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Validity and Annulment of Vows. 2Moses said to the heads of the Israelite tribes, “This is what the LORD has commanded: 3When a man makes a vow to the LORD or binds himself under oath to a pledge,* he shall not violate his word, but must fulfill exactly the promise he has uttered.a
4“When a woman makes a vow to the LORD, or binds herself to a pledge, while still in her father’s house in her youth, 5and her father learns of her vow or the pledge to which she bound herself and says nothing to her about it, then any vow or any pledge to which she bound herself remains valid. 6But if on the day he learns of it her father opposes her, then any vow or any pledge to which she bound herself becomes invalid; and the LORD will release her from it, since her father opposed her.
7“If she marries while under a vow or under a rash pledge to which she bound herself, 8and her husband learns of it, yet says nothing to her on the day he learns it, then the vows or the pledges to which she bound herself remain valid. 9But if on the day her husband learns of it he opposes her, he thereby annuls the vow she had made or the rash pledge to which she had bound herself, and the LORD will release her from it. 10(The vow of a widow or of a divorced woman, however, any pledge to which such a woman binds herself, is valid.)
11“If it is in her husband’s house* that she makes a vow or binds herself under oath to a pledge, 12and her husband learns of it yet says nothing to her to oppose her, then all her vows remain valid or any pledge to which she has bound herself. 13But if on the day he learns of them her husband annuls them, then whatever she has expressly promised in her vows or in her pledge becomes invalid; since her husband has annulled them, the LORD will release her from them.
14“Any vow or any pledge that she makes under oath to humble herself, her husband may either confirm or annul. 15But if her husband, day after day, says nothing at all to her, he thereby confirms all her vows or all the pledges incumbent upon her; he has confirmed them, because on the day he learned of them he said nothing to her. 16If, however, he annuls them* some time after he first learned of them, he will be responsible for her guilt.”
* [30:3] A vow…a pledge: here the former signifies the promise to dedicate either a person, an animal, or a thing or their equivalent to the sanctuary upon the fulfillment of some specified conditions (Lv 27:1–13); the latter signifies the assumption of either a positive or a negative obligation—that is, the promise either to do something or to abstain from something; cf. v. 14.
* [30:16] He annuls them: he prevents their fulfillment. Since he has first allowed the vows to remain valid, he can no longer annul them.
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