Your women in the assemblies let them be silent, for it hath not been permitted to them to speak, but to be subject, as also the law saith;
1 Corinthians 14:34 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Let your women keep silence in the churches - This was a Jewish ordinance; women were not permitted to teach in the assemblies, or even to ask questions. The rabbins taught that "a woman should know nothing but the use of her distaff." And the sayings of Rabbi Eliezer, as delivered, Bammidbar Rabba, sec. 9, fol. 204, are both worthy of remark and of execration; they are these: ישרפו דברי תורה ואל ימסרו לנשים yisrephu dibrey torah veal yimsaru lenashim, "Let the words of the law be burned, rather than that they should be delivered to women." This was their condition till the time of the Gospel, when, according to the prediction of Joel, the Spirit of God was to be poured out on the women as well as the men, that they might prophesy, i.e. teach. And that they did prophesy or teach is evident from what the apostle says, 1 Corinthians 11:5, where he lays down rules to regulate this part of their conduct while ministering in the church.
But does not what the apostle says here contradict that statement, and show that the words in chap. 11 should be understood in another sense? For, here it is expressly said that they should keep silence in the church; for it was not permitted to a woman to speak. Both places seem perfectly consistent. It is evident from the context that the apostle refers here to asking questions, and what we call dictating in the assemblies. It was permitted to any man to ask questions, to object, altercate, attempt to refute, etc., in the synagogue; but this liberty was not allowed to any woman. St. Paul confirms this in reference also to the Christian Church; he orders them to keep silence; and, if they wished to learn any thing, let them inquire of their husbands at home; because it was perfectly indecorous for women to be contending with men in public assemblies, on points of doctrine, cases of conscience, etc. But this by no means intimated that when a woman received any particular influence from God to enable her to teach, that she was not to obey that influence; on the contrary, she was to obey it, and the apostle lays down directions in chap. 11 for regulating her personal appearance when thus employed. All that the apostle opposes here is their questioning, finding fault, disputing, etc., in the Christian Church, as the Jewish men were permitted to do in their synagogues; together with the attempts to usurp any authority over the man, by setting up their judgment in opposition to them; for the apostle has in view, especially, acts of disobedience, arrogance, etc., of which no woman would be guilty who was under the influence of the Spirit of God.
But - to be under obedience, as also saith the law - This is a reference to Genesis 3:16 : Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. From this it is evident that it was the disorderly and disobedient that the apostle had in view; and not any of those on whom God had poured out his Spirit.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
1 Corinthians 11:5 But every woman that prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
1 Timothy 2:11,12 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection...
1 Corinthians 14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
1 Corinthians 11:3,7-10 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God...
Ephesians 5:22-24,33 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord...
Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
Titus 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
1 Peter 3:1-6 Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word...
1 Corinthians 14:21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak to this people...
Genesis 3:16 To the woman he said, I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in sorrow you shall bring forth children...
Numbers 30:3-13 If a woman also vow a vow to the LORD, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father's house in her youth...
Esther 1:17-20 For this deed of the queen shall come abroad to all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their eyes...
1 Corinthians 14:34 Parallel CommentariesAllowed Assemblies Churches Commanded Content Law Married Obedience Permitted Quiet Right Silence Silent Speak Subject Subjection Talking Themselves Wives WomenAllowed Assemblies Churches Commanded Content Law Married Obedience Permitted Quiet Right Silence Silent Speak Subject Subjection Talking Themselves Wives WomenTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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