The Law of Vows

30 [a]Then Moses spoke to (A)the heads of the tribes of the sons of Israel, saying, “This is the word which the Lord has commanded: (B)If a man makes a vow to the Lord, or takes an oath to [b]put himself under a binding obligation, he shall not break his word; he shall act in accordance with everything that comes out of his mouth.

“And if a woman makes a vow to the Lord, and puts herself under a binding obligation in her father’s house in her youth, and her father hears her vow and her obligation under which she has put herself, and her father [c]says nothing to her, then all her vows shall [d]remain valid and every binding obligation under which she has put herself shall [e]remain valid. But if her father expresses disapproval to her on the day he hears of it, none of her vows or her obligations under which she has put herself shall remain valid; and the Lord will [f]forgive her because her father has expressed disapproval to her.

“However, if she happens to [g]marry while [h]under her vows or the impulsive statement of her lips by which she has obligated herself, and her husband hears of it and says nothing to her on the day he hears it, then her vows shall remain valid and her binding obligations under which she has put herself shall remain valid. But if on the day her husband hears of it, he expresses disapproval to her, then he will annul her vow which [i]she is under and the impulsive statement of her lips by which she has obligated herself; and the Lord will [j]forgive her.

“But as for the vow of a widow or of a divorced woman, every binding obligation under which she has put herself, shall remain valid against her. 10 However, if a married woman vowed in her husband’s house, or put herself under a binding obligation with an oath, 11 and her husband heard it, but said nothing to her and did not express disapproval to her, then all her vows shall remain valid and every binding obligation under which she put herself shall remain valid. 12 But if her husband actually annuls them on the day he hears them, then no utterance from her lips concerning her vows or the obligation she put on herself shall remain valid; her husband has annulled them, and the Lord will [k]forgive her.

13 “Every vow and every binding oath to humble herself, her husband may confirm it or her husband may annul it. 14 But if her husband in fact says nothing to her from day to day, then he confirms all her vows or all her binding obligations which are on her; he has confirmed them, because he said nothing to her on the day he heard them. 15 However, if he actually annuls them [l]after he has heard them, then he shall bear the responsibility for her guilt.”

16 These are the statutes which the Lord commanded Moses concerning matters between a man and his wife, and between a father and his daughter while she is in her youth in her father’s house.

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 30:1 Ch 30:2 in Heb
  2. Numbers 30:2 Lit bind on his soul, and similarly throughout the ch
  3. Numbers 30:4 Lit is silent to her, and so throughout the ch
  4. Numbers 30:4 Lit stand, and so throughout the ch
  5. Numbers 30:4 Lit stand, and so throughout the ch
  6. Numbers 30:5 I.e., for not fulfilling them
  7. Numbers 30:6 Lit become a husband’s
  8. Numbers 30:6 Lit her vows are on her
  9. Numbers 30:8 Lit is on her
  10. Numbers 30:8 I.e., for not fulfilling them
  11. Numbers 30:12 I.e., for not fulfilling them
  12. Numbers 30:15 I.e., perhaps a long delay before he annuls them