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TEXT. 6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn : but if it be
a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
PARAPHRASE. or prophesying, in the church, with her head uncovered, dishonoureth the man, who is her head, by appearing in a garb that disowns her subjection to him. For to appear bareheaded in public, is all one as to have her hair cut off, which
is the garb and dress of the other sex, and not of a woman. 6 If, therefore, it be unsuitable to the female sex to have their
hair shorn, or shaved off, let her, for the same reason, be covered.
NOTE. tion of the priests and prophetesses of the Gentiles, who had their faces uncovered, when they uttered their oracles, or officiated in their sacrifices :' but I cannot but wonder, that that very acute writer should not see, that the bare being in the assembly could not give a Christian woman any pretence to that freedom. None of the Bacchæ, or Pythiæ, quitted their ordinary, modest guise, but when she was, as the poets express it, “Rapta,” or “ Plena Deo,” possessed and hurried by the Spirit she served. And so, possibly, a Christian woman, when she found the Spirit of God poured out upon her, as Joel expresses it, exciting her to pray, or sing praises to God, or discover any truth, immediately revealed to her, might think it convenient, for her better uttering of it, to be uncovered, or at least to be no more restrained in her liberty of showing herself, than the female priests of the heathens were, when they delivered their oracles : but yet, even in these actions, the apostle forbids the women to unveil themselves.
St. Paul's forbidding women to speak in the assemblies will probably seem a stroug argument against this : but, when well considered, will perhaps prove none. There be two places wherein the apostle forbids women to speak in the church ; 1 Cor. xiv. 34, 35, and 1 Tim. ii. 11, 12. He, that shall attentively read and compare these together, may observe that the silence, enjoined the women, is for a mark of their subjection to the male sex: and, therefore, what, in the one, is expressed by “ keeping silence, and not speaking, but being under obedience;" in the other, is called, “ being in silence, with all subjection; not teaching, or usurping authority over the man.” The women, in the churches, were not to assuine the personage of doctors, or speak there as teachers; this carried with it the appearance of superiority, and was forbidden. Nay, they were not so much as to ask questions there, or to enter into any sort of conference. This shows a kind of equality, and was also forbiddeu : but yet, though they were not to speak in the church, in their own names; or, as if they were raised by the franchises of Christianity to such an equality with the men, that where knowledge, or presumption of their own abilities, einboldened them to it, they might take upon them to be teachers and instructors of the congregation, or might, at least, enter into questionings and debates there; this would have had too great an air of standing upon even
ground with the men, and would not have well comported with the subordination of the sex. But yet this subordination, which God, for order's sake, had instituted in the world, hindered not, but that, by the supernatural gifts of the Spirit, he might make use of the weaker sex, to an extraordinary function, whenever he thought fit, as well as he did of men. But yet, when they thus either prayed or prophesied, by the motion and impulse of the Holy Ghost, care was taken, that, whilst they were obeying God, who was pleased, by his Spirit, to set them a speaking, the subjection of their sex should
TEXT. 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. 8 For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman: but the woman for the
10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head, because
of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, neither the
woman without the man, in the Lord. 12 For, as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the
woman: but all things of God. 13 Judge in yourselves : is it comely, that a woman pray unto God un
PARAPHRASE. Y A man, indeed, ought not to be veiled ; because he is the
image and representative of God, in his dominion over the rest 8 of the world, which is one part of the glory of God: But the
woman, who was made out of the man, made for him, and 9 in subjection to him, is matter of glory to the man. But the
man not being made out of the woman, nor for her, but the 10 woman made out of, and for the man, She ought, for this rea
son, to have a veil on her head, in token of her subjection, be11 cause of the angels. Nevertheless, the sexes have not a being,
one without the other; neither the man without the woman, 12 nor the woman without the man, the Lord so ordering it. For,
as the first woman was made out of the man, so the race of men, ever since, is continued and propagated by the female sex:
but they, and all other things, had their being and original 13 from God. Be you yourselves judges, whether it be decent for
a woman to make a prayer to God, in the church, uncovered?
NOTES. not be forgotten, but owned and preserved, by their being covered. The Christian religion was not to give offence, by any appearance, or suspicion, that it took away the subordination of the sexes, and set the women at liberty from their natural subjection to the man. And, therefore, we see, that in both these cases, the aim was to maintain and secure the confessed superiority and dominion of the man, and not permit it to be invaded, so much as in appearance. Hence the arguments, in the one case, for covering, and in the other, for silence, are all drawn from the natural superiority of the man, and the subjection of the woman. In the one, the woman, without an extraordinary call, was to keep silent, as a mark of her subjection : in the other, where she was to speak, by an extraordinary call and commission from God, she was yet to continue the profession of her subjection, in keeping herself covered. Here, by the way, it is to be observed, that there was an extraordinary praying to God, by the impulse of the Spirit, as well as speaking unto men for their edification, exhortation, and comfort: vid. chap. xiv. 15. Rom. viji. 26. Jude ver. 20. These things being
premised, let us follow the thread of St. Paul's discourse. 10 5 What the meaning of these words is, I confess, I do not understand.
TEXT. 14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that if a man have long hair,
it is a shame unto him? 15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is
given her for a covering. 16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom,
neither the churches of God.
PARAPHRASE. 14 Does not even nature, that has made, and would have the
distinction of sexes preserved, teach you, that if a man wear
his hair long, and dressed up after the manner of women, it is 15 misbecoming and dishonourable to him? But to a woman, if
she be curious about her hair, in having it long, and dressing
herself with it, it is a grace and commendation; since her hair 16 is given her for a covering. But if any show himself to be a
lover of contention“, we, the apostles, have no such custom, nor any of the churches of God.
16 - Why may not this,
glanced at :
NOTE. any one,” be understood of the false apostle, here
CHAPTER XI. 17-34.
CONTENTS. ONE may observe, from several passages in this epistle, that several Judaical customs were crept into the Corinthian church. This church being of St. Paul's own planting, who spent two years at Corinth, in forming it; it is evident these abuses had their rise from some other teachers, who came to them after his leaving them, which was about five years before his writing this epistle. These disorders therefore may with reason be ascribed to the head of the faction, that opposed St. Paul, who, as has been remarked, was a Jew, and probably Judaized. And that, it is like, was the foundation of the great opposition between him and St. Paul, and the reason why St. Paul labours so earnestly to destroy his credit among the Corinthians; this sort of men being very busy, very troublesome, and very dangerous to the Gospel,
as may be seen in other of St. Paul's epistles, particularly that to the Galatians.
The celebrating the passover amongst the Jews was plainly the eating of a meal distinguished from other ordinary meals, by several peculiar ceremonies. Two of these ceremonies were eating of bread solemnly broken, and drinking a cup of wine, called the cup of blessing. These two our Saviour transferred into the Christian church, to be used in their assemblies, for a commemoration of his death and sufferings. In celebrating this institution of our Saviour, the Judaizing Corinthians followed the Jewish custom of eating their passover; they eat the Lord's supper as a part of their meal, bringing their provisions into the assembly, where they eat divided into distinct companies, some feasting to excess, whilst others, ill provided, were in want. This eating thus in the public assembly, and mixing the Lord's supper with their orary meal, as a part of it, with other disorders and indecencies acco...panying it, is the matter of this section. These innovations, he tells them here, he as much blames, as, in the beginning of this chapter, he recommends them for keeping to his directions in some other things.
TEXT. 17 Now in this, that I declare unto you, I praise you not, that
ye come together, not for the better, but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that
there be divisions among you ; and I partly believe it. 19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they, which are ap
proved, may be made manifest among you. 20 When ye come together, therefore, into one place, this is not to eat
the Lord's supper. 21 For, in eating, every one taketh before other his own supper : and
one is hungry, and another is drunken.
17 Though what I said to you, concerning women's behaviour
in the church, was not without commendation of you; yet this, that I am now going to speak to you of is without
praising you, because you so order your meetings in your as18 semblies, that they are not to your advantage, but harm. For
first I hear, that, when you come together in the church, you 19 fall into parties, and I partly believe it; Because there must
be divisions and factions amongst you, that those who stand 20 firm upon trial may be made manifest among you. You come
together, it is true, in one place, and there you eat; but yet 21 this makes it not to be the eating of the Lord's supper. For,
in eating, you cat not together, but every one takes his own
TEXT. 22 What! have ye not houses to eat and drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I
say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. 23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto
you, That the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed,
took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, “ Take, eat;
this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me."
PARAPHRASE. 22 supper one before another a . Have
not houses to eat and drink in, at home, for satisfying your hunger and thirst ? Or have ye a contempt for the church of God, and take a pleasure to put those out of countenance, who have not whewithal to feast there, as you do? What is it I said to y 1,
that I praise you for retaining what I delivered to you? On 23 this occasion, indeed, I praise you not for it. For what I re
ceived, concerning this institution, from the Lord himself, that I delivered unto you, when I was with you; and it was this,
viz. That the Lord Jesus, in the night wherein he was be24 trayed, took bread: And, having given thanks, brake it, and
NOTES. 21 a To understand this, we must observe,
(1.) That they had sometimes meetings, on purpose only for eating the Lord's supper, ver. 33.
(2.) That to those meetings they brought their own supper, ver. 21.
(3.) That though every one's supper were brought into the common assembly, yet it was not to eat in common, but every one fell to his own supper apart, as soon as he and his supper were there ready for one another, without staying for the rest of the company, or communicating with them in eating, ver. 21, 33.
In this St. Paul blames three things especially.
1st, That they eat their common food in the assembly, which was to be eaten at home, in their houses, ver. 22, 34.
2dly, That though they eat in the common meeting-place, yet they eat separately, every one his own supper apart. So that the plenty and excess of some shamed the want and penury of others, ver. 22. Hereby also the divisions amongst them were kept up, ver: 18, they being as so many separated and divided societies, not as one united body of Christians, commemorating their common head, as they should have been in celebrating the Lord's supper, chap. X. 16, 17.
3dly, That they mixed the Lord's supper with their own, eating it as a part of their ordinary meal, where they made not that discrimination between it and
their common food, as they should have done, ver. 29. 22 " He here plainly refers to what he had said to them, ver. 2, where he praised
them for remembering him in all things, and for retaining tas raçasóoais xabays magábwxsi, what he had delivered to them. This commendation he here retracts; for, in the matter of eating the Lord's supper, they did not retain ở tracé ewxa, ver. 23, what he had delivered to them, which, therefore, in the immediately following words, he repeats to them again.