1 Corinthians 11:7
For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
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(7) For a man indeed.—In 1Corinthians 11:4-7 the argument against the woman’s head being uncovered was based upon (a) the woman’s relation to man, and (b) the man’s relation to Christ in the Church. In the three following verses, 1Corinthians 11:7-9, the ground of the argument is changed, and the same conclusion is arrived at from a review of (a) the woman’s relation to man, and (b) man’s relation to God in the physical Creation. The external form of this argument is the same as that adopted previously. The Apostle first states what the man must not do, and then conversely what the woman must do. The Apostle here takes up the order of creation mentioned in Genesis 1, 2, and the argument runs thus:—Man was made in the image of God, and is the glory of God; but woman is the glory of the man (for woman was made out of man, and also man was not created for woman, but woman for—i.e., as a help-meet for—man). Therefore man, as a created being, according to the accepted order of creation, is the direct representative of God, and woman the direct representative of man (and only indirectly and through him of God). The spiritual equality of man and wife does not upset this relationship, and therefore an attempt to destroy the outward expression of it is to be condemned, as it would soon lead to an obliteration of the fact itself.

It is to be remembered all through this passage (and it gives a further emphasis to the allusion to Adam and Eve) that St. Paul is only speaking of married women—it is most unlikely that any case had occurred of an unmarried woman attempting such an outrage upon social feeling and national custom. The Greek women when in public (except those of avowedly bad character) either wore a veil or drew the peplum, or shawl, over their heads.

1 Corinthians 11:7-9. A man indeed ought not to cover, or veil, his head — As a sign of subjection; forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God — Namely, in respect of the dominion over the inferior creatures, with which he is clothed, representing the supreme dominion of God; for in respect of mental qualities, the woman is also the image of God: but the woman is the glory of the man — By being subject to him, and of all creatures coming nearest to him in all the excellences of his nature. For the man is not of the woman — In his first production; but the woman of the man — As we read in the sacred history, Genesis 2:21-23. Neither was the man created for the sake of the woman — To accommodate and assist her; but the woman for the man — That he might have a help meet for him, which before he found not in the whole creation, Genesis 2:20.

11:2-16 Here begin particulars respecting the public assemblies, ch. 1Co 14. In the abundance of spiritual gifts bestowed on the Corinthians, some abuses had crept in; but as Christ did the will, and sought the honour of God, so the Christian should avow his subjection to Christ, doing his will and seeking his glory. We should, even in our dress and habit, avoid every thing that may dishonour Christ. The woman was made subject to man, because made for his help and comfort. And she should do nothing, in Christian assemblies, which looked like a claim of being equal. She ought to have power, that is, a veil, on her head, because of the angels. Their presence should keep Christians from all that is wrong while in the worship of God. Nevertheless, the man and the woman were made for one another. They were to be mutual comforts and blessings, not one a slave, and the other a tyrant. God has so settled matters, both in the kingdom of providence and that of grace, that the authority and subjection of each party should be for mutual help and benefit. It was the common usage of the churches, for women to appear in public assemblies, and join in public worship, veiled; and it was right that they should do so. The Christian religion sanctions national customs wherever these are not against the great principles of truth and holiness; affected singularities receive no countenance from any thing in the Bible.For a man indeed ought not to cover his head - That is, with a veil; or in public worship; when he approaches God, or when in His name he addresses his fellow man. It is not fit and proper that he should be covered. The reason why it is not proper, the apostle immediately states.

Forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God - The phrase "the image of God" refers to the fact that man was made in the likeness of his Maker Genesis 1:27; and proves that, though fallen, there is a sense in which he is still the image of God. It is not because man is truly or pure, and thus resembles his Creator; but it evidently is because he was invested by his Maker with authority and dominion; he was superior to all other creatures; Genesis 1:28. This is still retained; and this the apostle evidently refers to in the passage before us, and this he says should be recognized and regarded. If he wore a veil or turban, it would be a mark of servitude or inferiority. It was therefore improper that he should appear in this manner; but he should he so clad as not to obscure or hide the great truth that he was the direct representative of God on the earth, and had a superiority to all other creatures.

And glory of God - The word "glory" in the classic writers means:

(1) Opinion, sentiment, etc.;

(2) fame, reputation.

Here it means, as it often does, splendor, brightness, or that which stands forth to "represent" God, or by which the glory of God is known. Man was created first; he had dominion given him; by him, therefore, the divine authority and wisdom first shone forth; and this fact should be recognized in the due subordination of rank, and even in the apparel and attire which shall be worn. The impression of his rank and superiority should be everywhere retained.

But the woman is the glory of the man - The honor, the ornament, etc. She was made for him; she was made after he was; she was taken from him, and was "bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh." All her comeliness, loveliness, and purity are therefore an expression of his honor and dignity, since all that comeliness and loveliness were made of him and for him. This, therefore, ought to be acknowledged by a suitable manner of attire; and in his presence this sense of her inferiority of rank and subordination should be acknowledged by the customary use of the veil. She should appear with the symbol of modesty and subjection, which are implied by the head being covered This sense is distinctly expressed in the following verse.

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.

For a man indeed ought not to cover his head; covering the head being in those countries a token of subjection, a man ought to uphold the power, pre-eminence, and authority with which God hath invested him, and not to cover his head, further than it is naturally covered with hair.

Forasmuch as he is the image and glory, of God; because he hath a peculiar cause of glorying in God, as he to whom alone he is subject, and therefore ought by no habits or postures to show himself in subjection to others: or because God glorieth in him, as a most excellent piece of his workmanship: God is represented in man. Paul useth to call that one’s glory wherein he glorieth, 2 Corinthians 1:12,14 1 Thessalonians 2:20. So David ealleth God his glory; and Solomon tells us, Proverbs 17:6, that the glory of children are their fathers. So as the apostle here useth a double argument for the man’s not covering of his head:

1. Because the man is immediately subject to God, and therefore ought not by any habits, or civil rites, to show his natural subjection to men, that are not by nature his superiors (for we must not think, that the apostle by this argument forbiddeth subjection to natural, economical, or political superiors).

2. Because God glorieth in man.

But the woman is the glory of the man, created for the honour of the man, and for his help and assistance, and originally made out of man, so as man may glory of her, as Adam did of Eve, Genesis 2:23,

This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh. The glory of God ought to be revealed and uncovered, manifested to all: the glory of the man ought to be hidden and concealed.

For a man indeed ought not to cover his head,.... The Ethiopic version adds, "whilst he prays"; which is a proper interpretation of the words, though a wrong version; for the apostle's meaning is not, that a man should not have his head covered at any time, but whilst he is in public worship, praying, prophesying, or singing of psalms: the reason is,

forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God. The apostle speaks of man here as in his first creation, in his state of innocence before his fall; but now he has sinned and defaced this image, and come short of this glory; which lay partly in his body being made after the exemplar of the body of Christ, the idea of which God had in his eternal mind, and according to which he shaped the body of Adam: and partly in his soul, in that righteousness and holiness, wisdom and knowledge, and all other excellent gifts in which it was formed. So the Jews (b) say, the understanding is "the glory of God". And it chiefly lay in the power and dominion he had over all the creatures, and even over the woman when made; at least this is principally respected here, in which there is such a shine and representation of the glory and majesty, power and dominion of God; and therefore man ought to worship him with his head uncovered, where this image and glory of God is most illustriously displayed: not but that the woman, is the image and glory of God also, and was made as man, after his image and likeness, with respect to internal qualities, as righteousness, holiness, knowledge, &c. and with regard to her power over the other creatures, though in subjection to man; but yet man was first originally and immediately the image and glory of God, the woman only secondarily and mediately through man. The man is more perfectly and conspicuously the image and glory of God, on account of his more extensive dominion and authority:

but the woman is the glory of the man; being made out of him, and for his help and assistance, and to be a crown of honour and glory to him. The apostle speaks the sense, and in the language of the Jews. The words in Isaiah 44:13. "After the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man", are by the Targum rendered, "after the likeness of a man, after the glory of a woman"; and the note of a famous (c) interpreter of theirs upon the last clause is, "this is the woman", "who is the glory of her husband"; but why is she to be covered for this reason, when the man is to be uncovered? it is to be observed, that it is in the presence and worship of God that the one is to be uncovered, and the other covered; the one being the glory of God, and therefore to be uncovered before him; and the other the glory of man, and therefore to be covered before God; and especially, since being first in the transgression, she who is man's glory has been the means of his shame and disgrace. The Jews seem to make this the reason of the difference; they ask (d),

"why does a man go out with his head uncovered, and a woman with her head covered? it is answered, it is like to one that has committed a sin, and he is ashamed of the children of men, therefore she goes , "with her head covered".''

(b) Maimon. in Misn. Chagiga, c. 2. sect 1. 1. (c) R. Sol. Jarchi in Isaiah 44.13. (d) Bereshit Rabba, sect. 17. fol. 15. 1.

{6} For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

(6) The taking away of an objection: have not men also hair given to them? I grant that, says the apostle, but there is another matter in it. For man was made to this end and purpose, that the glory of God should appear in his rule and authority. But the woman was made so that by profession of her obedience, she might more honour her husband.

1 Corinthians 11:7-9. Γάρ] introduces the grounding of the κατακαλυπτέσθω, consequently a second ground for the proposition under discussion (the first being 1 Corinthians 11:3-6). The argument sets out again (comp 1 Corinthians 11:3) e contrario.

οὐκ ὀφείλει] does not mean: he is not bound, which, as 1 Corinthians 11:3 shows, would not be enough; but: he ought not, etc., in contrast to the woman who ought (1 Corinthians 11:5; 1 Corinthians 11:10). Comp 2 Corinthians 12:14.

εἰκὼν κ. δόξα κ.τ.λ[1773]] The obligation to pray, etc., with the head covered would be inconsistent with this high dignity, because to cover the head is a sign of submission to human power, 1 Corinthians 11:10. A man as such (ἈΝΉΡ) is the image of God (Genesis 1:26 f.), inasmuch as he, being Adam’s representative, has dominion over the earth. Other elements of what constitutes the image of God are not, according to the context, taken into account here, nor are the ecclesiastical definitions of it. He is also the glory of God, inasmuch as, being the image of God, he, in his appearance as man, practically represents on earth in a human way the majesty of God as a ruler. Rückert, following older interpreters (given in Wolf), holds that δόξα is meant here as the rendering of דְּמוּת, Genesis 1:26; as also the LXX., in Numbers 12:8, Psalm 17:15, translates תְּמוּנָה by ΔΌΞΑ. But had Paul wished to convey the meaning of דְּמוּת, a passage so important and so familiar as Genesis 1:26 would certainly have suggested to him the word used there by the LXX., ὁμοίωσις. Δόξα corresponds simply to the Hebrew כבוד.

Paul describes only the man as being the image and ΔΌΞΑ of God; for he has in his eye the relation of marriage, in which rule is conferred on the man alone. The woman accordingly has, in harmony with the whole connection of the passage, to appear simply as ΔΌΞΑ ἈΝΔΡΌς, inasmuch, namely, as her whole wedded dignity, the high position of being spouse of the man, proceeds from the man and is held in obedience to him; so that the woman does not carry an independent glory of her own, an ἸΔΊΑ ΔΌΞΑ, but the majesty of the man reflects itself in her, passing over to her mediately and, as it were, by derivation. Grotius compares her happily to the moon as “lumen minus sole.” This exposition of δόξα ἀνδρός is the only one which suits the context, and corresponds in conception to the preceding δόξα Θεοῦ, without at the same time anticipating what is next said in 1 Corinthians 11:8-9. The conception of the δόξα, which is Θεοῦ in case of the man and ἀνδρός in that of the woman, is determined by the idea of the ordo conjugalis, not by that of humanity (Hofmann) originally realized in the man but passing thence into a derivative realization in the woman.

Paul omits εἰκών in the woman’s case, not because he refused to recognise the divine image in her (except in an immediate sense), but because he felt rightly that, in view of the distinction of sex, the word would be unsuitable (comp de Wette), and would also convey too much, considering the subordinate position of the woman in marriage.—1 Corinthians 11:8. For there is not such a thing as man from woman, etc., but the relation of the two as respects being is the converse.—1 Corinthians 11:9. The γάρ here is subordinate to that in 1 Corinthians 11:8 : “for there was not created a man for the woman’s sake, but conversely.” This is the concrete historical establishment, from the narrative of their creation, of the relation between the two sexes, which had been generally stated in 1 Corinthians 11:8; in giving it, Paul, with Genesis 2:18 in his view, does not bring in ἐκ again, but ΔΙΆ, which, however, considering how familiar the history was, throws no doubt upon the genuineness of the ἘΚ. In ΚΑῚ ΓΆΡ the ΚΑΊ (which has the force of even indeed, Hartung, I. p. 135) belongs to οὐκ ἐκτίσθη. The present genetic relation of the two sexes, 1 Corinthians 11:8, began as early as the creation of the first pair.

[1773] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

1 Corinthians 11:7-16. § 36. MAN AND WOMAN IN THE LORD. The Ap. has insisted on the woman’s retaining the veil in token of the Divine order pervading the universe, which Christ exhibits in His subordination to the Father. But he has some further observations to make on the relative position of the sexes. In the first place, he bases what he has said of the headship of man on the story of creation, exhibiting man as the direct reflexion of God, woman as derived and auxiliary (1 Corinthians 11:7-9); in this connexion the ref[1633] to “the angels” must be understood (1 Corinthians 11:10). At the same time, man and woman are necessary each to the other and derive alike from God (1 Corinthians 11:11 f.). Having thus grounded the matter upon Christian principle, P. appeals in confirmation to natural feeling (1 Corinthians 11:13-15), and finally to the unbroken custom of the Church (1 Corinthians 11:16).

[1633] reference.

7. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head] The Apostle now gives reasons for what he has just said. His first argument is that to appear uncovered in the congregation denotes the having no visible superior there. But woman has a visible superior, namely, man. To this fact, when she appears in public, her very dress should testify. See also 1 Corinthians 11:10.

forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God] Additional reason for the Apostle’s directions. Man is God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 5:1; Genesis 9:2; Genesis 9:6), inasmuch as he is the highest of all living beings in the visible world. His glory, i.e. the manifestation or representation of His glory, on account of the dominion over all things in the world committed to him (Genesis 1:16; Genesis 1:28; Genesis 3:16). As he is thus a visible representation of God, he is not to veil his head, the noblest part of his body, in the public worship of the Church.

the woman is the glory of the man] Woman is not the manifestation or representation of the glory of God on earth, inasmuch as she is subject to man, and therefore cannot properly represent Him Who has no superior. But to all inferior beings she represents and is scarcely distinguishable from man, and therefore manifests and shares his superiority; reflects it, as the moon does the light of the sun, to use (and it may be said, to complete) the simile of Grotius here. See Alford’s note.

1 Corinthians 11:7-10. Οὐκ ὀφείλει, κ.τ.λ., ought not, etc.) The man has more freedom in regard to his head-dress, especially when he is not engaged in praying or prophesying, than the woman.—κατακαλύπτεσθαι, to cover) verses 7 and 10 have an exact antithesis. Observe, first, he ought not, and she ought: secondly, look at the diagram: The man ought not to be covered; because the man is, A. the image of God, B. and the glory of God: but the woman ought to be covered: C. because she is the glory of the man, D. and on account of the angels. The man, he says, is the image of God; supply, and of Christ from 1 Corinthians 11:3 (see 1 Corinthians 11:8; comp. 1 Corinthians 11:12; ἐκ, of, concerning the man and concerning God; but διὰ, by, concerning the woman): not only on account of his power over the woman itself, but also on account of the causes of that power, viz., because the woman is of the man; but she is of the man, for (γὰρ, 1 Corinthians 11:9) she was created for the man. But the man is, in a nearer relation, both of God and under God; and so he represents God. Now because man is the image of God, he is at the same time the glory of God; comp. glory, 2 Corinthians 8:23. But the woman is the glory of the man; because the man is the head and lord of the woman. It is not said, the image and glory of the man; but only the glory of the man, as it were suspending the expression. But he proves, that she is the glory of the man, 1 Corinthians 11:8-9, as it were in a parenthesis; from which it may also be gathered, why the man is the image and glory of God. Now since the woman is the glory of the man, she might at the same time be called the image of the man; but Paul compensates for this by another expression, and says, for this cause, namely, because the woman is the glory of the man, she ought to be covered because of the angels; for in the diagram which we have just laid down, D is to A, as C to B. The meaning of this gnome-like sentiment[92] [expressed entirely in the same way in the notes to the Germ. Ver.] should be elicited from the very words that are added; let the woman cover herself because of the angels, i.e. because the angels are also covered. As the angels are to God, so the woman is to the man. The face of God is manifested: whereas the angels are covered, Isaiah 6. The face of the man is manifested, [uncovered]; the woman is covered. Nor is the man on that account exalted above the angels; but he is merely considered so far as he represents God in regard to the woman, which cannot be said of the angels. But the woman ought to be covered especially in praying and prophesying; for it belongs to the man, in preference to the woman, to pray and prophesy; when therefore the woman takes upon her those functions, then some open avowal is most necessary on her part, that woman is still properly and willingly inferior to man. Both the outward dress of the body showing humility in the heart, which the angels cannot penetrate, and the external order delight the angels themselves, who also contemplate the order, and look at the conduct of men in the assembly of the Church, 1 Corinthians 4:9; Ephesians 3:10; comp. Ecclesiastes 5:6, where LXX. have πρὸ προσώπου Θεοῦ, before the face of God. The conclusion is drawn from angels to the uncreated Angel, as from the less to the greater. Add Psalm 138:1. But if not covered, the woman offends the angels by what is unbecoming, Matthew 18:10; Matthew 18:31. Moreover the woman ought to be the more careful not to offend the angels on this account, that she requires their protection, somewhat more than the man. She needs it more, on account of her own weakness just as children [minors, inferiors] do: comp. note on Greg. Thaum. Paneg. 160; as also demons lay more snares for the woman, 2 Peter 2:19. The sentence of the law against the man when seduced and overcome is in proportion to the seduction, and the victory gained over him; but the woman was first overcome; or farther, she is more assailed by those extremely limpure spirits, whom the Greeks, on account of their eagerness to obtain victims, call φιλούλους, lovers of destruction. Comp. Matthew 8:31; Matthew 12:43. This great superiority of the man over the woman is qualified in 1 Corinthians 11:11-12, by way of ἐπιθεραπεία [after-softening of a previous unwelcome truth.—Append.], lest the man should exalt himself, or the woman think herself despised. Jac. Faber Stapulensis says, “Man was immediately made by God, the image and likeness of God, for His glory: but the woman mediately through the man, who was as it were a veil placed between her and God; for the medium is viewed as an interposing object, and a veil. To mark this mystery, when a man turns himself to God, which he mostly does in praying or prophesying, he ought to do so with his head uncovered, having, so to speak, no veil between himself and God, offering thus to God the honour of his creation: but the woman with her head covered acknowledges her creation, and, as it becomes her, offers honour to God, in the second place and through the medium of the glory of the glory of God. The woman is mediate and second, and became immediately the glory of the man, and was made for the sake of the man himself.” The same Stapulensis proceeds, “Both man and the angels were immediately created by God, and therefore man should have no covering, as a symbol of this event, when he is turned to God, any more than the angels; but the woman ought to have it, not only on account of the man, but also on account of the angels; for it would be pride, if she made her creation equal to that of the angels, inasmuch as she has this power [the privilege of creation] by means of the man. For what else is this, that a woman has and ought to have power over her head, but that she has this privilege through the mediation of the man, i.e. through the mediation of her head, who is her husband?” The discreet reader will skilfully qualify these remarks by those made by us above.

[92] See Appendix, under the title Noëma.

Verse 7. - He is the image and glory of God. Because he reflects and partakes in the glory of Christ, who is the effulgence of God and the impress of his substance (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:6; Hebrews 1:2). The woman is the glory of the man. As moonlight is to sunlight, or as the earthshine is to the moonshine. Man reflects God; woman, in her general nature in this earthly and temporal dispensation, reflects the glory of man. 1 Corinthians 11:7Image and glory (εἰκὼν καὶ δόξα)

For image, see on Revelation 13:14. Man represents God's authority by his position as the ruler of the woman. In the case of the woman, the word image is omitted, although she, like the man, is the image of God. Paul is expounding the relation of the woman, not to God, but to man.

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