The Tzniut, Wives and Head Coverings

This study is available in Spanish here.

To view a list of all studies in this blog, click here.

Recommended before reading this study,

The Law of Moses Has Not Been Abolished

Why the Law Is Not Abolished, Yet Circumcision, Festivals, Sacrifices, Sabbaths, Foods Are No Longer Observed

The women that must cover their heads,

let her cover her head. (1 Corinthians 11:6 [ESV])

Are wives, for the head covering, otherwise called the tzniut, is a sign that she has authority over her own head, meaning she has a husband,

That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head… (1 Corinthians 11:10 [ESV])

Hence why if a wife is suspected of adultery, the Law of Moses instructs the priest to uncover the wife’s head,

And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and uncover the woman’s head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse:
(Numbers 5:18 [KJV])

And in being married, she has come under the authority of a husband, because of the curse against Adam’s wife after she transgressed, which “submitted” wives to husbands,

To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16 [NIV])

Which is why when a wife prays or prophesies with her head uncovered, which is when the head covering must be worn, at the very least,

but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head… (1 Corinthians 11:5 [ESV])

She is dishonoring the head over her, meaning her husband,

But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3 [ESV])

Because she has taken off the symbol of her marriage. As such, when Rebekah first saw her new husband Isaac, she veiled herself,

and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?” “He is my master,” the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself. Then the servant told Isaac all he had done. (Genesis 24:65-66 [NIV])

As a sign that she has now come under his authority as his new wife,

Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. (Genesis 24:67 [NIV])

And since the head covering is a symbol of marriage is why Paul offered an alternate option if a wife did not want to cover her head, to then shave her head,

if indeed not covers her head a woman, and let her be shaven… (1 Corinthians 11:6 [INTERLINEARIZED])*

Interlinear Link: *1 Corinthians 11:6

Because a wife with a shaven head is another symbol of marriage, specifically for a captive woman that is taken as a wife,

if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails (Deuteronomy 21:11-12 [NIV])

In which case, she must continue to shave your head as the hair grows back, because as opposed to being “shaven”, a wife having “short hair”, as the hair grows back, is as dishonoring to her husband as a wife being uncovered,

every moreover woman praying or prophesying, uncovered with her head, dishonors the head of her; one indeed it is and the same with having short hair. (1 Corinthians 11:5 [INTERLINEARIZED])*

Interlinear Link: *1 Corinthians 11:5

Yet if if it is shameful for a woman to be shaven or have short hair as it grows back, then let her cover hear head,

…If it is moreover shameful to a woman to be shaven or have short hair, let her cover her head(1 Corinthians 11:6 [INTERLINEARIZED])*

Interlinear Link: *1 Corinthians 11:6

And so, the head covering is not just intended to cover the hair only, for even the long hair of a woman is itself called a natural covering,

but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. (1 Corinthians 11:15 [NIV])

But rather, the “head covering” is intended to cover the entire head in the same manner as long hair covers the head of a woman, with only the face exposed, hence why as opposed to the ordinary head covering of wives having their faces exposed, Tamar was mistaken as a prostitute because she had also covered her face with her head covering,

So she removed her widow’s garments and covered herself with a veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in the gateway of Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah had grown up, and she had not been given to him as a wife.
(Genesis 38:14 [NASB])

When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. (Genesis 38:15 [NIV])

As such, this is a mandatory tradition that is not only revealed by the Law of Moses, but it is also mandated by the apostles,

But if anyone thinks to be contentious, we do not have such a custom, nor the assemblies of God.  (1 Corinthians 11:16 [ABP])

I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you. (1 Corinthians 11:2 [NIV])

Recommended after reading this study,

The Law of Moses Has Not Been Abolished