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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 5741 vows
5741 vows

5741 vows

Promises made to God, usually in the context of worship or religious practice. There was no requirement on any Israelite to make vows, but once made, they were binding and had to be kept.

Vows were binding

Dt 23:21-23 See also Nu 30:2,9; Pr 20:25; Ecc 5:4-6; Mal 1:14

Exceptions to keeping vows Nu 30:3-8 In certain cases vows made by daughters or wives could be nullified by fathers or husbands respectively. See also Nu 30:10-15

Vows made to God in the context of worship

To offer sacrifices Lev 22:17-19 See also Lev 7:16; Lev 22:21; Lev 27:9; Nu 15:2-4,8-10; Dt 12:6,11; Ps 50:14; Ps 66:13; Pr 7:14; Jnh 2:9

To dedicate people, animals or property to God Lev 27:1-25

To give money 2Ki 12:4-5 See also Dt 23:18

Motives for making vows

To elicit God’s help 1Sa 1:11 See also Ge 28:20-22; Nu 21:2; Jdg 11:30-40; 2Sa 15:7-8; Ps 66:13-14

To express thanksgiving Ps 116:12-14 See also Ps 50:14; Ps 56:12; Ps 116:17-18; Jnh 1:16; Jnh 2:9

To praise God Ps 22:25 See also Ps 61:8; Ps 65:1

Vows of Nazirites

Nu 6:1-21; Jdg 13:2-5 Samson was set apart as a Nazirite from birth; 1Sa 1:11 Samuel may have been a Nazirite.

Examples of vows made to God

By David Ps 132:2-5

By Paul Ac 18:18 See also Ac 21:24-26

Abuse of vows

Mt 15:5-6 pp Mk 7:11-13

Vows made to idols

Jer 44:25-28

See also

5430oaths, human
5468promises, human

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