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  • JAMIESON-FAUSSET-BROWN - 1CORINTHIANS 11
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    CHAPTER 11

    1Co 11:1-34. CENSURE ON DISORDERS IN THEIR ASSEMBLIES: THEIR WOMEN NOT BEING VEILED, AND ABUSES AT THE LOVE-FEASTS.

    1. Rather belonging to the end of the tenth chapter, than to this chapter.
    - followers--Greek, "imitators."
    - of Christ--who did not please Himself (Ro 15:3); but gave Himself, at the cost of laying aside His divine glory, and dying as man, for us (Eph 5:2; Php 2:4, 5). We are to follow Christ first, and earthly teachers only so far as they follow Christ.

    2. Here the chapter ought to begin.
    - ye remember me in all things--in your general practice, though in the particular instances which follow ye fail.
    - ordinances--Greek, "traditions," that is, apostolic directions given by word of mouth or in writing (1Co 11:23; 15:3; 2Th 2:15). The reference here is mainly to ceremonies: for in 1Co 11:23, as to the LORD'S SUPPER, which is not a mere ceremony, he says, not merely, "I delivered unto you," but also, "I received of the Lord"; here he says only, "I delivered to you." Romanists argue hence for oral traditions. But the difficulty is to know what is a genuine apostolic tradition intended for all ages. Any that can be proved to be such ought to be observed; any that cannot, ought to be rejected (Re 22:18). Those preserved in the written word alone can be proved to be such.

    3. The Corinthian women, on the ground of the abolition of distinction of sexes in Christ, claimed equality with the male sex, and, overstepping the bounds of propriety, came forward to pray and prophesy without the customary head-covering of females. The Gospel, doubtless, did raise women from the degradation in which they had been sunk, especially in the East. Yet, while on a level with males as to the offer of, and standing in grace (Ga 3:28), their subjection in point of order, modesty, and seemliness, is to be maintained. Paul reproves here their unseemliness as to dress: in 1Co 14:34, as to the retiring modesty in public which becomes them. He grounds his reproof here on the subjection of woman to man in the order of creation.
    - the head--an appropriate expression, when he is about to treat of woman's appropriate headdress in public.
    - of every man . . . Christ-- (Eph 5:23).
    - of . . . woman . . . man-- (1Co 11:8; Ge 3:16; 1Ti 2:11, 12; 1Pe 3:1, 5, 6).
    - head of Christ is God-- (1Co 3:23; 15:27, 28; Lu 3:22, 38; Joh 14:28; 20:17; Eph 3:9). "Jesus, therefore, must be of the same essence as God: for, since the man is the head of the woman, and since the head is of the same essence as the body, and God is the head of the Son, it follows the Son is of the same essence as the Father" [CHRYSOSTOM]. "The woman is of the essence of the man, and not made by the man; so, too, the Son is not made by the Father, but of the essence of the Father" [THEODORET, t. 3, p. 171].

    4. praying--in public (1Co 11:17).
    - prophesying--preaching in the Spirit (1Co 12:10).
    - having--that is, if he were to have: a supposed case to illustrate the impropriety in the woman's case. It was the Greek custom (and so that at Corinth) for men in worship to be uncovered; whereas the Jews wore the Talith, or veil, to show reverence before God, and their unworthiness to look on Him (Isa 6:2); however, MAIMONIDES [Mishna] excepts cases where (as in Greece) the custom of the place was different.
    - dishonoureth his head--not as ALFORD, "Christ" (1Co 11:3); but literally, as "his head" is used in the beginning of the verse. He dishonoreth his head (the principal part of the body) by wearing a covering or veil, which is a mark of subjection, and which makes him look downwards instead of upwards to his Spiritual Head, Christ, to whom alone he owes subjection. Why, then, ought not man to wear the covering in token of his subjection to Christ, as the woman wears it in token of her subjection to man? "Because Christ is not seen: the man is seen; so the covering of him who is under Christ is not seen; of her who is under the man, is seen" [BENGEL]. (Compare 1Co 11:7).

    5. woman . . . prayeth . . . prophesieth--This instance of women speaking in public worship is an extraordinary case, and justified only by the miraculous gifts which such women possessed as their credentials; for instance, Anna the prophetess and Priscilla (so Ac 2:18). The ordinary rule to them is: silence in public (1Co 14:34, 35; 1Ti 2:11, 12). Mental receptivity and activity in family life are recognized in Christianity, as most accordant with the destiny of woman. This passage does not necessarily sanction women speaking in public, even though possessing miraculous gifts; but simply records what took place at Corinth, without expressing an opinion on it, reserving the censure of it till 1Co 14:34, 35. Even those women endowed with prophecy were designed to exercise their gift, rather in other times and places, than the public congregation.
    - dishonoureth . . . head--in that she acts against the divine ordinance and the modest propriety that becomes her: in putting away the veil, she puts away the badge of her subjection to man, which is her true "honor"; for through him it connects her with Christ, the head of the man. Moreover, as the head-covering was the emblem of maiden modesty before man (Ge 24:65), and conjugal chastity (Ge 20:16); so, to uncover the head indicated withdrawal from the power of the husband, whence a suspected wife had her head uncovered by the priest (Nu 5:18). ALFORD takes "her head" to be man, her symbolical, not her literal head; but as it is literal in the former clause, it must be so in the latter one.
    - all one as if . . . shaven--As woman's hair is given her by nature, as her covering (1Co 11:15), to cut it off like a man, all admit, would be indecorous: therefore, to put away the head-covering, too, like a man, would be similarly indecorous. It is natural to her to have long hair for her covering: she ought, therefore, to add the other (the wearing of a head-covering) to show that she does of her own will that which nature itself teaches she ought to do, in token of her subjection to man.

    6. A woman would not like to be "shorn" or (what is worse) "shaven"; but if she chooses to be uncovered (unveiled) in front, let her be so also behind, that is, "shorn."
    - a shame--an unbecoming thing (compare 1Co 11:13-15). Thus the shaving of nuns is "a shame."

    7-9. Argument, also, from man's more immediate relation to God, and the woman's to man.
    - he is . . . image . . . glory of God--being created in God's "image," first and directly: the woman, subsequently, and indirectly, through the mediation of man. Man is the representative of God's "glory" this ideal of man being realized most fully in the Son of man (Ps 8:4, 5; compare 2Co 8:23). Man is declared in Scripture to be both the "image," and in the "likeness," of God (compare Jas 3:9). But "image" alone is applied to the Son of God (Col 1:15; compare Heb 1:3). "Express image," Greek, "the impress." The Divine Son is not merely "like" God, He is God of God, "being of one substance (essence) with the Father." [Nicene Creed].
    - woman . . . glory of . . . man--He does not say, also, "the image of the man." For the sexes differ: moreover, the woman is created in the image of God, as well as the man (Ge 1:26, 27). But as the moon in relation to the sun (Ge 37:9), so woman shines not so much with light direct from God, as with light derived from man, that is, in her order in creation; not that she does not in grace come individually into direct communion with God; but even here much of her knowledge is mediately given her through man, on whom she is naturally dependent.

    8. is of . . . of--takes his being from ("out of") . . . from: referring to woman's original creation, "taken out of man" (compare Ge 2:23). The woman was made by God mediately through the man, who was, as it were, a veil or medium placed between her and God, and therefore, should wear the veil or head-covering in public worship, in acknowledgement of this subordination to man in the order of creation. The man being made immediately by God as His glory, has no veil between himself and God [FABER STAPULENSIS in BENGEL].

    9. Neither--rather, "For also"; Another argument: The immediate object of woman's creation. "The man was not created for the sake of the woman; but the woman for the sake of the man" (Ge 2:18, 21, 22). Just as the Church, the bride, is made for Christ; and yet in both the natural and the spiritual creations, the bride, while made for the bridegroom, in fulfilling that end, attains her own true "glory," and brings "shame" and "dishonor" on herself by any departure from it (1Co 11:4, 6).

    10. power on her head--the kerchief: French couvre chef, head-covering, the emblem of "power on her head"; the sign of her being under man's power, and exercising delegated authority under him. Paul had before his mind the root-connection between the Hebrew terms for "veil" (radid), and "subjection" (radad).
    - because of the angels--who are present at our Christian assemblies (compare Ps 138:1, "gods," that is, angels), and delight in the orderly subordination of the several ranks of God's worshippers in their respective places, the outward demeanor and dress of the latter being indicative of that inward humility which angels know to be most pleasing to their common Lord (1Co 4:9; Eph 3:10; Ec 5:6). HAMMOND quotes CHRYSOSTOM, "Thou standest with angels; thou singest with them; thou hymnest with them; and yet dost thou stand laughing?" BENGEL explains, "As the angels are in relation to God, so the woman is in relation to man. God's face is uncovered; angels in His presence are veiled (Isa 6:2). Man's face is uncovered; woman in His presence is to be veiled. For her not to be so, would, by its indecorousness, offend the angels (Mt 18:10, 31). She, by her weakness, especially needs their ministry; she ought, therefore, to be the more careful not to offend them."

    11. Yet neither sex is insulated and independent of the other in the Christian life [ALFORD]. The one needs the other in the sexual relation; and in respect to Christ ("in the Lord"), the man and the woman together (for neither can be dispensed with) realize the ideal of redeemed humanity represented by the bride, the Church.

    12. As the woman was formed out of (from) the man, even so is man born by means of woman; but all things (including both man and woman) are from God as their source (Ro 11:36; 2Co 5:18). They depend mutually each on the other, and both on him.

    13. Appeal to their own sense of decorum.
    - a woman . . . unto God--By rejecting the emblem of subjection (the head-covering), she passes at one leap in praying publicly beyond both the man and angels [BENGEL].

    14. The fact that nature has provided woman, and not man, with long hair, proves that man was designed to be uncovered, and woman covered. The Nazarite, however, wore long hair lawfully, as being part of a vow sanctioned by God (Nu 6:5). Compare as to Absalom, 2Sa 14:26, and Ac 18:18.

    15. her hair . . . for a covering--Not that she does not need additional covering. Nay, her long hair shows she ought to cover her head as much as possible. The will ought to accord with nature [BENGEL].

    16. A summary close to the argument by appeal to the universal custom of the churches.
    - if any . . . seem--The Greek also means "thinks" (fit) (compare Mt 3:9). If any man chooses (still after all my arguments) to be contentious. If any be contentious and thinks himself right in being so. A reproof of the Corinthians' self-sufficiency and disputatiousness (1Co 1:20).
    - we--apostles: or we of the Jewish nation, from whom ye have received the Gospel, and whose usages in all that is good ye ought to follow: Jewish women veiled themselves when in public, according to TERTULLIAN [ESTIUS]. The former explanation is best, as the Jews are not referred to in the context: but he often refers to himself and his fellow apostles, by the expression, "we--us" (1Co 4:9, 10).
    - no such custom--as that of women praying uncovered. Not as CHRYSOSTOM, "that of being contentious." The Greek term implies a usage, rather than a menta

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