9# Mattot (Num. 30:2-32:42) (English Translation: ‘Tribes’) (7-10-21)

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Manhu Ministries
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Published on 08 Jul 2021 / In Film & Animation

(IF YOU MUST TAKE AN OATH: ‘SAYING WHAT YOU MEAN AND MEANING WHAT YOU SAY!’)

(Numbers 30:2)

"If a man makes a vow to the LORD, or takes an oath to bind himself with a binding obligation, he shall not violate his word; he shall Do according to all that proceeds outof his mouth.”

A vow or oath is an oral promise to which a person voluntarily obligates himself. Vows and oaths have not disappeared from the world. When a Minister enters the Ministry, he takes certain Vows. When a man and woman get married, they exchange Vows. Vows are like extra-solemn promises for which we expect God to hold us accountable.

Integrity is a matter of Torah. The ethics of Torah demand honesty. Over and over again we see God’s legislation regarding honest Weights and Measures, equity, Vows and Oaths.Integrity is a matter of internal as well as external physical consistency. The inside must be the same as the outside of a person, and visa versa. Dishonesty and deceit may be measured by the size of difference between a person's words and the actual matter of which they are speaking.

When our Actions agree with our Confessions, we are living out integrity according to theTorah's standards.

A central way inwhich integrity is tested is the matter of Oaths and Vows. An oath (SHAVUAH) is a solemn, formal declaration or promise, and in most cases, appealing to a higher source of authority as proof of sincerity. Oaths can be designed in any number of ways. Many examples might be quoted from The Biblical Text. Abraham's Covenant with Abimelech in (Genesis 21) is regarded as an Oath. In (Genesis24), Abraham's servant takes an Oath to find a wife for Isaac. In several places, God promises on Oath to give the land of Israel to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The idea of Oath taking has been discussed in (Exodus 20:7), where it is found among the Ten Commandments: "You Shall Not take The Name of The LORD Your God In Vain..." is traditionally understood as a prohibition on False Oaths Invoking The Name of God.

Oaths were often taken to prove one's honesty in a matter of dispute. Sometimes a rabbinical court of law might even require a person giving testimony to make an Oath, for an Oath given as confirmation as an end of every dispute:' The idea of the Oath is that it appeals to The Authority of God. Therefore, a person making the Oath claims: "God as my witness:' The assumption is that if the person werelying, God would punish him.

The matter to which a person swears, whether to perform some act or to prohibit himself from something, is called an (ISAR). The verb' (ASAR) means, to bind something. An Isar is something bound on a person. A person making a Vow, binds himself with an Isar, whether he has bound himself to bring a sacrifice, or bound himself to quit drinking coffee! Both are considered the same!

The Torah allows for people to take Oaths and vows, and it strictly warns against falsely swearing in God’s name. Jesus also warned His Disciples not to swear at all.

(Matthew 5:33-34)

‘You have heard that the ancients were told, “You shall not make False Vows, but shall fulfill your Vows to the LORD.” But I say to you, make no Oath at all.”


Like Jesus, The Sages also warned against taking an Oath in God’s Name for purposes of verification.Though the Torah sanctioned the practice, and law courts sometimes required it, the Rabbis Discouraged it. A man might be so certain of the truth that he swears in God’s Name, yet at the same time, he might be mistaken or misled.Therefore, The Sages taught that it’s ‘Better Not To Swear At All’! In the late1st Century, the Jewish historian Josephus recorded that the Essene community of The Dead Sea, swore off swearing altogether.


⁣(IF YOU MUST TAKE AN OATH: ‘SAYING WHAT YOU MEAN AND MEANING WHAT YOU SAY!’)

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