A vow made by a woman can be cancelled by her father. Or her husband.
VERSE 1. Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes of the children of Israel, saying, “This is the thing which the LORD has commanded.
VERSE 2. When a man vows a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.
When a man vows a vow. A man must keep his vow. His oath.
However, the Lord Jesus Christ forbade his followers from making a vow:
Matthew 5:33. Again you have heard that it was said to the ancient ones, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall perform to the Lord your vows,’
Matthew 5:34. but I tell you, don’t swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God;
Matthew 5:35. nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
However, by Acts chapter 21, the Christian community already rejected his explicit command:
Acts 21:23. Therefore do what we tell you. We have four men who have taken a vow.
VERSE 3. “Also, when a woman vows a vow to the LORD and binds herself by a pledge, being in her father’s house, in her youth,
VERSE 4. and her father hears her vow and her pledge with which she has bound her soul, and her father says nothing to her, then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge with which she has bound her soul shall stand.
VERSE 5. But if her father forbids her in the day that he hears, none of her vows or of her pledges with which she has bound her soul, shall stand. The LORD will forgive her, because her father has forbidden her.
if her father forbids her. A father can override the vow of his daughter.
The LORD will forgive her. The LORD God grants women the option to back out of a commitment.
However, it is done by her father, and not by herself.
VERSE 6. “If she has a husband, while her vows are on her, or the rash utterance of her lips with which she has bound her soul,
VERSE 7. and her husband hears it, and says nothing to her in the day that he hears it; then her vows shall stand, and her pledges with which she has bound her soul shall stand.
VERSE 8. But if her husband forbids her in the day that he hears it, then he makes void her vow which is on her and the rash utterance of her lips, with which she has bound her soul. The LORD will forgive her.
if her husband forbids her. A husband can override the vow of his wife.
the LORD will forgive her. God grants women the option to back out of a commitment.
However, it is done by her husband, and not by herself.
VERSE 9. “But the vow of a widow, or of her who is divorced, everything with which she has bound her soul shall stand against her.
the vow of a widow, or of her who is divorced. When a woman does not have the authority of a man over her, she is accountable for her own decisions.
Some Christians hold to a similar idea. They call it “headship.” They think it is necessary for a woman to submit herself to the authority of a man.
However, that view is quite unbiblical. Before the Lord Jesus Christ, all people stand as equals. There is no intermediary between us and the Lord Jesus. He is the only intermediary.
Galatians 3:28. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
VERSE 10. “If she vowed in her husband’s house or bound her soul by a bond with an oath,
VERSE 11. and her husband heard it, and held his peace at her and didn’t disallow her, then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge with which she bound her soul shall stand.
VERSE 12. But if her husband made them null and void in the day that he heard them, then whatever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand. Her husband has made them void. The LORD will forgive her.
Her husband has made them void. The vow is erased. But it was erased by the husband, and not by the woman herself.
VERSE 13. Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void.
VERSE 14. But if her husband says nothing to her from day to day, then he establishes all her vows or all her pledges which are on her. He has established them, because he said nothing to her in the day that he heard them.
VERSE 15. But if he makes them null and void after he has heard them, then he shall bear her iniquity.”
VERSE 16. These are the statutes which the LORD commanded Moses, between a man and his wife, between a father and his daughter, being in her youth, in her father’s house.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.