Headcoverings
(Should women wear them?)
Written by: Luann Avalos


If you have studied the scriptures in any length the question might come up about whether the verses referring to head coverings are still in effect today. One of the major references in scriptures of head covering is in 1 Cor 11:5 “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.” 1Co 11:6 “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.”
 
The word “uncovered” is the Greek word: akatakaluptos
ak-at-ak-al'-oop-tos
From G1 (as a negative particle) and a derivative of a compound of G2596 and G2572;  unveiled: - uncovered.
 
G2572
kaluptō
kal-oop'-to
Akin to G2813 and G2928; to cover up (literally or figuratively): - cover, hide.
 
The above scripture tells us that if a woman is uncovered/unveiled when she prays or prophecies that it is a dishonor to her head. Further reading will indicate that the woman is the glory of the man and the man is the glory of Yahweh. A woman who prophesieth with her head uncovered/unveiled overshadows the man’s glory and usurps the authority that she is under. The woman was made to be a helpmeet to the man, the man was made to give glory and honor to Yahweh.

 
Co 11:6 “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.”
1Co 11:7 “For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and esteem of Yahweh: but the woman is the esteem of the man.”
1Co 11:8 “For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.”
1Co 11:9 “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”
 
From what we are reading so far is that a woman is to be covered or veiled when she is praying or prophesying. Some may interpret this to mean that her hair is her covering and that is all that is needed. You will notice the covering comes from the root word:
 
G4016
περιβάλλω
periballō
per-ee-bal'-lo
From G4012 and G906; to throw all around, that is, invest (with a palisade or with clothing): - array, cast about, clothe (-d me), put on.
Reading the above explanation, we gather that the covering is clothing or array that you put on. Your hair is always on your head, it is not something that is put on and taken off at will!

 
In 1 Corinthians 11:14 it states that “Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?”
 
1 Corinthians 15: “But if a woman have long hair, it is a honor to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.”
 
Also, note that it says that the hair is A covering, not the covering. If Yahweh was talking about long hair in verses 4-7, why didn't He say, "Every man who prays or prophesies with long hair dishonors his head...Every woman who prays or prophesies with short hair..."? Also, why would the length of hair be an issue only when praying or prophesying? How could a woman only have long hair when praying or prophesying?
 
The covering in this verse is; G4018
περιβόλαιον
peribolaion
per-ib-ol'-ah-yon
Neuter of a presumed derivative of G4016; something thrown around one, that is, a mantle, veil: - covering, vesture.
 
If you refer back to Genesis 24:65 we read “For she had saidH559 untoH413 the servant,H5650 WhatH4310 manH376 is thisH1976 that walkethH1980 in the fieldH7704 to meetH7125 us? And the servantH5650 had said,H559 ItH1931 is my master:H113 therefore she tookH3947 a vail,H6809 and covered herself.”
 
The vail in the above is scripture is: H6809
צעיף
tsâ‛ı̂yph
tsaw-eef'
From an unused root meaning to wrap over; a veil: - vail
 
Therefore she took a veil to wrap over herself.
 
When we approach Kings, dignitaries and especially our Heavenly Father we do so with submission and reverence. One way that we show submission is by wearing a veil or headcovering. In other cultures you may bow down and offer gifts as a token of acceptance. Our dignitaries when visiting other countries and their rulers will bow to them and offer presents. Why do we offer this form of submission to earthly beings but cannot wear a physical covering in submission to our Creator?
 
As we have seen from previous verses and descriptions, a women’s long hair is her glory, and the glory that she has been given is to be for her husband and ruler.
 No matter how you look at it, women were not created before men, the woman was created to be a helpmeet and servant to the man.
 
One way to look at the authority and the positions that women have been given is similar to an employer and employee. Your supervisor is essentially accountable for your actions, someone who gives you your assignments and gives an answer to their (headship) about the progress or lack of it if that is the case. In the same way your husband is the supervisor, he will have to answer and give an account for your actions that he was aware of on judgment day. Therefore, if he gives you an assignment and you go over his head and approach the Father, is this not usurping his authority and his covering is not available to you?
 
The question may come up of single women who are not married. Although a woman does not have a husband, when she is coming to give honor to her Creator, the concept is still there that she is in submission to Yahweh.
 
When Moses approached before Yahweh was he submissive or did he come before Him emboldened? Exo 3:6 Moreover he said, I am the Elohim of thy father, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon Elohim.
 
Whether a man or woman, we notice that when they are in the presence of the King, that they were NOT arrogant or proud but had an attitude of subservience to their maker!
 
You will notice that even in the description of the temple that a veil/covering was present to separate those who are not righteous from entering into the Holy Place.
 
Exo 35:12 (H853) The ark,H727 and the stavesH905 thereof, with(H853) the mercy seat,H3727 and the vailH6532 of the covering,H4539
 
Vail is H6532
פּרכת
pôreketh
po-reh'-keth
Feminine active participle of the same as H6531; a separatrix, that is, (the sacred) screen: - vail.
 
Covering is H4539
מסך
mâsâk
maw-sawk
From H5526; a cover, that is, veil: - covering, curtain, hanging.
 
Mat 27:51 And,G2532 behold,G2400 theG3588 veilG2665 of theG3588 templeG3485 was rentG4977 inG1519 twainG1417 fromG575 the topG509 toG2193 the bottom;G2736 andG2532 theG3588 earthG1093 did quake,G4579 andG2532 theG3588 rocksG4073 rent;G4977
 
Veil is G2665
 
καταπέτασμα
katapetasma
kat-ap-et'-as-mah
From a compound of G2596 and a congener of G4072; something spread thoroughly, that is, (specifically) the door screen (to the Most Holy Place) in the Jewish Temple: - vail.
 
 
We notice that in the Old Testament that at certain times men wore headcoverings.
 
Aaron and his sons wore bonnets, mitres:

 
Exo 28:37 “And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be.”
Exo 28:38 “And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before Yahweh.”
Exo 28:39 “And thou shalt embroider the coat of fine linen, and thou shalt make the mitre of fine linen, and thou shalt make the girdle of needlework.”
 
It would seem that since Yahshua is our High Priest, he would relieve this role from an earthly High Priest. Also, Yahshua bears all our iniquity, and goes before the Father for us and intercedes.
 
 
Exo 28:40 And for Aaron's sons thou shalt make coats, and thou shalt make for them girdles, and bonnets shalt thou make for them, for dignity and for beauty.
 
Bonnets means H4021
מגבּעה
migbâ‛âh
mig-baw-aw'
From the same as H1389; a cap (as hemispherical): - bonnet., headband
 
As you will notice these bonnets and hats were made for dignity and beauty and for serving in the temple. We do not see these bonnets being worn by all men in the Assembly hall, nor were they worn in daily activities of living.
 
Eze 24:23 “And your tiresH6287 shall be uponH5921 your heads,H7218 and your shoesH5275 upon your feet:H7272 ye shall notH3808 mournH5594 norH3808 weep;H1058 but ye shall pine awayH4743 for your iniquities,H5771 and mournH5098 oneH376 towardH413 another.H251”
 
H6287
פּאר
pe'êr
peh-ayr'
From H6286; an embellishment, that is, fancy head dress: - beauty, bonnet, goodly, ornament, tire.

 
Num 6:18 And the Nazarite shall shave the head of his separation at the door of the
tabernacle of the congregation, and shall take the hair of the head of his separation, and
put it in the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offerings.”

Among the Jews the abundance of the hair was considered to betoken physical strength and perfection (compare 2Sa_14:25-26), and baldness was regarded as a grave blemish (compare Lev_21:20 note, Lev_13:40 ff; 2Ki_2:23; Isa_3:24). Thus, the free growth of the hair on the head of the Nazarite represented the dedication of the man with all his strength and powers to the service of Yahweh.
 
Other examples of headcoverings in the Old Testament on men were when they wore them at times of mourning or sadness.

 
2Sa 15:30 “And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.”
 
Est 6:12 “And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.”
 
Jer 14:3 “And their nobles have sent their little ones to the waters: they came to the pits, and found no water; they returned with their vessels empty; they were ashamed and confounded, and covered their heads.”
Jer 14:4 “Because the ground is chapt, for there was no rain in the earth, the plowmen were ashamed, they covered their heads.”
 
 Another view of headship is that it shows deep humility and reliance on the person that you are in submission to. When we appear before our Heavenly Father with our head covered we acknowledge our submission to Him and His authority and are seeking protection and reliance on Him that we alone cannot attain ourselves. Even when I am alone in my prayer or studies I cover my head in recognition of my place in the ruler-ship of mankind.
 
According to several sources in the Scriptures single women were under the leadership of their earthly dad’s until they were married. Once they married they were now under the leadership of their husband who will petition the Father on their behalf. Vows could not be made without the approval of your earthly dad or husband.
 
Some who are reading this article may make the statement that I am advocating that you wear a headcovering at all times to show your submission. However, you will notice that the Scripture states that:
 
 1Co 11:5 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. (shameful)
 
The scripture above is referring to when a woman is praying or prophesying.
 
I have also heard statements made that a women does not need a physical covering as her hair is her covering, if you read the scripture above, it states “with her head uncovered, …even all one as if she were shaven.” If her hair is her covering then how is her head uncovered unless she is shaven or shorn? Unless you have shaved your head you will have hair making this verse a moot point!

 
1Co 11:6 “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.”
 
If I read the above scripture with the meaning that my hair is my covering, I would gather that if I don’t have hair to cover my head that I need to be shaven, but if it is a shame for me to be shaven let me have hair. If I don’t have hair then I am already shaven and am “shamed”. I must then draw a conclusion that my head needs to have a physical covering besides my hair.
 
History of headcoverings show that from the very beginning women have been wearing headcoverings or veils until fashions or groups decided that it was no longer necessary to wear them. There are many religions that formerly supported the use of headcoverings in services but have later changed to their stance due to popular demand.
 
We find three Old Testament references that indicate women were wearing headcoverings/veils in ancient history. The verses do not specify that these coverings/veils were being worn only for religious purposes but also in everyday life. Genesis 24:65, Numbers 5:18 and Isaiah 47:2
 
If you refer back to Genesis 24:65 we read “For she had saidH559 untoH413 the servant,H5650 WhatH4310 manH376 is thisH1976 that walkethH1980 in the fieldH7704 to meetH7125 us? And the servantH5650 had said,H559 ItH1931 is my master:H113 therefore she tookH3947 a vail,H6809 and covered herself.”
 
The vail in the above is scripture is: H6809
צעיף
tsâ‛ı̂yph
tsaw-eef'
From an unused root meaning to wrap over; a veil: - vail
 
Therefore she took a veil to wrap over herself.

 
Num 5:18 “And the priest shall set the woman before Yahweh, 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:”
 
Uncover in Numbers 5:18 is:
 
H6544
פּרע
pâra‛
paw-rah'
A primitive root; to loosen; by implication to expose, dismiss; figuratively absolve, begin: - avenge, avoid, bare, go back, let, (make) naked, set at nought, perish, refuse, uncover.
 
 
Uncover in Isaiah 47:2 H1540
גּלה
gâlâh
gaw-law'
 
A primitive root; to denude (especially in a disgraceful sense); by implication to exile (captives being usually stripped); figuratively to reveal: -  + advertise, appear, bewray, bring, (carry, lead, go) captive (into captivity), depart, disclose, discover, exile, be gone, open, X plainly, publish, remove, reveal, X shamelessly, shew, X surely, tell, uncover.

 
Num 5:11 “And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying,
Num 5:12 “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man's wife go aside, and commit a trespass against him,
Num 5:13 “And a man lie with her carnally, and it be hid from the eyes of her husband, and be kept close, and she be defiled, and there be no witness against her, neither she be taken with the manner;
Num 5:14 “And the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be not defiled:
Num 5:15 “Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest, and he shall bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense thereon; for it is an offering of jealousy, an offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to remembrance.
Num 5:16 “And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before Yahweh:
Num 5:17 And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water:
Num 5:18 And the priest shall set the woman before Yahweh, 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:
Num 5:19 And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness with another instead of thy husband, be thou free from this bitter water that causeth the curse:
Num 5:20 But if thou hast gone aside to another instead of thy husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee beside thine husband:
Num 5:21 Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, Yahweh make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when Yahweh doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell;
Num 5:22 And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen.
Num 5:23 And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out with the bitter water:
Num 5:24 And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causeth the curse: and the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter.
Num 5:25 Then the priest shall take the jealousy offering out of the woman's hand, and shall wave the offering before Yahweh, and offer it upon the altar:
Num 5:26 And the priest shall take an handful of the offering, even the memorial thereof, and burn it upon the altar, and afterward shall cause the woman to drink the water.
Num 5:27 And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people.
Num 5:28 And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed.
Num 5:29 This is the law of jealousies, when a wife goeth aside to another instead of her husband, and is defiled;
Num 5:30 Or when the spirit of jealousy cometh upon him, and he be jealous over his wife, and shall set the woman before Yahweh, and the priest shall execute upon her all this law.
Num 5:31 Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity.
 
In the previous scripture in my studies I have recently come to the conclusion that a woman is covered by her husband’s authority. However, in the above mentioned verses a woman who was thought to have committed adultery was brought to the priest by the husband with an offering for her sin. The priest then “uncovered” the woman’s head and gave her the bitter waters to drink. If she was found guilty she bore her iniquity. Some references will tie 1 Corinthians 11:6 and Numbers 5 together. Since the husband was physically present when the woman’s head was uncovered, he couldn’t have been her covering, and unless the priest shaved off her hair this scripture is referring a physical covering that protected the woman from her sin!
 
In conclusion I have ascertained that from the Scriptures, headcoverings have and continue to be worn by women who desire to do Yahweh’s will.  It is worn in submission to the husband, his authority and covering of protection for his wife, to Yahweh and what He has established from the beginning.

I do not wear headcoverings all day long but I will put one on during bible studies, services, or times of worship that shows I am in submission to my husband.
 
Although there is one scripture in the bible that we base this finding on, many examples show us that women of Yahweh wore coverings and understand their role in the family dynamics. It is very important when deciding matters that are not clearly stated in the bible that you pray for discernment and understanding and make sure that changes you make in your worship are backed up by Bible.