Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
Attention!
We are taking food to Ukrainians still living near the front lines. You can help by getting your church involved.
Click to donate today!

Bible Dictionaries
Vows

Smith's Bible Dictionary

Search for…
or
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z
Prev Entry
Vophsi
Next Entry
Vulgate The
Resource Toolbox
Additional Links

Vows. A vow is a solemn promise made to God to perform or to abstain from performing a certain thing. The earliest mention of a vow is that of Jacob. Genesis 28:18-22; Genesis 31:13. Vows in general are also mentioned in the book of Job, Job 22:27. The law, therefore, did not introduce, but regulated the practice of, vows. Three sorts are mentioned: 1, Vows of devotion; 2, Vows of abstinence; 3, Vows of destruction.

1. As to vows of devotion, the following rules are laid down:

A man might devote, to sacred uses, possessions or persons, but not the first-born of either man or beast, which was devoted already. Leviticus 27:28.

(a) If he vowed land, he might either redeem it or not. Leviticus 25; Leviticus 27.

(b) Animals fit for sacrifice, if devoted, were not to be redeemed or changed, Leviticus 27:9-10; Leviticus 27:33, persons devoted stood thus: devote either himself, his child (not the first-born) or his slave. If no redemption took place, the devoted person became a slave of the sanctuary: see the case of Absalom. 2 Samuel 15:8 . Otherwise, he might be redeemed at a valuation according to age and sex, on the scale given in Leviticus 27:1-7.

Among general regulations affecting vows, the following may be mentioned:

(1) Vows were entirely voluntary, but once made were regarded as compulsory. Numbers 30:2; Deuteronomy 23:21; Ecclesiastes 5:4.

(2) If persons in a dependent condition made vows as

(a) an unmarried daughter living in her father's house, or

(b) a wife, even if she afterward became a widow, the vow, if

(a) in the first case, her father, or

(b) in the second, her husband, heard and disallowed it, it was void; but, if they heard without disallowance, it was to remain good. Numbers 30:3-18.

(3) Votive offerings arising from the produce of any impure traffic were wholly forbidden. Deuteronomy 23:18.

2. For vows of abstinence, see Corban.

3. For vows of destruction or extermination, see Anathema and Ezra 10:8; Micah 4:13. It seems that the practice of shaving the head at the expiration of a votive period was not limited to the Nazaritic vow. Acts 18:18; Acts 21:24.

Bibliography Information
Smith, William, Dr. Entry for 'Vows'. Smith's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​sbd/​v/vows.html. 1901.
 
adsfree-icon
Ads FreeProfile