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Vows

These were of two kinds: (a) dedication—some person or thing was given to the Lord (Lev. 27:1–24); (b) abstinence—a promise made to abstain from some lawful act or enjoyment (Num. 6:3). No unnatural mutilation was permitted (Lev. 19:28; Deut. 14:1, etc.). Nothing already holy to the Lord, or intrinsically unholy, or blemished in the slightest degree, could be offered as a vow (Lev. 22:23; 27:26; Deut. 23:18). Provisions were made for ransoming such offerings when they could not be fitly sacrificed (Lev. 27:11). The vows of dependent women (wives or daughters) did not stand unless ratified explicitly or implicitly by the husband or father (Num. 30:3–16; see also Jer. 44:19). Vows often had an entreating character; they were offered in order to obtain some favor from Jehovah (Gen. 28:20; 2 Sam. 15:7–8).