Head Coverings

1 Corinthians 11:2-16.

2 Thessalonians 2:7 states that lawlessness would characterize the last days. In many areas in the spiritual realm this spirit exists. There is the desire to water down or circumvent divine principles.

In this passage there are eight outstanding facts: three heads, three glories, two coverings.

The three heads are the headship of God, Christ, and man.

This headship is divine order. An appreciation of this truth is important. Catastrophe has fallen upon the human race because this great truth has been disregarded.

The Three Glories

v. 7—Man is the glory of God.

v. 7—Woman is the glory of man.

v. 15—Women’s long hair is her personal glory.

In the Scripture “covering” denotes subjection. When Rebecca saw Isaac, she covered herself, she acknowledged Isaac as her head. Genesis 24:65. The seraphims in Isaiah 6 had six wings. With four wings they covered their faces and feet, with two they flew. It took twice as much energy to cover themselves as it did to serve.

v. 7—The reason a man wears no covering on his head is because he is the glory of God, and God is subject to no one.

The woman representing man’s glory is covered. She covers her personal glory. In doing this she is acknowledging the headship of God, Christ, and man. She is also proclaiming that when the saints are assembled that she is man’s glory and is not to be seen.

v. 10—“For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head, because of the angels.”

Two things here: “Power” is the symbol of authority. “Because of the angels”—see Ephesians 3:10. The angels are interested in what goes on in the assembly. No one knows the divine order and the truth of headship more than the angels. They stand in amazement as they see the silent ministry of the covered head, ad the obedience of a devoted heart.

The Two Coverings

The best commentators see two coverings: the hair and a covering over the hair.

Some say that the covering is in the context of women praying or prophesying. From verse 5 they take the liberty of allowing sisters to take part publicly. This cannot be the meaning according to 1 Corinthians 14:24 and 1 Timothy 2:11-12. Sisters must keep silent. But this would take us into spheres where sisters do take part publicly: women’s meetings, a women’s class, teaching Sunday School, etc.

Two important truths: (1) Nature has given a woman hair for a covering, v. 14. (2) God has ordained that she cover her head when assembled in the Lord’s name publicly.

Please note in this connection in verse 14 that it is a shame for a man to have long hair. V. 16—“If any person presumes to raise objections on this point, I say to you that we have no such custom, of women attending public services bare-headed, in any of the assemblies of God’s people.”