Page images

Ver. 5. But every woman à that prayeth or pro | Jews, and every where, as an emblem of her sense phesieth with her head uncovered, dishonour

of inferiority of rank and station. It is the custometh her head : for that is even all one as if she

ary mark of her sex, and that by which she

evinces her modesty and sense of subordination. were shaven.

To remove that, is to remove the appropriate h Acts xxi. 9.

mark of such subordination, and is a public act

by which she thus shows dishonour to the man. But erery eroman that prayeth or prophesieth. - And as it is proper that the grades and ranks of In the Old Testament, prophetesses are not un

life should be recognised in a suitable manner, frequently mentioned. Thus, Miriam is men so it is improper that, even ou pretence of relitioned, (Exod. xv. 20;) Deborah, (Judg. iv. 4;)

gion, and of being engaged in the service of Huldah, (2 Kings xxii, 14;) Noadiah, (Neh. vi.

God, these marks should be laid aside. For that 14.) So also in the New Testament, Anna is is eren all one as if she were shaven.- As if her mentioned as a prophetess. (Luke i. 36.) That long hair, which nature teaches her she should there were females in the early Christian church wear for a veil, (ver. 15, margin,) should be cut who corresponded to those known among the

off. Long hair is, by the custom of the times, Jews in some measure as endowed with the and of nearly all countries, a mark of the sex, an inspiration of the Holy Spirit, cannot be doubted. ornament of the female, and judged to be beauWhat was their precise office, and what was the tiful and comely. To remove that is to appear, nature of the public services in which they were

in this respect, like the other sex, and to lay engaged, is not however known. That they

aside the badge of her own. This, says Paul, prayed is clear; and that they publicly expounded

all would judge to be improper. You yourselves the will of God is apparent also. See Note on would not allow it. And yet to lay aside the Acts ii. 17. As the presumption is, however, veil-the appropriate badge of the sex, and of that they were inspired, their example is no war

her sense of subordination-would be an act of rant now for females to take part in the public

the same kind. It would indicate the same feelservices of worship, unless they also give evi ing, the same forgetfulness of the proper sense of dence that they are under the influence of inspi

subordination; and if that is laid aside, all the usual ration, and the more especially as the apostle

indications of modesty and subordination might Paul has expressly forbidden their becoming be removed also. Not even under religious prepublic teachers. (i Tim. ii. 12.) If it is now tences, therefore, are the usual marks of sex, pleaded, from this example, that women should

and of propriety of place and rank, to be laid speak and pray in public, yet it should be just so

aside. Due respect is to be shown, in dress, far only as this example goes, and it should be

and speech, and deportment, to those whom God only when they have the qualifications that the | has placed above us; and neither in language, in early prophetesses had in the Christian church.

attire, nor in habit, are we to depart from what If there are any such; if any are directly inspired

all judge to be the proprieties of life, or from by God, there then will be an evident propriety

what God has judged and ordained to be the that they should publicly proclaim his will, and

proper indications of the regular gradations in not till then. It may be further observed, how society. ever, that the fact that Paul here mentions, the custom of women praying or speaking publicly

VER. 6. For if the woman be not covered, let ¡ in the church, does not prove that it was right

her also be shorn : but if it be a shame for a 1:or proper. His immediate object now was not to woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be | consider whether the practice was itself right,

covered. I but to condemn the manner of its performance, 1, as a violation of all the proper rules of modesty

i Num. v. 18. Deut. xxi. 12. I and of subordination. On another occasion, in this For if the woman be not covered. If her head very epistle, he fully condemns the practice in

be not covered with a veil. Let her also be shorn. any form, and enjoins silence on the female mem -Let her long hair be cut off. Let her lay aside bers of the church in public. (Chap. xiv. 34.)

all the usual and proper indications of her sex With her head uncovered. That is, with the veil

and rank in life. If it is done in one respect, it removed which she usually wore. It would seem

may with the same propriety be done in all. See from this, that the women removed their veils,

Note above. But if it be a shame, &c.- If custom, and wore their hair dishevelled, when they pre

nature, and habit; if the common and usual feeltended to be under the influence of divine inspi

ings and views among men would pronounce this ration. This was the case with the heathen

to be a shame, the other would be pronounced to priestesses ; and in so doing, the Christian wo.

be a shame also by the same custom and common men imitated them. On this account, if on no

sense of men. Let her be covered. With a veil. other, Paul declares the impropriety of this con

Let her wear the customary attire indicative of duct. It was, besides, a custom ainong ancient

modesty and a sense of subordination. Let her not females, and one that was strictly enjoined by lay this aside even on any pretence of religion. the traditional laws of the Jews, that a woman should not appear in public unless she were 1. Veiled. See this proved by Lightfoot, in loco.

Ver. 7. For a man indeed ought not to cover his Dishonoureth her head.-Shows a want of proper

head, forasmuch as he is the image k and glory Tespect to man-to her husband, to her father, to of God: but the woman is the glory of the the sex in general. The veil is a token of mo

man. desty and of subordination. It is regarded among

k Gen, v. 1.

For a man indeed ought not to cores his head.- slave, but a help-meet; not to be the minister of That is, with a veil; or in public worship; when his pleasures, but to be his aid and comforter in he approaches God, or when in his name he ad- life; not to be regarded as of inferior nature and dresses his fellow men. It is not fit and proper rank, but to be his friend, to divide his sortOTS. that he should be covered. The reason why it and to multiply and extend his joys; yet still to is not proper, the apostle immediately states. | be in a station subordinate to him. He is to be Forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God. the head ; the ruler ; the presider in the family The phrase "the image of God," refers to the circle ; and she was created to aid him in bis fact that man was made in the likeness of his duties, to comfort him in his afflictions, to partake Maker, (Gen. i. 27 ;) and proves that though with him of his pleasures. Her rank is therefore, fallen, there is a sense in which he is still the honourable, though it is subordinate. It is in image of God. It is not because man is holy or some respects, the more honourable, because it is pure, and thus resembles his Creator; but it evi- subordinate; and as her happiness is dependeat dently is because he was invested by his Maker on him, she has the higher claim to his protection with authority and dominion ; he was superior , and his tender care. The whole of Panl's idea to all other creatures. (Gen. i. 28.) This is still here is, that her situation and rank as subordinate retained ; and this the apostle evidently refers to should be recognised by her at all times, and in the passage before us, and this he says should that in his presence it was proper that she should be recognised and regarded. If he wore a veil wear the usual symbol of modesty and subordior turban, it would be a mark of servitude or nation, the veil. inferiority. It was therefore improper that he should appear in this manner ; but he should be

| Ver. 10. For this cause ought the woman to so clad as not to obscure or hide the great truth have power on her head, because of the that he was the direct representative of God on | angels. the earth, and had a superiority to all other crea- |

m i.e. a covering, in sign that she is under the boncur tures. And glory of God.- The word “glory,” in

u B y: 1 of her husband. Gen. xxiv. 65. the classic writers means, (1.) Opinion, sentiment, &c. ; (2.) Fame, reputation. Here it means, as For this cause, &c.—There is scarcely aasi it often does, splendour, brightness, or that which passage in the Scriptures which has more ener: stands forth to represent God, or by which the cised the ingenuity of commentators than this glory of God is known. Man was created first; verse. The various attempts which hare bees' he had dominion given him ; by him, therefore, made to explain it may be seen in Pool, Rosesthe divine authority and wisdom first shone müller, Bloomfield, &c. After all the explauaforth; and this fact should be recognised in the tions which have been given of it, I confess, I do ; due subordination of rank, and even in the apparel not understand it. It is not difficult to see whai and attire which shall be worn. The impression the connexion requires us to suppose in the er. 1 of his rank and superiority should be every where planation. The obvious interpretation would be retained. But the woman is the glory of the man. That a woman should have a veil on her head be- ; --The honour, the ornament, &c. She was made cause of the angels who are supposed to be prefor him ; she was made after he was ; she was sent, observing them in their public worship; ! taken from him, and was bone of his bone, and and it is generally agreed that the word pomer! flesh of his flesh.” All her comeliness, loveliness, (Eovoiav) denotes a veil, or a covering for the and purity are therefore an expression of his head. But the word power does not ocear i honour and dignity, since all that comeliness and this sense in any classic writer. Bretschneider loveliness were made of him and for him. This understands it of a veil, as being a defence or therefore, ought to be acknowledged by a suitable guard to the face, lest it should be seen by others. manner of attire; and in his presence this sense Some have supposed that it was the name of a feof her inferiority of rank and subordination should male ornament that was worn on the head, formed be acknowledged by the customary use of the of braids of hair set with jewels. Most comveil. She should appear with the symbol of mentators agree that it means a veil, tbouzli modesty and subjection, which are implied by some think (see Bloomfield) that it is caliei. the head being covered. This sense is distinctly power to denote the veil which was wom br expressed in the following verse.

married women, which indicated the superiority

of the married woman to the maiden. But it VER. 8. For 'the man is not of the woman; but

sufficient to say in reply to this, that the apostle the woman of the man ;

is not referring to married women in coatradis., 1 Gen. ii. 18, 22, 23.

tinction from those who are unmarried, but 15

showing that all women who prophesy or pray For the man is not of the woman.-The man was in public should be veiled. There can, perhaps not formed from the woman. But the woman of | be no doubt that the word "power" has reference the man.-From his side. (Gen. ii. 18, 22, 23.) | to a veil, or to a covering for the head: but why

it is called power I confess I do not understand; VER. 9. Neither was the man created for the and most of the comments on the word are, 17 woman, but the woman for the man.

my view, egregious trifling. Because of the

angels.-Some have explained this of good angels Neither was the man created for the woman, &c. who were supposed to be present in their assen, -This is a simple statement of what is expressed blies; (see Doddridge;) others refer it to era in Genesis. The woman was made for the com- angels ; and others to messengers or spies who fort and happiness of the man. Not to be a it has been supposed, were present in their puble

assemblies, and who would report greatly to the the left side of the head, falls down to their very disadvantage of the Christian assemblies, if the shoes, even covering their hands, with which women were seen to be unveiled. I do not know they hold that cloth by the two sides, so that, what it means; and I regard it as one of the except the eyes, they are covered all over with very few passages in the Bible whose meaning | it. Within doors they have their faces and as vet is wholly inexplicable. The most natural breasts uncovered; but the Armenian women in interpretation seems to me to be this: “A their houses have always one half of th

faces woman in the public assemblies and in speaking covered with a cloth, that goes athwart their in the presence of men, should wear a veil, the noses, and hangs over their chin and breasts, usual symbol of modesty and subordination ; be except the maids of that nation, who, within 'cause the angels of God are witnesses of your doors, cover only the chin until they are mar1. pablic worship, (Heb. i. 13,) and because they | ried.”Thevenot.

know and appreciate the propriety of subordi| nation and order in public assemblies.” Accord | Ver. 11. Nevertheless, neither is the man withling to this, it would mean that the simple reason out the woman, neither the woman without would be, that the angels were witnesses of their worship; and that they were the friends of pro

the man, in the Lord. priety, due subordination, and order ; and that

Nevertheless.-Lest the man should assume to Hi they ought to observe these in all assemblies

himself too much superiority, and lest he should · convened for the worship of God. I do not regard the woman as made solely for his pleaknow that this sense has been proposed by any

sure, and should treat her as in all respects infecommentator ; but it is one which strikes me as rior, and withhold the respect that is due to her. the most obvious and natural, and consistent The design of this verse and the following is to 1 with the context. The following remarks re

show, that the man and the woman are united in specting the ladies of Persia may throw some

most tender interests; that the one cannot live | light on this subject : “ The head-dress of the

comfortably without the other; that one is newomen is simple; their hair is drawn behind the

cessary to the happiness of the other; and that head, and divided into several tresses: the beauty

though the woman was formed from the man, of this head-dress consists in the thickness and

yet it is also to be remembered that the man is length of these tresses, which should fall even

descended from the woman. She should theredown to the heels; in default of which, they

fore be treated with proper respect, tenderness, lengthen them with tresses of silk. The ends

and regard. Neither is the man without the of these tresses they decorate with pearls and

woman, &c. - The man and the woman were ewels, or ornaments of gold or silver. The

formed for union and society. They are not in head is covered, under the veil or kerchief,

any respect independent of each other. One is course chef,) only by the end of a small ban necessary to the comfort of the other; and this deau, shaped into a triangle: this bandeau, which

fact should be recognised in all their intercourse. is of various colours, is thin and light. The

In the Lord.—By the arrangements or direction bandalette is embroidered by the needle, or co of the Lord. It is the appointment and comtered with jewellery, according to the quality of mand of the Lord that they should be mutual the wearer. This is, in my opinion, the ancient helps, and should each regard and promote the I tiara or diadem of the queens of Persia : only welfare of the other. married women wear it ; and it is the mark by abich it is known that they are under subjection, VER. 12. For as the woman is of the man, even (c'est la la marque à laquelle on reconnoit qu'elles

so is the man also by the woman : but "all vnt sous PUISSANCE-power.) The girls have little caps, instead of this kerchief or tiara ; they things of God. Fear no veil at home, but let two tresses of their

n Rom. xi. 36. hair fall under their cheeks. The caps of girls of superior rank are tied with a row of pearls. As the woman is of the man.- In the original Girls are not shut up in Persia till they attain creation she was formed from the man. So is the age of six or seven years ; before that age the man also by the woman. - Is born of the thes go out of the seraglio, sometimes with their woman, or descended from her. The sexes are alber, so that they may then be seen. I have dependent on each other, and should therefore Sven some wonderfully pretty. They show the

cultivate an indissoluble union. But all things of teck and bosom; and more beautiful cannot be

God.-All things were created and arranged by been."-Chardin. “ The wearing of a veil by a

him. This expression seems designed to supbarried woman was a token of her being under |

press any spirit of complaint or dissatisfaction power. The Hebrew name of the veil signifies

with this arrangement; to make the woman dependence. Great importance was attached to

contented in her subordinate station, and to cais part of the dress in the East. All the make the man humble by the consideration that Women of Persia are pleasantly apparelled. it is all owing to the appointment of God. The when they are abroad in the streets, all, both | woman should therefore be contented, and the rich and poor, are covered with a great veil, or man should not assume any improper superiority, Set of very fine white cloth, of which one half, | since the whole arrangement and appointment is ke a forehead cloth, comes down to the eyes,

of God. atd, going over the head, reaches down to the attis ; and the other half muffles up the face

VER. 13. Judge in yourselves : is it comely that Delow the eyes; and being fastened with a pin to a woman pray unto God uncovered ?


Judge in yourselves.-Or, “Judge among your the case with Absalom; (2 Sam. xiv. 26 ;) bat selves.” I appeal to you. I appeal to your na

the traditional law of the Jews on the subject tural sense of what is proper and right. Paul was strict. The same rule existed among the had used various arguments to show them the Greeks; and it was regarded as disgraceful 10! impropriety of their females speaking unveiled wear long hair in the time of Ælian. (Hist. lib. in public. He now appeals to their natural sense

ix, c. 14. Eustath. on Hom. ii. v.) It is a shame of what was decent and right, according to es

unto him. It is improper and disgraceful. It is i tablished and acknowledged customs and habits.

doing that which almost universal custom has Is it comely, &c.—Is it decent or becoming ? The said appropriately belongs to the female sex. Grecian women, except their priestesses, were accustomed to appear in public with a veil.

VER. 15. But if a woman have long hair, it is a Doddridge. Paul alludes to that established and glory to her : for her hair is given her for a prcper habit, and asks whether it does not accord

covering. with their own views of propriety that women

o Or, veil. in Christian assemblies should also wear the

It is a glory unto her.-It is an ornament and same symbol of modesty.

adorning. The same instinctive promptings of

nature which make it proper for a man to wear Ver. 14. Doth not even nature itself teach you

short hair, make it proper that the woman should that if a man have long hair, it is a shame

suffer hers to grow long. For a covering.-, unto him ?

Marg. Veil. It is given to her as a sort of patuDoth not even nature itself.

ral veil, and to indicate the propriety of her

The word nature Covoiç) denotes evidently that sense of propriety

wearing a veil. It answered the purposes of a which all men have, and which is expressed in

veil when it was suffered to grow long, and to any prevailing or universal custom. That which

spread over the shoulders and over parts of the is universal we say is according to nature.

face, before the arts of dress were invented or

It is such as is demanded by the natural sense of fit

needed. There may also be an allusion here to

the fact that the hair of women naturally grows ness among men. Thus we may say that nature demands that the sexes should wear different

longer than that of men. See Rosenmüller. kinds of dress; that nature demands that the

The value which eastern females put on their female should be modest and retiring ; that na

long hair may be learned from the fact that when ture demands that the toils of the chase, of the

Ptolemy Euergetes, king of Egypt, was about field, of war--the duties of office, of government,

to march against Selencus Callinicus, his que a and of professional life, should be discharged by

Berenice vowed, as the most precious sacrifice

which she could make, to cut off and consecrate men. Such are in general the customs the world over; and if any reason is asked for numerous

her hair if he returned in safety. “The easter habits that exist in society, no better answer can

ladies," says Harmer, "are remarkable for the be given than that nature, as arranged by God,

length and the great number of the tresses of has demanded it. The word in this place, there.

their hair. The men there, on the contrary, wear fore, does not mean the constitution of the sexes,

very little hair on their heads." Ladr M. W. as Locke, Whitby, and Pierce maintain; nor

Montague thus speaks concerning the hair of the reason and experience, as Macknight supposes;

women : “ Their hair hangs at full length be

hind, divided into tresses, braided with pearl or nor simple use and custom, as Grotius, Rosenmüller, and most recent expositors suppose ; but

riband, which is always in great quantity it refers to a deep internal sense of what is pro

never saw in my life so many fine heads of hair. per and right; a sense which is expressed ex

In one lady's Úhave counted one hundred and tensively in all nations, showing what that sense

ten of these tresses, all natural ; but it must be is. No reason can be given in the nature of

owned that every kind of beauty is more con things, why the woman should wear long hair

mon here than with us." The men there, on the and the man not; but the custom prevails exten

contrary, shave all the hair off their beads, es• sively every where, and nature, in all nations,

cepting one lock; and those that wear hair are

Both these particulars are : has prompted to the same course.

thought effeminate.

“Use is second nature ;" but the usage in this case is not

mentioned by Chardin, who says they are agreearbitrary, but is founded on an anterior universal |

able to the custom of the East : "the men are sense of what is proper and right. A few, and

shaved ; the women nourish their hair with great only a few, have regarded it as comely for a man

fondness, which they lengthen, by tresses and to wear his hair long. Aristotle tells us, indeed,

tufts of silk, down to the heels. The young men (Rhet. i.----see Rosenmüller,) that among the La

who wear their hair in the East are looked upon cedemonians, freemen wore their hair long. In

as effeminate and infamous." the time of Homer, also, the Greeks were called by him kapnkouÓWVTEC 'Agaiol, long-haired

VER. 16. But p if any man seem to be contenGreeks; and some of the Asiatic nations adopted tious, we have no such custoni, neither the the same custom. But the general habit among churches of God. men has been different. Among the Hebrews, it was regarded as disgraceful to a man to wear

p 1 Tim. vi. 4. his hair long, except he had a vow as a Nazarite. But if any man seem to be contentious.--The (Numb. vi. 1-5. Judg. xiii. 5; xvi. 17. i sense of this passage is probably this: Sam. i. 11.) Occasionally, for affectation or sin- | man, any teacher, or others, is disposet, gularity, the hair was suffered to grow, as was strenuous about this, or to make it a li

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ed to be Dake it a matter of

difficulty; if he is disposed to call in question way this was done he states in the following my reasoning, and to dispute my premises and verses. These evil consequences were chiefly the considerations which I have advanced, and two : first, divisions and contentions; and, seto maintain still that it is proper for women to condly, the abuse and profanation of the Lord's appear unveiled in public, I would add that in supper. Judea we have no such custom, neither does it prerail among any of the churches.” This,

Ver. 18. For first of all, when ye come together therefore, would be a sufficient reason why it in the church, I hear 9 that there be divisions" should not be done in Corinth, even if the ab

among you ; and I partly believe it. stract reasoning should not convince them of the impropriety. It would be singular ; would be 9 Chap. i. 11, 12. Or, schisms. contrary to the usual custom; would offend the

For first of all.That is, I mention as the | prejudices of many; and should, therefore, be! avoided. We have no such custom. — We the

| first thing to be reproved. When ye come toapostles in the churches which we have else

gether in the church. - When you come together where founded ; or we have no such custom in

in a religious assembly; when you convene for Judea. The sense is, that it is contrary to cus

public worship. The word church here does not tom there for women to appear in public un

| mean, as it frequently does with us, a building. veiled. This custom, the apostle argues, ought

No instance of such a use of the word occurs in to be allowed to have some influence on the

the New Testament; but it means when they church of Corinth, even though they should not

came together as a Christian assembly ; when be convinced by his reasoning. Neither the

they convened for the worship of God. These churches of God. The churches elsewhere. It

divisions took place then; and from some cause is customary there for the woman to appear

which it seems then operated to produce alienaveiled. If at Corinth this custom is not observed,

tions and strifes. I hear.-I have learned through it will be a departure from what has elsewbere

some members of the family of Chloe. (Chap. i. been regarded as proper; and will offend these

11.) That there be divisions among you.---Greek, churches. Even, therefore, if the reasoning is

as in the margin, Schisms. The word properly not sufficient to silence all cavils and doubts, yet

means a rent, such as is made in cloth, (Matt. ix.

| 16. Mark ii. 21 :) and then a division, a split, a the propriety of uniformity in the habits of the

faction among men. (John vii. 43; ix. 16; X. 19.) churches, the fear of giving offence, should lead

It does not mean here that they had proceeded so you to discountenance and disapprove the custom of your females appearing in public without

far as to form separate churches, but that there their reil.

was discord and division in the church itself. See

Notes on chap. i. 10,11. And I partly believe it.--I Ver. 17. Now in this that I declare unto you I

credit a part of the reports ; I have reason to tbink

that, though the evil may have been exaggerated, praise you not, that ye come together not for

yet that it is true at least in part. I believe that the better, but for the worse.

there are dissensions in the church that should be Now in this that I declare. In this that I am reproved. about to state to you; to wit, your conduct in

Ver. 19. For there must be also 'heresies among regard to the Lord's supper. Why this subject is introduced here is not very apparent. The

you, that "they which are approved may be connexion may be this. In the subjects imme made manifest among you. diately preceding he had seen much to commend, and he was desirous of commending them as far

s Matt. xviii. 7. 2 Tet. ii. 1, 2. tOr, sects.

u Luke ii. 35. as it could be done. In ver. 2 of this chapter he commends them in general for their regard For there must be. It is necessary (dxï ;) it is to the ordinances which he had appointed when to be expected; there are reasons why there he was with them. But while he thus com- should be. What these reasons are he states in mended them, he takes occasion to observe that the close of the verse. Comp. Matt. xviii. 7. there was one subject on which he could not 2 Pet. ï. 1, 2. The meaning is, not that divisions employ the language of approval or praise. Of | are inseparable from the nature of the Christian their irregularities in regard to the Lord's sup- religion; not that it is the design and wish of the per he had probably heard by rumour; and as Author of Christianity that they should exist; the subject was of great importance, and their and not that they are physically impossible, for irregularities gross and deplorable, he takes oc then they could not be the subject of blame; but casion to state to them again more fully the that such is human nature, such are the corrupt Dature of that ordinance, and to reprove them passions of men, the propensity to ambition and for the manner in which they had celebrated it. strifes, that they are to be expected, and they That ye come together. You assemble for public serve the purpose of showing who are, and who worship. Not for the better, but for the worse.-- are not, the true friends of God. Heresies.Your meetings, and your observance of the ordi Margin, Sects. Gr. Aipeous. See Note, Acts nances of the gospel, do not promote your edifi xxiv. 14. The words heresy and heresies occur cation, your piety, spirituality, and harmony; only in these places, and in Gal. v. 20. 2 Pet. ii. but tend to division, alienation, and disorder. | 1. The Greek word occurs also in Acts v. 17, You should assemble to worship God, and pro- ! (translated sect ;) xv. 5; xxiv. 5 ; xxvi. 5 ; xxviii. mote barmony, love, and piety; the actual effect 22, in all which places it denotes, and is transof your assembling is just the reverse. In what lated, sect. We now attach to the word usually

« PreviousContinue »