Numbers 30 – Reading Note

 

  • If a man, any man, made a vow, he was bound to keep it regardless (30: 1, 2).
  • If a young woman still living with her father took a pledge, she could not break it unless her father heard it and forbade it. In that case, she was released from the vow (30: 3 – 5).
  • If a woman married immediately after making a vow, her husband could forbid the vow and she would not have to fulfill it (30: 6 – 8).
  • If a widow or divorced woman made a vow, she was bound by it (30:9).
  • If a married woman living with her husband made a vow, her husband could nullify it if it was a vow to ‘deny herself’. If he nullified it, she was not bound by it. Otherwise, she had to fulfill it. If he did not nullify it immediately after hearing of it, but later on, he was responsible for her guilt (30: 10 – 15).
  • On one hand, these laws seem to provide (young) women a chance to get out of vows, but on the other, it might restrict their ability to serve God in that way. If a woman’s father or husband (if she was newly married) did not like a good vow she had made, he could nullify it.
  • The restriction that a husband could nullify (only) vows his wife made to deny herself may or may not be reasonable depending on what ‘deny herself’ actually means.
  • Think these laws laws oppress women? Perhaps. Define oppression.
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Tracy

I’m Tracy

2 thoughts on “Numbers 30 – Reading Note”

  1. I have often reminded my mother (whose spiritual gift makes her very sensitive to right/wrong) that this concept frees us as women. In a way, we are free to be rash in our vows because we have the back up of a (Lord willing) sensible man to set things right for us. Since men are forced to take the leadership role in God’s eyes, they bear the greater burden of judgment and are given no chance to change things after the fact.
    There is also the time limit in these commands to keep men from procrastinating in their decision making. I think this chapter is harder on men because it is the male being held responsible by God for allowing, disallowing or bearing the guilt of delayed decisions.
    Just now I realized you could look at Genesis 3 through this lens and see how Adam fell short on his end. Eve ‘made a vow,’ although not to God, and Adam decided to back her up instead of annulling it like he should have. Therefore it is in Adam we all die, not Eve.

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