ESV - 6 Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.
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Abortion does classify as the shedding of innocent blood, and in this case God is referring to the right of a male kinsmen to kill someone who murdered a relative. While the Bible does not specifically mention abortion, it is likely that abortion was handled much like the case guidelines of Ex 21:22-25. If so, then the husband would have had the legal right to kill the woman if it was proven that she purposefully and successfully terminated the life of his son/daughter. Under God's law it was up to a close blood relative to exact justice upon a murderer. Scripture refers to this man as the "blood avenger". However, God knew that there were cases of 'accidental' manslaughter as well (Deut 19:1-13). In these cases, a person who killed accidentally, he could flee to specific cities of refuge set aside for such a purpose. He would be protected from the blood avenger. The elders of the cities would determine whether the death was accidental or not by holding an assembly between them, the victim's relative, the accused, and any witnesses (Num 36:16-25). If it was found to be premeditated, the murderer would be taken out of the city and handed to the blood avenger. If it was found to be accidental, then the person who accidentally killed would remain in the city until the high priest died. If the person was to leave this temporary exile, he could be killed by the relative of the man killed. There was no amount of money one could pay to get out of either scenario (Num 35:30-32). This was so the land would not be polluted with the shedding of innocent blood (Num 35:33) [(Personal theory) This is possibly one reason Jesus said "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do". Jesus was mercifully giving them a judgement as if they had killed the Messiah on accident, vs. With malicious intent. The punishment under law otherwise for this murder would have been God smiting them all immediately for killing His son]. While this rule about murderers having their blood shed by the kinsmen of the victim was all old testament law, there are many general principles of morality that can be pulled out of it. 1. Murder is not equivalent to killing, such as accidental manslaughter or declared war, but is rather the intentional shedding of innocent blood. 2. Shedding innocent blood requires one's own blood in atonement (Christ paid this penalty by being the atoning sacrifice in our place). 3. It is hypocritical to hold that a sin is wrong in others, such as murder, but then perform it ourselves and hold ourselves guiltless (Matt 5:21-24). 4. We all sin (Rom 3:22-24), but we are forgiven in Christ (Acts 10:43). As such, we should forgive others (Matt 18:21-35). 5. Instead of us looking for opportunities to judge others, we now look for opportunities to forgive others. If we truly understand ourselves as forgiven, we will forgive the sins of others, no matter how grievous (Marr 18:21-35). **** Back to the topic of abortion: Biology holds that a zygote is a fully human and distinct genetic organism. http://bdfund.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/wi_whitepaper_life_print.pdf "Thus, the scientific evidence supports the conclusion that a zygote is a human organism and that the life of a new human being commences at a scientifically well defined “moment of conception.”" While it is perhaps interesting to debate philosophically the nuances of body/soul/spirit - scripture considers the smiting of an innocent body to be murder. For example, it was Jesus' body that died, not His spirit. (I Pet 3:18-19, Acts 2:22-28). Literally, this is because it is death of the body that is the "shedding of blood", and because "the life is in the blood" (Lev 17:11). This is why only the shedding of Christ's blood, Him being the perfect sinless sacrifice, could make atonement for our sins. As such, abortion is premeditated murder. Fortunately, even past abortion is forgiven in Christ.
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