What Does Job 31:13-15 Tell Us About the Unborn?

by Jared C. Wilson May 20, 2019

“If I have rejected the cause of my manservant or my maidservant, when they brought a complaint against me, what then shall I do when God rises up? When he makes inquiry, what shall I answer him? Did not he who made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb?” — Job 31:13-15

This passage tells us at least three things about the unborn, and thus about abortion:

1. The foundation of civil equality is traced to the womb.

Really, it is traced to God’s having made mankind in his image, but the well-to-do Job is asserting an equality of personhood with his servants based on their equal status as unborn children. Therefore, the unborn are persons with civil rights. This makes abortion a dehumanizing injustice.

2. The development of the unborn is a work of God.

Job says he and his servants were made in the womb, fashioned in the womb. Coupled with Psalm 139’s words on God’s creative work in the womb, we learn that abortion is therefore tearing apart what God has joined together.

3. The treatment of persons as non-persons is something for which we will give an account.

“What shall I do when God rises up?” Job asks about unjust treatment of his servants. And what will we say? Injustice of this kind will be reckoned with. We will have to give an account to our holy God for the murder of millions of unborn persons he is forming in his image.

No law can be just if its justice for one is predicated on injustice to another.