Numbers 30:2-31:12 (28 p'sukim)
2 Whenever a man makes a vow to Adonai or swears an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he is not to violate his word but do everything coming out of his mouth.
3 “Suppose a woman in her youth vows to Adonai or obligates herself by a pledge in her father’s house. 4 If her father should hear her vow or her pledge with which she obligated herself and her father says nothing to her, all her vows and every pledge by which she has obligated herself will stand. 5 But if her father should forbid it on the day of his hearing it, none of her vows or pledges by which she has obligated herself will stand. Adonai will forgive her because her father has forbidden her.
6 “Suppose she should marry, after her vow or a rash promise of her lips by which she obligated herself. 7 Now if her husband hears about it but says nothing to her on the day he hears about it, her vows will stand and her pledges by which she has obligated herself will stand. 8 But if her husband should hear about it and on the day he hears it he forbids it, he thereby nullifies her vow and her rash promise by which her lips have obligated her, and Adonai will forgive her.
9 “Any vow or obligation of a widow or a divorced woman will be binding on her. 10 If in her husband’s house she vowed or obligated herself by pledge under oath, 11 and her husband should hear it and say nothing to her, not forbidding her, all her vows and every pledge by which she has obligated herself will stand. 12 But if her husband should nullify them on the day when he hears of them, nothing from her lips, whether vow or pledge, will stand. Her husband has nullified them and Adonai will forgive her. 13 Her husband may ratify or veto any vow or sworn oath to deny herself.
14 “But if her husband says nothing to her from day to day, then he is confirming all her vows and all her oaths that are on her. He confirms them by saying nothing to her on the day of his hearing about it. 15 But if he nullifies them after hearing about it, he will bear her guilt.”
16 These are the statutes that Adonai gave to Moses relevant to relationships between a man and his wife, as well as between a father and his young daughter still living in his house.
Vengeance on Midian and Balaam
31 Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 2 “Take vengeance on the Midianites for Bnei-Yisrael. Afterward you will be gathered to your people.”
3 So Moses spoke to the people saying, “Mobilize some of your men for battle. They will go out against Midian to carry out Adonai’s vengeance on Midian. 4 Send into the battle 1,000 men from each of the tribes of Israel.”
5 So from the thousands of Israel 1,000 from each tribe were assigned, 12,000 in all. 6 Moses sent them into battle, 1,000 from each tribe, and with them Phinehas son of Eleazar the kohen, who took with him articles from the Sanctuary and trumpets for signaling. 7 They fought Midian just as Adonai had commanded Moses, and killed every male. 8 Among the slain they also killed the Midianite kings: Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur and Reba, the five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword.
9 Bnei-Yisrael also captured women and sons of Midian, along with all their herds and flocks, and plundered all their goods. 10 They burned with fire all the Midianite cities, settlements, as well as all their camps. 11 They seized all the plunder and all the spoil, both people and animals. 12 They brought the captives, plunder and spoils to Moses, Eleazar the kohen and to the assembly of Bnei-Yisrael at their camp on the plains of Moab, by the Jordan at Jericho.
2 וַיְדַבֵּ֤ר מֹשֶׁה֙ אֶל־רָאשֵׁ֣י הַמַּטּ֔וֹת לִבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֵאמֹ֑ר זֶ֣ה הַדָּבָ֔ר אֲשֶׁ֖ר צִוָּ֥ה יְהוָֽה׃
3 אִישׁ֩ כִּֽי־יִדֹּ֨ר נֶ֜דֶר לַֽיהוָ֗ה אֽוֹ־הִשָּׁ֤בַע שְׁבֻעָה֙ לֶאְסֹ֤ר אִסָּר֙ עַל־נַפְשׁ֔וֹ לֹ֥א יַחֵ֖ל דְּבָר֑וֹ כְּכָל־הַיֹּצֵ֥א מִפִּ֖יו יַעֲשֶֽׂה׃
4 וְאִשָּׁ֕ה כִּֽי־תִדֹּ֥ר נֶ֖דֶר לַיהוָ֑ה וְאָסְרָ֥ה אִסָּ֛ר בְּבֵ֥ית אָבִ֖יהָ בִּנְעֻרֶֽיהָ׃
5 וְשָׁמַ֨ע אָבִ֜יהָ אֶת־נִדְרָ֗הּ וֶֽאֱסָרָהּ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָֽסְרָ֣ה עַל־נַפְשָׁ֔הּ וְהֶחֱרִ֥ישׁ לָ֖הּ אָבִ֑יהָ וְקָ֙מוּ֙ כָּל־נְדָרֶ֔יהָ וְכָל־אִסָּ֛ר אֲשֶׁר־אָסְרָ֥ה עַל־נַפְשָׁ֖הּ יָקֽוּם׃
6 וְאִם־הֵנִ֨יא אָבִ֣יהָ אֹתָהּ֮ בְּי֣וֹם שָׁמְעוֹ֒ כָּל־נְדָרֶ֗יהָ וֶֽאֱסָרֶ֛יהָ אֲשֶׁר־אָסְרָ֥ה עַל־נַפְשָׁ֖הּ לֹ֣א יָק֑וּם וַֽיהוָה֙ יִֽסְלַח־לָ֔הּ כִּי־הֵנִ֥יא אָבִ֖יהָ אֹתָֽהּ׃
7 וְאִם־הָי֤וֹ תִֽהְיֶה֙ לְאִ֔ישׁ וּנְדָרֶ֖יהָ עָלֶ֑יהָ א֚וֹ מִבְטָ֣א שְׂפָתֶ֔יהָ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אָסְרָ֖ה עַל־נַפְשָֽׁהּ׃
8 וְשָׁמַ֥ע אִישָׁ֛הּ בְּי֥וֹם שָׁמְע֖וֹ וְהֶחֱרִ֣ישׁ לָ֑הּ וְקָ֣מוּ נְדָרֶ֗יהָ וֶֽאֱסָרֶ֛הָ אֲשֶׁר־אָסְרָ֥ה עַל־נַפְשָׁ֖הּ יָקֻֽמוּ׃
9 וְ֠אִם בְּי֨וֹם שְׁמֹ֣עַ אִישָׁהּ֮ יָנִ֣יא אוֹתָהּ֒ וְהֵפֵ֗ר אֶת־נִדְרָהּ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָלֶ֔יהָ וְאֵת֙ מִבְטָ֣א שְׂפָתֶ֔יהָ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אָסְרָ֖ה עַל־נַפְשָׁ֑הּ וַיהוָ֖ה יִֽסְלַֽח־לָֽהּ׃
10 וְנֵ֥דֶר אַלְמָנָ֖ה וּגְרוּשָׁ֑ה כֹּ֛ל אֲשֶׁר־אָסְרָ֥ה עַל־נַפְשָׁ֖הּ יָק֥וּם עָלֶֽיהָ׃
11 וְאִם־בֵּ֥ית אִישָׁ֖הּ נָדָ֑רָה אֽוֹ־אָסְרָ֥ה אִסָּ֛ר עַל־נַפְשָׁ֖הּ בִּשְׁבֻעָֽה׃
12 וְשָׁמַ֤ע אִישָׁהּ֙ וְהֶחֱרִ֣שׁ לָ֔הּ לֹ֥א הֵנִ֖יא אֹתָ֑הּ וְקָ֙מוּ֙ כָּל־נְדָרֶ֔יהָ וְכָל־אִסָּ֛ר אֲשֶׁר־אָסְרָ֥ה עַל־נַפְשָׁ֖הּ יָקֽוּם׃
13 וְאִם־הָפֵר֩ יָפֵ֨ר אֹתָ֥ם׀ אִישָׁהּ֮ בְּי֣וֹם שָׁמְעוֹ֒ כָּל־מוֹצָ֨א שְׂפָתֶ֧יהָ לִנְדָרֶ֛יהָ וּלְאִסַּ֥ר נַפְשָׁ֖הּ לֹ֣א יָק֑וּם אִישָׁ֣הּ הֲפֵרָ֔ם וַיהוָ֖ה יִֽסְלַֽח־לָֽהּ׃
14 כָּל־נֵ֛דֶר וְכָל־שְׁבֻעַ֥ת אִסָּ֖ר לְעַנֹּ֣ת נָ֑פֶשׁ אִישָׁ֥הּ יְקִימֶ֖נּוּ וְאִישָׁ֥הּ יְפֵרֶֽנּוּ׃
15 וְאִם־הַחֲרֵשׁ֩ יַחֲרִ֨ישׁ לָ֥הּ אִישָׁהּ֮ מִיּ֣וֹם אֶל־יוֹם֒ וְהֵקִים֙ אֶת־כָּל־נְדָרֶ֔יהָ א֥וֹ אֶת־כָּל־אֱסָרֶ֖יהָ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָלֶ֑יהָ הֵקִ֣ים אֹתָ֔ם כִּי־הֶחֱרִ֥שׁ לָ֖הּ בְּי֥וֹם שָׁמְעֽוֹ׃
16 וְאִם־הָפֵ֥ר יָפֵ֛ר אֹתָ֖ם אַחֲרֵ֣י שָׁמְע֑וֹ וְנָשָׂ֖א אֶת־עֲוֺנָֽהּ׃
17 אֵ֣לֶּה הַֽחֻקִּ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֨ר צִוָּ֤ה יְהוָה֙ אֶת־מֹשֶׁ֔ה בֵּ֥ין אִ֖ישׁ לְאִשְׁתּ֑וֹ בֵּֽין־אָ֣ב לְבִתּ֔וֹ בִּנְעֻרֶ֖יהָ בֵּ֥ית אָבִֽיהָ׃ פ
31 וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃
2 נְקֹ֗ם נִקְמַת֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל מֵאֵ֖ת הַמִּדְיָנִ֑ים אַחַ֖ר תֵּאָסֵ֥ף אֶל־עַמֶּֽיךָ׃
3 וַיְדַבֵּ֤ר מֹשֶׁה֙ אֶל־הָעָ֣ם לֵאמֹ֔ר הֵחָלְצ֧וּ מֵאִתְּכֶ֛ם אֲנָשִׁ֖ים לַצָּבָ֑א וְיִהְיוּ֙ עַל־מִדְיָ֔ן לָתֵ֥ת נִקְמַת־יְהוָ֖ה בְּמִדְיָֽן׃
4 אֶ֚לֶף לַמַּטֶּ֔ה אֶ֖לֶף לַמַּטֶּ֑ה לְכֹל֙ מַטּ֣וֹת יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל תִּשְׁלְח֖וּ לַצָּבָֽא׃
5 וַיִּמָּֽסְרוּ֙ מֵאַלְפֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֶ֖לֶף לַמַּטֶּ֑ה שְׁנֵים־עָשָׂ֥ר אֶ֖לֶף חֲלוּצֵ֥י צָבָֽא׃
6 וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח אֹתָ֥ם מֹשֶׁ֛ה אֶ֥לֶף לַמַּטֶּ֖ה לַצָּבָ֑א אֹ֠תָם וְאֶת־פִּ֨ינְחָ֜ס בֶּן־אֶלְעָזָ֤ר הַכֹּהֵן֙ לַצָּבָ֔א וּכְלֵ֥י הַקֹּ֛דֶשׁ וַחֲצֹצְר֥וֹת הַתְּרוּעָ֖ה בְּיָדֽוֹ׃
7 וַֽיִּצְבְּאוּ֙ עַל־מִדְיָ֔ן כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר צִוָּ֥ה יְהוָ֖ה אֶת־מֹשֶׁ֑ה וַיַּֽהַרְג֖וּ כָּל־זָכָֽר׃
8 וְאֶת־מַלְכֵ֨י מִדְיָ֜ן הָרְג֣וּ עַל־חַלְלֵיהֶ֗ם אֶת־אֱוִ֤י וְאֶת־רֶ֙קֶם֙ וְאֶת־צ֤וּר וְאֶת־חוּר֙ וְאֶת־רֶ֔בַע חֲמֵ֖שֶׁת מַלְכֵ֣י מִדְיָ֑ן וְאֵת֙ בִּלְעָ֣ם בֶּן־בְּע֔וֹר הָרְג֖וּ בֶּחָֽרֶב׃
9 וַיִּשְׁבּ֧וּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל אֶת־נְשֵׁ֥י מִדְיָ֖ן וְאֶת־טַפָּ֑ם וְאֵ֨ת כָּל־בְּהֶמְתָּ֧ם וְאֶת־כָּל־מִקְנֵהֶ֛ם וְאֶת־כָּל־חֵילָ֖ם בָּזָֽזוּ׃
10 וְאֵ֤ת כָּל־עָרֵיהֶם֙ בְּמ֣וֹשְׁבֹתָ֔ם וְאֵ֖ת כָּל־טִֽירֹתָ֑ם שָׂרְפ֖וּ בָּאֵֽשׁ׃
11 וַיִּקְחוּ֙ אֶת־כָּל־הַשָּׁלָ֔ל וְאֵ֖ת כָּל־הַמַּלְק֑וֹחַ בָּאָדָ֖ם וּבַבְּהֵמָֽה׃
12 וַיָּבִ֡אוּ אֶל־מֹשֶׁה֩ וְאֶל־אֶלְעָזָ֨ר הַכֹּהֵ֜ן וְאֶל־עֲדַ֣ת בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל אֶת־הַשְּׁבִ֧י וְאֶת־הַמַּלְק֛וֹחַ וְאֶת־הַשָּׁלָ֖ל אֶל־הַֽמַּחֲנֶ֑ה אֶל־עַֽרְבֹ֣ת מוֹאָ֔ב אֲשֶׁ֖ר עַל־יַרְדֵּ֥ן יְרֵחֽוֹ׃ ס
We begin a new week with a Double Parasha: Matot (Tribes) and Ma'asei (Journeys), and our pesukim begin with the subject of Nedarim (Vows). The Torah shows us how severe and significant our spoken words are. God looks and judges a man or woman who makes a vow, a pledge or an oath and fails to follow through and keep his or her word. It is a very serious sin!
Rashi comments on pesuk 3: "he shall not violate his word: Heb. לֹא יַחֵל דְּבָרוֹ, like לֹא יְחַלֵּל דְּבָרוֹ“he shall not profane his word,” he shall not treat his word as being unholy. — [Sifrei Mattoth 8]"
Our Messiah elaborated on this Torah as well:
Matthew 5:33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall carry out your oaths to Adonai.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear at all—not by heaven, for it is the throne of God; 35 or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black. 37 But let your word ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’—anything more than this is from the evil one.”
Dr. David Stern says of this teaching of Messiah Yeshua: "Do not break your oath (or: "Do not swear falsely," or: "Do not perjure yourself"). Keep your vows to Adonai. The distinction between vows and oaths is hazy not only to us, but also within Judaism; and the issue doesn't seem important today. The early believers understood Yeshua not as prohibiting all vows, (see Acts 18:5 & 21:23), but as prohibiting vain oaths-the rabbis of the time did the same. In the Apocrypha compare Sirach 23:9 "Do not accustom your mouth to swearing oaths, and do not habitually use the name of the Holy One." Philo of Alexandria recommended avoiding oaths entirely (Decalogue 84). The Talmud has this parallel to v. 37: "Let your 'no' and 'yes' both be righteous [i.e., straightforward]." (Bava Metzia 49a)
Dr. Stern accurately points out how "Jewish" the teaching of Yeshua really is. Or it can be viewed how the rabbis and Talmudists were influenced by Him!!!
Regardless, we realize how serious it is to even make a vow; and we learn it is better to not even make them to begin with. However, there remains a question. Why does the Torah give such authority to a man to be able to confirm or veto a woman's vow?
The Torah establishes this legal rule, that a Father or a husband has the authority to nullify any oath or vow or pledge that his daughter or wife may have made, but for whatever reason he either doesn't want her to make or keep, or she is unable to keep. God's Torah sets the legal precedence for all justice and judgement in the courts of Heaven.
We know Hasatan (Satan), is the accuser of the Achim (brothers). He stands in court as our prosecutor, and he uses our own words against us. Every time we have told someone we will do something or we will not do something and we violate our own words - the Enemy has a legal foothold to bring charges against us before God, according to His own rules!
Without this regulation of the Torah, none of us would ever have any hope of salvation in this world. We all would be condemned by our own words. Think of every instance in our entire lives where we have failed to keep our words? What hope would we ever have?
Because Israel is the Bride, Messiah is the Bridegroom - Yeshua has exercised His Authority to nullify every accusation and charge that was ever brought against us in the courts of Heaven!
Colossians 2:13 When you were dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with Him when He pardoned us all our transgressions. 14 He wiped out the handwritten record of debts with the decrees against us, which was hostile to us. He took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 After disarming the principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in the cross.
Another translation of the pesuk 14 words it this way: "having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us;" (NIV)
Without the rule of this Torah, there would be no hope for any of us. Yeshua nullified all vows and and oaths that we have made in vain. This is why we as Messianic Jews can stand with Confidence on Yom Kippur that indeed all of our vain oaths and vows have been nullified.
For those who do not believe in the Messiah however, He says:
Matthew 12:36 But I tell you that on the Day of Judgment, men will give account for every careless word they speak. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Let us always remain very careful about our words, even though we know we have a redeemer and a bridegroom who has nullified our careless words, let us not go back to living a lifestyle sinning against Him in this way. Words are powerful. Let us speak blessings rather than curses. Let us refrain from making vows.