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Numbers 30:3-5

Vows Made by Single Women

30:3 “If a young 1  woman who is still living 2  in her father’s house makes a vow to the Lord or places herself under an obligation, 30:4 and her father hears of her vow or the obligation to which she has pledged herself, and her father remains silent about her, 3  then all her vows will stand, 4  and every obligation to which she has pledged herself will stand. 30:5 But if her father overrules her when he hears 5  about it, then none 6  of her vows or her obligations which she has pledged for herself will stand. And the Lord will release 7  her from it, because her father overruled her.

1 tn The qualification comes at the end of the verse, and simply says “in her youth.”

2 tn The Hebrew text just has “in her father’s house” and not “who is still living,” but that is the meaning of the line.

3 tn The intent of this expression is that he does not object to the vow.

4 tn The verb קוּם (qum) is best translated “stand” here, but the idea with it is that what she vows is established as a genuine oath with the father’s approval (or acquiescence).

5 tn The idiom is “in the day of,” but it is used in place of a preposition before the infinitive construct with its suffixed subjective genitive. The clause is temporal.

6 tn The Hebrew “all will not stand” is best rendered “none will stand.”

7 tn The verb has often been translated “forgive” (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV, NLT), but that would suggest a sin that needed forgiving. The idea of “release from obligation” is better; the idea is like that of having a debt “forgiven” or “retired.” In other words, she is free from the vow she had made. The Lord will not hold the woman responsible to do what she vowed.

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