If a man vow a vow unto the Lord
Which must be in a thing that is lawful to be done, which is not contrary to the revealed will and mind of God, and which may tend to the glory of God, the honour of religion, the service of the sanctuary, the good of a man's self or of his neighbour; or in things purely indifferent, which may, or may not be done, without offence to God or man; as that he will not eat such a thing for such a time, or he will do this or the other thing, as Jarchi observes; who moreover says, that he may forbid himself what is forbidden, and forbid what is free and lawful; but he may not make free or lawful what is forbidden, that is, he may not vow to do a thing which is contrary to the law of God, such a vow will not stand: and he was to be of such an age before he could make a vow that would be valid; according to the Targum of Jonathan, he must be thirteen years of age; it is said in the Misnah F16,
``a son of twelve years and one day, his vows are examined; a son of thirteen years and one day, his vows are firm, and they examine the whole thirteenth year before that time; although they say we know to whose name (or on whose account) we vow or consecrate, their vow is no vow, nor their consecration no consecration; but after that time, though they say we know not to whose name (or, on whose account) we vow or consecrate, their vow is a vow, and their consecration a consecration:''
or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond;
to his vow adds an oath for the greater confirmation of it, and to lay himself under the greater obligation to perform it:
he shall not break his word; or profane it
F17 but punctually perform it; men should be careful how they vow, and not rashly do it; but when they have vowed, they ought to perform; see ( Ecclesiastes 5:4 Ecclesiastes 5:5 ) ( Deuteronomy 23:21-23 ) :
he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth;
it is not in his power to revoke his vow or make it null: the Misnic doctors
F16 Niddah, c. 5. sect. 6.
F17 (lxy al)
F18 Negaim, c. 5. sect. 5.
F19 Bartenora in Misn. Negaim, c. 5. sect. 5.