Synonymous with duty, obligation, and covenant. The solemn promise made by a Mason of his admission into any degree is technically called a vow, obligation, or covenant. The Latin word means (Tying) (Obligato) binding. The vow, obligation or covenant is that which binds a man to do some act, the doing of which thus becomes his duty. By his obligation or covenant a Mason is bound or tied to his Order. The Masonic obligation is that moral one which, although it cannot be enforced by courts of law, is binding on the party who makes it, in conscience and according to moral justice. — ( Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 )

Biblical Reference

Ecclesiastes 5:4-5

4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. 5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

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