Admittedly, I am no expert on the birthing process, but I have found some correlations between Scripture and the birth process – for which I have only been an observer.
From the beginning of Scripture, The Creator has related to us through processes and imagery that have not changed – primarily these processes fall into two categories: agricultural processes and family imagery. I see the birthing process as one that has both the imagery and processes of both agriculture and family and the birth process was the first punishment or change within the creation in regards to man by The Creator.
Allow me to first summarize events of the 2nd and 3rd chapters of Genesis:
Adam had been placed in the Garden and given the highest role, secondary only to The Creator. Upon naming all of the animals and then given a wife, Adam chose to follow his own path rather than the one laid out by The Creator by eating of the tree he was instructed not to eat from. His choice caused the fall of all humanity and the consequence was their removal from the Garden and the recognition of sin. This was a consequence, not a punishment – the first punishment given was to the woman in that her labor would be increased, and her labor was in childbirth. The second punishment was that Adam would have to work for food instead of it being provided for him thereby increasing his labor. Here we also see that men produce fruit from the land while women produce fruit from the womb – but that is possibly a topic for a later post.
To the woman He said, “I greatly increase your sorrow and your conception – bring forth children in pain. And your desire is for your husband, and he does rule over you.” And to the man He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘Do not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground because of you, in toil you are to eat of it all the days of your life, and the ground shall bring forth thorns and thistles for you, and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you are to eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are, and to dust you return.”
As I have been informed by a number of women, this punishment still holds true today…
While there are a number of other passages that I could bring up about birth, one really sits with me and makes me think. It is a passage found in Ezekiel 16 describing the birth of the people that comprise Jerusalem. Allow me to take a side step and explain that, in my understanding, when Jerusalem is referenced in Scripture and more specifically in prophecy, it is speaking of the people and the people as a whole. Often times, other terms are used, such as Judah, Ephraim, Israel and others and these have specific meanings as well, but I have found Jerusalem to be an all-inclusive term.
Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying: ‘Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, and say: Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem: Thine origin and thy nativity is of the land of the Canaanite; the Amorite was thy father, and thy mother was a Hittite. And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water for cleansing; thou was not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. No eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field in the loathsomeness of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. And when I passed by thee, and saw thee wallowing in thy blood, I said unto thee: In thy blood, live; yea, I said unto thee: In thy blood, live; I cause thee to increase, even as the growth of the field. And thou didst increase and grow up, and thou camest to excellent beauty: thy breasts were fashioned, and thy hair was grown; yet thou wast naked and bare. Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, and, behold, thy time was the time of love, I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness; yea, I swore unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest Mine. Then washed I thee with water; yea, I cleansed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil. I clothed thee also with richly woven work, and shod thee with sealskin, and I wound fine linen about thy head, and covered thee with silk. I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. And I put a ring upon thy nose, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thy head. Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and richly woven work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil; and thou didst wax exceeding beautiful, and thou wast meet for royal estate. And thy renown went forth among the nations for thy beauty; for it was perfect, through My splendour which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.
These words are a great picture of the birthing process, and having witnessed this process, this passage means significantly more to me, and I would suggest reading the whole chapter, not just what I have included here.
This passage starts with the purpose in the comparison – to know the abominations that all of the set-apart people of The Creator have done. The passage continues on, identifying the father and mother of the child to be born, and then begins into a picture of pure rejection and being detested by all those around.
Here are some of the pictures, and personally these bring tears to my eyes both of joy and sadness:
“In the day thou wast born thy naval was not cut” – The naval or umbilical cord is that which brings the life to the baby. This is our fleshly tie and bond to our mother – ponder what might happen if this cord is just ripped and not cut cleanly.
“Neither wast thou washed in water for cleansing; thou was not salted at all, nor swaddled at all” – When a baby is born, naturally or via C-section, the baby is covered in blood and vermix. While vermix is actually extremely beneficial to the skin, the purpose of this statement in Scripture is to portray the throwing away of the baby without any care given – which is supported by the next statement.
“No eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field in the loathsomeness of thy person, in the day thou wast born.” – What a horrible and graphic picture. As I understand it, this picture essentially paints what happens in a late term abortion or in countries where governments have regulated children (# of children and boys vs. girls).
Thankfully, there is one who had pity upon this baby.
“And when I (The Creator) passed by thee, and saw thee wallowing in thy blood, I said unto thee: In thy blood, live; yea, I said unto thee: In thy blood, live; I cause thee to increase, even as the growth of the field. And thou didst increase and grow up, and thou camest to excellent beauty: thy breasts were fashioned, and thy hair was grown; yet thou wast naked and bare.” – Seeing His creation rejected and thrown away, The Creator comes and provides the basic needs and tells us to live. Here I will take another small side note and just give you a few Scriptures in regards to how The Creator provided life: Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Joshua 24:15-22; John 10:10.
As the child matured, more and more was provided to her and she became beautiful and The Creator provided her with greater and greater things and entered into a marriage covenant with her. The rest of the passage continues to speak for itself as to true nature of mankind when we are blessed with things that we do not deserve or enter into a mentality that makes us think we do deserve them. I highly suggest reading the rest of the chapter and seeing how it applies in your own life and not just look to the end, but apply it in the present.