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Oaths and Special Promises

30 Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes of Israel. He said, “Here is what the Lord commands. 2Suppose a man makes a special promise to the Lord. Or suppose he takes an oath and agrees to do something. Then he must keep his promise. He must do everything he said he would do.

3“Suppose a young woman is still living in her father’s house. She makes a special promise to the Lord. Or she takes an oath and agrees to do something.

4“Suppose her father hears about her promise or oath. And he doesn’t say anything to her about it. Then she must keep her promise. She must do what she agreed to do.

5“But suppose her father doesn’t allow her to keep her promises when he hears about them. Then she doesn’t have to do what she promised or agreed to do. The Lord will set her free. He’ll do it because her father hasn’t allowed her to keep her promises.

6“Suppose she gets married after she makes a special promise. Or she gets married after agreeing to do something without thinking it through. 7Suppose her husband hears about what she did. And he doesn’t say anything to her about it. Then she must keep her promise. She must do what she agreed to do.

8“But suppose her husband doesn’t allow her to keep her promises when he hears about them. Then she doesn’t have to do what she promised. She doesn’t have to do what she agreed to do without thinking it through. The Lord will set her free.

9“Suppose a widow makes a special promise. Or suppose she takes an oath and agrees to do something. Then she must keep her promise. She must do what she agreed to do. The same rules apply to a woman who has been divorced.

10“Suppose a woman who is living with her husband makes a special promise. Or she takes an oath and agrees to do something. 11Suppose her husband hears about what she did. He doesn’t say anything to her about it. And he doesn’t try to stop her from keeping her promises. Then she must keep her promise. She must do what she agreed to do.

12“But suppose her husband doesn’t allow her to keep her promises when he hears about them. Then she doesn’t have to do what she promised. She doesn’t have to do what she agreed to do. Her husband has kept her from doing what she said she would do. The Lord will set her free.

13“Her husband can let her keep any special promise she makes. Or he can refuse to let her keep it.

“Suppose she takes an oath and agrees not to eat anything. Then her husband can let her keep her promise. Or he can refuse to let her keep it.

14“But suppose day after day her husband doesn’t say anything to her about what she did. Then he lets her keep all of her promises. He lets her do everything she agreed to do. That’s because he didn’t say anything to her when he heard about what she had done.

15“But suppose some time after he hears about her promises he doesn’t let her keep them. Then she will be guilty. But he will be held accountable for it.”

16Those are the rules the Lord gave Moses about a man and his wife. And those are the rules the Lord gave about a father and his young daughter who is still living in his house.

NIrV

About New International Reader’s Version

The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.

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