“Make Vows to the Lord”

Making vows to the Lord was a common practice in the Old Testament. In the Bible, vow specifically means “conditional vow”—that is, a promise to make some offering to God if He would grant some specific request. These are distinguished from the kinds of vows we usually think of: unconditional promises like vows of matrimony or monastic vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, which would have been called “oaths” in biblical language.…