In Bemidbar/Numbers 30 a man is allowed to cancel his wife's (and daughter's) vow after it comes to his attention. If the woman made the vow previously (in her father's house or from a previous marriage) may he make it null and void after hearing it? Does he have to accept it due to it being previously substantiated?

As always scriptural references, articles, commentaries, and personal insight are always welcomed.

  • Isn't there a time limit on the nullification of oaths by the husband/father of a woman under the Law of Moses? IIRC it's 72 hours, isn't it? Wouldn't almost all pre-marital oaths be ineligible for nullification by the husband simply because the time period for nullifying them had already elapsed?
    – nick012000
    Jul 30, 2021 at 11:35
  • 2
    @nick012000 The time limit in the verse is ביום שמעו "the day that he hears about it". Doesn't matter when the vow was made or how much of the day is left, so could be 1 minute or 23:59 hours.
    – Double AA
    Jul 30, 2021 at 12:19

1 Answer 1


The Talmud in Gittin 35b, Nedarim 67a, 72a, and 89a says a general rule

אין הבעל מיפר בקודמין

The halakha is that the husband does not have the ability to nullify with regard to vows his wife took prior to their marriage.

It would also seem prudent to mention that a husband can only nullify vows that are relevant to things between him and his wife, or things that cause her pain or discomfort. Other vows are not his domain at all.

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