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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 11 - Verse 7

Verse 7. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head. That is, with a veil; or in public worship; when he approaches God, or when in his name he addresses his fellow-men. It is not fit and proper that he should be covered. The reason why it is not proper, the apostle immediately states:

Forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God. The phrase "the image of God" refers to the fact that man was made in the likeness of his Maker, (Ge 1:27;) and proves that, though fallen, there is a sense in which he is still the image of God. It is not because man is holy or pure, and thus resembles his Creator; but it evidently is because he was invested by his Maker with authority and dominion: he was superior to all other creatures, Ge 1:28. This is still retained; and this the apostle evidently refers to in the passage before us, and this he says should be recognised and regarded. If he wore a veil or turban, it would be a mark of servitude or inferiority. It was therefore improper that he should appear in this manner; but he should be so clad as not to obscure or hide the great truth that he was the direct representative of God on the earth, and had a superiority to all other creatures.

And glory of God. The word glory in the classic writers means,

(1.) opinion, sentiment, etc.;

(2.) fame, reputation. Here it means, as it often does, splendour, brightness, or that which stands forth to represent God, or by which the glory of God is known. Man was created first; he had dominion given him; by him, therefore, the Divine authority and wisdom first shone forth; and this fact should be recognised in the due subordination of rank, and even in the apparel and attire which shall be worn. The impression of his rank and superiority should be everywhere retained.

But the woman is the glory of the man. The honour, the ornament, etc. She was made for him; she was made after he was; she was taken from him, and was "bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh." All her comeliness, loveliness, and purity, are therefore an expression of his honour and dignity, since all that comeliness and loveliness were made of him and for him. This, therefore, ought to be acknowledged by a suitable manner of attire; and in his presence this sense of her inferiority of rank and subordination should be acknowledged by the customary use of the veil. She should appear with the symbol of modesty and subjection, which are implied by the head being covered. This sense is distinctly expressed in the following verse.

{c} "image" Ge 5:1

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