"The Bible emphasizes taking personal responsibility for our words and actions, and today’s reading is no different. We see that men and women were responsible to do what they vowed to do before God. God did make allowances for women who were stopped in fulfilling their vows by their patriarchal head. The structure of Ancient Near Eastern society, and of Israel, was a patriarchal one. If a woman’s patriarchal head came against her and prevented her vow, the woman was off the hook, it was her husband or father breaking the vow, not her. What we see
through men and women being held accountable for their words before God is that what we say, matters. In the New Testament, this is echoed in James 3 that tells us about the kind of trouble our tongues can get us into. No matter what our world tells us about speech, the Bible tells us that we are responsible for what we say and to whom we say it. God will hold us accountable.
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