Ecclesiastes 5:4

Hebrew Bible

2 (5:1) Do not be rash with your mouth or hasty in your heart to bring up a matter before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth! Therefore, let your words be few. 3 Just as dreams come when there are many cares, so the rash vow of a fool occurs when there are many words. 4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay in paying it. For God takes no pleasure in fools: Pay what you vow! 5 It is better for you not to vow than to vow and not pay it. 6 Do not let your mouth cause you to sin, and do not tell the priest, “It was a mistake!” Why make God angry at you so that he would destroy the work of your hands?

Matthew 5:34

New Testament

32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. 33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to an older generation, ‘Do not break an oath, but fulfill your vows to the Lord. 34 But I say to you, do not take oaths at all—not by heaven, because it is the throne of God, 35 not by earth because it is his footstool, and not by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King. 36 Do not take an oath by your head because you are not able to make one hair white or black.

 Notes and References

"... The relatively frequent occurrence of laws mentioning vows and the votive offering (Leviticus 7:16; 22:18–22; 27; Numbers 6:1–21; 15:8; 30; Deuteronomy 12:5; 23:18; 23:22–23) and the admonitions in Deuteronomy (23:21–22) and in Ecclesiastes (5:4) that it is better not to vow at all than it is to make a vow and break it indicate that vows were a common occurrence in everyday life (Berlinerblau 1991: 550–53). In some cases the making of vows and the bringing of sacrifices are used to describe general worship. This is the case in Isaiah’s oracle concerning Egypt’s future worship of Yahweh, where the prophet predicts that the Egyptians will offer sacrifices and burnt offerings and make and fulfill vows (Isaiah 19:21; Cartledge 1992: 13) ..."

Gudme, Anne Katrine "Barter Deal or Friend-Making Gift? A Reconsideration of the Conditional Vow in the Hebrew Bible" in Satlow, Michael L., (ed.) The Gift in Antiquity (pp. 189-201) Wiley-Blackwell, 2013

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