Sunday, October 25, 2009

NUMBERS: Chapter 30

Chapter 30
Summary:Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes of Israel giving them more of God's commandments.

If a man makes a vow to God, or swears an oath to "bind his soul with a bond", he is not to break his word and he shall do exactly as he had pledged.

If a woman makes a vow to God and "bind herself by a bond", happens to still be a youth living with her parents, and her father hears that vow, if he says nothing than the girl's vow will stand. However, if her father objects to the vow on the first day that he hears it, then God will forgive her of her vow because her father has disallowed her.

If a woman who has made a vow then marries, and her husband hears about her vow and says nothing, then her vow will stand. But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he had heard of the vow, then God will forgive her.

However, every vow of a widow or a divorced woman shall remain valid and must be fulfilled.

If a married woman makes a vow in her husband's home, and her husband hears of it and does nothing, her vow will stand. However, if her husband refuses to allow her comply with her vow on the day he hears of it, the vow will no longer be valid and God will forgive her. Her husband holds the authority to confirm or nullify her vows as long as he does so in the day he has heard of the vow.

If a husband says or does nothing about his wife's vow then her vow shall stand. If after the first day he has heard about the vow, he then forbids her from keeping her vow, he shall bear her iniquity - meaning than any consequence that she would bear from not fulfilling her vow, he will be responsible instead.

These are the commandments God gave Moses concerning a man and his wife, and between father and daughter who in her youth still resides in her father's house.
Thoughts:This brief chapter concerns itself with a misogynistic view on a woman's right to make vows.

God states that if a man makes a vow to God, or swears on an oath then he is bound to his word and must fulfill his vow exactly as he had pledged to do so.

However, if a woman makes a vow while still living at home with her father, then her father can overrule her vow, providing he does so immediately after becoming aware of his daughter's vow. If and when she marries, her husband gets this same authority over her as well.

If either the father or the husband in the above scenarios don't speak up about her vow within the first day they've become aware of it, then her vow stands. If either the father or the husband forbid her from completing her vow after that point, they will bear whatever consequence the woman faces from failure to fulfill her vow. When either her father or her husband put their foot down, God will "forgive" the woman for not completing her vow.

Divorced or widowed women must fulfill any vow they had made.

Basically this chapter states that a woman's capability to make a decision is not as important as that of her husband, or if she still lives at home, that of her father. In a nutshell, she's not allowed to make her own decisions without her husband or father's approval - with their lack of an objection being a silent approval as well.

While one could possibly argue from a point of parental authority in the case of the father, there is simply no valid justification for the imbalanced sexism behind granting a husband authority over his wife's decisions. Women are simply treated as lesser than their male counterparts in biblical doctrine and there is simply no way to argue against that.

No comments:

Post a Comment