Re: New Subject Please How about Abortion!

> I said
> <<The Bible does talk about Abortion in Ex 21:22-25
> What it says (KJV) is that when men accidentally fight and cause a women to
> abort, but do not hurt the woman, they are to pay a large fine suggested by
> the husband and overseen by the judges. But if the women dies, they are to be
> killed themselves.  

For reference, I present Ex21:22-23 in the Septuagint (LXX [70], not LLX),
Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton's translation of 1851 and the King James Version,
based on the Hebrew:

Exodus 21
    22 ean de makhwntai duo andres, kai pataxwsi gunaika en gastri ekhoisan,
kai exelthEj to paidion autEs mE exeikonismenon, epizEmion zEmiwthEseto;
kathoti an epibalEj ho anEr tEs gunaikos, dwsei meta axiwmatos (LXX)
    22 And if two men strive and smite a woman with child, and her child
be born imperfectly formed, he shall be forced to pay a penalty; as the
woman's husband may lay upon him he shall pay with a valuation (Brenton)
    22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart
[from her], and yet no mischief follow; he shall surely be punished,
according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as
the judges [determine]. (KJV)

    23 ean de exeikonismenon Ej, dwsei psukhEn anti psukhEs (LXX)
    23 But if it be perfectly formed, he shall give life for life, (Brenton)
    23 And if [any] mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

> The LLX gives what I think is the correct version of this. In the LLX it says
> that if the aborted fetus has form, it is murder and the men must die. If the
> aborted fetus does not have form, then they pay a fine. Since this is the way
> all mideastern law worked this seems to me to be the correct way to view
> abortion-Abortion in the last two trimester is murder, in the first trimester
> is not.>>

What is "mischief" (Hebrew 'aSown; Cf. Gn42:4 38 44:29) in this case?  Three
possibilities occur to me:

1.  The LXX interprets it to refer to the "child's" (paidion) not being
"perfectly formed" (exeikonismenon).  This would have to mean that there
was no apparent hope of viability.  Verse 23 then assumes that the fully
formed child did not survive the battery.

2.  Another possibility, still refering to the child, is that it was born
alive.  Then, the fine would be for the battery of the woman.

3.  A third possiblity would be the harm the woman suffered, such as death,
during the miscarriage or induced delivery.

Given the LXX interpretation, it provides some congruence to the modern
pre-viability acceptance of abortion.  However, it is not exactly on point.
Ex21:22-23 describes accidentally causing a miscarriage, while abortion is
an intentional miscarriage, so it not inconceivable that it could be viewed
as being worse.

> The responce to this was:
> <<Nice try at sidestepping the question.  So what is the form?  First of
> all, there is nothing in the Hebrew about "form."  Second, in the LXX
> the word you want to translate "form" is based NOT on the Greek word for
> physical form, "MORFE," but on the Greek word for likeness or image,
> "EIKOON."  So you have made a couple of logical blunders yourself: 1)
> you have equated what some 2nd or 3rd century BC Alexandrians Jews
> thought would be a reasonable translation with the Word of God --
> without warrant or excuse. 2) You have mistranslated the Greek word
> "EXEIKONISMENON." As a result, you have confused the physical form of
> the fetus for the likeness or image it has (most conservative biblical
> scholars would agree -- from conception onward) as a human being.>>
> So my question is Am I out on a limb here with regard to the LLX. Does it say
> form or image?

It says exeikonismenon, which is a passive participle of exeikonizw.  In the
passive, it can mean "to be fully shapen or formed" or "to be exactly like"
or "to be formed in the image of ..." [LSJ].  I'm not sure how to respond
to the response, not having the context.  It might be arguing for the
second possible interpretation of the Hebrew passage.

Stephen Carlson
Stephen Carlson     :  Poetry speaks of aspirations,  : ICL, Inc.
scc@reston.icl.com  :  and songs chant the words.     : 11490 Commerce Park Dr.
(703) 648-3330      :                 Shujing 2:35    : Reston, VA  22091   USA

Follow-Ups: References: