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5 Staggering pregnancies in the Bible are truly miraculous

The visitation of Mary to Elizabeth painting by Rogier van der Weyden

Museum der bildenden Künste | Public Domain

Visitation by Roger van der Weyden, c. 1445

Cerith Gardiner - published on 07/08/23

These incredible births seemed to defy nature and prove God's power and love for His people.

Something out of the ordinary seems to be happening. In recent months Hollywood stars Al Pacino, 83, and Robert de Niro, 79, became fathers at an age when most men are settling into retirement and enjoying their grandkids. Then, Naomi Campbell announced she’d welcomed a second child through surrogacy at the age of 53.

Now, the Church is clear that it opposes surrogacy and, in fact, regards it as a grave violation of human dignity. However, the news of all these surprising births made us recall a number of extraordinary pregnancies that happened in the Bible. These births are not just out of the ordinary, but miraculous. They involve heavenly intervention in a way that shows God’s love for the faithful.

Sarah

This biblical matriarch actually gave birth at the tender age of 90! Yes, the wife of Abraham, who himself was a mere 99 years old, delivered and nursed her son Isaac after God assured “the father of many nations” that he would have a son.

The birth of Isaac, who would go on to become the grandfather of the 12 tribes of Israel, demonstrated that nothing is beyond God’s power, and that He always keeps His promises.

Rebekah

The wife of Isaac found herself unable to conceive, but then became pregnant through prayer and Heavenly intervention. While today sonograms can announce the news that a woman is expecting twins, Rebekah, could sense that she was carrying babies that were already in competition with each other.

When she questioned God about her pregnancy, he announced: “Two nations are in your womb, two peoples are separating while still within you;But one will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” (Genesis 25:23)

Indeed, Rebekah went on to deliver two little boys, Jacob and Esau. As for their sibling relationship, that’s another story!

The Annunciation to Manoah's Wife painting by Tintoretto
The Annunciation to Manoah’s Wife, Tintoretto, c. 1555-58

The mother of Samson

Although we are not informed of the name of Samson’s mom, she was said to be unable to have children with her husband, Manoah. However, in Judges 13:6-7 we are told:

A man of God came to me; he had the appearance of an angel of God, fearsome indeed. I did not ask him where he came from, nor did he tell me his name. But he said to me, ‘You will conceive and bear a son. So drink no wine or beer, and eat nothing unclean. For the boy shall be a nazirite for God from the womb, until the day of his death.’”

This little boy went on to become the fearless Old Testament hero Samson, who was instrumental in defeating the Philistines.

Elizabeth

The righteous Elizabeth and her husband, a priest named Zechariah, were both elderly and childless. As a priest this would have been particularly hard to bear, as at the time people considered sterility as a sign of God’s discontent with a couple.

However, after praying to God, Zechariah was told:

“Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of [the] Lord. He will drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb.” (Luke 1:13-15)

Filled with joy, Zechariah was literally made speechless for the duration of his wife’s pregnancy. And when Elizabeth’s cousin, the Virgin Mary, came to share news of her own pregnancy, Elizabeth’s baby leapt in her womb, and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Elizabeth’s baby was of course John the Baptist, who would pave the way for Christ the Savior.

The Blessed Mother

We’re saving the best for last! The most staggering of all pregnancies goes to the Mother of Jesus Christ.

Everything about Mary’s pregnancy and what followed is a miracle, including the virginal conception itself, Mary’s unwavering faith that allowed her to say “yes” to the Lord, the acceptance of Joseph to raise God’s Son, and the birth, life, and resurrection of Christ Himself.

Recalling these literally miraculous stories, we understand that every life is truly a gift that comes from God.

Tags:
BibleFaithParentingPregnancy
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