Y O U N G P E O P L E ' S D I C T I O N A R Y O F S C R I P T U R A L • & • R E L I G I O U S T E R M S
“Conceive”—or a form of this word— is found well over 60 times in the KJV Bible. Almost
always the word or a form of it refers to one of two meanings.
(1)When conceive is used as a form of a woman’s conception, it means that a woman becomes
pregnant—she is carrying a child in her womb. In Israel, one of God’s blessings for obedience
to His Word was a large family. If a Jewish woman was ‘barren’—that means she was unable to
bear a child—it was a sad to for that family.
Remember the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel? She was a very godly wife, but was unable to bear
children. She wept and prayed before God and eventually God anwered her prayer and she con-
ceived a boy named Samuel. She also conceived other children as well. It was considered a
great blessing when a woman bore a baby boy or a baby girl. It was especially considered a
wonderful blessing when a wife bore a baby boy as the ‘firstborn’ child in that family.
(2)The other often used meaning of the word conceive is found in verses such as Job 15:35:
“They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepareth deceit.” Here the
meaning of the word is that someone thinks of a plan, whether that plan is good or bad. They
conceive in their mind to do something. Apart from being guided by the Holy Spirit of God in
our thoughts and mind, we cannot conceive of doing anything that is pleasing to God. When a
soul has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in that soul
and then they are able to conceive thoughts that are pleasing to God.