John Bengel Commentary - 1 Corinthians 11:10 - 11:10

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John Bengel Commentary - 1 Corinthians 11:10 - 11:10


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1Co 11:10. Ὀφείλει, ought) This verb differs from δεῖ, it is necessary: ὀφείλει denotes obligation, δεῖ, necessity. The former is moral, the latter, as it were, physical necessity; as in the German, wir sollen und müssen, we shall and must.-ἐξουσίαν ἔχειν) to have power over the head. From that antithesis between 1Co 11:7; 1Co 11:10 [ought-ought not], it is evident that the power is the same as κάλυμμα, a covering: so Gen 20:16, כסות עינים. LXX, εἰς τιμὴν τοῦ προσώπου σου, for a covering, i.e., for a testimony of undefiled matrimonial chastity. On the contrary, the priest was commanded ἀποκαλύπτειν, to uncover the head of the woman, who had withdrawn from the power of her husband in consequence of adultery, or who was at least suspected of that crime. Num 5:18. This passage agrees admirably with both quotations; only ἐξουσία, power, is a more suitable word here than τιμὴ, honour. Nor would it at all have been foreign to the purpose to compare Psa 60:9, Ephraim is the strength of my head. Paul uses ἐξουσίαν by an elegant metonymy of the sign for the thing signified; or even by a mild metonymy of the relative for the correlative, ὑποταγὴ, subjection, or the like; unless it be rather the sign, by which the woman avows and acknowledges that, although she prays and prophesies, still she is inferior to the man; in short, it is on this condition that the power of praying and prophesying falls to her share, and without that sign it must not be exercised. And this term is therefore more suitable, because it is closely connected with the δόξα, glory, 1Co 11:15 : and ἐξουσία, power, is also applied to the angels.