virgin birth

For a long time I thought that the virgin birth was something that only happened in the Bible. And then only in one case, namely regarding the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. It is the mother of the Lord Jesus, Mary, who is told by an angel that she will become pregnant without the intervention of a man:

Luke 1
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, Holy spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing that is begotten shall be called the Son of God.

This virgin birth was something that had already been foretold by the prophets, it had to happen like this:

Isaiah 7
14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin will conceive and bear a son…

To my surprise, someone once pointed out to me that although this virgin birth is unique among humans, it occurs much more often in creation. Virgin births are observed among various animals, such as fish and reptiles. But there are also insects where it occurs and there is even a scientific name for the concept of virgin reproduction: parthenogenesis. Below are parts of a report from the internet encyclopedia Wikipedia (Dutch) on parthenogenesis:

Virgin reproduction or parthenogenesis, a form of asexual reproduction, is the phenomenon in which females of certain animal species can produce offspring without the involvement of males: virgin females spontaneously lay eggs or give birth to young. The word parthenogenesis comes from a combination of the Greek words παρθενος (virgin) and γενεσις (birth).

In the Hymenoptera (bees, wasps and ants) a special form of parthenogenesis occurs called arrhenotoky. In arrhenotoxic reproduction, males are born from unfertilized eggs and females are born from fertilized eggs. Virgin females produce only males as offspring.

Creation is the work of God’s hands. God is therefore the Artist and Master Builder (Heb. 11:10) who expresses Himself in His creation. God sets examples that foreshadow how He acts. Through the story of the bee, for example, God wants to make something clear to us. Is it not surprising that among bees, virgin females produce only males as offspring? As it was foretold, “behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son.”

Deze blog in het Nederlands lezen (read this blog in Dutch).