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THE ORDINANCE OF HONOR
by Dr. Fred Wittman
“Persistently become& imitators of me according as even myself of Christ! 2Now I express hearty approval of you&, O brothers, because you& remember all~ things with reference to me and you& firmly hold on to the oral precepts, according as I delivered over to you&. 3Now I determinedly will that you& be aware that the head of every man continually is The Christ, but woman’s head[Eph. 5:23], the man! In fact[emphatic use] 0Christ’s 0head, The God! 4Every man, having |anything| down upon 0head while praying or while prophesying[to proclaim divine truth] utterly shames the head[viz: Christ and The God ultimately, as well as one’s own head,. cf. v. 3] of his. 5But every woman with her head not covered down while praying or while prophesying[to proclaim divine truth] utterly shames[Num. 5:18 only reference where woman is. uncovered] the head[viz: Christ and The God ultimately, and her husband as well as one’s own head,. cf. v. 3] of herself. For it is one and the same~ thing with the permanently shaven^ one. 6For if (and it is true) a woman is not repeatedly covering herself down, she is also to shear herself! But if (and it is true) the act of shearing herself or shaving herself |is| shamefully ugly[indecent] for a woman, she is to repeatedly cover herself down! 7For on the one hand 0man is legally obligated not to cover his head down, since |he| is continually existing God’s 0image[Gen. 1:26] and 0glory[majestic radiant splendor]. But on the other hand 0woman is 0man’s 0glory[majestic radiant splendor]. 8For 0man is not out of [source] 0woman, but on the contrary, 0woman out[source] of 0man. 9For also 0man was not created for the sake of the woman, but[on the contrary] 0woman for[Gen. 2:18] the sake of the man. 10Because of this~ the woman is continually legally obligated to have the sign of [metonymy: effect for cause]authority upon her head for the sake of the angels[Eph. 3:10]. 11Nevertheless neither is 0man apart from 0woman nor 0woman apart from 0man in 0Lord. 12For even as the woman |is| out of the man, even so the man |is| through the woman, but /all things |are| out[source] of The God. 13Judge for yourselves among yourselves! Is it proper for a woman to pray to The God not covered down? 14Or even /nature^ herself is continually teaching you&, is she not? ‘On the one hand if (and it may be) a man grow long hair, it is a disgrace to him. 15But on the other hand if (and it may be) a woman grow long hair, it is a glory[majestic radiant splendor] to her because the long hair stands given to her in addition[cf. Jn. 1:16; Lk. 10:40; 12:3 APT ] to a wrap[something cast around].’’ 16But if (and it is true) anyone seems to be argumentative[fond of contention], we ourselves continually do not have such kind of custom[of being contentious or argumentative, cf. vs. 17,18; 1:11; 3:3] together, neither |do| the churches of The God” (1 Cor. 11:1-16 APT).
What would you do if you were to become aware that you must outwardly demonstrate obedience, glory, and honor to The God in order to enter His presence and approach His throne?
On Paul’s second missionary journey, he traveled to Europe in response to the extraordinary appearance of the man of Mahkehdohnée-ah (Acts 16:9-12). After a little more than four weeks in Mahkehdohnée-ah (Acts 16:13-40; 17:2,10,14), he traveled south into Greece, to Athens (17:15; 18:1) for a short stay before traveling west forty miles to Corinth, the capital of the southern province of Ahkh-ahéeah. Although the Romans destroyed the city in 146 B.C., it was rebuilt under Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. By A.D. 50 it had a population of c. 550,000 comprised of Greeks, Romans, and Jews with a synagogue. The Jewish population had recently increased by an influx of immigrants banished from Rome by Claudius Caesar.
It was not only a political center, but also a commercial, religious, and sports center known for wealth, luxury, learning, Isthmian games, and vice with over a thousand temple prostitutes. Paul arrived in Corinth in early A.D. 51 and abode there for more than eighteen months establishing the church (Acts 18:11,18). He left Corinth and went to Ephesus for a short visit, then eventually to Antioch. He began his third missionary journey in A.D. 54 and came to Ephesus early in A.D. 55 and ministered there for 27 months (Acts 19:1,8-10). It wqas from Ephesusthat he wrote First Epistle to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 16:8,19). Paul indicated that he wrote a previous letter which has not been preserved nor included in the Canon of Scripture (5:9). This indicates that First Corinthians is at least the second epistle to the Corinthian church. He also had received a letter from the saints (7:1), perhaps delivered by Stehfahnáhs, Fohr-tou-náhtohs, and Ahkh-ahéekohs (16:17). Paul’s purpose in writing First Corinthians was to solve problems, to correct reported contentions and disorders in the church, and to answer inquiries.
l. The Apparent Background of chapter 11.
Paul, in his first Epistle to the Corinthians, has been dealing with reports and answering inquiries (7:1-16:4). One of the inquiries was based upon disputed contentions between the Roman, Greek, and Jewish believers. Each carried into the church the manner of worship which was their custom from their religious background. The Jews practiced and contended that both men and women must cover the head of theirs to worship or pray. The Greeks said that neither men nor women need cover their heads, but contended that bare-headed was an acceptable way to approach God. The Romans contended that a compromise between the two extreme views was proper, the women were to cover their heads, while the men uncovered their heads. The question was posed to Paul: ‘‘Which is the correct way?’’
Rather than give a direct answer, Paul approached the issue from The God’s standpoint. The real issue is NOT cultural, but spiritual; not method, but purpose; not The God’s nor man’s shame, disgrace, or dishonor, but The God’s glory and honor. It was a cultural problem effecting a church disorder. Paul dealt with it from a spiritual perspective, that is from The God’s viewpoint, in such a way that no matter what cultural or religious background one has, the answer pertains to and affects him or her and more seriously The God. Often those who do not accept the position that Paul expounded, claim the answer he gave is cultural. The truth is, Paul’s answer was cross-cultural.
An important fact that is so often overlooked is that from the beginning and throughout the Epistle, Paul emphasized that the problem of contention prevailed in the church (1 Cor. 1:10-13; 3:1-7; 4:6,7,18-21; 6:1-7; 11:16; 14:33). New Testament Scriptures are quoted from a Precise Translation.
2. The Appeal to Obey (vs. 1,2).
Note the inclusion in the context, of which he is giving an answer concerning a church disorder, is the term ‘ordinances.’ Also note that the word is plural, so Paul is referring to more than one ordinance. Yet in the context of this chapter, many refer only to the ordinance of the Lord’s supper (11:17-34). Paul praised the Corinthian believers for keeping the ordinances as He delivered to them and appealed to them to correct disorders regarding the observance of three of them, the Ordinance of Honor (vs. 1-16) and the Ordinance of Unity (vs. 16-22) and the Ordinance of the Lord’s Supper (vs. 23-34). Although he mentioned baptism early in the Epistle, evidently he did not need to deal with a disorder concerning the observance of baptism since they were baptizing even for their dead (15:29).
The word translated ‘ordinances’ is pahráh-dohsis which is a noun that means ‘oral precept,’ and is derived from the verb which literally means ‘to give over’ or ‘to give alongside.’ It carries the meaning of: tradition by instruction, ‘‘objectively, . . . the substance of the teaching: so of Paul’s teaching; . . . again of the body of precepts, especially transmitted in unbroken succession to subsequent generations, . . . which precepts both illustrating and expanding the written law, as they did, were to be obeyed with equal reverence’’ (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, p. 481-482). Therefore this pahráh-dohsis, oral precept or ordinance (AV) must both be carefully observed and obeyed and is to stop being ignored or dismissed as unimportant. Paul gives seven reasons why it is absolutely necessary for this oral precept to be observed and obeyed.
I. The Order of Headship (v. 3).
From this verse it is clear that Paul is using the word ‘head’ both literally and metaphorically. The God is the Head of The Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore The Lord Jesus Christ has two heads, a spiritual Head and a physical head. Man has three heads, two spiritual Heads, The Christ and The God, and his own physical head, while the woman (wife) has four heads, three spiritual Heads, the man (husband), The Christ, The God, and her own physical head. The order of authority is as follows:
1. The God (The Head with the final authority);
2. The Christ (two heads: His Father and His physical head);
3. Man (three heads: The God, The Christ, and his own physical head);
4. Woman (four heads: The God, The Christ, the man and her own physical head).
II. The Ordinance of Honor (vs. 4-7).
Refer to introductory notes under ‘2.’ above for an explanation of the meaning of ordinance (pahráh-dohsis) or oral precept. The word ‘honor’ is both a noun and a verb, which is translated from the Greek verb τιμάω which carries the full meaning of ‘to respectfully cherish and highly esteem as precious value with tender affection’; the Greek noun is τιμή which means ‘highly respected precious value with tender affection’ and sometimes ‘price.’ The noun ‘honor’ is often (17 times, 9 times in Revelation) linked with ‘glory’ which is a noun δόξα meaning ‘exaltation with majestic, radiant splendor’ when used in reference to The God or occasionally ‘honorable recognition’ when used in reference to man. Therefore the differentiation of these two words, glory and honor, with reference to The God is that ‘honor’ is attributing to The God highly respected precious value with tender affection while giving ‘glory’ is giving to Him the exaltation with majestic, radiant splendor which is His due. The antonym of honor is dishonor or disgrace while the antonym of glory is shame (c. Phil. 3:19). Paul approaches the subject from the negative stand point to show the gross consequence when the ordinance is blatantly broken or ignored.
1. When does the ordinance apply?
A. When are we to honor God?
B. The answer: When we go ‘in’ to meet God or when we go ‘out’ to reach and speak to humans.
(1) Whenever we purpose to go ‘in’ to the presence of The God to speak to Him in prayer, or ‘in’ to His presence for a service or meeting with disciples which includes prayer.
(2) Whenever we purpose to go ‘out’ to speak on behalf of God or go ‘out’ intending to witness to humans privately or publicly. The word ‘prophesying’ comes from the Greek word propheteú0 which means ‘to speak under inspiration.’
2. Who? and How?
To understand the Ordinance of Honor, to whom it applies and how it applies, it is imperative to consider the context of First Corinthians eleven.
A. Man uncovered - ‘nothing down upon head’ (v. 4).
Although the men and priests in The Old Testament were legally obligated to cover their heads in the Presence of The God, yet Paul clearly indicates that it is just the opposite in The New Testament. He wrote, ‘‘Every man[husband], having |anything| down upon 0head while praying or while prophesying utterly shames the head[Christ and God ultimately, as well as one’s own head] of himself’’ (1 Cor. 11: 4 APT).
In order to show respect, patriotic men of America and other countries remove their hats or uncover their heads as the flag of their country passes in front of them and as the national anthem is sung or played while they face the flag. But when we go into the Presence of The God, The Creator and King of all Kings, should we do any less? Should we not show Him due respect? And show Him at least as much respect as we do to the flag of our country? If a man enters the presence of a king or the highest dignitary of a nation, he bows and removes his hat. Not to do so would be rude and show disrespect and in some cases would cause a soldier or attendant to demand removal. Furthermore, if one is not properly attired, that one would be banned from entering until and unless properly attired. Should we not be mannerly and show proper respect by honoring The God’s wishes in this regard as well? Is God not worthy of much more respect, honor, and glory than what is extended to humans?
In The Old Testament the men had to put a covering on their heads when they prayed or entered the vicinity of the Tabernacle and later the Temple. The Old Testament priests were legally obligated to wear bonnets and proper dress when they went in to the Sanctuary where The God dwelt or else they would die (Ex. 28:40-43). This order is renewed for the priests who shall serve The God in the millennial Temple (Ezek. 44:15-18). In the New Testament, Peter informs us that those who commit trust to The Lord Jesus Christ ‘‘as absolutely living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood to offer up spiritual, favorably-well-received sacrifices to The God through Jesus Christ’’ (1 Pet. 2:5). Therefore every true believer is to show the proper respect for The God by demonstrating respect for His will and His wishes in this way. But though under The Old Covenant the men were legally obligated to cover their heads in the Presence of The God, yet under The New Covenant the men are required to uncover their heads.
The word ‘covered’ (v. 4a) is the Greek word kahtáh which means ‘down.’ It denotes either opposition, distribution, or intensity. Since neither distribution nor intensity is applicable to the context and since ‘head’ is in the objective genitive case and the objective genitive is often translated meaning ‘against,’ we conclude that Paul was denoting opposition to The God if the man’s head is covered. Especially when we sing that “The Lamb is to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing” and at the same time do not obey His Word in the matter of honor and glory, are we not resisting ‘against’ Him?
B. Woman covered (vs. 5,6)
In The Old Testament the women like the men were required to have their heads covered when they enter the presence of The God. That has not been changed in The New Testament and under The New Covenant with The God, even though some cultures do not require it. However, it is not what culture requires or does not require, but rather what The God requires and stipulates in His Holy Word. Scripture clarifies the dilemma that three cultures in Corinth presented. Paul clearly indicates how The God views and answers this problem.
‘‘But every woman with her head not covered down while praying or while prophesying utterly shames the head[Christ and God ultimately, and her husband as well as one’s own head cf. v. 3] of herself. For it is one and the same~ thing with the permanently shaven^ one. For if (and it is true) a woman is not repeatedly covering herself down, she is also to shear herself! But if (and it is true) |it| is shamefully ugly[indecent] for a woman to shear herself or to shave herself, she is repeatedly to cover herself down!’’ (1 Cor. 11: 5,6 APT).
The word ‘cover’ (v. 6 AV) is the Greek word kahtah-kahlúpt0 which means ‘to cover down or wholly, to hide, or to veil.’ It is a present active middle verb form requiring continued or repeated action. The concept of opposition to The God is included in this meaning by means of the prefix kahtah (see last paragraph under 2A. above). Please note five facts that are presented in these two verses of Scripture, which also pertain to the man who does not uncover his head when he approaches The God.
(1) The woman must cover her head if she is to show respect to and honor God. Otherwise she is shamefully treating and disgracing The God.
(2) The word ‘uncovered’ in verse five is the Greek word ah-kahtah-káhluptos which is the negative of the noun form used in verse seven. Therefore the woman is not in opposition to God if she is covered, the converse of verse seven below. If this is true, then she is in opposition to God when she is uncovered or has nothing down upon her head. Therefore the woman is to have something down upon her head when she enters the Presence of The God.
(3) The word ‘covered’ in verse six is the Greek word kahtah-kahlúpt0 which means ‘to cover wholly, to hide, or to veil.’ It is an active verb. Therefore this is an act on the part of the woman, that is ‘to put something down upon her head in order to wholly cover it.’
(4) If the man is to be uncovered with nothing down upon his head, then the woman is to be covered with something down upon her head.
Paul stated that for the woman to be ‘uncovered’ is ‘‘one and the same thing’’ as being permanently ‘shaven’ (v. 5) or ‘shorn’(v. 6). In Corinth when a woman was unfaithful to her husband and committed immorality or she was a prostitute, she was either shorn or shaven according to the extent of the severity of the act. Thus the implication is that very short or shaven hair except for medical reasons represents immorality and indecency.
In essence Paul is saying, If a female believer will not put a covering on her head, that is the same as being completely shaven permanently or having her hair cut very short and be thought of as being immoral. Therefore the covering must be in addition to her hair.
(5) The question is raised, How should the woman be covered? The answer: By putting something down upon her head such as a hat, bonnet, beret, headband, cap, beanie, tam, skullcap, kerchief or bandanna, shawl, a net, a veil, a handkerchief, or napkin (serviette).
The Jews strictly observe this specification by The God by wearing a skull cap in the synagogue and a prayer shawl in private prayer.
By the differentiation in proper use of the covering, Paul contrasts the attitude of the individual toward God. If (and it is true) it is absolutely necessary for the man, regardless of culture, to demonstrate the proper attitude toward The God by removing whatever is upon his head, then it is absolutely necessary for the woman, regardless of culture, to demonstrate the proper attitude toward The God by putting something down upon her head or once this truth is known she dishonors and disgraces The God and she resists His will.
3. Why must this oral precept be observed? (v. 7).
There are three reasons for the regenerated disciples of The Lord Jesus Christ to observe and persistently practice this precept: the Glory of The God is to be seen in His presence and not the glory of man, the glory of man is to be veiled for this to be actually true, and The God is to be honored, not dishonored or disgraced. Glory is exaltation with majestic radiant splendor and honorable recognition and honor is the act of giving the highest esteem and the greatest respect.
‘‘For on the one hand 0man is legally obligated not to cover his head down, since |he| is continually existing 0image[Gen. 1:26] and 0glory of God. But on the other hand 0woman is 0man’s 0glory’’ (v. 7 APT).
The first reason for regenerated disciples to observe and persistently practice the precept (ordinance) of honor is to enable The God’s honor and glory to be manifest in Heaven to all celestial beings without distraction.
A. Because the glory of God is to be seen without distraction whenever anyone enters The God’s presence either in congregation or privately. Man is legally obligated’ to uncover his head upon entering The God’s presence. Since man is the earthly manifestation of The God’s glory and His glory is not to be veiled or covered, man is to uncover his physical head (cf. v. 7a). Conversely in order for the glory of The God to be displayed, the woman is legally obligated to put something down upon (cover) her head so that the glory of The God is displayed rather than the glory of the man because the woman is man’s glory. Additionally woman is to put something down upon her hair for if she does not put a covering upon her glory, her glory is manifest and The God’s glory is obscured rather than the woman’s glory being obscured or veiled.
When Christ was present on Earth His glory was manifest among His disciples and the man’s glory was veiled by His disciples, since every Hebrew (man and woman) wore some kind of covering. Now that Christ is ascended and seated in Heaven, the man is His representative on Earth and he is the glory of The God created in The God’s glory. Therefore the man uncovers his head or takes off whatever he has upon his head when he comes into The God’s presence so that the glory of his ‘spiritual Head’ might be displayed.
The second reason for regenerated disciples to observe and persistently practice the precept (ordinance) of honor is to obscure the glory of humans.
B. Because the glory of man is to be veiled (v. 7). The woman is the glory of the man and woman’s glory is her hair (v. 15). The man’s glory and the woman’s glory both must be veiled in the Presence of God or if it is not, The God’s glory is paled to insignificance. This is true because the woman is the glory of the man. So unless she is veiled or wears a covering, human glory is blatant for two reasons. On the one hand, man’s glory is seen because the glory of man, i.e. the woman is not only not properly veiled, but is not veiled at all. On the other hand, woman’s glory, i.e. her hair is not veiled or covered either. On both counts The God is disregarded or His will is ignored and thus blatantly defied. How can anyone claim to be saved and regenerated under The New Covenant or New Testament which Paul indicates and calls ‘The Will of God’ (Heb. 10:9,10) and at the same time purposely disregard The God’s will in the matter of this precept?
How can we really be worshipping (which includes giving The God glory) when in fact, according to The God’s word, by our actions we refuse to give Him glory? The attitude of ours and our action countermands our words and our praises and The God, according to His Word, is dishonored and disgraced.
The third reason for regenerated disciples to observe and persistently practice the precept (ordinance) of honor is to avoid dishonoring and disgracing The God.
C. Because The God is to be honored, not dishonored or disgraced. As noted above, honor is highest esteem and greatest respect. When honor is not granted to The God and displayed, the result amounts to dishonor and disgrace as far as The God is concerned. The God told Eli through one called, ‘a man of God,’ ‘‘. . . but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed’’ (1 Sam. 2:30). As far as the God is concerned the opposite of honoring Him is despising - the act of showing contempt or defiance. To do this in front of the angels is to disgrace Him. The purpose for the woman putting something down upon her head is not just to honor her husband as some claim, but far more than that, to honor The Lord Jesus Christ, Her spiritual Head and The God, The Head of Christ. The fact of the husband being honored by the wife’s act is incidental to the ultimate glorification and motivation intended. Let us not belittle a woman who resists the pressure of her culture to honor Her Lord and The God, her Father.
It is interesting to note that later in this same Epistle, the Apostle Paul extended this difference in honoring and giving glory to The God by the man and the woman in the realm of putting or taking off something on the head to the public oral leadership of the man and the silence of the woman in the gathering of the Church (1 Cor. 14:34-38).
“The women of yours& are continually to keep silent in the churches! For it stands prohibited[not granted] for them to speak, but on the contrary, to be continually under subjection[Gen. 3:16], according as also the law says. 35But if (and it is true) they determinedly will to learn[by practice, be discipled] anything, they are to inquire of their own [private] /husbands at home. For it is shamefully indecent[shamefully ugly] for women to speak in 0church. 36Or did The Word of The God exit away from you&? Or did it attain unto you& only? 37If (and it is true) anyone supposes to be a prophet or a spiritual+[controlled by The Spirit] one, he is to completely acknowledge [recognize from experience] that what~ things I write to you & are The Lord’s 0commandments. 38But if (and it is true) anyone is continually being ignorant, he is to be ignored continually!” (1 Cor. 14:34-38 APT).
Notice that the violation of both of these precepts result in shame or disgrace to The God, the opposite to the glory which The God is to receive in His presence. In his Epistle to Timothy Paul reinforces and provides the reason for and salvation from the plight of this precept concerning woman’s silence in the church (1 Tim. 2:10-15). So often we humans think of ourselves and our feelings instead of thinking of The God and His feelings especially of shame and disgrace.
III. The Origin of Humans (vs. 7-12).
Paul cites the order of the origin of humans as another reason for observance and obedience to this precept of honoring The God.
‘‘For on the one hand 0man is legally obligated not to cover his head down, since |he| is continually existing 0image and 0glory of God. But on the other hand 0woman is 0man’s 0glory. 8For 0man is not out of 0woman, but 0woman out of 0man. 9For also 0man was not created for the sake of the woman, but[on the contrary] 0woman for the sake of the man. 10Because of this~ the woman is continually legally obligated customarily to have the sign of [metonymy: effect for cause]authority upon her head for the sake of the angels[Eph. 3:10]. 11Nevertheless neither is 0man apart from 0woman nor 0woman apart from 0manm in 0Lord. 12For even as the woman |is| out of the man, even so the man |is| through the woman, but /all things |are| out of The God’’ (vs. 7-12).
Carefully note the order in which The God created humans and put them upon the Earth. The pattern for subjection stipulated in verse three is demonstrated in the order of creation and is the reason why this order is expected in the Church. The God is consistent in all He does. The order of creation is used as a pattern by The Holy Spirit through Paul to illustrate the order of subjection in the truth of honoring The God.
1. Man was created first from the dust of the Earth in the image and glory of The God.
2. After the creation of man, woman was created from the rib of man.
3. Man was not created for woman, but for The God.
4. While man was created for The God, woman was created for man.
5. Both are needed for reproduction.
God’s orderliness is seen in creation and the order of creation is carried over to the church. This orderliness teaches us the burden of responsibility in relation to the order in which subjection, honor, and glory is to be given and carried out in His Church.
IV. The Observation of Humility (v. 10).
Another reason that Paul gives for observance and obedience to this precept of honoring The God is the necessity to observe humility by willing subjection to the ordinance or oral precept of honoring The God.
‘‘Because of this~ the woman is continually legally obligated customarily to have the sign of [metonymy: effect for cause]authority upon her head for the sake of the angels’’ (v. 10).
1. Note firstly, The Holy Spirit uses the term ‘legally obligated.’
It is not a choice! It is obligatory for the godly woman to put something down upon her head when she enters the Presence of The God in order to show her humility and subjection to authority. Failure to do so demonstrates pride, disobedience, and rejection of Truth.
2. Note secondly, the term ‘authority (power in AV).’
The word ‘power’ is a translation of the word eksouséeah which is the word for ‘authority.’ In this context in which symbols of headship (the right of authority) are used (viz head, hair, covering). Here ‘authority’ is a particular figure of speech called metonymy. In this case the action is used for the meaning. Here ‘authority’ refers to ‘token of control’ or ‘sign of authority’, and ‘influence which is delegated,’ thus the right to perform an act (the right to pray or worship. ‘‘The covered head is the woman’s authority to pray and worship . . .’’ (Schlatter, M.D. Hooker, and F. Rienecker and C. Rogers). Some Lexicons (and W. E. Vine) indicate that in this case it means veil. Unless the woman has the sign of authority to enter The God’s presence she may as well not pray or worship. Consider what David wrote, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me ” (Ps. 66:18)! Then note what the blind who had his sight restore wrote, “In fact we are aware that The God continually does not hear sinners. But[on the contrary] if (and it may be) anyone be a devotee to God and persistently do His determined will, [Prov. 15:29]He continually hears this+ one” (Jn. 9:31 APT). Solomon confirms this fact, “The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous” (Prov. 15:29). How can one be righteous and deliberately persistently disobey The God’s Holy Word?
3. Note thirdly, another reason for observance and obedience to this precept of honoring The God is ‘for the sake of the angels’.
The angels relate to The God as the woman relates to The God. Therefore by her example the faithful woman teaches angels to continue in subjection to The God. The apostle Paul referred to the influence of the church (women included in the assembly) over the angels by teaching or ‘‘making known to principalities and powers the manifold wisdom of God’’ (Eph. 3:10,11 cf. 6:12).
‘‘. . . in order that now to the principalities and to the authorities in the celestials He make known by means of the Church the manifold wisdom of The God, according to 0purpose for the ages which He made in Christ Jesus, The Lord of ours. . . .Because the wrestling for us is constantly not against[to the face of] flesh and blood, but on the contrary, against [to the face of] the principalities, against[to the face of] the authorities, against[to the face of] the mighty world rulers of the dark of this /age, against[to the face of] the spiritual~ ones of the wickedness in the celestials’’ (Eph. 3:10,11 APT cf. 6:12 APT).
Since the Church is teaching the angels (authorities in the celestials) the manifold wisdom of The God in His planning in order to fulfill His purpose through the ages, it should not be difficult to relate to this concept of the woman teaching angels humble subjection to The God. She teaches angels in the positive sense so that they continue in humble subjection to Him, and in the negative sense to resist this Ordinance of Honor and rebel against God in pride by her very example of pride and defiance of the Precept (Ordinance) of Honor. Either way, in the church gathering or out and praying alone, she teaches angels either to submit or to resist The God’s authority.
The meaning of verse ten is that the woman should put the sign or token of submission (yielding to the authority and control over her by The God) on her head to demonstrate that she is in humble subjection to The Lord Jesus Christ and The God and, if married, to her husband by covering her head, because angels are observing her actions. Every time the woman comes into the Presence of The God, she has a unique privilege of teaching angels to consistently be in humble subjection to The God. When a woman sins, resists the authority of The God and later repents, she can be forgiven. And when she refuses to submit to the precept of honor, later she may repent and thereafter persistently submit to the ordinance and be forgiven. But there is no repentance and forgiveness for angels! When an angel sins and resists the authority of The God, that one is immediately judged and becomes one of the forces of evil in warfare. There are enough of those evil angels already.
V. The Object of Hair (vs. 13-15).
Since The Holy Spirit contemplated the reasoning of some humans in this regard, He moved Paul in writing to the Corinthians on this subject, what was the object for giving the woman long hair and plainly declared it was not a substitute for having something down upon her head when addressing The God in prayer either by verbalizing herself or adding Amen to that which a man prayed.
‘‘Judge for yourselves among yourselves! Is it proper that a woman is to pray to The God not covered down? 14Or even /nature^ herself is continually teaching you &, is she not? ‘On the one hand if (and it may be) a man grow long hair, it is a disgrace to him. 15But on the other hand if (and it may be) a woman grow long hair, it is a glory to her because the long hair stands given to her in addition to a wrap’’’ (1 Cor. 11:13-15 APT).
1. The word ‘comely’ is the Greek word préh-pohn which is a conditional, neuter, participial form of préh-pei which means ‘it is proper (fit or becoming).’ The verb is used in the form of a question. Judge for yourselves among yourselves, Is it proper for a woman to pray to The God not covered down?’’!
2. Long hair on a man is shameful. In God’s viewpoint it is a disgrace. But it is becoming for a woman to have long hair. Short hair on a woman is shameful! (vs. 6). Refer to 2.B.(4) above. Nature teaches us that when we look at a man with long hair it is shameful. Then the converse must be true. Short hair on a man is honorable.
3. Generally the question is raised, ‘‘How long should a woman’s hair be?’’ Some have answered that question, ‘‘Mary wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair. Therefore should not her hair be long enough to wipe Jesus’ feet?” That would be commendable and admirable. But there are mitigating circumstances. As women age their hair becomes brittle and many hairs break. But according to 1 Corinthians it should not be cut as short as man’s hair. For Paul said it is shamefully ugly or indecent for a woman to shear herself or to shave herself (v. 6 APT, see above II. 2.B.). The first class factual condition in the indicative mood is called the reality condition by A. T. Robertson and is introduced with the conjunction εi. The context determines when it is suppositional which means ‘if (and assume it is true)’; otherwise it is translated ‘if (and it is true).’ In this case Paul is saying that, contrary to the cultural norm in America, that short, cropped, and shaven hair on a woman is shamefully ugly because it indicates that, unless it is medically necessary, she is defying The God who made her and intended for her to have long hair.
4. Therefore hair is to be an indicator and the means of apparent distinction between the male (man) and the female (woman).
5. The word ‘covering’ (v. 15) is the Greek word pereebóh-laiohn, which means ‘something cast around one, a mantle, a wrap.’ It is a noun derived from the verb pereebáhllō which in the active voice means ‘to cast around, to envelope with’ and in the middle voice it means ‘to dress oneself, to envelop oneself.’ The woman’s hair is given to her for glory and is given in addition to a wrap. Though the Greek word ahnti is often translated ‘instead of ’ in the context of retribution, and less frequently ‘in exchange for,’ it also means ‘in addition to’ (cf. Jn. 1:16; Lk. 10:40; 12:3). For those who claim, A woman’s hair is given for a covering and therefore an additional covering is not necessary, the question is raised, How can the covering of verse six be the same covering of verse fifteen? If hair is to be the covering, once she is shorn or shaven she has no covering. Yet if she is shorn, verse six states that she should be covered. ‘‘If she does not have hair for a covering because she is shorn or shaven, she is repeatedly to cover herself down!’’ It doesn’t make sense! If she doesn’t have any hair, she is to shear herself. Without long hair, the only way to cover herself down is by putting something down upon her head!
a. For one thing there are two different Greek words used that are translated cover, covering: kahtah-kahlúpt0 and pereebóh-laiohn. Why did not the Holy Spirit move Paul to use the same word in each case? There is a vast difference between ‘something cast around’ and ‘something down upon.’ One is that which The God has given to her in creation, the other is an act which she must perform to acknowledge her subjection to His authority and to please Him when she comes into His presence to pray. If she disdains the glory that The God gave to her and cuts it off, she no longer has her glory but instead The God sees it as shame. Now what must she do about her shame that The God sees when He looks down? Must she wait to regrow her hair before she prays or assembles with other disciples? Or at the very least, shall she not put something down upon her head?
b. Secondly The Holy Spirit through Paul wrote, ‘‘If she doesn’t have a covering down upon her head, let her be shorn.’’ Once she is shorn, if hair is the covering as some claim, she does not have a covering any more. By cutting or shaving her hair, if (and it is not likely) it is the covering, she destroyed the covering which God gave to her. So now what will she use as a covering? Therefore the ‘something down upon her head’ must be in addition to her hair.
c. The only time in the Old Testament that a woman is uncovered is when her husband has accused her of infidelity and she must be brought to the priest who will stand her before The LORD at the door of the Tabernacle or in the court of the Temple, uncover her head, put her husband’s offering of barley meal in her hands, and cause her to drink the bitter holy water that causes a curse. If she is guilty, she will die (Num. 5:11-18-31, please read). All other times the women came before the Lord covered. Can you imagine the fear and trembling that woman felt as she stood before the priest if she was guilty of immorality.
VI. The Obstinate Hushed (vs. 16).
The Holy Spirit knew well the human heart and spirit. He knew there would be more contention over the precept in addition to the other contentions which prevailed.
‘‘But if (and it is true) anyone seems to be argumentative[fond of. contention], we ourselves continually do not have such kind of custom together, neither |do| the churches of The God’’ (1 Cor. 11:16 APT).
In addition to the customs which infiltrated the Corinthian Church through the various religious backgrounds (Judaism, idolatry, spirit worship, mystery religions, etc.) and the three predominant cultures, there was the custom which prevailed in the Corinthian church and which Paul consistently rebuked: the custom of ‘contentions’ (see 1 Cor. 1:10,11; 3:3-5; 6:1-4). This is a violation of the Ordinance of Unity! The word for custom is a compound word with the prefix meaning ‘together’ and the root meaning ‘a settled habit of mind and manners.’ Verse sixteen is the answer to such contention which predisposes the heresy that he rebukes next (vs. 18,19).
This verse does not mean if anyone is contentious about the woman wearing a covering in the house of The Lord, the churches of The God do not have such a custom of women covering their heads. That would make the whole passage of fifteen verses redundant and in effective. In essence that is saying, Cut out 1 Corinthians 11:1-16 out of the Bible. Why would the Holy Spirit and Paul use fifteen verses to prove that the proper way to enter the Presence of the Only True and Holy God is for the man to take off what is on his head and for the woman to put something down upon her head in order to honor, glorify, and please The True God and then wipe out what was written with verse sixteen? That does not make sense! What The Holy Spirit through Paul is saying is that the churches of The God do not have such kind of custom together to be contentious over The Word of God. This fits the context of the whole Epistle (refer to the Introduction. 1, page 1). How can one contend with The God and The God’s Word in this matter which involves His honor and glory, claim to be truly regenerated and at the same time disregard The Holy Spirit’s ministry to guide into all Truth and convict of sin? How can we truly love The Lord Jesus Christ and not persistently obey His Word?
VII. The Obedient Ones Honoring.
It is clear from this passage that the disobedient ones dishonor their heads, both physical and spiritual, which are ultimately The Christ and The God (vs. 4,5). Therefore since the disobedient ones are dishonoring and disgracing The God, it is a simple conclusion that those who are obedient are honoring Him and giving the glory due to Him which He has indicated in His Holy Word. There is no halfway in between. One either honors or dishonors The God. One is either a glory or else a shame and a disgrace to Him Additionally when a woman stands up to speak in the church, to teach men, to lead the congregation in singing, she is dishonoring and disgracing The God, His Son, and His Holy Word. Is it reasonable to expect The God to honor our prayers, our preaching, our witnessing, and our participation in worship when in the very act of doing these things physically, we are disobedient, dishonoring, and disgracing both The Christ and The God? How can we expect Him to honor our efforts of worship and requests in prayer when at the same time we dishonor Him in our actions and our attitudes? And how can anyone who persistently disregards The God’s Word, dishonors and disgraces Him and His Son claim to be regenerated by His Holy Spirit and be led by The Holy Spirit, Whom the Lord Jesus Himself said shall glorify Me (Jn. 16:13,14)?
We have been redeemed at such a cost to God The Father and to His Son, The Lord Jesus Christ. The Father gave His Only Begotten Son, Who in turn gave His life in agonizing death, suffering the wrath of God on Calvary, and shedding His precious blood, which immediately after His resurrection-ascension He applied to the Mercyseat in Heaven for justification of all who repent and commit complete, persistent trust to Him. Since the cost was so much and the salvation so great, we have no right to contend or be contentious (Rom. 2:8,9) about anything in God’s Word, nor to resist obeying His will. None of the churches of Christ are to permit contention to continue, nor women to usurp authority over or teach the man. But it really should not be a problem for those who have really been saved from sin, its penalty, and curse, and are regenerated. Nothing should be too much to ask for the one totally committed to the Lord Jesus Christ and ardently in love with Him. Remember what Jesus Himself said to the church of Lah-ohdee-keí-ah, which so aptly describes and represents the last stage of church history before The Lord Jesus Christ comes, namely the church in this present day,
‘‘I am aware of your$ /works, that you$ are continually neither refreshingly cool nor boiling hot. Oh that you$ /were refreshingly cool or /the boiling hot! In this way because you$ are continually lukewarm and neither refreshingly cool nor boiling hot. I am about to vomit you$ out of My /mouth . . . As many as ever I Myself be continually fond of, I am repeatedly refuting[convicting] and I am repeatedly chastising. Therefore boil with envious zeal and repent at once! 20Lo! I remain standing up to the door and I am repeatedly knocking. If (and it may happen) anyone hear My /call and open the door, /in fact\ I shall enter to him. And I shall dine with him and himself with Me. 21The+ one continually overcoming, I shall give to him to sit down with Me in My /throne, even as I Myself overcame and I sat down with My /Father in His /throne’’ (Rev. 3:15, 16,19-21 APT).
Be an overcomer! In this case, overcome contention, pride, obstinacy, and indifference to God’s declared will!
Please note: God’s unalterable law for ALL ages regarding HONORING GOD is tersely stated to the priests, the Sons of Eli.
‘‘Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed!’’ (1 Samuel 2:30).
Now that you are aware that you must outwardly demonstrate obedience and subjection to The God as your supreme Head and His Son, The Lord Jesus Christ when you enter His Presence at home or in the church, what will you do? The choice is entirely yours! And the consequences are yours as well! What will you do hereafter?
As Paul encouraged the mixed congregation of true and false believers in Corinth, even so you yourselves heed his exhortation!
“Therefore we are ambassadors in behalf of Christ, as if The God is entreating by means of us, We implore in behalf of Christ, Become reconciled to The God!” (2 Cor. 5:20 APT).Ω7/14/2005
Reasons for a man to uncover and a woman to cover the head when praying or prophesying according to 1 Corinthians 11:1-16.
1. To honor The God and The Lord Jesus Christ.
2. To do what is proper and fitting to The God and to nature.
3. To help maintain unity and harmony with The God.
4. In order not to dishonor The God and The Christ.
5. In order not to take away from the Glory of The God by veiling It ( the man) or giving man’s glory equal place (the woman).
6. To encourage angels to continue to submit and obey The God.
7. In order not to be contentious.
8. The God to answer my prayers (1 John 3:22);
9. The God to honor me (1 Samuel 2:30);
10. To please The God and His Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:1; 2:4);
11. To be obedient to The God’s Word and will.
I do not want:
12. To sin against The God (James 4:17);
13. To condemn myself (Romans 14:22,23);
14. To please men and thus not be The Christ’s servant (Galatians 1:10);
15. To hinder The God from answering prayer (John 9:31);
16. I know that it is good (James 1:17).
17. Even if it were doubtful, I would rather be safe and please The God than be sorry that I did not do so.
QUESTIONS ON ‘‘HOW TO HONOR THE GOD’’
1 Corinthians 11:1-16
Please give verse reference to substantiate your answers!
1. What is the order of headship which Paul declares? v.
1. 2 3. 4 .
2. What does the word ‘prophesy’ mean?
3. On what two occasions are believers to observe the Ordinance of Honor, which relates to covering the head?
4. What do patriotic men in America and other countries do in order to honor the flag of their nation when it passes or when they pledge allegiance to it?
5. What does Paul indicate that the man must do in order to honor The God when he comes to Him to speak to Him in prayer and when he goes privately or publicly to speak to someone about The Christ?
6. What does Paul indicate the woman must do in order to honor The God when she comes to Him to speak to Him in prayer and when she goes out to speak to someone about The Christ?
7. What conclusion is drawn from the Greek word ah-kahtah-kahlúpt0 which Paul uses to rebuke the woman’s attitude toward The God when she is uncovered?
8. What does Paul indicate that creation teaches us about the order of headship and the burden of responsibility to be in subjection according to that order?
9. What is the two-fold meaning and significance of why the woman is to put something down upon her head in the Presence of The God?
10. What is the significance of the only occasion an Old Testament woman stands before the priest at the door of the Tabernacle or in the court of the Temple with her head uncovered? Where is this recorded?
11. What is the difference between the kind of covering mentioned in verse 15 and that covering in verses 4, 5 and 6?
12. What is the prevalent custom in the Church of Corinth that Paul rebukes, which is also prevalent among carnal believers today?
13. What do you conclude is the true meaning intended by The God when The Holy Spirit inspired the apostle Paul to write 1 Corinthians 11:16?
| | understood $singular &plural /the 0no article +masculine ~neuter
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