How does a gentile annul a vow? Also, do gentiles have equal laws of oaths to Jews? Thank you

  • We have this question as "how does a Ben Noach annul an oath" and the answer reached (if memory serves) is "keeping an oath is not one of the 7 Noahide laws". I am unable to find that question now, however Dec 8, 2020 at 17:21
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    @JoshK judaism.stackexchange.com/a/44668/15256 ? Dec 8, 2020 at 17:57
  • I remember seeing a teshuva from Rav Yitzchak Zilberstein, that brought a proof that even gentiles are bound by their vows from Jonah 1:16, where it says that the gentiles on the ship made vows. He explains that the verse would not have mentioned their vows if they had no halachic significance. Not sure If I'll be able to find that teshuva, though.
    – Silver
    Dec 8, 2020 at 22:28

1 Answer 1


Encyclopedia Talmudis [volume 3 page 357 beginning of page, and page 310 last paragraph of 1st column] brings that some authorities want to say that gentiles are obligated to keep their vows. This answers the second half of our question - do gentiles have equal laws of oaths to Jews? However, the first part is - How does a gentile annul a vow? That is not answered. The reason it's not answered is that even if they are not absolutely obligated in keeping an oath, it's obviously very immoral not to. The Rambam actually implies [Melachim, 10, 10. (That's in Shoftim which is in his Mishneh Torah)] that it is praiseworthy for a gentile to keep as many of the mitzvos as he can. (Besides for a few which he may not - Shabbos, maybe learning most parts of Torah.)

The Talmud Yerushalmi in Nazir 9;1 brings a dispute if Gentiles can annul vows. R' Yonah says no and R' Yosi says yes.

According to the opinion that they can annul, it's the same process as by Jews. As the Rambam quoted above writes, a Gentile who does mitzvos, does them כהלכתה - the same as a Jew. Although we find some exceptions, wherever we don't find that there is an exception, we have the Rambam that says it is the same.


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