Numbers 30:15
But if he shall any ways make them void after that he has heard them; then he shall bear her iniquity.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Numbers 30:15. After he hath heard — And approved them by his silence from day to day; if after that time he shall hinder them, which he ought not to do, her non-performance of her vow shall be imputed to him, not to her.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. After that he hath heard them, and approved them by his silence from day to day; if now after that time spent, he shall upon further thoughts dislike and hinder it, which he ought not to do,

her iniquity, her nonperformance of her vow, shall be imputed to him, not to her. But if he shall any ways make them void, after that he hath heard them,.... Some way or other expressing his dislike of them; not at the time he heard them, but some time afterwards; one day after, as the Targum of Jonathan:

then he shall bear his iniquity: be accountable for the breach of the vow, the sin shall be reckoned to him, and he shall bear the punishment of it, because he ought to have declared is disapprobation of it sooner; and it may be, his doing it when he did was only in a spirit of contradiction, or through covetousness; and it would have been more advisable to have let the vow stand, and therefore acted a criminal part, and so was answerable for it; the Targum of Jonathan explains it,"her husband or her father shall bear her iniquity,''supposing her not to be at age: Aben Ezra gives the reason of it, because she is in his power.

But if he shall any ways {k} make them void after that he hath heard them; then he shall bear her iniquity.

(k) Not the same day he heard them, but some day after, the sin will be imputed to him and not to her.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. If, after tacitly consenting at the time that he heard of the vow, he compels her at a later time to break it, then Jehovah will not (as in the foregoing cases) forgive, but the iniquity will rest upon the husband and not upon the woman.Verse 15. - Then he shall bear her iniquity, i.e., if he tacitly allowed the vow in the first instance, and afterwards forbad its fulfillment, the guilt which such breach of promise involved should rest upon him. For the nature and expiation of such guilt see on Leviticus 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).
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