The 2001 Commentaries

Dedicated to Destruction

info All commentaries are written by volunteers, readers, or supporters of our Bible translation project. These are not official views of our project; we are not a religious denomination and we do not establish doctrine. These commentaries reflect a variety of views and some disagree with each other.

Notice that at Leviticus 27:28, 29, God gave these instructions to Moses:
‘Anything a man has that he chooses to curse before Jehovah, whether it’s a man, an animal, or a field that he owns; it may never be sold or taken back.
Everything that is cursed for destruction becomes very holy to Jehovah.
And whoever is cursed from among mankind must not be ransomed, but must surely be put to death.’

Notice that this law is talking about the cursing of vile people or nations.
And God was saying that when such a vow is made, the person that makes the vow must surely complete it by destroying the things and/or or the people whom he or she has cursed.

An example of the outworking of such an oath can be found at Numbers 21:2, 3, where the IsraElites swore an oath to God to dedicate a particular group of CanaAnites and all of their cities to Him, if He would just give them the victory.
The account says:

‘That was when IsraEl swore a vow to Jehovah, saying,
If you will hand them over to us, we will dedicate them and their cities to You.
So, Jehovah listened to the voices of [the people of] IsraEl and gave the Canaanites into their hands, then they [totally destroyed] them and their cities.
And thereafter, they started calling that place The Cursed.’

Understand that vowing to curse someone or something is an extremely serious matter in the eyes of God. For when such a vow is made, the person doing the cursing becomes obligated to God to carry out the curse.

And we find the results of making such a curse too quickly in the heat of a fight or argument discussed in Leviticus 24:11-25, where one man swore a curse in God’s name against another, and he was thereafter stoned to death for his foolish vow.
For it was a vow of murder.

At Acts 23:12 we find another case of a foolishly-made vow to God, where a group of Jews swore not to eat until they had murdered Paul (the Apostle). But then they were unable to complete the unrighteous vow, bringing God’s condemnation upon themselves. And the thing that we learn from the law and from the results of such cursing (when we ask God to damn someone), is that the damnation may come upon ourselves.

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