|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 9. - Every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced. This is not one of the cases treated of in this section (see verse 16), but is only mentioned in order to point out that it falls under the general principle laid down in verse 2.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But every vow of a widow,.... The Scripture speaks, as Jarchi says, of a widow from marriage, or that has been married, but a widow from espousals (or that has been only espoused), the husband dead, the power is transmitted, and returns to the father; and with respect to such a case, it is said in the Misnah (y)"if the father (of such a betrothed person) dies, the power is not transmitted to the husband; but if the husband dies, the power is transmitted to the father; in this case, greater is the power of a father than of an husband; in others, greater is the power of an husband than of a father, because an husband makes void (the vow of) one at age, but a father does not make void (the vow of) such an one:"
and of her that is divorced: from her husband on some account or another; now in each of these cases, the one being loosed from the law of her husband by death, and the other by a bill of divorce, if they vowed:
the vows wherewith they have bound their souls shall stand against her; against either of them, they having none over them to disapprove of, contradict, and make void their vows.
(y) Nedarim, c. 10. sect. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. every vow of a widow—In the case of a married woman, who, in the event of a separation from her husband, or of his death, returned, as was not uncommon, to her father's house, a doubt might have been entertained whether she was not, as before, subject to paternal jurisdiction and obliged to act with the paternal consent. The law ordained that the vow was binding if it had been made in her husband's lifetime, and he, on being made aware of it, had not interposed his veto [Nu 30:10, 11]; as, for instance, she might have vowed, when not a widow, that she would assign a portion of her income to pious and charitable uses, of which she might repent when actually a widow; but by this statute she was required to fulfil the obligation, provided her circumstances enabled her to redeem the pledge. The rules laid down must have been exceedingly useful for the prevention or cancelling of rash vows, as well as for giving a proper sanction to such as were legitimate in their nature, and made in a devout, reflecting spirit.
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