A letter on Dec. 28 by Sue Gibson in which Ms. Gibson maintains that “…the Bible is pro-abortion” could not be further from the truth. In her letter, Ms. Gibson, incompletely, cites four parts of the Old Testament, allegedly supporting her position. All four are a gross misinterpretation of Scripture.
Ms. Gibson refers to the Book of Hosea. I can find no reference in Hosea indicating a biblical pro-abortion stance. Ms. Gibson might be referring to Hosea chapter 2, verses 1-13, the story of Gomer, unfaithful wife of the Prophet Hosea. In fact, no mention is made of anything related to abortion, and Gomer bears three children by Hosea. Ms. Gibson might also be referring to Hosea chapter 9, verse 14, “Give them wombs that miscarry…”. This was a punishment, a judgment by God on Ephraim (Israel), for worshiping the Baal cult of fertility, not an endorsement of abortion.
Next, Ms. Gibson refers to Exodus chapter 21: 22-25, the law relating to assault of pregnant women. The cited verses state that hitting a pregnant woman, when “there is no serious injury,” resulted in a fine. Otherwise, the full weight of the law applied, as both pregnant women and children were highly valued in ancient Jewish culture and assault was regarded as a serious offense, much as it is today.
Third, Ms. Gibson cites Genesis chapter 38, which is the story of Tamar, daughter-in-law of Judah. In spite of Tamar’s conniving, not only was no abortion contemplated, but Tamar was allowed to deliver twins as the result of her scheme.
Finally, Ms. Gibson cites Numbers, chapter 5. Numbers chapter 5 concerns a test in Mosaic Law for a wife’s suspected inﬁdelity. If the wife failed the test she would become barren; if she passed, she would be able to bear children. Abortion is not mentioned in this passage either.
The ancient Israelites regarded children as both a sign of God’s blessing and as an asset. Being barren in Ancient Jewish culture was considered a great misfortune. There is no evidence, express or implied, from the Bible or from any historic record, that indicates the ancient Jews practiced abortion at all, or even contemplated such a thing. We should not confuse blatant ideology with biblical scholarship. It is a grave mistake to interpret the Bible based on ones preconceived political beliefs.