If a woman also vow a vow to the LORD, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father's house in her youth;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)If a woman also . . . —Four distinct cases are contemplated in the following verses in regard to vows taken by women:—(1) that of an unmarried woman, living, in her youth, in the house of her father; (2) that of a woman who is unmarried at the time of making a vow, but enters into the state of marriage before the vow is fulfilled; (3) that of a widow, or of a divorced woman; and (4) that of a married woman. The sanctity and obligations of the fifth commandment are distinctly recognised and enforced in these verses. (See Matthew 15:4-5.) Whenever the vow which the young daughter had made should come to the ears of her father, he had the power either to ratify or to disannul it. If he remained silent the vow was ratified; if he disallowed the vow, the obligation to fulfil it no longer remained in force.If a woman, or a man in the same circumstances, a son or a servant, as plainly appears from hence, because the reason of this law is perfectly the same in both sexes, which is, that such persons have given away what was not their own, but another’s, even their superior’s right, which is against the rule and law of natural reason, and against the word of God, which binds all persons to give to every one their due. He instanceth only in the woman, because that sex is both by creation and sin put into a state of subjection, but under the chief and most unquestionable kind all other subjects in like circumstances are comprehended, as is very usual.
Being in her father’s house, i.e. under his care, power, and government, which she is whilst she continues in her father’s house, being a virgin, as appears by the opposition of a married woman, Numbers 30:6, and of a widow, and divorced woman, Numbers 30:9, and by this phrase of being in her father’s house, for when she marries, she is removed into her husband’s house, Ruth 1:9. Or, being in, or of her father’s family, the word house being commonly used for family; for when she marries, she is translated and removed into another family.
In her youth; when not only her sex, but her age, disenables her for vowing; and this clause is added not by way of restriction, as if’ virgins in their riper years were freed from their parents’ jurisdiction, and at their own disposal, (which undoubtedly they are not,) but by way of addition, or amplification, q.d. especially (which particle is here to be understood, such defects of particles being frequent in the Hebrew tongue) in her youth, which is commonly reckoned about her twelfth or thirteenth year.
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.''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;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)3. in her youth] Old unmarried women are not mentioned. But since marriage was, in the eyes of a Jew, a religious duty, this class of women must have been very small, and would probably be subject to the same rule as widows.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. Leviticus 23:36).
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