top of page

Resources  /  Biblical Hebrew  /  Bamidbar  /  Parashat Matot

Parashat Matot

Parashat MATOT starts with the command about not making a vow:




The Torah gives us a clear specification of what happens in the case that someone makes a vow, what happens if s/he broke the vow, and what the options are of someone else cancelling that vow for them.

The obligation of not making any sort of commitment affects people’s speech as well, and the following phrase is used:

without a vow


בלי נדר

People use this phrase when talking about something that they need to do but don’t want to be obligated by, in case things do not go as planned and they may need to break the obligation.

Another matter that the Torah discusses is the issue of an oath:




The word SHVUA has the same root as the number SHEVA (7). This is due to the fact that the number 7 represents a closed circle (like the 7 days of the week). Making an oath is considered to be a circle which is opened when making the commitment and is closed when the commitment is fulfilled.

When Abraham made an agreement with Avimelech, the king of Plishtim, they made the commitment in a place, which was given the name BEER SHEVA, after the SHVUA (oath) that was made there.

bottom of page