Numbers 30:1-5 Moses spoke to the people and said that the Lord commands that if a man makes a vow, they are bound to keep it. If a woman makes a vow in her father’s hearing (but says nothing to her), she is bound to keep it. A father could intervene if he hears the vow to oppose it and make it void.
Notes: Example of a vow: In a crisis people often make a vow: “If God delivers me from X, I promise to do Y.” The danger is that, when the crisis is over, the vow may not be fulfilled. The reason for the strict rules and guilt if a vow is not carried out is contrasted with how God deals with us. For example, the conquest of Canaan depends on God keeping his promised word to Israel, and Israel must be equally strict in carrying out her promises to God. If God keeps His promises to us, then we should imitate our Lord and do the same.
Notes: A man was responsible for the vows made by women in his household. A father or husband could overrule the vow of a daughter or wife, but a man’s silence, if he knew of the vow, meant it must be accomplished.
Numbers 30:6-8 If a married woman has made a vow before marrying her husband, and he hears about it and says nothing to her, she is bound to keep it. A husband could intervene if he hears the vow and oppose it to make it invalid.
Numbers 30:9 No man can intervene and void a vow made by a widow or divorced woman.
Numbers 30:10-12 If a married woman makes a vow after being married, and her husband hears about it and says nothing to her, she is bound to keep it. A husband could intervene if he hears the vow to oppose it to make it void.
Numbers 30:13-16 A husband may establish or void a vow as he wishes, but if he wishes to void the vow, he must say something when he first hears it. If he hears the vow and says nothing for days, then the he shall bear the iniquity after voiding his wife’s vow.