Numbers 30

1 Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes of the children of Israel, saying, “This is the thing which the LORD has commanded. 2 When a man vows a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. 3 “Also when a woman vows a vow to the LORD, and binds herself by a bond, being in her father’s house, in her youth, 4 and her father hears her vow, and her bond with which she has bound her soul, and her father holds his peace at her; then all her vows shall stand, and every bond with which she has bound her soul shall stand. 5 But if her father forbids her in the day that he hears, none of her vows, or of her bonds with which she has bound her soul, shall stand. The LORD will forgive her, because her father has forbidden her. 6 “If she has a husband, while her vows are on her, or the rash utterance of her lips, with which she has bound her soul, 7 and her husband hears it, and hold his peace at her in the day that he hears it; then her vows shall stand, and her bonds with which she has bound her soul shall stand. 8 But if her husband forbids her in the day that he hears it, then he shall make void her vow which is on her, and the rash utterance of her lips, with which she has bound her soul. The LORD will forgive her. 9 “But the vow of a widow, or of her who is divorced, everything with which she has bound her soul, shall stand against her. 10 “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 didn’t disallow her; then all her vows shall stand, and every bond with which she bound her soul shall stand. 12 But if her husband made them null and void in the day that he heard them, then whatever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand. Her husband has made them void. The LORD will 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 establishes all her vows, or all her bonds, which are on her. He has established them, because he held his peace at her in the day that he heard them. 15 But if he shall make them null and void after that he has 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 a father and his daughter, being in her youth, in her father’s house.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–2

No man can be bound by his own promise to do what he is already, by the Divine precept, forbidden to do. In other matters the command is, that he shall not break his words, through he may change his mind.

Verses 3–16

Two cases of vows are determined. The case of a daughter in her father’s house. When her vow comes to his knowledge, it is in his power either to confirm it or do it away. The law is plain in the case of a wife. If her husband allows her vow, though only by silence, it stands. If he disallows it, her obligation to her husband takes place of it; for to him she ought to be in subjection, as unto the Lord. The Divine law consults the good order of families. It is fit that every man should bear rule in his own house, and have his wife and children in subjection; rather than that this great rule should be broken, or any encouragement be given to inferior relations to break those bonds asunder, God releases the obligation even of a solemn vow. So much does religion secure the welfare of all societies; and in it the families of the earth have a blessing.

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