I. God intends that there be distinctions between the sexes and those distinctions are not to be confused. They extend to:
A. Apparel. DEU 22:5.
B. Sexual relations. LEV 18:22; ROM 1:27.
C. Authority. 1CO 11:7-10; EPH 5:22-24; 1TIM 2:12.
D. Mannerisms. 1CO 6:9.
1. Effeminate: Of persons: That has become like a woman: a. Womanish, unmanly, enervated, feeble; self-indulgent, voluptuous; unbecomingly delicate or over-refined.
2. Enervated: That is deprived of nerve & strength; effeminate, weakly.
3. Consider the affected demeanor of little Lord Fauntleroy, Oscar Wilde, Richard Simmons, etc.
E. Hair. 1CO 11:14-15; REV 9:8.
II. On men, there is a distinction to be made between facial hair and scalp hair.
LEV 14:9; EZR 9:3; EZE 5:1.
A. The regulation of hair length did not apply to facial hair, but rather to scalp hair. NUM 6:5; ISA 50:6.
B. Israel's priests were to avoid deliberate baldness and excessive length. EZE 44:20; LEV 21:5.
1. The old Catholic practice of a priestly tonsure certainly has no basis in Scripture! LEV 19:27.
2. There were certain exceptions to the rule against baldness:
a. The law of the leper. LEV 14:2, 8-9.
b. The completion of the Nazarite vow.
NUM 6:5, 13, 18; c/w ACT 21:23-26.
c. Unintentional baldness. LEV 13:40-41; 2KI 2:23.
C. It is obvious that the normal length of men's hair was short, or the vow of the Nazarite would have no significance. Long hair on men is indicative of rebellion. 2SA 14:26; 15:6, 12; 18:9.
D. It is noteworthy that the term for the cutting of the hair is often poll or polled.
1. Poll: (n) The head of Man or beast. (v) To cut short the hair of (a person or animal); to crop, clip, shear; also with the head, hair, etc. as object.
2. Poll translates gulgoleth (Strong's Heb.#1538), which means "a skull (as round) by implication, a head (in enumeration of persons); head,every man, poll, skull." See MAT 27:33.
3. When an enumeration was made in Biblical times, generally the men were counted (NUM 1:2; MAT 14:21). This enumeration was called a poll, obviously referring to those whose length of hair was shorter.
III. 1CO 11:1-16 addresses the issue of hair on men and women.
A. Hair is to be worn so as to make a visible distinction between men and women to represent the heirarchy of authority. vs.7-10.
B. In the angelic order, there was even a COVERING cherub, showing an authority structure in that realm. EZE 28:14.
C. The contrast between men's hair and women's hair is in the difference between being covered and uncovered.
1. Cover: To put or lay something over (an object), with the effect of hiding from view, protecting, or enclosing; to overlay, overspread with.
2. A woman's head should be covered; a man's head uncovered.
D. Long hair and shaved hair are extremes of contrast.
1. Long hair that covers the head is a shame to a man. v.14.
2. Short hair which leaves the woman's head uncovered is a shame to her. v.6 c/w DEU 21:10-14.
3. Short hair on a women is nakedness to her, which is a shame. EZE 16:7 c/w ISA 47:2-3.
E. Logic dictates that 'uncovered' for a woman means not having long hair.
F. This passage is not teaching that women should wear an artificial covering on their heads during church, though to do so would not be wrong.
1. v.5 speaks of a woman praying and prophesying with her head uncovered.
2. Women are not allowed to prophesy in the church. 1CO 14:34.
3. Therefore, any prophesying a woman would do must be outside the assembly.
4. Prayer is a duty to be performed at all times, not just in the church assembly. EPH 6:18; 1TH 5:17.
5. Therefore, the guidelines for covering or uncovering the head are not just for times of assembly but all times.
6. If the covering were an artificial covering, a woman would always have to wear it!
7. By this logic, a man would also be forbidden from wearing a hat if he prayed outdoors in sub-zero weather.
8. The word translated covering in 1CO 11:15 is peribolaion (Strong's #4018) which can mean a veil or vesture and is so translated in HEB 1:12.
a. A woman does not need a bhurka to veil her face (per Islam); hair long enough to cover the head is her proper veil.
b. Clearly, "...her hair is given her for a covering."
G. Though the distinction between looking masculine or feminine is important, the issue is hair length, not style, otherwise why would a man not be able to have long hair, but wear it up in a bun or braid to keep his head uncovered?
1. Scripture allows for women's hair to be styled in forms which would allow for the head to appear uncovered, yet still be long enough to cover her head in its normal state. 1TI 2:8-10 c/w 1PE 3:1-4.
2. Braid: To bind or confine the hair with a braid or ribbon, or something equivalent. Plaited, woven, entwined. (ppl)
3. The censure here is not against looking pretty, but emphasizing beauty to the disregard of or as a substitute for righteousness.
H. Hair is to be long enough to cover a woman's head, but not a man's.
1. Since any hair at all would cover the scalp, covering the head must entail more than the scalp.
2. In view of obvious exceptions, such as an over-zealous hair-dresser, or medical problem, or other legitimate, undeliberate circumstances, a covered head entails covering the ears and neck, which a woman's hair should be long enough to do, but not a man's.
a. Women's hair is seen in Scripture to be long enough to cover the eyes, (SON 4:1) even wash the Savior's feet. JOH 11:2.
b. Her hair is her glory (1CO 11:15), but a man's glory is his strength. PRO 20:29.
I. Use discernment. It is unwise to walk as close to a fire as possible without getting burned---one slip brings suffering. Keep a safe distance from sin. JOB 11:14.