Numbers 30:13
Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul.—Reference is again made to the two kinds of vows which are treated of in this chapter—viz., a vow to do anything, and a vow to abstain from anything.

Numbers 30:13. To afflict the soul — Herself, by fasting, by watching, or the like. And these words are added to show that the husband had this power not only in those vows which concerned himself or his estate, but also in those which might seem only to concern her own person and body; and the reason is, because the wife’s person or body being the husband’s right, she might not do any thing to the injury of her body without his consent.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.Rather, And if she shall at all be an husband's, and her vows shall be upon her, or a rash utterance of her lips, wherewith she hath bound her soul, etc. The "at all" intimates that the case of a girl betrothed but not yet actually married is here especially contemplated. After betrothal, a woman continued to reside, until the period of her marriage arrived, in her father's house; but her property was from that time forward vested in her husband, and she was so far regarded as personally his, that an act of faithlessness to him was, like adultery, punishable with death Deuteronomy 22:23-24. Hence, his right to control her vows even before he actually took her home as his wife. 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. Afflict the soul, i.e. herself by fasting, which oft goes under that name, as Leviticus 16:29,31 23:27,32 Isa 58:5, by watching, or the like. And these words are added not for limitation, for it is manifest from Numbers 30:5,8,10,12, that the power of parents and husbands was more general and large; but for amplification, to show that the husband had this power not only in those vows which concerned himself or his estate, but also in those which might seem only to concern her own person or body. And the reason hereof is, because the wife’s person or body being the husband’s right, she might not do any thing to the injury of her body without his consent. Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul,.... By fasting, as Aben Ezra observes; as when a vow was made, or a person bound herself by an oath to abstain from such and such food, or to fast on such a day; to keep a fast which was not appointed, to set apart a day for fasting, besides the grand and general fast on the day of atonement: Jarchi from hence gathers, that a man only makes vows of afflicting the soul, or vows of fasting; but this is not said by way of limitation and restriction, but by way of amplification and illustration, giving a particular instance, by which others may be judged of:

her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void, just as he pleased; and this power an husband had, to prevent confusion in the family, and trouble in the affairs of it, by vowing abstinence from such and such food, or from such and such liquor, and the like; and to prevent running into expenses he was not able to answer, by vowing and dedicating, this and the other to holy uses, for sacrifices, and repairs of the temple, and the like.

Every vow, and every binding oath to {h} afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void.

(h) To mortify herself by abstinence or other bodily exercise.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. to afflict the soul] See on Numbers 29:7.Verse 13. - Oath to afflict the soul. No doubt by fasting or by other kinds of abstinence. The expression is especially used in connection with the rigorous fast of the day of atonement (Leviticus 16:29; Numbers 29:7; and cf. Isaiah 58:5; 1 Corinthians 7:5). Numbers 30:3-15 contain the rules relating to positive and negative vows made by a woman, and four different examples are given. The first case (Numbers 30:3-5) is that of a woman in her youth, while still unmarried, and living in her father's house. If she made a vow of performance or abstinence, and her father heard of it and remained silent, it was to stand, i.e., to remain in force. But if her father held her back when he heard of it, i.e., forbade her fulfilling it, it was not to stand or remain in force, and Jehovah would forgive her because of her father's refusal. Obedience to a father stood higher than a self-imposed religious service. - The second case (Numbers 30:6-8) was that of a vow of performance or abstinence, made by a woman before her marriage, and brought along with her (עליה, "upon herself") into her marriage. In such a case the husband had to decide as to its validity, in the same way as the father before her marriage. In the day when he heard of it he could hold back his wife, i.e., dissolve her vow; but if he did not do this at once, he could not hinder its fulfilment afterwards. שׂפתיה מבטא, gossip of her lips, that which is uttered thoughtlessly or without reflection (cf. Leviticus 5:4). This expression implies that vows of abstinence were often made by unmarried women without thought or reflection. - The third case (Numbers 30:9) was that of a vow made by a widow or divorced woman. Such a vow had full force, because the woman was not dependent upon a husband. - The fourth case (Numbers 30:10-12) was that of a vow made by a wife in her married state. Such a vow was to remain in force if her husband remained silent when he heard of it, and did not restrain her. On the other hand, it was to have no force if her husband dissolved it at once. After this there follows the general statement (Numbers 30:13-16), that a husband could establish or dissolve every vow of performance or abstinence made by his wife. If, however, he remained silent "from day to day," he confirmed it by his silence; and if afterwards he should declare it void, he was to bear his wife's iniquity. עונה, the sin which the wife would have had to bear if she had broken the vow of her own accord. This consisted either in a sin-offering to expiate her sin (Leviticus 5:4.); or if this was omitted, in the punishment which God suspended over the sin (Leviticus 5:1).
Links
Numbers 30:13 Interlinear
Numbers 30:13 Parallel Texts


Numbers 30:13 NIV
Numbers 30:13 NLT
Numbers 30:13 ESV
Numbers 30:13 NASB
Numbers 30:13 KJV

Numbers 30:13 Bible Apps
Numbers 30:13 Parallel
Numbers 30:13 Biblia Paralela
Numbers 30:13 Chinese Bible
Numbers 30:13 French Bible
Numbers 30:13 German Bible

Bible Hub






Numbers 30:12
Top of Page
Top of Page