Numbers 30

At some point, Moses explained that the rules about vows were gender-based. Men had to keep whatever vow they made, but women’s vows required the approval of the man that owned them. If a woman made a vow and her husband or father vetoed it within a day or so of learning about it, then the woman didn’t have to keep the vow. But if male owner didn’t countermand it, then she did have to keep it. If the man who owned her didn’t say anything at first, but later told her she had to break her vow, then the punishment for oath-breaking fell on him and not her. If a woman was divorced or widowed and therefore had no male owner, her vows were treated like those of men.


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