Categories
BLOG

numbers 30 2

Numbers 30 2

he shall not break his word—literally, “profane his word”—render it vain and contemptible (Ps 55:20; 89:34). But as it would frequently happen that parties would vow to do things which were neither good in themselves nor in their power to perform, the law ordained that their natural superiors should have the right of judging as to the propriety of those vows, with discretionary power to sanction or interdict their fulfilment. Parents were to determine in the case of their children, and husbands in that of their wives—being, however, allowed only a day for deliberation after the matter became known to them; and their judgment, if unfavorable, released the devotee from all obligation [Nu 30:3-8].

A man; which notes both the sex, as appears by Numbers 30:3 , and the age, that he be grown up; for none can be so weak as to think the vow of a young child would bind it.

A vow, i.e. a simple Vow to do something possible and lawful.

Unto the Lord; to the honour and service of God.

Or swear an oath; confirm his vow by an oath.

To bind his soul with a bond; to restrain himself from something otherwise lawful, as suppose from such a sort of meat or drink; or to oblige himself to the performance of something otherwise not necessary, is to observe a private day of fasting.

He shall not break his word, Heb. not pollute or profane his word , as the same phrase is used, Psalm 55:20 89:34 , i.e. not render his word, and consequently himself, profane, or vile and contemptible in the eyes of others.

According to all that proceedeth out of his own mouth; and that without delay, Deu 23:21 Ecclesiastes 5:4 , provided the thing be not unlawful and forbidden by God, Acts 23:14 ; for it is an idle conceit that a man can give away God’s right, or that he can make void God’s commands by his own vows, which was the dotage of the Pharisees, Mark 6:23,26 .

or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; to his vow adds an oath for the greater confirmation of it, and to lay himself under the greater obligation to perform it:

he shall not break his word; or profane it (q) but punctually perform it; men should be careful how they vow, and not rashly do it; but when they have vowed, they ought to perform; see Ecclesiastes 5:4,

he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth; it is not in his power to revoke his vow or make it null: the Misnic doctors (r) say, a man can loose all vows, excepting his own. R. Judah says, not the vows of his wife, nor those which are between her and others; that is, as one of the commentators (s) explains it, such vows which are not made to afflict, or respect not fasting; but according to the Targum of Jonathan, though a man cannot loose his vows, or free himself from them, yet the sanhedrim, or court of judicature, can, or a wise man that is authenticated thereby, as Jarchi says, or three private persons; but these are such traditions; which make void the commandment of God, as our Lord complains, Matthew 15:1.

(p) Niddah, c. 5. sect. 6. (q) (r) Negaim, c. 5. sect. 5. (s) Bartenora in Misn. Negaim, c. 5. sect. 5.

2 . Two kinds of pledges are here mentioned, a vow and an obligation . A vow is a promise to give something to God. Such votive offerings were frequent in times of danger or special need (cf. Genesis 28:20-22, Jdg 11:30 f.). In post-exilic times they would often consist in gifts to the temple (cf. Luke 21:5 ἀναθήματα ). An obligation is a prohibition laid upon oneself, a pledge of abstinence; e.g from wine, as in the case of a Nazirite (ch. 6), or from food (1 Samuel 14:24, Acts 23:21); see also Psalm 132:3 f.

he shall not profane his word ] To break a solemn promise is an act of profanation. The importance of keeping vows is emphasized in Deuteronomy 23:21 ff., Ecclesiastes 5:4 f.; cf. Matthew 5:33.

all that proceedeth out of his mouth ] A vow is not a vow until it has been expressed in words (cf. Numbers 32:24, Jdg 11:35 f.). The Rabbis of a later time further enjoined in the Mishna that the mere utterance of words without a real intention is not binding. ‘No utterance is binding unless the mouth and the heart agree.’

Numbers 30 2 he shall not break his word—literally, “profane his word”—render it vain and contemptible (Ps 55:20; 89:34). But as it would frequently happen that parties would vow to do things

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Numbers 30:2

  • Kretzmann’s Popular Commentary of the Bible
  • Henry’s Complete
  • Henry’s Concise
  • Pett’s Bible Commentary
  • Hawker’s Poor Man’s Commentary
  • Birdgeway Bible Commentary
  • Chuck Smith Commentary
  • Dummelow’s Commentary on the Bible
  • Constable’s Expository Notes
  • Gaebelein’s Annotated
  • Morgan’s Biblical Exposition
  • Everett’s Study Notes
  • Sutcliffe’s Commentary
  • Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
  • Grant’s Commentary
  • Mackintosh’s Notes
  • Peake’s Bible Commentary
  • Preacher’s Homiletical Commentary
  • Expositor’s Bible
  • Pulpit Commentaries

Adam Clarke Commentary

If a man vow a vow – A vow is a religious promise made to God. Vows were of several kinds: –

  1. Of abstinence or humiliation, see Numbers 30:13 ;
  • Of the Nazarite, see Numbers 6;
  • Of giving certain things or sacrifices to the Lord, Leviticus 7:16 ;
  • Of alms given to the poor, see Deuteronomy 23:21 . The law in this chapter must have been very useful, as it both prevented and annulled rash vows, and provided a proper sanction for the support and performance of those that were rationally and piously made. Besides, this law must have acted as a great preventive of lying and hypocrisy. If a vow was properly made, a man or woman was bound, under penalty of the displeasure of God, to fulfill it.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.

    Bibliography
    Clarke, Adam. “Commentary on Numbers 30:2”. “The Adam Clarke Commentary”. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/numbers-30.html. 1832.

    Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Whole Bible

    The “vow” was positive; the “bond” negative or restrictive. By a vow a man engaged to dedicate something to God, or to accomplish some work for Him: by a bond he debarred himself from some privilege or enjoyment. A vow involved an obligation to do: a bond, an obligation to forbear doing.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.

    Bibliography
    Barnes, Albert. “Commentary on Numbers 30:2”. “Barnes’ Notes on the Whole Bible”. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/numbers-30.html. 1870.

    The Biblical Illustrator

    If a man vow a vow unto the Lord.

    The sacred bond

    The practice of binding the soul with vows and oaths is of very ancient date, and common to all systems of religion. Now precisely of this nature is the baptismal obligation, a sacrament in which we are most solemnly pledged to the service of God, a covenant which we are bound all the days of our life faithfully to keep and perform. In confirmation we publicly recognise our personal responsibility in that act, and profess our serious purpose to fulfil the solemn engagement; while the bishop officiating, with all the faithful present, implores for us the aid of the Holy Spirit, that we may be enabled effectually to carry out our purpose. In entering into any important transaction, obviously, nothing is more necessary than a correct idea of its nature and its significance. In order to this, in the present case, we should consider with whom it is that we make the solemn engagement. Engagements of great weight are sometimes made with men, but none are so important as those which are made with God. In joining the Freemasons, the Knights Templar, or any other voluntary association, you must assume certain obligations, and give certain pledges for their performance, before you can have any right to the peculiar privileges of the order. But in becoming a member of Christ’s flock you not only make an engagement with your Christian brethren, binding yourselves to observe and do certain things which are essential to the welfare of the sacred fraternity, but you make in your baptism and renew in your confirmation a covenant with God Himself–with God, the Father of the spirits of all flesh, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid–with God, who understands your motives better than you understand them yourselves, who cannot look upon iniquity, but hates all dissimulation with perfect hatred, and will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or bad. But let no man undertake thoughtlessly what ought to be done with the greatest deliberation and the utmost seriousness. Remember that the act you contemplate is irrevocable; the obligation you are about to assume is perpetual; the covenant you are going to ratify is an everlasting covenant, never to be forgotten. Its neglect is peril; its rupture is perdition. What you promise to renounce, you must renounce for ever; what you engage to perform, you must do all the days of your life; what you pledge yourselves to believe, is the unchangeable and everlasting faith once for all delivered to the saints. No man putting his hand to the plough and looking back is fit for the kingdom of heaven. Oh, how will his broken promises haunt the delinquent on the bed of death, and stand like threatening spectres before him in the twilight of eternity! Forget not, then, that the vows of God are upon you, and you cannot escape the obligation. But let not the fear of failure frighten any of you from the duty. You owe it to Christ, you owe it to the Church, you owe it to your sponsors, you owe it to your own souls, to redeem the pledge you have given. Lay hold upon the proffered strength of God, and renew your consecration to His service. He will not be wanting on His part. His word is for ever settled in heaven. Your assurance stands in “two immutable things by which it is impossible for God to lie.” For He also hath vowed a vow, and sworn an oath to bind His soul with a bond; and He will not break His word, but will do according to all that hath proceeded out of His mouth. (J. Cross, D. D. )

    The solemn obligation of religious vows

    I. The case supposed. “If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond.”

    1. The vow is made unto God. He is the only true and proper object of religious vows.

    2. The vow binds the soul. “Swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond.” “A promise to man is a bond upon the estate, but a promise to God is a bond upon the soul.”

    3. The vow is voluntarily made.

    4. The thing vowed must be lawful.

    II. The danger implied. “He shall not break his word,” &c. There is in human nature a deep-rooted tendency to forget in health the vows which were made in sickness, and to ignore in our security and peace the vows we made in our danger and alarm.

    III. The command given.

    1. That he shall perform his vow. “He shall not break his word.”

    2. That he shall fully perform his vow. “He shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.”

    Conclusion: Appeal to those who have unfulfilled vows resting upon them.

    1. Baptismal vows, in the case of some of you, are unfulfilled.

    2. Vows made in affliction or danger by some of you have not been paid. (W. Jones. )

    Vows not to be discouraged

    It is not an idle or dangerous thing to form good resolutions, and make promises, and enter into pledges and covenants anew. A promise is often a bud; the attempt to keep it a flower, and success therein the fruit. Some would discourage all promises and pledges lest they be broken. We might as well bid all the trees in the spring-time keep back their buds for fear of late frost, or warn them against opening their hearts to the sun lest they be betrayed and blighted. (Christian Age. )
    .

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

    Bibliography
    Exell, Joseph S. “Commentary on “Numbers 30:2”. The Biblical Illustrator. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/numbers-30.html. 1905-1909. New York.

    John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible

    If a man vow a vow unto the Lord . Which must be in a thing that is lawful to be done, which is not contrary to the revealed will and mind of God, and which may tend to the glory of God, the honour of religion, the service of the sanctuary, the good of a man’s self or of his neighbour; or in things purely indifferent, which may, or may not be done, without offence to God or man; as that he will not eat such a thing for such a time, or he will do this or the other thing, as Jarchi observes; who moreover says, that he may forbid himself what is forbidden, and forbid what is free and lawful; but he may not make free or lawful what is forbidden, that is, he may not vow to do a thing which is contrary to the law of God, such a vow will not stand: and he was to be of such an age before he could make a vow that would be valid; according to the Targum of Jonathan, he must be thirteen years of age; it is said in the Misnah F16 Niddah, c. 5. sect. 6. ,”a son of twelve years and one day, his vows are examined; a son of thirteen years and one day, his vows are firm, and they examine the whole thirteenth year before that time; although they say we know to whose name (or on whose account) we vow or consecrate, their vow is no vow, nor their consecration no consecration; but after that time, though they say we know not to whose name (or, on whose account) we vow or consecrate, their vow is a vow, and their consecration a consecration:”

    or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond ; to his vow adds an oath for the greater confirmation of it, and to lay himself under the greater obligation to perform it:

    he shall not break his word; or profane it F17 לא יחל but punctually perform it; men should be careful how they vow, and not rashly do it; but when they have vowed, they ought to perform; see Ecclesiastes 5:4 ,

    he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth ; it is not in his power to revoke his vow or make it null: the Misnic doctors F18 Negaim, c. 5. sect. 5. say, a man can loose all vows, excepting his own. R. Judah says, not the vows of his wife, nor those which are between her and others; that is, as one of the commentators F19 Bartenora in Misn. Negaim, c. 5. sect. 5. explains it, such vows which are not made to afflict, or respect not fasting; but according to the Targum of Jonathan, though a man cannot loose his vows, or free himself from them, yet the sanhedrim, or court of judicature, can, or a wise man that is authenticated thereby, as Jarchi says, or three private persons; but these are such traditions; which make void the commandment of God, as our Lord complains, Matthew 15:1 .

    Copyright Statement
    The New John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
    A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

    Bibliography
    Gill, John. “Commentary on Numbers 30:2”. “The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible”. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/numbers-30.html. 1999.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

    If a man vow a vow unto the Lord — A mere secret purpose of the mind was not enough to constitute a vow; it had to be actually expressed in words; and though a purely voluntary act, yet when once the vow was made, the performance of it, like that of every other promise, became an indispensable duty – all the more because, referring to a sacred thing, it could not be neglected without the guilt of prevarication and unfaithfulness to God.

    he shall not break his word — literally, “profane his word” – render it vain and contemptible ( Psalm 55:20 ; Psalm 89:34 ). But as it would frequently happen that parties would vow to do things which were neither good in themselves nor in their power to perform, the law ordained that their natural superiors should have the right of judging as to the propriety of those vows, with discretionary power to sanction or interdict their fulfilment. Parents were to determine in the case of their children, and husbands in that of their wives – being, however, allowed only a day for deliberation after the matter became known to them; and their judgment, if unfavorable, released the devotee from all obligation [ Numbers 30:3-8 ].

    Copyright Statement
    These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
    This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

    Bibliography
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. “Commentary on Numbers 30:2”. “Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible”. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/numbers-30.html. 1871-8.

    Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

    At the head there stands the general rule, “ If any one vow a vow to Jehovah, or swear an oath, to bind his soul to abstinence, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that has gone out of his mouth: ” i.e., he shall keep or fulfil the vow, and the promise of abstinence, in perfect accordance with his word. נדר is a positive vow, or promise to give or sanctify any part of one’s property to the Lord. אסּר , from אסר , to bind or fetter, the negative vow, or vow of abstinence. על־נפשׁו אסּר אסר , to take an abstinence upon his soul. In what such abstinence consisted is not explained, because it was well understood from traditional customs; in all probability it consisted chiefly in fasting and other similar abstinence from lawful things. The Nazarite’s vow, which is generally reckoned among the vows of abstinence, is called neder in Numbers 6:2 ., not issar , because it consisted not merely in abstinence from the fruit of the vine, but also in the positive act of permitting the hair to grow freely in honour of the Lord. The expression “swear an oath” ( Numbers 30:2 ; cf. Numbers 30:13 ) shows that, as a rule, they bound themselves to abstinence by an oath. The inf. constr ., השּׁבא , is used here, as in other places, for the inf. abs . (cf. Ges. §131, 4, note 2). יחל , from חלל , for יחל , as in Ezekiel 39:7 (cf. Ges. §67, note 8), to desecrate (his word), i.e., to leave it unfulfilled or break it.

    Copyright Statement
    The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.

    Bibliography
    Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. “Commentary on Numbers 30:2”. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/numbers-30.html. 1854-1889.

    Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible

    2. If a man vow a vow. Wishing to modify the general law, lest any one should think that there was any contradiction in this exception, he begins by repeating the law itself, that every one should faithfully pay whatever he had vowed; as much as to say,that this stands good, but that he only refers to such as are their own masters; and that women or girls who are under the power of another, were not free to make vows without the concurrence of their fathers’ or husbands’ consent. This preface, however, must be understood, as I have already pointed out, of lawful vows, whereby neither is religion corrupted nor the holiness of God’s name profaned. And assuredly, unless what we offer is acceptable to God, there can be no obligation on the conscience. Moreover, since there is here a distinction made between males and females, it may be probably conjectured that boys of ten years old, although still united with their family, are bound by their promises; and therefore I will not pertinaciously contend about this, because it is better to leave undecided whatever is doubtful, and disputable, as it is commonly called, on either side.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.

    Bibliography
    Calvin, John. “Commentary on Numbers 30:2”. “Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible”. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/numbers-30.html. 1840-57.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

    Numbers 30:2 If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

    To bind his soul with a bond. ] Which none ought to do, but such as (1.) are free, or have the consent of their governors; (2.) Such as have knowledge and judgment to discern of a vow or oath; [ Ecclesiastes 5:3 ; Ecclesiastes 5:5 ] (3.) Are conscientious, as Jacob, Hannah, &c. Not such votaries as Herod, [ Matthew 14:7 ] those assassins, [ Acts 23:14 ] those idolaters. [ Jeremiah 44:27 ]

    He shall not break his word. ] If he do, he will make a great breach in his conscience and crack his comfort exceedingly. “Better not vow than not pay.” [ Ecclesiastes 5:4 ] It is a sin as bad or worse than perjury, and God takes it heavily at men’s hands. [ Jeremiah 34:10-11 ]

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

    Bibliography
    Trapp, John. “Commentary on Numbers 30:2”. John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/numbers-30.html. 1865-1868.

    Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

    Numbers 30:2 . If a man, &c.— That is, a person entirely master of himself, and actually endowed with reason. See Leviticus 27. The Jewish rabbis have advanced two excellent maxims upon this subject: the one, that a good man, who performs his duty, does well not to lay himself under the obligation of vows; the other, that we are not permitted to make any other vows than those which in their own nature tend to the glory of God. It is very evident, that vows respecting things lawful only must be here meant; and, probably, Moses principally refers to such persons as, intending to glorify God, made vows to offer some sacrifice of supererogation upon the feast days, or to afflict their souls on some other day than that of expiation. No vows nor oaths can bind to that which is unlawful. See Grotius de Jure B. & P. lib. 2: cap. 13 sect. 6. The determination of Philo upon this head is very just; that he who perpetrates any act of injustice upon account of his oath, adds one crime to another; first, by taking an unlawful oath; and then, by doing an unlawful action; therefore, such a one ought to abstain from the unjust action, and pray God to pardon him for his rash oath; an observation which clearly shews the iniquity of Herod’s conduct, Matthew 14:9 . Religious vows were common among all nations, wherein mankind seem to have considered God rather after the manner of men, than suitably to his own nature. We may observe, however, that the vows which we most frequently read of in the Old Testament, were only solemn resolutions of universal obedience to God. See Genesis 28:20 . 2 Samuel 15:8 . Isaiah 19:21 . Jonah 1:16 ; Jonah 2:9 . The solemn vows and resolutions which Christians come under by baptism and the Lord’s supper are of this kind: and such holy renewals, and confirmations of our resolutions to obey God, are undoubtedly of great and perpetual use. Other vows serve only for a snare, and it is most prudent to omit them.

    Break his word — “Profane,” says Dr. Beaumont, i.e. “not violate or break his promise. For the like phrases, see Psalms 55:20 ; Psalms 89:34 . All that proceedeth, &c. signifies every word of his; as the phrase is explained, Luke 4:4 from Deuteronomy 8:3 and this of vows lawful, and in a man’s power to perform.”

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

    Bibliography
    Coke, Thomas. “Commentary on Numbers 30:2”. Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/numbers-30.html. 1801-1803.

    Matthew Poole’s English Annotations on the Holy Bible

    A man; which notes both the sex, as appears by Numbers 30:3 , and the age, that he be grown up; for none can be so weak as to think the vow of a young child would bind it.

    A vow, i.e. a simple Vow to do something possible and lawful.

    Unto the Lord; to the honour and service of God.

    Or swear an oath; confirm his vow by an oath.

    To bind his soul with a bond; to restrain himself from something otherwise lawful, as suppose from such a sort of meat or drink; or to oblige himself to the performance of something otherwise not necessary, is to observe a private day of fasting.

    He shall not break his word, Heb. not pollute or profane his word, as the same phrase is used, Psalms 55:20 89:34 , i.e. not render his word, and consequently himself, profane, or vile and contemptible in the eyes of others.

    According to all that proceedeth out of his own mouth; and that without delay, Deuteronomy 23:21 Ecclesiastes 5:4 , provided the thing be not unlawful and forbidden by God, Acts 23:14 ; for it is an idle conceit that a man can give away God’s right, or that he can make void God’s commands by his own vows, which was the dotage of the Pharisees, Mark 6:23 ,26 .

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

    Bibliography
    Poole, Matthew, “Commentary on Numbers 30:2”. Matthew Poole’s English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/numbers-30.html. 1685.

    Whedon’s Commentary on the Bible

    THE SACREDNESS OF VOWS, Numbers 30:1-2 .

    2 . A vow is a religions promise unto the Lord . For the different kinds see Leviticus 27, introductory note. Alms promised to the poor were also, by the interpretation of the rabbins, comprehended under vows, on the principle that the poor stand in place of the Lord. Proverbs 19:17 ; Matthew 25:40 ; Matthew 26:11 .

    To bind his soul with a bond — Literally, bind his soul to abstain, that is, not to do a thing. The Nazarite’s vow is indicated by another word — neder. Numbers 6:2 , note. In what the abstaining consisted is not explained, because it was well understood from traditional customs; in all probability it chiefly consisted in refraining from food and other lawful things. Acts 23:12 .

    He shall not break his word — Profane his word. Slackness or needless delay was also prohibited. Deuteronomy 23:21 . The time and place of paying vowed sacrifices was at the great feasts, before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle. Leviticus 1:3 ; Deuteronomy 12:5-7 ; Deuteronomy 16:16-17 . Impossible vows are to be repented of, and wicked vows are to be broken. Acts xxiii, 21.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

    Bibliography
    Whedon, Daniel. “Commentary on Numbers 30:2”. “Whedon’s Commentary on the Bible”. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/numbers-30.html. 1874-1909.

    Joseph Benson’s Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

    Numbers 30:2 . If a man vow a vow — Concerning something lawful, and in his power to perform. Unto the Lord — To the honour and service of God. Or swear an oath — Confirm his vow by an oath. To bind his soul with a bond — To restrain himself from something otherwise lawful; as, suppose, from such a sort of meat or drink; or to oblige himself to the performance of something otherwise not necessary, as to observe a private day of fasting. He shall not break (Hebrew, he shall not profane) his word — Not render his word, and consequently himself, profane, or contemptible in the eyes of others. He shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth — Punctually and conscientiously. His vow shall be performed in the manner, time, and kind which was at first proposed, in reverence to the great God to whom it was made. But in case a man vows, or takes an oath, to do any thing that is in itself unlawful, as those Jews did, mentioned Acts 23:14 , nothing can be plainer than that such vow or oath must be void in the very nature of the thing. For promises and resolutions, enforced by the strongest oaths, or most solemn vows, are but secondary obligations, and therefore can never absolve us from our primary and immutable obligation to obey the laws of God and nature; for this would be to say, that we could, by an oath, oblige ourselves to do what God had before obliged us not to do. “He who perpetrates any act of injustice,” says Philo Judæus, de specialibus legibus, “upon account of his oath, adds one crime to another; first by taking an unlawful oath, and then by doing an unlawful action. Therefore such a one ought to abstain from the unjust action, and pray God to pardon him for his rash oath.” Thus Herod ought to have done; instead of performing the rash promise which he had sealed with an oath, he ought to have punished that wicked woman, who instigated him to commit murder, under pretence of fulfilling his oath, Matthew 14:9 . Grotius observes further, that though the thing promised be not absolutely unlawful, yet, if it obstruct some greater moral good, such a promise, even sealed with an oath, is not binding.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

    Bibliography
    Benson, Joseph. “Commentary on Numbers 30:2”. Joseph Benson’s Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/numbers-30.html. 1857.

    E.W. Bullinger’s Companion Bible Notes

    vow a vow. Figure of speech Polyptoton (App-6) = make a solemn promise.

    soul. Hebrew. nephesh (App-13), used in this chapter twelve times for the whole (responsible) person.

    break = Hebrew profane.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

    Bibliography
    Bullinger, Ethelbert William. “Commentary on Numbers 30:2”. “E.W. Bullinger’s Companion bible Notes”. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/numbers-30.html. 1909-1922.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible – Unabridged

    If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

    If a man vow a vow. A mere secret purpose of the mind was not enough to constitute a vow: it had to be actually expressed in words; and though a purely voluntary act, yet, when once the vow was made, the performance of it, like that of every other promise, became an indispensable duty-all the more that, referring to a sacred thing, it could not be neglected without the guilt of prevarication and unfaithfulness to God.

    Shall not break – literally, profane his word; render it vain and contemptible ( Psalms 55:20 ; Psalms 89:34 ). But as it would frequently happen that parties would vow to do things which were neither good in themselves nor in their power to perform, the law ordained that their natural superiors should have the right of judging as to the propriety of those vows, with discretionary power to sanction or interdict their fulfillment. Parents were to determine in the case of their children, and husbands in that of their wives-being, however, allowed only a day for deliberation after the matter became known to them-and their judgment, if unfavourable, released the devotee from all obligation.

    Numbers 30:2 –