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Bible Study Topic: Vows

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Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear
so that I return safely to my father's house, then the LORD will be my God
Genesis 28:20-21
 
" 'Or if a person thoughtlessly takes an oath to do anything, whether good or evil,in any matter one might carelessly swear about,even though he is unaware of it, in any case when he learns of it he will be guilty.
" 'When anyone is guilty in any of these ways, he must confess in what way he has sinned
and, as a penalty for the sin he has committed, he must bring to the LORD a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin.
" 'If he cannot afford a lamb, he is to bring two doves or two young pigeons to the LORD as a penalty for his sin,one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering.
He is to bring them to the priest, who shall first offer the one for the sin offering. He is to wring its head from its neck, not severing it completely,
and is to sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering against the side of the altar; the rest of the blood must be drained out at the base of the altar. It is a sin offering.
The priest shall then offer the other as a burnt offering in the prescribed way and make atonement for him for the sin he has committed, and he will be forgiven.
" 'If, however, he cannot afford two doves or two young pigeons, he is to bring as an offering for his sin a tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering. He must not put oil or incense on it, because it is a sin offering.
He is to bring it to the priest, who shall take a handful of it as a memorial portion and burn it on the altar on top of the offerings made to the LORD by fire. It is a sin offering.
In this way the priest will make atonement for him for any of these sins he has committed, and he will be forgiven. The rest of the offering will belong to the priest, as in the case of the grain offering.' " The Guilt Offering
Leviticus 5:4-13
 
" 'If, however, his offering is the result of a vow or is a freewill offering, the sacrifice shall be eaten on the day he offers it, but anything left over may be eaten on the next day.
Any meat of the sacrifice left over till the third day must be burned up.
If any meat of the fellowship offering is eaten on the third day, it will not be accepted. It will not be credited to the one who offered it, for it is impure; the person who eats any of it will be held responsible.
Leviticus 7:16-18
 
"Speak to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites and say to them: 'If any of you,either an Israelite or an alien living in Israel,presents a gift for a burnt offering to the LORD, either to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering,
you must present a male without defect from the cattle, sheep or goats in order that it may be accepted on your behalf.
Do not bring anything with a defect, because it will not be accepted on your behalf.
When anyone brings from the herd or flock a fellowship offering to the LORD to fulfill a special vow or as a freewill offering, it must be without defect or blemish to be acceptable.
Do not offer to the LORD the blind, the injured or the maimed, or anything with warts or festering or running sores. Do not place any of these on the altar as an offering made to the LORD by fire.
You may, however, present as a freewill offering an ox or a sheep that is deformed or stunted, but it will not be accepted in fulfillment of a vow.
You must not offer to the LORD an animal whose testicles are bruised, crushed, torn or cut. You must not do this in your own land,
and you must not accept such animals from the hand of a foreigner and offer them as the food of your God. They will not be accepted on your behalf, because they are deformed and have defects.' "
Leviticus 22:18-25
 
(" 'These are the LORD's appointed feasts, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for bringing offerings made to the LORD by fire,the burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings required for each day.
These offerings are in addition to those for the LORD's Sabbaths and in addition to your gifts and whatever you have vowed and all the freewill offerings you give to the LORD.)
Leviticus 23:37-38
 
The LORD said to Moses,
"Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate persons to the LORD by giving equivalent values,
set the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel ;
and if it is a female, set her value at thirty shekels.
If it is a person between the ages of five and twenty, set the value of a male at twenty shekels and of a female at ten shekels.
If it is a person between one month and five years, set the value of a male at five shekels of silver and that of a female at three shekels of silver.
If it is a person sixty years old or more, set the value of a male at fifteen shekels and of a female at ten shekels.
If anyone making the vow is too poor to pay the specified amount, he is to present the person to the priest, who will set the value for him according to what the man making the vow can afford.
" 'If what he vowed is an animal that is acceptable as an offering to the LORD, such an animal given to the LORD becomes holy.
He must not exchange it or substitute a good one for a bad one, or a bad one for a good one; if he should substitute one animal for another, both it and the substitute become holy.
If what he vowed is a ceremonially unclean animal,one that is not acceptable as an offering to the LORD -the animal must be presented to the priest,
who will judge its quality as good or bad. Whatever value the priest then sets, that is what it will be.
If the owner wishes to redeem the animal, he must add a fifth to its value.
" 'If a man dedicates his house as something holy to the LORD, the priest will judge its quality as good or bad. Whatever value the priest then sets, so it will remain.
If the man who dedicates his house redeems it, he must add a fifth to its value, and the house will again become his.
" 'If a man dedicates to the LORD part of his family land, its value is to be set according to the amount of seed required for it,fifty shekels of silver to a homer of barley seed.
If he dedicates his field during the Year of Jubilee, the value that has been set remains.
But if he dedicates his field after the Jubilee, the priest will determine the value according to the number of years that remain until the next Year of Jubilee, and its set value will be reduced.
If the man who dedicates the field wishes to redeem it, he must add a fifth to its value, and the field will again become his.
If, however, he does not redeem the field, or if he has sold it to someone else, it can never be redeemed.
When the field is released in the Jubilee, it will become holy, like a field devoted to the LORD; it will become the property of the priests.
" 'If a man dedicates to the LORD a field he has bought, which is not part of his family land,
the priest will determine its value up to the Year of Jubilee, and the man must pay its value on that day as something holy to the LORD.
In the Year of Jubilee the field will revert to the person from whom he bought it, the one whose land it was.
Every value is to be set according to the sanctuary shekel, twenty gerahs to the shekel.
Leviticus 27:1-25
 
"Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'After you enter the land I am giving you as a home
and you present to the LORD offerings made by fire, from the herd or the flock, as an aroma pleasing to the LORD -whether burnt offerings or sacrifices, for special vows or freewill offerings or festival offerings-
then the one who brings his offering shall present to the LORD a grain offering of a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with a quarter of a hin of oil.
With each lamb for the burnt offering or the sacrifice, prepare a quarter of a hin of wine as a drink offering.
" 'With a ram prepare a grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with a third of a hin of oil,
and a third of a hin of wine as a drink offering. Offer it as an aroma pleasing to the LORD.
" 'When you prepare a young bull as a burnt offering or sacrifice, for a special vow or a fellowship offering to the LORD,
bring with the bull a grain offering of three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with half a hin of oil.
Also bring half a hin of wine as a drink offering. It will be an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.
Each bull or ram, each lamb or young goat, is to be prepared in this manner.
Do this for each one, for as many as you prepare.
" 'Everyone who is native-born must do these things in this way when he brings an offering made by fire as an aroma pleasing to the LORD.
For the generations to come, whenever an alien or anyone else living among you presents an offering made by fire as an aroma pleasing to the LORD, he must do exactly as you do.
The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the alien shall be the same before the LORD :
The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the alien living among you.' "
Numbers 15:2-16
 
"Everything in Israel that is devoted to the LORD is yours.
Numbers 18:14
 
" 'In addition to what you vow and your freewill offerings, prepare these for the LORD at your appointed feasts: your burnt offerings, grain offerings, drink offerings and fellowship offerings. ' "
Numbers 29:39
 
When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.
"When a young woman still living in her father's house makes a vow to the LORD or obligates herself by a pledge
and her father hears about her vow or pledge but says nothing to her, then all her vows and every pledge by which she obligated herself will stand.
But if her father forbids her when he hears about it, none of her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand; the LORD will release her because her father has forbidden her.
"If she marries after she makes a vow or after her lips utter a rash promise by which she obligates herself
and her husband hears about it but says nothing to her, then her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand.
But if her husband forbids her when he hears about it, he nullifies the vow that obligates her or the rash promise by which she obligates herself, and the LORD will release her.
"Any vow or obligation taken by a widow or divorced woman will be binding on her.
"If a woman living with her husband makes a vow or obligates herself by a pledge under oath
and her husband hears about it but says nothing to her and does not forbid her, then all her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand.
But if her husband nullifies them when he hears about them, then none of the vows or pledges that came from her lips will stand. Her husband has nullified them, and the LORD will release her.
Her husband may confirm or nullify any vow she makes or any sworn pledge to deny herself.
But if her husband says nothing to her about it from day to day, then he confirms all her vows or the pledges binding on her. He confirms them by saying nothing to her when he hears about them.
If, however, he nullifies them some time after he hears about them, then he is responsible for her guilt."
These are the regulations the LORD gave Moses concerning relationships between a man and his wife, and between a father and his young daughter still living in his house.
Numbers 30:2-16
 
there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks.
Deuteronomy 12:6
 
Then to the place the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name,there you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the LORD.
Deuteronomy 12:11
 
You must not eat in your own towns the tithe of your grain and new wine and oil, or the firstborn of your herds and flocks, or whatever you have vowed to give, or your freewill offerings or special gifts.
Instead, you are to eat them in the presence of the LORD your God at the place the LORD your God will choose,you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levites from your towns,and you are to rejoice before the LORD your God in everything you put your hand to.
Deuteronomy 12:17-18
 
But take your consecrated things and whatever you have vowed to give, and go to the place the LORD will choose.
Deuteronomy 12:26
 
You must not bring the earnings of a female prostitute or of a male prostitute into the house of the LORD your God to pay any vow, because the LORD your God detests them both.
Deuteronomy 23:18
 
If you make a vow to the LORD your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the LORD your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin.
But if you refrain from making a vow, you will not be guilty.
Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the LORD your God with your own mouth.
Deuteronomy 23:21-23
 
Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah. He crossed Gilead and Manasseh, passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from there he advanced against the Ammonites.
And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD : "If you give the Ammonites into my hands,
whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the LORD's, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering."
Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the LORD gave them into his hands.
He devastated twenty towns from Aroer to the vicinity of Minnith, as far as Abel Keramim. Thus Israel subdued Ammon.
When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of tambourines! She was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter.
When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, "Oh! My daughter! You have made me miserable and wretched, because I have made a vow to the LORD that I cannot break."
"My father," she replied, "you have given your word to the LORD. Do to me just as you promised, now that the LORD has avenged you of your enemies, the Ammonites.
But grant me this one request," she said. "Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry."
"You may go," he said. And he let her go for two months. She and the girls went into the hills and wept because she would never marry.
After the two months, she returned to her father and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin. From this comes the Israelite custom
that each year the young women of Israel go out for four days to commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite.
Judges 11:29-40
 
Then the Israelites asked, "Who from all the tribes of Israel has failed to assemble before the LORD ?" For they had taken a solemn oath that anyone who failed to assemble before the LORD at Mizpah should certainly be put to death.
Now the Israelites grieved for their brothers, the Benjamites. "Today one tribe is cut off from Israel," they said.
Judges 21:5-6
 
You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows.
Job 22:27
 
From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you will I fulfill my vows.
Psalms 22:25
 
Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High,
and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me."
Psalms 50:14-15
 
I am under vows to you, O God; I will present my thank offerings to you.
Psalms 56:12
 
For you have heard my vows, O God; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
Psalms 61:5
 
Then will I ever sing praise to your name and fulfill my vows day after day.
Psalms 61:8
 
I will come to your temple with burnt offerings and fulfill my vows to you-
Psalms 66:13
 
Make vows to the LORD your God and fulfill them; let all the neighboring lands bring gifts to the One to be feared.
Psalms 76:11
 
I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
O LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant ; you have freed me from my chains.
I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD.
I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD.
Psalms 116:14-19
 
It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider his vows.
Proverbs 20:25
 
When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.
It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.
Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, "My vow was a mistake." Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands?
Ecclesiastes 5:4-6
 
But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the LORD."
Jonah 2:9
 
Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace! Celebrate your festivals, O Judah, and fulfill your vows. No more will the wicked invade you; they will be completely destroyed.
Nahum 1:15
 
But you say that if a man says to his father or mother: 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is Corban' (that is, a gift devoted to God),
then you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother.
Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that."
Mark 7:11-13
 
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