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Parthenogenesis: Virgin birth

parthenogenesis [ˌpärTHənōˈjenəsəs]


1. reproduction from an ovum without fertilization, especially as a normal process in some invertebrates and lower plants.

cyclic parthenogenesis is well displayed in aphids

A professor of a Southern California university informed me recently that the idea of a virgin birth is not entirely scientifically impossible. When I mentioned to him that the Hebrew word almah in Isaiah chapter 7:14 was translated to Greek in the 2nd century BC by the seventy Jewish translators for the Septuagint as parthenos, which is the Greek word for virgin, the professor asked me if I had ever heard of parthenogenesis.

Apparently certain experiments have been done on higher life forms where the ovum was pricked with a pin to simulate the penetration of the sperm, which then activated the ovum to develop. It is said that the offspring of such an experiment would be female. But in the certain case in point, there is an alleged divine intercession with the ovum, which is not impossible, and cannot be scientifically disproven.

Is there any biblical precedent for such an unusual event?  In the case of old Abraham it is written that the opposite of a virgin birth occurred, where a single seed was all that was necessary to produce a son, Isaac, without the presence of an ovum in the case of a 90 year old woman, Sarah, who was reported to have ceased the production of ova (Genesis 18:11). In the reported case of the birth of Yeshua of Nazareth of the seed of Abraham, the opposite occurred, where a young and fertile virgin gave birth to a son without the introduction of a sperm, the eternal Father being the Sovereign Creator of the universe.


‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’ (Matthew 19:26).

‘Behold, I am YHVH, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?’ (Jeremiah 32:27)

Elhanan ben-Avraham
Elhanan ben-Avraham, born in 1945, is a professional artist, poet, writer and father of two, grandfather of four, living in Israel since 1979. He has served in the IDF, taught the Bible internationally, published two illustrated books of poetry, and painted two large Biblical murals in public buildings in Jerusalem, among many other works. He and his wife live in a quiet village in the Mountains of Judah.

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