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Numbers 30:3-8

Context
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.

Vows Made by Married Women

30:6 “And if she marries a husband while under a vow, 8  or she uttered 9  anything impulsively by which she has pledged herself, 30:7 and her husband hears about it, but remains silent about her when he hears about it, then her vows will stand and her obligations which she has pledged for herself will stand. 30:8 But if when her husband hears it he overrules her, then he will nullify 10  the vow she has taken, 11  and whatever she uttered impulsively which she has pledged for herself. And the Lord will release her from it.

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.

8 tn Heb “and her vows are upon her.” It may be that the woman gets married while her vows are still unfulfilled.

9 tn The Hebrew text indicates that this would be some impetuous vow that she uttered with her lips, a vow that her husband, whether new or existing, would not approve of. Several translate it “a binding obligation rashly uttered.”

10 tn The verb is the Hiphil perfect with a vav (ו) consecutive from the verb פָּרַר (parar, “to annul”). The verb functions here as the equivalent of an imperfect tense; here it is the apodosis following the conditional clause – if this is the case, then this is what will happen.

11 tn Heb “which [she is] under it.”



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