1 Corinthians 14:34
Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted to them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also said the law.
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(34) But they are commanded to be under obedience.—Better (as in some of the best MSS.), but let them be under obedience. The original precept laid down in Genesis 3:16 teaches this. “The law” stands for the Old Testament generally.

1 Corinthians 14:34-35. Let your women, &c. — The last clause of the preceding verse is by some critics, and among the rest Bishop Pearce, joined with this, so as to make this sense; as in all the churches of the saints, let your women keep silence in the churches, namely, of Achaia. According to this reading, by the churches of the saints, are meant the churches of Judea, in which the public worship and discipline was most perfect, because they had been planted and regulated by the apostles. The sense of this clause, let your women keep silence, &c, evidently is, that they were to be silent unless they had an extraordinary revelation to communicate, made to them by the Holy Spirit; to which revelations, chiefly predicting future events, what is said of their prophesying with their heads uncovered, (1 Corinthians 11:5,) evidently refers; and therefore implies no contradiction to what is here enjoined. For — In other cases, when no particular revelation is made to them; it is not permitted unto them to speak — By way of teaching in public assemblies; but to be under obedience — Greek, υποτασσεσθαι, to be under subjection to the superior authority of the man, whose proper office it is to lead and to instruct the congregation. As also saith the law — In recording that early sentence on Eve and her daughters for the first transgression, Genesis 3:16, To him shall be thy desire subjected, and he shall rule over thee. And if they desire to learn any thing — Still they are not to speak in public, but to ask their husbands at home — That is the place, and these the persons to inquire of. See note on 1 Timothy 2:11-14. For it is a shame Αισχρον, indecent; for a woman to speak in the church — In an assembly of people, being inconsistent with that modesty, which is the woman’s greatest ornament.14:34-40 When the apostle exhorts Christian women to seek information on religious subjects from their husbands at home, it shows that believing families ought to assemble for promoting spiritual knowledge. The Spirit of Christ can never contradict itself; and if their revelations are against those of the apostle, they do not come from the same Spirit. The way to keep peace, truth, and order in the church, is to seek that which is good for it, to bear with that which is not hurtful to its welfare, and to keep up good behaviour, order, and decency.Let your women keep silence ... - This rule is positive, explicit, and universal. There is no ambiguity in the expressions; and there can be no difference of opinion, one would suppose, in regard to their meaning. The sense evidently is, that in all those things which he had specified, the women were to keep silence; they were to take no part. He had discoursed of speaking foreign languages, and of prophecy; and the evident sense is, that in regard to all these they were to keep silence, or were not to engage in them. These pertained solely to the male portion of the congregation. These things constituted the business of the public teaching; and in this the female part of the congregation were to be silent. "They were not to teach the people, nor were they to interrupt those who were speaking" - Rosenmuller. It is probable that, on pretence of being inspired, the women had assumed the office of public teachers.

In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul had argued against their doing this in a certain manner - without their veils 1 Corinthians 11:4, and he had shown, that "on that account," and "in that manner," it was improper for them to assume the office of public teachers, and to conduct the devotions of the church. The force of the argument in 1 Corinthians 11:is, that what he there states would be a sufficient reason against the practice, even if there were no other. It was contrary to all decency and propriety that they should appear "in that manner" in public. He here argues against the practice on every ground; forbids it altogether; and shows that on every consideration it was to be regarded as improper for them even so much as "to ask a question" in time of public service. There is, therefore, no inconsistency between the argument in 1 Corinthians 11:and the statement here; and the force of the whole is, that "on every consideration" it was improper, and to be expressly prohibited, for women to conduct the devotions of the church. It does not refer to those only who claimed to be inspired, but to all; it does not refer merely to acts of public preaching, but to all acts of speaking, or even asking questions, when the church is assembled for public worship. No rule in the New Testament is more positive than this; and however plausible may be the reasons which may be urged for disregarding it, and for suffering women to take part in conducting public worship, yet the authority of the apostle Paul is positive, and his meaning cannot be mistaken; compare 1 Timothy 2:11-12.

To be under obedience - To be subject to their husbands; to acknowledge the superior authority of the man; see the note at 1 Corinthians 11:3.

As also saith the law - Genesis 3:16, "And thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."

34. (1Ti 2:11, 12). For women to speak in public would be an act of independence, as if they were not subject to their husbands (compare 1Co 11:3; Eph 5:22; Tit 2:5; 1Pe 3:1). For "under obedience," translate, "in subjection" or "submission," as the Greek is translated (Eph 5:21, 22, 24).

the law—a term applied to the whole Old Testament; here, Ge 3:16.

This rule must be restrained to ordinary prophesyings; for certainly, if the Spirit of prophecy came upon a woman in the church, she might speak. Anna, who was a prophetess, in the temple gave thanks to the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem, Luke 2:38: and I cannot tell how Philip’s daughters prophesied, if they did not speak in the presence of many, Acts 21:9. The reason that is given why women should keep silence, is, because

they are commanded to be under obedience. This apostle speaketh much the same thing, 1 Timothy 2:11,12, because it looked like a usurping authority over the man; which indeed is true, if it had been the ordinary practice of women to speak in the assemblies of the church; but not so, if some particular women sometimes spake upon an extraordinary impulse or impression. The law to which the apostle here refers, is thought to be that, Genesis 3:16, where the woman is commanded to be subject to her husband, and it is said, that he should rule over her; yet that law did neither restrain Miriam from prophesying, Exodus 15:20, nor yet Huldah, to whom Josiah himself sent, 2 Chronicles 34:22, of whom it is also said, that she dwelt in the college. But setting aside that extraordinary case of a special afflatus, it was, doubtless, unlawful for a woman to speak in the church. Let your women keep silence in the churches,.... This is a restriction of, and an exception to one of the above rules, that all might prophesy; in which he would be understood of men only, and not of women; and is directed against a practice which seems to have prevailed in this church at Corinth, allowing women to preach and teach in it; and this being a disorderly practice, and what was not used in other churches, the apostle forbids and condemns, and not without reason:

for it is not permitted unto them to speak; that is, in public assemblies, in the church of God, they might not speak with tongues, nor prophesy, or preach, or teach the word. All speaking is not prohibited; they might speak their experiences to the church, or give an account of the work of God upon their souls; they might speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; or speak as an evidence in any case at a church meeting; but not in such sort, as carried in it direction, instruction, government, and authority. It was not allowed by God that they should speak in any authoritative manner in the church; nor was it suffered in the churches of Christ; nor was it admitted of in the Jewish synagogue; there, we are told (b), the men came to teach, and the women "to hear": and one of their canons runs thus (c);

"a woman may not read (that is, in the law), "in the congregation", or church, because of the honour of the congregation;''

for they thought it a dishonourable thing to a public assembly for a woman to read, though they even allowed a child to do it that was capable of it.

But they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. In Genesis 3:16, "thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee". By this the apostle would signify, that the reason why women are not to speak in the church, or to preach and teach publicly, or be concerned in the ministerial function, is, because this is an act of power, and authority; of rule and government, and so contrary to that subjection which God in his law requires of women unto men. The extraordinary instances of Deborah, Huldah, and Anna, must not be drawn into a rule or example in such cases.

(b) T. Hieros Chagiga, fol. 75. 4. & T. Bab. Chagiga, fol. 3. 1. (c) Maimon. Hilch. Tephilla, c. 12. sect. 17. T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 23. 1.

{15} Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.

(15) Women are commanded to be silent in public assemblies, and they are commanded to ask of their husbands at home.

1 Corinthians 14:34. Appendix to the regulative section regarding the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:26-33): directed against the public speaking of women. Corinthian women, with their freer mood inclined towards emancipation (comp. 1 Corinthians 11:2 ff.), must have presumed on thi.

ὡς ἐν πάσ. τ. ἐκκλ. τ. ἁγ.] is referred by the Fathers and most of the older expositors, Rückert, Osiander, Neander, Maier, to what precedes (comp. 1 Corinthians 4:17, 1 Corinthians 7:17, 1 Corinthians 11:16). But since the preceding οὐ γὰρεἰρήνης is quite general, and hence contains no special point of reference for ὡς (for which reason this ὡς has been got rid of in various ways, and even διδάσκω has been added in some codd. and versions); since, on the other hand, the passage which follows offers this point of reference in the fact of its being a command for the Corinthians; and since 1 Corinthians 14:36 manifestly glances back at the argument implied in ἐν π. τ. ἐκκλ. τ. ἁγ.,—therefore it is preferable to connect the clause with what follows, as is done by Cajetanus and most modern expositors: As in all church assemblies of the saints, your women ought to be silent in the church assemblies. To place a comma, with Lachmann, before τῶν ἁγίων, puts an incongruous emphasis upon τῶν ἁγ.

Regarding the matter itself (1 Timothy 2:11), comp. the parallels from Greek, Roman, and Rabbinical writers in Wetstein in loc.; Vitringa, Synag. p. 724; Schoettgen, Horae, p. 658.

οὐ γὰρ ἐπιτρέπεται] for it is (permanently) not allowed. To take ἐπιτρέπεσθαι as mandari (Reiche) would be linguistically correct in itself, but against the usage of the whole N. T. (comp. 1 Corinthians 16:7; 1 Timothy 2:12).

ἀλλʼ ὑποτάσσεσθαι] namely, is incumbent upon them, in accordance with a current Greek brevity of expression. Comp. 1 Timothy 4:3; see Kühner, II. p. 604 f.; Dissen, ad Demosth. de Cor. p. 222 f. The ὑποτάσσεσθαι, excludes, in Paul’s view, the speaking in the assemblies, inasmuch as the latter appears to him as an act of uncomplying independenc.

ὁ νόμος] Genesis 3:16.1 Corinthians 14:34-40. § 49. FINAL INSTRUCTIONS ON CHURCH ORDER. In 1 Corinthians 14:34 ff. P. returns to the matter which he first touched upon in reproving the disorderly Church life at Cor[2180], viz., the irregular behaviour of certain Christian women (1 Corinthians 11:2-16): there it was their dress, now it is their tongue that he briefly reproves. 1 Corinthians 14:37 f., glancing over the injunctions of Div. IV. at large, commend their recognition as a test of the high pretensions to spiritual insight made at Cor[2181] 1 Corinthians 14:39 recapitulates Paul’s deliverance on the vexed question of Tongues versus Prophecy. 1 Corinthians 14:40 adds the final maxim of propriety and order,—a rule of administration as comprehensive and important as the πάντα πρὸς οἰκοδομὴν of 1 Corinthians 14:26.

[2180] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[2181] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.34. Let your women keep silence in the churches] The position of women in Christian assemblies is now decided on the principles laid down in ch. 1 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Corinthians 11:7-9.

as also saith the law] In Genesis 3:16.1 Corinthians 14:34. Αἱ γυναῖκες, the woman) Paul uses the same expression, 1 Timothy 2:11-12, and yet it was expedient, that this should be written especially for the Corinthians; comp. note at 1 Corinthians 11:16.—ὑμῶν ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις) in your church assemblies; when there are men present, that can speak.—ἐπιτέτραπται) it is committed [permitted, Engl. Vers.]—ὑποτάσσεσθαι, to be subject) so as to submit their own will to that of another, Genesis 3:16. The application (desire) of the woman is to her husband משוקת, and that too as to her lord.—καὶ) also; comp. 1 Corinthians 3:8, note.Verses 34, 35. - Rules about the public teaching by women. Verse 34. - Let your women keep silence in the Churches. St. Paul evidently meant this to be a general rule, and one which ought to be normally observed; for he repeats it in 1 Timothy 2:11, 12. At the same time, it is fair to interpret it as a rule made with special reference to time and circumstances, and obviously admitting of exceptions in both dispensations (Judges 4:4; 2 Kings 22:14; Nehemiah 6:14; Luke 2:36; Acts 2:17; Acts 21:9), as is perhaps tacitly implied in 1 Corinthians 11:5. But... to be under obedience (Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 2:18; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:1). Christianity emancipated women, but did not place them on an equality with men. As also saith the Law (Genesis 3:16; Numbers 30:3-12).
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