Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy: “We support biblical families.”

Today’s Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day: Vows made by women (Numbers 30).

Then Moses said to the heads of the tribes of the Israelites: This is what the Lord has commanded. When a man makes a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.

When a woman makes a vow to the Lord, or binds herself by a pledge, while within her father’s house, in her youth, and her father hears of her vow or her pledge by which she has bound herself, and says nothing to her; then all her vows shall stand, and any pledge by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if her father expresses disapproval to her at the time that he hears of it, no vow of hers, and no pledge by which she has bound herself, shall stand; and the Lord will forgive her, because her father had expressed to her his disapproval.

If she marries, while obligated by her vows or any thoughtless utterance of her lips by which she has bound herself, and her husband hears of it and says nothing to her at the time that he hears, then her vows shall stand, and her pledges by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if, at the time that her husband hears of it, he expresses disapproval to her, then he shall nullify the vow by which she was obligated, or the thoughtless utterance of her lips, by which she bound herself; and the Lord will forgive her. (But every vow of a widow or of a divorced woman, by which she has bound herself, shall be binding upon her.) And if she made a vow in her husband’s house, or bound herself by a pledge with an oath, and her husband heard it and said nothing to her, and did not express disapproval to her, then all her vows shall stand, and any pledge by which she bound herself shall stand. But if her husband nullifies them at the time that he hears them, then whatever proceeds out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning her pledge of herself, shall not stand. Her husband has nullified them, and the Lord will forgive her. Any vow or any binding oath to deny herself, her husband may allow to stand, or her husband may nullify. But if her husband says nothing to her from day to day, then he validates all her vows, or all her pledges, by which she is obligated; he has validated them, because he said nothing to her at the time that he heard of them. But if he nullifies them some time after he has heard of them, then he shall bear her guilt.

These are the statutes that the Lord commanded Moses concerning a husband and his wife, and a father and his daughter while she is still young and in her father’s house.

  • EllieMurasaki

    So, what, young and/or married women can’t be trusted to make vows without their owner’s approval, or no women can be trusted but widowed or divorced women don’t have someone to cross-check them, but Jephthah is A-OK?

  • Bronwyn

    The rules themselves suggest how to get around them — she is bound by the vow if her male owner does not object to it when he hears it. So for example, a woman who (deliberately) chattered a lot about her daily plans could, when her male owner is distracted, sneak some stuff under the radar, potentially big stuff if she has finesse. And then later, she can bring up the topic again saying, “but Daddy/Honey, it’s too late now to get upset — I told you about this last Tuesday and you said ‘Yes dear’ so now it’s a binding vow before the LORD.”

    I remember seeing this technique in an old (1961?) Reader’s Digest humour compilation, in a section about how a wife can get a dishwasher or laundry machine. Not that it promotes good relations or communication, but make a system that can be gamed and it will be gamed.

  • Carstonio

    Dumb question – how do believers in scripture who condemn the sexism of such passages justify the stance that these orders don’t apply to them? I would assume that ultra-Orthodox Jews do indeed see these as applying to themselves, given their own adherence to patriarchy. Is it as simple as pointing out that these were for the Israelites of the time only? If so, I can easily imagine a fundamentalist in either Christianity or Judaism acting like a jerk and taunting, “Don’t give me that weaselly excuse – you’re just trying to avoid doing what the Lord told you to do!” The idea that such onerous, unfair requirements on the genders would be void seems too good to be true.

  • Mergle

    I’m reading it more that their owners get veto power. That way an unmarried woman who doesn’t want to marry the man her father picked out can’t get out of it by vowing to remain a virgin all her life, and a married woman in an abusive marriage can’t bring an ally to the household by vowing to care for her aging mother or spinster/widowed/divorced sister/nephew without her husband’s approval.

  • Jim Roberts

    First of all, the Old Testament is not Jewish law, so I can’t comment on that at all.

    Second, the law that we do have in the Old Testament  . . . well, it depends on the Christian you talk to. You’re currently talking to this one, so I’ll give my response. The Old Testament law is there as a remember of the way things were, of the customs and laws of that time period.

    God and his son make it quite clear that under Messiah, the intent is that we should follow not the Ten Commandments or the Law, but the two commandments that drove those things: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    Loving God and loving your neighbour get unpacked in various other places in Scripture, but the short of it is that “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

    So, universal rules applied to all members of one gender are no longer supported by Scripture. That’s not to say that there won’t be times and places where such distinctions are important, but a rule like this one just doesn’t apply anymore.

    I hope I’m making sense.

  • http://tellmewhytheworldisweird.blogspot.com/ perfectnumber628

    I remember reading this passage recently, and I was like “wow, this is sexist and terrible.” But I imagine it’s probably actually a step forward for women- the man only has 1 chance to veto her vow, instead of having infinite power over her. 

    So yeah, this rule is terrible, but probably not as terrible as women were normally treated back then.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    The rules themselves suggest how to get around them — she is bound by
    the vow if her male owner does not object to it when he hears it. So for
    example, a woman who (deliberately) chattered a lot about her daily
    plans could, when her male owner is distracted, sneak some stuff under
    the radar, potentially big stuff if she has finesse. And then later, she
    can bring up the topic again saying, “but Daddy/Honey, it’s too late
    now to get upset — I told you about this last Tuesday and you said ‘Yes
    dear’ so now it’s a binding vow before the LORD.”

    Ehhh. That’s cute and all, but I am not sure it is really a sound method of gaming the system in a society where it’s legal and socially acceptable for husbands to beat their wives unrestrictedly.

  • Amaryllis

     The Chick-fil-A Poem of the Day, or, Why I Never Read Paradise Lost:

    Two of far nobler shape, erect and tall,
    God—like erect, with native honour clad
    In naked majesty, seemed lords of all,
    And worthy seemed; for in their looks divine
    The image of their glorious Maker shon,
    Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure—
    Severe, but in true filial freedom placed,
    Whence true authority in men: though both
    Not equal, as their sex not equal seemed;
    For contemplation he and valour formed,
    For softness she and sweet attractive grace;
    He for God only, she for God in him.
    His fair large front and eye sublime declared
    Absolute rule; and Hyacinthin locks
    Round from his parted forelock manly hung
    Clustering, but not beneath his shoulders broad:
    She, as a veil down to the slender waist,
    Her unadornèd golden tresses wore
    Dishevelled, but in wanton ringlets waved
    As the vine curls her tendrils—which implied
    Subjection…(from Book 4)

  • DorothyD

    No chance those disheveled and wanton ringlets could imply having a mind of her own now, could they. 

    Blech. Just…blech

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    she can bring up the topic again saying, “but Daddy/Honey, it’s too late
    now to get upset — I told you about this last Tuesday and you said
    ‘Yes dear’ so now it’s a binding vow before the LORD.”

    The really ucky thing about systems like this is they play into patriarchical notions of female duplicity and untrustworthiness.

    You know all the “pregnancy-trappers” horror stories the MRAs like to play up, and how some men (particularly auto and computer enthusiasts who tend to be in a very homosocial culture) will complain about “the ball and chain” or “the wife made me cancel that order for my shiny new toy”, etc?

    That’s all part and parcel of a system that was created by men to begin with to reinforce social perceptions of female inferiority, and at the same time also reinforce male hostility to alleged female mendacity in adhering to those self-same social roles.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.j.foster.9 John Jay Foster

    So i guess you don’t support single people…..assholes. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    What in the fuck?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Okaaaaaaaaaaay. O_O

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Hey, don’t call single people assholes. That’s not nice.


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