Numbers Chapter 30

Numbers Chapter 30 revolves around a lecture Moses offers to his people about taking pledges and how to keep those pledges to honor the Lord.

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Moses Discusses Pledges

Moses tells his people the basic rule of making a pledge, vow, or obligation with others. Essentially, when a man makes a pledge, he must do everything in his power to keep it. No one should ever be flippant in terms of how a pledge to the Lord is made. To easily break a pledge is an affront to God.

Women Who Make Pledges

Moses notes that when a young woman living in her father’s house makes a pledge or a rash promise, she must follow through with the pledge she has made. However, if her father disagrees with the pledge and tells her she is not to make one, she is released from her pledge as she must honor her father’s house and wishes.

Pledges from Married Women

Similarly, a woman who marries will have to maintain her allegiance to her pledge unless her husband forbids her to do what she stated she would in the pledge. Women who have been widowed will have to adhere to any vows or obligations they make.

When a married woman makes a vow under oath and her husband knows nothing of it, she must honor what she has promised. If the husband eventually finds out and opts to nullify the vow, then it has been eliminated in the eyes of the Lord.

If the man hears about it and does nothing, then the wife will be obligated to carry responsibilities out. However, when the husband learns of a vow and says nothing and lets a significant amount of time pass, he can declare the vow null and void, but he will bear the consequences of his actions and be held liable.

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Numbers 30 (King James Version)

1 And Moses spake unto the heads of the tribes concerning the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded.

2 If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

3 If a woman also vow a vow unto the LORD, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father’s house in her youth;

4 And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand.

5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the LORD shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her.

6 And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul;

7 And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand.

8 But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the LORD shall forgive her.

9 But every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced, wherewith they have bound their souls, shall stand against her.

10 And if she vowed in her husband’s house, or bound her soul by a bond with an oath;

11 And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her, and disallowed her not: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she bound her soul shall stand.

12 But if her husband hath utterly made them void on the day he heard them; then whatsoever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand: her husband hath made them void; and the LORD shall forgive her.

13 Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void.

14 But if her husband altogether hold his peace at her from day to day; then he establisheth all her vows, or all her bonds, which are upon her: he confirmeth them, because he held his peace at her in the day that he heard them.

15 But if he shall any ways make them void after that he hath heard them; then he shall bear her iniquity.

16 These are the statutes, which the LORD commanded Moses, between a man and his wife, between the father and his daughter, being yet in her youth in her father’s house.

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