|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
30:3-16 Two cases of vows are determined. The case of a daughter in her father's house. When her vow comes to his knowledge, it is in his power either to confirm it or do it away. The law is plain in the case of a wife. If her husband allows her vow, though only by silence, it stands. If he disallows it, her obligation to her husband takes place of it; for to him she ought to be in subjection, as unto the Lord. The Divine law consults the good order of families. It is fit that every man should bear rule in his own house, and have his wife and children in subjection; rather than that this great rule should be broken, or any encouragement be given to inferior relations to break those bonds asunder, God releases the obligation even of a solemn vow. So much does religion secure the welfare of all societies; and in it the families of the earth have a blessing.
Verse 3. - If a woman vow a vow. The fragmentary nature of this section appears from the fact that, after laying down the general principle of the sacredness of vows, it proceeds to qualify it in three special cases only of vows made by women under authority. That vows made by boys were irreversible is exceedingly unlikely; and indeed it is obvious that many cases must have occurred, neither mentioned here nor in Leviticus 27, in which the obligation could not stand absolute. In her father's house in her youth. Case first, of a girl in her father's house, who had no property of her own, and whose personal services were due to her father.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
If a woman also vow a vow unto the Lord,.... Who has not passed thirteen years, as the Targum of Jonathan:
and bind herself by a bond; lay herself under obligation to perform her vow by an oath: being in her father's house; unto the twelfth year, as the same Targum; that is, that is under his care, tuition, and jurisdiction, whether she literally, or properly speaking, is in the house or no at the time she vows; so Jarchi interprets it of her being in the power of her father, though not in his house, she being not at age to be at her own disposal, but at his: wherefore it is added:
in her youth; which, as the same writer explains it, signifies that she is"neither a little one, nor at age; for a little one's vow is no vow, and one at age is not in the power of her father to make void her vow: who is a little one? our Rabbins say, one of eleven years of age and one day, her vows are examined, whether she knows on whose account she vows and consecrates, or devotes anything; one vows a vow that is twelve years and one day old, there is no need to examine them.''He seems to refer to a passage in the Misnah (t),"a daughter of eleven years and one day, her vows are examined; a daughter of twelve years and one day, her vows are firm, but they are to be examined through the whole twelfth year.''
(t) Niddah, c. 5. sect. 6.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. If a woman also vow a vow unto the Lord, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father's house in her youth—Girls only are specified; but minors of the other sex, who resided under the parental roof, were included, according to Jewish writers, who also consider the name "father" as comprehending all guardians of youth. We are also told that the age at which young people were deemed capable of vowing was thirteen for boys and twelve for girls. The judgment of a father or guardian on the vow of any under his charge might be given either by an expressed approval or by silence, which was to be construed as approval. But in the case of a husband who, after silence from day to day, should ultimately disapprove or hinder his wife's vow, the sin of non-performance was to be imputed to him and not to her [Nu 30:15].
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