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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 11 - Verse 3

Verse 3. But I would have you know. "I invite your attention particularly to the following considerations, in order to form a correct opinion on this subject." Paul does not at once answer the inquiry, and determine what ought to be done; but he invites their attention to a series of remarks on the subject, which led them to draw the conclusion which he wished to establish. The phrase here is designed to call the attention to the subject, like that used so often in the New Testament, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."

That the head, etc. The word head, in the Scriptures, is designed often to denote master, ruler, chief, The word Greek is often thus used in the Old Testament. See Nu 17:3; 25:15; De 28:13,44

Jud 10:18; 11:8,11; 1 Sa 15:17; 2 Sa 22:44.

In the New Testament the word is used in the sense of lord, ruler, chief, in Eph 1:22; 4:15; Eph 5:23; Col 2:10. Here it means that Christ is the Ruler, Director, or Lord of the Christian man. This truth was to be regarded in all their feelings and arrangements, and was never to be forgotten. Every Christian should recollect the relation in which he stands to him, as one that is fitted to produce the strictest decorum, and a steady sense of subordination.

Of every man. Every Christian. All acknowledge Christ as their Ruler and Master. They are subject to him; and in all proper ways recognize their subordination to him.

And the head of the woman is the man. The sense is, she is subordinate to him; and in all circumstances-in her demeanour, her dress, her conversation, in public and in the family circle—should recognize her subordination to him. The particular thing here referred to is, that if the woman is inspired, and speaks or prays in public, she should by no means lay aside the usual and proper symbols of her subordination. The danger was, that those who were under the influence of inspiration would regard themselves as freed from the necessity of recognizing that, and would lay aside the veil, the usual and appropriate symbol of their occupying a rank inferior to the man. This was often done in the temples of the heathen deities by the priestesses, and it would appear also that it had been done by Christian females in the churches.

And the head of Christ is God. Christ, as Mediator, has consented to assume a subordinate rank, and to recognize God the Father as superior in office. Hence he was obedient in all things as a Son; he submitted to the arrangement required in redemption; he always recognized his subordinate rank as Mediator, and always regarded God as the Supreme Ruler, even in the matter of redemption. The sense is, that Christ, throughout his entire work, regarded himself as occupying a subordinate station to the Father; and that it was proper from his example to recognize the propriety of rank and station everywhere.

{d} "head of every man" Eph 5:23 {e} "Christ" Ge 3:16; 1 Pe 3:1,5,6

{f} "the man" Joh 14:28; 1 Co 15:27,28

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