1 Corinthians 11:15

15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her[a] as a covering.

1 Corinthians 11:15 Meaning and Commentary

1 Corinthians 11:15

But if a woman have long hair
And wears it, without cutting it, as men do:

it is a glory to her;
it is comely and beautiful; it is agreeable to her sex, she looks like herself; it becomes and adorns her:

for her hair is given her for a covering;
not instead of a covering for her head, or any other part of her body, so that she needs no other: we read indeed of the daughter of Nicodemus ben Gorion, that she was obliged to make use of her hair for a covering in such a sense F12;

``it happened to R. Jochanan ben Zaccai that he rode upon an ass, and went out of Jerusalem, and his disciples went after him; he saw a young woman gathering barley corns out of the dung of the Arabian cattle; when she saw him, (hrevb hpjetn) , "she covered herself with her hair", and stood before him:''

but this covering was made use of, not of choice, but by force, through her poverty, she having no other; this was not the custom of the nation, nor was the hair given to women for a covering in this sense, nor used by them as such, unless by Eve before the fall; but is rather an indication that they want another covering for their head, it not being so decent that their long hair should be seen. The Jewish women used to esteem it an immodest thing for their hair to be seen, and therefore they took care, as much as possible, to hide it under another covering;

``one woman, whose name was Kimchith, had seven sons, and they all ministered in the high priesthood; the wise men said unto her, what hast thou done, that thou art so worthy? she replied to them, all my days the beams of my house never saw (yrev yelq) , "the plaits of my hair" F13;''

that is, they were never seen by any person, even within her house.


FOOTNOTES:

F12 T. Bab. Cetubot, fol. 66. 2.
F13 T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 47. 1.

1 Corinthians 11:15 In-Context

13 Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?
14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair it is a disgrace to him,
15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her as a covering.
16 But if anyone wants to argue about this, we have no other custom, nor do the churches of God.
17 Now in giving the following instruction I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse.

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