Women's Long Hair
A Glory and Covering, or a Hidden Nuisance?
Article cS

Following are several Old Testament Scriptures concerning woman's hair with some comments in italics; cS-1
(Song 4:1)  "Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead."  Possibly curly hair with each curl being a goat.      cS-2
(Song 6:5)  "Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me: thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead."      cS-3
(Song 7:5)  "Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries."  Note how all these verses very much reveal woman's hair is an important part of her appearance.      cS-4
(Ezek 16:7)  "I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare."  Note, Apostle Paul concerning the Christian era spoke of it being a shame for a woman to be shaven or shorn (bareheaded), which fits well with these Scriptures.       cS-5
(Ezek 16:12)  "And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head."  Note, a crown of beauty on their head and hair rather than efforts to mask it, and destroy beauty.  Verses 7-14 of this chapter clearly tell of much beauty that God gave to the Jewish nation when He at first called them and while they were faithful to Him.  Various Scriptures speak of the Jewish women being dressed very beautifully in their times of prosperity and blessing (Gen 24:22&30, 2 Sam 1:24, 1 King 10:4-5, Isa 61:10, Jer 2:32).      cS-6
(Isa 3:24)  "And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty."  Note, this verse is speaking of the blessing of beautiful and well set hair being taken away from God's people in the punishment that was to come.  Verses 16-24 of this chapter speak of many other aspects of beauty being taken away in the punishment that was to come.       cS-7

New Testament Scriptures
(Rev 9:7-8) "...and their faces were as the faces of men.  And they had hair as the hair of women."  Note how this Scripture shows a difference in the hair style of men and women.  Paul likewise advocated that women should have long hair while yet emphasizing it is a shame for man to have long hair.  Note, the Mary or Marys that wiped Jesus feet with their hair, obviously had long hair (Luke 7:38&44, John 11:2, 12:3).       cS-7.5
(1 Cor 11:5-6)  "But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. {6} For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered." Note how this Scripture reveals being shaven and shorn is a shame to a woman, and advocates she should thus be appropriately covered.  If it is a shame to a woman to remove her natural covering of hair (which is such a vital part of her appearance), is it then commendable for a woman to always distort or mask this natural covering?     cS-8
(1 Cor 11:15)  "But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering."  Please read this verse again, as it's not a lie, but a Biblical fact!  Woman's long hair is a God given glorious and natural covering for women, just like leaves on trees, and grass in the meadow, and if it is a shame to remove it as Paul emphasized, is it then commendable to most always distort and mask it?.  Note, even if woman's head and hair would need particularly veiled while praying and prophesying even that does not mean Paul intended it to be veiled most all the time!     cS-9

Although the Scriptures clearly speak of women's longer hair being a natural and glorious covering to her, women yet obviously can put too much effort into their hair and adornment.  A woman who is all taken up with adorning herself with expensive jewelry and clothing, and time consuming hair styles, while yet being contrary to her husband and family obviously is not a blessing.  Apostle Peter and Paul reproving such imbalance wrote, "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest [Greek word means orderly adornment] apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; {10} But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works." (1 Tim 2:9-10).  "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; {4} But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."  (1 Peter 3:3-4).  Note, the words broided and plaiting as in these verses (according to both the original Greek, and English), pertain to some kind of braiding or weaving of the hair, while the Apostles in rebuking this, likely were rebuking excessive or time consuming braiding, or following a vain fad of the day.       cS-10
Although women obviously can put too much time and expense into their hair and beauty, while lacking inward qualities, yet such does not mean Christian women must now turnabout and destroy the natural beauty of their hair, and mean their hair cannot be a glorious covering of their heads as Paul spoke of.  It should not be overlooked that right after Peter reproved excessive outward adornment as above, he then lifted out Holy women of old as special examples for Christian women to look to, and which women even wore significant jewelry and were so beautiful that Kings desired them for wives (1 Pet 3:5-6).  One should also consider it is quite possible that Peter and Paul were writing in a situation where some Christian women were just as involved or more involved with feminine adornments than the general society around them (rather than writing this to Amish style Christians), which aspect would give these teachings a significantly different impact.  One should also consider that a woman's natural God given appearance, including her fuller and longer hair (unveiled and neatly kept) together with an attractive smile springing forth from inward beauty, often makes a woman much more beautiful than excessive and expensive outward adornment, and which adornment is unnecessary and which Peter and Paul wisely reproved.       cS-12
The Amish and many Mennonites put very much emphasis on the above Scriptures which reprove excessive adornment, insomuch that avoiding feminine adornments and beauty is a most vital aspect of their religion.  They also put much emphasis on Paul's teaching about women needing to be appropriately covered in praying and prophesying, while they do not seem to realize that Paul also in this Scripture said woman's long hair is a glory to woman and is given to her for a covering, and which is a shame to shear or remove (1 Cor 11:5-6&15).  The Amish and many Mennonites in their great veiling emphasis, thus rather than usually allowing woman's longer hair to be a natural glorious covering to woman as God created it to be, basically always hide it under a cap or cloth of some kind, making it appear no different than if their longer hair was all cut off, and which Paul indicated was improper for a woman to do.  Is that really Biblical and God's plan?  With regards to their younger girls, often times when their hair gets just long enough that it starts to be a glorious covering to them (like beautiful leaves on a tree that is leafing out), their longer hair then is wadded together and hidden under a cap, or else pulled quite tightly back and braided into a braid or two on the back of their heads, and which can make their younger girls look almost bald and somewhat like bare headed Indians with a rope or tail attached to the back of their heads.  Is that Biblical and God's plan?  Some of these dear people also have the religious requirement that women's hair must have a parting in the middle of their heads.  Thus often times their hair is parted in the middle with a puff on each side of their forehead, and which can slightly resemble and remind one of horns.  It is hard for the writer to see much beauty or glory in hair that is combed in a way that slightly resembles or reminds him of horns on an animal, or possibly even horns on the Devil.  Although these things may almost sound funny, they really are far from it.  Is God really honored and pleased with these traditions, and are they really His commandments or are they the commandments of men?  Does not God have a better way for His children who are to be walking in "the glorious liberty of the children of God." (Romans 8:21)?     cS-13
May those who demand woman's hair to basically always be covered honestly consider their traditions.  Note, Paul not only advocated that women should be covered, but in the same way advocated that men should be uncovered, and thus as women's heads should be covered, men's heads should also be uncovered.  Yet many who demand women's heads to always be veiled, then without giving it any thought often needlessly and even religiously cover men's heads and even with supposedly religious hats!  How ridiculous and strange!  It should also be considered that although Paul spoke of hair being a special quality and glory to women, that many who must hide and destroy woman's complimentary covering of hair, then neatly cut and trim their men's hair and leave it all exposed, resulting in hair being more of a special and glorious covering to their men than it is to their women!  May we rightly divide God's Word!  Those who traditionally squeeze their women's long hair into a little bun and cover it under a small cap toward the back of their heads, should also consider that Paul did not even say woman's long hair needs covered in praying and prophesying, but rather clearly advocated that her head in general should be appropriately covered.  Considering the various inconsistencies of those who must always veil and disrupt the natural covering of woman's hair, how can one trust their particular traditions about veiling and dealing with woman's hair at all?       cS-14
Within these veiling traditions women's long hair really is more of a nuisance to women, than a glory and covering, because it dare not be cut off, but yet must be kept clean, untangled, and hidden, and thus this long hair must regularly be washed, dried, recombed and pressed into a small bun so it can again be hidden under a cap or cloth of some kind.  Please consider, if woman's longer hair as Paul taught is a glory and covering to woman, which is a shame to shave or shear, is it then proper and commendable to always hide it and make it look no different than if her long hair was all cut off?  Although the long hair hidden under a cap tradition is often claimed to symbolize the wife's subjection to her husband, yet the writer's wife when asked about always hiding her glory under a bushel, simply says she can't stand hair on her neck and wants her hair up and out of the way, and does not seem much concerned about her longer hair being a glory to her as Paul spoke of (or about her husbands desire for her hair to be such).  How many other wives might be like this?  So she against her husband's wishes, continues to always hide her glory under a bushel, to supposedly symbolize her submission to her husband!  Yet she has many good points.  May God help us to take these things seriously and rightly divide His Word.       cS-15
Now concerning where all these peculiar traditions derived from, one should be aware that in ancient history, as before and after Christ's time, a very negative attitude towards, woman, feminine beauty, and sex arose in heathendom.  In some heathen cultures women were so veiled that only one eye could be free to see with.  Sex within marriage was considered a shameful relation, and only permissible for the business of honest reproductive efforts.  Tertullian called women "Eves", the Devil's gateway and counted her a creature only worthy to be clothed with animal skins rather than with anything beautiful and indicated that even her face should be shrouded.  Such false anti woman, beauty, and sex traditions have had much influence on Christendom, from the Roman Catholic Church to the Amish, as well as on the Moslems.  Paul fortold and spoke of this anti marriage, woman, and sex attitude which crept into the Christian church from the heathen, as the doctrine of Devils (1 Tim 4:1-3).  May we be delivered from it!  May women's longer hair no longer be a masked nuisance attached to her head, but may it rather provide the complimentary and glorious covering that God intended it to provide!       cS-16
Note, please don't simply reject what is written in this paragraph just because it might seem somewhat liberal, but rather honestly consider what is written.  One should remember the various inconsistencies of those who are so taken up with always veiling woman's hair and consider where these traditions came from, and therefore not be too influenced by such traditions and manners.  Concerning the proper length of woman's hair, it is clear that woman's hair is to be longer and fuller than man's hair.  Yet even though woman's covering of hair is to be longer than man's and it is a shame for it to be shaven or shorn, it still does not hinder the glory of woman's covering of long hair to particularly shorten and trim it to keep it neat and orderly.  Note, just because Paul said it is a shame for a woman to be shorn, does not mean he meant women cannot perform a particular shortening and trimming of her longer hair for convenience and decency.  Paul in speaking of it being a shame for women to be shorn used a Greek word for shorn which normally is used in speaking of shearing sheep (Septuagint), and although cutting a woman's hair short as such (or cutting it as short as man's hair) is not proper, yet appropriately trimming and cutting woman's longer and fuller hair does not hinder it's glory at all but rather compliments it.  Men often cut and trim their shorter hair just right, to make themselves look good, and so much the more it appears it would be appropriate for a woman, whose longer hair is to be a special glory to her, to also neatly trim and cut her longer hair.  As hair is to be more of a special glory and attribute to women than men, why should it be thought good and proper for men to neatly cut and trim their shorter hair, and then evil for women to do so with their longer hair?  How was the well set hair of ancient Jewish women, and the queens of the Jewish Kings trimmed and arranged?  Was their longer hair disorderly and with ragged and shabby edges, and then with a beautiful crown on top?  Obviously not.  When the Queen of Sheba saw the magnificence of Solomon's kingdom, and including the special apparel and appearance of those within it, their remained no spirit in her (1 Ki 10:4-5, 2 Chr 9:3-4).     cS-18
It is very possible that the paintings we see of ancient Jewish men so untrimmed and Jewish women so veiled are quite influenced by the erroneous views of those of early times who required women to be so veiled they could only see with one eye, and whose religious concepts greatly influenced Christendom.  The ancient Jews in their times of faithfulness and prosperity likely appeared quite different than various Christian paintings portray them.  Some might think that because the Jews were not to mar or distort their beards or cut their flesh when one died that Jewish men in old times did not shave or trim their beards at all.  Yet Mephibosheth told David that he did not trim his beard or wash his clothes as he in travail waited on David's return to Jerusalem, indicating he normally trimmed his beard (2 Sam 19:24).  Jesus spoke of the normal Jewish appearance being washed and anointed (Matt 6:17-18).       cS-19
It is interesting how some who must disrupt the natural beauty of their wives' hair, (rather than allowing it to provide the glorious covering Paul spoke of), then can hardly allow their cars or buggies to have the least dent or scratch but must keep them looking perfect!  May we find uniformity in our lifestyle, and a proper concept of God's good plan for His children!  Although the Amish and Mennonites generally have attributes that are very good, such as honesty, good discipline, and kindness and even to their enemies, which society very much needs to learn from, yet it appears they do have many traditions which are erroneous.  May we realize that most every religious group feels it has the truth and therewith feels it needs to be teaching others their special truths, while they therewith do not want to admit any lacks or errors.       cS-19.5
In concluding one should remember how Paul spoke of woman's long hair being both a glory and a covering to woman, and which is quite different than it being a hidden nuisance, as it is to too many.  One should also be aware that Paul, right after saying "Judge in yourselves is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?" then immediately advocated that long hair yet is a shame to men, and which could readily be understood as though long hair was the covering Paul was talking about all along, and which woman naturally needs.  Paul further continued right on and also immediately said "But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.", and which would also indicate such (1 Cor 11:13-15).  Paul in finalizing his special teaching about woman's heads being appropriately covered basically said, "Just use your own common sense, to determine whether it is comely that a woman pray to God uncovered.  Yet even nature teaches you that if man has long hair that isn't appropriate.  But if woman has long hair that is a glory to her for it is given to her for a covering".  (1 Cor 11:13-15)  These three verses very much could be understood to mean that long hair is the only covering woman needs even in praying.  Although this article does not research that issue, yet an article entitled "Woman's Covering, Veil or Long Hair?" (article cU) does extensively research it.  Such article very much adds to and clarifies this article and should also be read.  The writer while writing it was often moved to tears as various issues about and related to 1 Cor 11:1-16 were impressed upon him.  In concluding the writer would like to also encourage the reader to read the article "God and Religion, What's it all About?" posted at "TeachMeGod.com" as it reveals many good and vital things about God and true religion.  May God bless and help us all.  Farewell.        cS-20
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