Scripture selection on the sanctity of the unborn
God’s word reveals that human life begins at conception—that God is intimately involved in the creation of human life from conception—and that he values human life from conception. The following verses allude to these truths. Selection by Andrew Lansdown
Life begins at conception. Women conceive (not blobs of protoplasm, but) children, children who are unique persons with individual identities and destinies:
Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.” (Genesis 4:1) Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. (Genesis 4:17) The angel of the LORD said to [Hagar], “Behold, you are with child, and shall bear a son; you shall call his name Ishmael …” (Genesis 16:11) Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son [Isaac]. (Genesis 21:2)
Rebecca … conceived children by … Isaac. (Romans 9:10) In the womb [Jacob] took his brother by the heel. (Hosea 12:3) The children struggled together within [Rebecca] … And the LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples, born of you, shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the elder shall serve the younger.” When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. (Genesis 25:22-24)
Let the day perish wherein I was born,
and the night which said,
“A man-child is conceived.” (Job 3:3)
Cursed be the day
on which I was born!
The day when my mother bore me,
let it not be blessed!
Cursed be the man
who brought the news to my father,
“A son is born to you,”
making him very glad.
Let that man be like the cities
which the LORD overthrew without pity …
because he did not kill me in the womb;
so my mother would have been my grave … (Jeremiah 20:14-17)
God is intimately involved in the creation of human life from the moment of conception:
As you do not know how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything. (Ecclesiastes 11:5) Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers? (Job 31:15, NIV)
O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me. …
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:1, 13-16, NIV)
The word of the LORD came to [Jeremiah] saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you …” (Jeremiah 1:4-5)
The angel [Gabriel] said to [Mary], “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. … And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her … In those days Mary arose and went with haste [to] … Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.” (Luke 1:30-44)
God values human life, regardless of its age, and extends his protection to it:
Lo, sons are a heritage from the LORD,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the sons of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has
his quiver full of them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127:3-5)
They were bringing children to [Jesus], that he might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. … And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them. (Mark 10:13-14, 16)
There are six things which the LORD hates,
seven which are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood … (Proverbs 6:16-17)
If you faint in the day of adversity,
your strength is small.
Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not requite man according to his work? (Proverbs 24:10-12)