A promise to abstain from something not ordinarily prohibited (e.g., the vow of the Nazirite, Num 6) or, more commonly, an offer to pay God for help. The first vow mentioned in the OT is Jacob’s, who promised God worship and tithing in return for protection (Gen 28:20; Gen 31:13). Similar vows are the vow of Israel to “devote” (i.e., sacrifice) all of Arad to God (Num 21:1-3), Jephthah’s vow of a living being (Judg 11:30), Hannah’s vow of Samuel’s service (1Sam 1:11), Absalom’s vow of worship (2Sam 15:7-8), and the unspecified vow of sailors for safety from shipwreck (Jonah 1:6). In the NT, Acts records that the apostle Paul, to fulfill a vow, cut his hair (Acts 18:18), but we are given no details about the nature or purpose of that vow.

Num 6

The Nazirites
1The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:2Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When either men or women make a special vow, the vow of a nazirite, to ... View more

Gen 28:20

20Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear,

Gen 31:13

13I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and return to the land of your birth.’ ”

Num 21:1-3

The Bronze Serpent
1When the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the Negeb, heard that Israel was coming by the way of Atharim, he fought against Israel a ... View more

Judg 11:30

30And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, “If you will give the Ammonites into my hand,

1Sam 1:11

11She made this vow: “O Lord of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your ... View more

2Sam 15:7-8

7At the end of four years Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go to Hebron and pay the vow that I have made to the Lord.8For your servant made a vow while ... View more

Jonah 1:6

6The captain came and said to him, “What are you doing sound asleep? Get up, call on your god! Perhaps the god will spare us a thought so that we do not perish. ... View more

Acts 18:18

Paul's Return to Antioch
18After staying there for a considerable time, Paul said farewell to the believers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and A ... View more

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