Showing posts from December, 2010

Proverbs 10:29 and the Way of Yahweh

In the New American Standard Bible (1995), Proverbs 10:29 reads:

The way of the LORD is a stronghold to the upright, But ruin to the workers of iniquity. This verse struck me as odd. Why would Yahweh's way be ruin to anybody? So I decided to investigate.

The phrase "way of Yahweh" occurs seven times in the OT, five of which are conceptually parallel Proverbs 10:29 (Gen. 18:19; Jdg. 2:22; 2 Kgs 21:22, Jer. 5:4, 5). God “knows” Abraham so that he will command his children to “keep the way of Yahweh” by doing righteousness and justice (Gen. 18:19). This set of collocations—the way of Yahweh is kept by doing righteousness—shows up in Judges 2:22, where the Lord tells Israel he will leave Canaanites in the land in order to test them to see whether they will keep the way of Yahweh as their father’s did. The clear implication is that keeping the way of Yahweh involves doing what is right and good in His eyes.

Amon, son of Manasseh, unmoved by his Father’s late-in-life repentan…

Vows: foolish, sacred, forgivable?

Recently, someone asked me:
Are there foolish vows and sacred vows? Are there vows God will forgive, or does God hold one accountable for all vows until death? My short answer is all vows are sacred; some are also foolish (Pro. 20:25; Eccl. 5:2 4). Breaking any vow is sin (Deut. 23:21; Eccl. 5:5-6; Num. 30:15). God will forgive vow-breakers (Num. 30:6, 9, 13); though He warns there may be dire consequences for failing to keep a vow (Eccl. 5:6).

My best understanding of Scripture is that God does not continue to hold a person responsible to fulfill a vow that has been broken, repented of, and forgiven. God did, however, require those who vowed to give Him a non-cash asset (a field, house, etc.) and then changed their minds to give instead the monetary equivalent plus 20% to the Lord (Lev. 27).

The key texts where God reveals His perspective on vows are Leviticus 27, Numbers 30, Deuteronomy 23:21-23, and Ecclesiastes 5:1-7. Interestingly, the two New Testament texts (Acts 18:18; 21:23-2…