Friday, August 21, 2009

Head covering, Long hair, the Watchers and the Nephilim

Some who understand 1 Cor 11:2-16 to require a covering over the head and hair also understand the verse about the "angels" to refer back to Genesis 6 when the angels were tempted by the "daughters of men."
1Co 11:10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
This verse is particularly hard to understand when you come upon it cold among the many in this passage that can be difficult. But if it hints back at Genesis 6 it makes rather startling and extremely important sense.
Ge 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
It would require some exegesis to prove it -- it's fairly simple, really; I spell it out at End Times Monitor -- but the common interpretation that the "sons of God" refers to the line of Seth just makes no sense. It can be shown that the phrase is used to describe angels and that makes a lot more sense. It also makes sense of I Cor 11:10.

The apocryphal Book of Enoch understands the sons of God to be angels and elaborates on the event of Genesis 6 in great detail, which has implications for the very last days we are now rapidly approaching. The Book of Enoch is not to be taken on the same plane as scripture, but at the same time it also should be recognized that many of the early church writers treat it as if it were scripture and at least it's to be respected as a commentary on scripture.

But my reason for writing this post wasn't to get into all that, it was merely to say that those who think the head covering is simply a woman's hair ought to think about it in relation to those watching angels who can be seduced by the beauty of women. Clearly, exposed hair can't be the covering in that case because it's part of a woman's attractiveness. There are plenty of other reasons why Paul isn't saying the hair is the covering, which have been discussed throughout this blog, but this one ought to be persuasive to those who take the Book of Enoch seriously AND think the covering is hair. It doesn't compute.

Women should cover their heads to avoid being a temptation to the angels.* This is one of four or five arguments Paul gives for covering the head in this passage, and it takes on great importance in the light of Genesis 6 and Jesus' warning that the last days will be "like the days of Noah."

* The "power" symbolized by the covering over the head (same verse 10) indicates something more than that, however, and I'm not sure what it means, but perhaps an authority that protects the woman FROM the angels, the man's authority?

One other thought concerning long hair. The passage says it is NATURAL to the woman to have her hair long, so that it would be a disgrace to her to have it short. This refers to the fact that women always customarily had their hair long except in unusual circumstances, and a man's was short, or at least shorter by comparison, and this was the case across all cultures with very few exceptions up until very recently. It is this near-universal practice that Paul refers to as dictated by "Nature." It is NOT what he is advocating, it is something he is observing about the natural state of things. So those who take it as something he is advocating are of course missing the point completely.

HOWEVER, since it IS referred to as what Nature dictates, for women to wear their hair short is to violate a law given by God nevertheless. Short hair on women is certainly not advocated by the passage. The overall understanding of the passage should be that women are to have long hair, at least longer hair than the standard for men, AND that they are to cover it at least in church, and some would argue, at all times except in private.