Among all the rigid rituals and regulations of the Mosaic Covenant that were precisely observed and faithfully practiced at the correct time on the assigned day, there were also voluntary vows that could become obligation according to an individual’s own volition. These vows were not required nor were they mandatory. But, once they were taken, they were binding.
Voluntarily commitment to a vow could not be reversed. Failure to keep a vow would result in
a curse and was comparable to stealing from the Lord what was rightfully his. This is why it
says in Proverbs 20:25:
“It is a trap to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider one’s vows.”
It is better not to even take a vow, than to make the commitment and fail to fulfill it:
“When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.”
- Ecclesiastes 5:4-5
Note the New Testament references to vows in Matthew 5:34 and James 5:12.