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Making Promises to the Lord

30 The Lord told Moses to say to Israel’s tribal leaders:

When one of you men makes a promise to the Lord,[a] you must keep your word.

Suppose a young woman who is still living with her parents makes a promise to the Lord. If her father hears about it and says nothing, she must keep her promise. But if he hears about it and objects, then she no longer has to keep her promise. The Lord will forgive her, because her father did not agree with the promise.

6-7 Suppose a woman makes a promise to the Lord and then gets married. If her husband later hears about the promise but says nothing, she must do what she said, whether she meant it or not. But if her husband hears about the promise and objects, she no longer has to keep it, and the Lord will forgive her.

Widows and divorced women must keep every promise they make to the Lord.

10 Suppose a married woman makes a promise to the Lord. 11 If her husband hears about the promise and says nothing, she must do what she said. 12 But if he hears about the promise and does object, she no longer has to keep it. The Lord will forgive her, because her husband would not allow her to keep the promise. 13 Her husband has the final say about any promises she makes to the Lord. 14 If her husband hears about a promise and says nothing about it for a whole day, she must do what she said—since he did not object, the promise must be kept. 15 But if he waits until the next day to stop her from keeping her promise, he is the one who must be punished.

16 These are the laws that the Lord gave Moses about husbands and wives, and about young daughters who still live at home.

Footnotes

  1. 30.2 a promise to the Lord: Either the promise of a gift or the promise to do something.

Vows

30 [a]Moses said to the heads of the tribes of Israel:(A) “This is what the Lord commands: When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.(B)

“When a young woman still living in her father’s household makes a vow to the Lord or obligates herself by a pledge and her father hears about her vow or pledge but says nothing to her, then all her vows and every pledge by which she obligated herself will stand.(C) But if her father forbids her(D) when he hears about it, none of her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand; the Lord will release her because her father has forbidden her.

“If she marries after she makes a vow(E) or after her lips utter a rash promise by which she obligates herself and her husband hears about it but says nothing to her, then her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand. But if her husband(F) forbids her when he hears about it, he nullifies the vow that obligates her or the rash promise by which she obligates herself, and the Lord will release her.(G)

“Any vow or obligation taken by a widow or divorced woman will be binding on her.

10 “If a woman living with her husband makes a vow or obligates herself by a pledge under oath 11 and her husband hears about it but says nothing to her and does not forbid her, then all her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand. 12 But if her husband nullifies them when he hears about them, then none of the vows or pledges that came from her lips will stand.(H) Her husband has nullified them, and the Lord will release her. 13 Her husband may confirm or nullify any vow she makes or any sworn pledge to deny herself.[b] 14 But if her husband says nothing to her about it from day to day, then he confirms all her vows or the pledges binding on her. He confirms them by saying nothing to her when he hears about them. 15 If, however, he nullifies them(I) some time after he hears about them, then he must bear the consequences of her wrongdoing.”

16 These are the regulations the Lord gave Moses concerning relationships between a man and his wife, and between a father and his young daughter still living at home.

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 30:1 In Hebrew texts 30:1-16 is numbered 30:2-17.
  2. Numbers 30:13 Or to fast

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