Why does the Torah seemingly repeat the same circumstance regarding a betrothed woman taking a vow twice?

What does one learn with this repetition?

Numbers 30:7-8

But if she is [betrothed] to a man, with her vows upon her or by an utterance of her lips which she has imposed upon herself, and her husband hears it but remains silent on the day he hears it, her vows shall stand, and her prohibition which she has imposed upon herself shall stand.

And Numbers 30:11-12

But if she vowed in her husband's house, or imposed a prohibition upon herself with an oath. and her husband heard and remained silent, and did not hinder her, all her vows shall stand, and every prohibition she imposed upon herself shall stand.


1 Answer 1


Rashi, citing Sifrei and the Talmud, answers this.

If you look at the structure, it goes:

  • A daughter's vow can be cancelled by her father
  • What if she "will be to a man?" That man can cancel her vows.
  • If she's widowed or divorced, no one can cancel her vows.
  • If she's "in her husband's house", her husband can cancel her vows.

Thus, the second case is where she "is to a man", but is not living "in her husband's house." In Biblical and Talmudic times, a betrothal -- think like an engagement plus plus -- would happen, typically a year before the couple would move in together. So she "is to a man" at this point (she would need a full divorce ritual to get out of the betrothal), but is not yet "in her husband's home." In that case, it requires BOTH her father and her husband to veto.

Essentially, then, the structure is actually this; Case 2 is actually Case 1A:

  • A father can cancel the vow of a young daughter who lives at home.
    • If said daughter is also betrothed, then the "husband"'s veto is also required.
  • Widows and divorcees are on their own.
  • A woman who's fully-married, i.e. already has moved in with her husband, can have many types of vows canceled by her husband.
  • very concise and straight to the point, thank you for the source and the expounding you did Commented Jul 13, 2023 at 23:01

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