fetus that should give the fetus it’s own rights set apart from the mother?
Why, yes, there is a previous mention of this, believe it or not. A true Biblical scholar will make very careful consideration of this.
Please turn to Genesis 38, and begin reading at verse 12. You can read it for yourself, but in a nutshel, Judah beheld Tamar, and both Judah and Tamar negotiated so that Judah could screw Tamar. Tamar ends up being Judah’s daughter in law – but also pregnant (see v. 24: “and also, behold, shis with child by whoredom.”)
What does Juday say? Ah.. see the last part of v. 24: “And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.”
Judah was aware that Tamar was pregnant. So Judah was more than willing to have Tamar killed, which would have meant that her child (which ended up being twins) would have been killed right along with Tamar. Judah DID NOT say, “Let her have her child, and THEN burn her.”
Just like in the passage we are examining in Numbers: it does NOT say, “Let’s find out if the woman is with child before we bring this curse upon her, which will make her womb discharge if she is guilty.” No, it totally ignored the possibility that the woman might indeed be carrying a fetus. The fetus is what would be discharged from her womb, and anyone who tries to suggest otherwise is the one who is being mischevious with what The Bible Says.
We can see from the very first mentions in Scripture, that any fetus a woman might be carrying were of no concern. The ancients did not seem to believe that a fetus was of equality to human beings that had been given birth to, and had taken breaths of air for life. If so, one should find some sort of protection for those unborn, both in the “curse” of Numbers, as well as Judah’s demand for Tamar’s death, even though Judah KNEW Tamar had a fetus inside her. If indeed Tamar deserved a fiery death, and indeed her fetus that she was carrying was recognized as a complete ensouled human being, what was the problem in waiting first to have the fetus born before seeking Tamar’s death?
Or in Numbers 5, waiting to find out if indeed the woman was pregnant before applying the curse.. why not wait until after the baby was born, and then apply the curse to make her barren?
Don’t play word games. A miscarriage is indeed, an abortion. If in fact, curses are real, that a priest could truly curse you and your womb, regardless of whether there was a fetus in it, and knowing that the womb could “discharge,” anyone who wants to suggest anything other than an intended abortion, if necessary, is simply being dishonest with what they call “God’s Word.”
Or of course, they can apply the same hermenutics throughout all of Scripture.
I hope you have enjoyed this edition of “Let The Bible Speak.”
Amen, and Amen. God bless you all.