An organ of the female in which the young are nourished and grow prior to birth. Jehovah is the Creator of the womb (Ge 2:22), and he is the One able to make it fruitful (Ge 29:31; 30:22; 49:25) or unproductive. (Ge 20:18) Sarah’s womb was ‘dead,’ or beyond power of childbearing, when Jehovah restored that power to her. (Ro 4:19; Ge 18:11, 12; 21:1-3) The Bible points out that Jehovah is responsible for the process of formation of an embryo in the womb, showing that the design of the human in the womb is according to God’s pattern and not by chance or evolution. (Job 31:15; compare Job 10:8; Ps 139:13-16; Isa 45:9.) The womb being created specifically for the propagation of the race, the “restrained womb” is listed as one of four things that have not said: “Enough!”—Pr 30:15, 16.
Since the womb is located in the general area of the body known as the belly, the Hebrew word for “belly” is often used with primary reference to the womb, as at Genesis 25:23; Deuteronomy 7:13; Psalm 127:3.—See BELLY.
God, as the womb’s Designer, can also see exactly what is being formed in it. He can read the hereditary traits being built into the unborn child and determine what use He wants to make of the individual, if He so desires.—Jer 1:5; Lu 1:15; compare Ro 9:10-13.
Jehovah commanded Israel: “Sanctify to me every male firstborn that opens each womb among the sons of Israel, among men and beasts. It is mine.” (Ex 13:2) In human births, this had reference to the father’s first male child.—See FIRSTBORN, FIRSTLING.
Jesus pointed out that his mother Mary was not to be honored above others who serve God. On an occasion when he was teaching, a woman cried out: “Happy is the womb that carried you and the breasts that you sucked!” Jesus replied: “No, rather, Happy are those hearing the word of God and keeping it!” (Lu 11:27, 28) Later, as Jesus was led away to the torture stake, he gave a prophecy concerning Jerusalem’s coming destruction, telling the women weeping for him that days were coming in which people would say: “Happy are the barren women, and the wombs that did not give birth.” (Lu 23:27-29) This was fulfilled in 70 C.E. when more than a million Jews, including young children, perished, and thousands were taken into captivity, to be sold into slavery.
The Jewish ruler and Pharisee Nicodemus, on hearing Jesus’ statement, “Unless anyone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” asked: “How . . . ? He cannot enter into the womb of his mother a second time and be born, can he?” Jesus then explained that this new birth is, not from a human womb, but “from water and spirit.”—Joh 3:1-8.
Figurative Use. “Womb” is employed at times with reference to the source of something. In speaking about creative works involving the earth, Jehovah speaks of the sea as bursting forth “from the womb.” (Job 38:8) Jehovah says to David’s Lord that in the day of his military force this one will have willing volunteers “like dewdrops” from “the womb of the dawn” (from where comes the morning dew).—Ps 110:1-3.