The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible1 Corinthians 11:5
But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth…
Not that a
woman was allowed to pray publicly in the congregation, and much
less to preach or explain the word, for these things were not
permitted them: see (1 Corinthians 14:34,35) (1 Timothy 2:12) but it designs any woman
that joins in public worship with the minister in prayer, and
attends on the hearing of the word preached, or sings the praises of
God with the congregation, as we have seen, the word prophesying
with her head uncovered.
It may seem strange from whom the
Corinthian women should take up this custom, since the Jewish women
were not allowed to go into the streets, or into any open and public
place, unveiled F21. It was a Jewish law, that they should go out no
where bare headed F23: yea, it was reckoned scandalous and
ignominious to do so. Hence it is said, F24 (Mhl yang varh ywlgv) ,
"that uncovering of the head is a reproach" to the daughters of
Israel: and concerning the adulterous woman, it is represented as
said by the priest F25,
``thou hast separated from the way of the daughters of
Israel; for the way or custom of the daughters of Israel
is (Nhyvar twowkm twyhl) , "to have their heads covered"; but
thou hast gone "in the ways of the Gentiles", who walk
with head bare.''
So that their it should seem that these Corinthians followed the
examples of the Heathens: but then, though it might be the custom of
some nations for women to go abroad bare headed; yet at their
solemnities, where and when they were admitted, for they were not
everywhere and always, they used to attend with their heads veiled
and covered F26. Mr. Mede takes notice indeed of some Heathen
priestesses, who used to perform their religious rites and
sacrifices with open face, and their hair hanging down, and locks
spreading, in imitation of whom these women at Corinth are thought
to act. However, whoever behaved in this uncomely manner, whose
example soever she followed, the apostle says,
dishonoureth her head;
not her husband, who is her head in a
figurative sense, and is dishonoured by her not being covered; as if
she was not subject to him, or because more beautiful than he, and
therefore shows herself; but her natural head, as appears from the
for that is even all one as if she were shaven;
to be without a
veil, or some sort of covering on her head, according to the custom
of the country, is the same thing as if her head was shaved; and
everyone knows how dishonourable and scandalous it is for a woman
to have her head shaved; and if this is the same, then it is
dishonourable and scandalous to her to be without covering in public
worship. And this shows, that the natural head of the man is meant
in the preceding verse, since the natural head of the woman is meant
F21 Maimon. Hilch. Ishot, c. 24. sect. 12.
F23 T. Bab. Cetubot, fol. 72. 1.
F24 R. Sol. Jarchi in Numb. v. 19.
F25 Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 9. fol. 193. 2.
F26 Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 4. c. 17.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=1co&chapter=011&verse=005>. 1999.