Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

1 Corinthians 11:14

    1 Corinthians 11:14 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Does not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame to him?

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a dishonor to him?

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Does it not seem natural to you that if a man has long hair, it is a cause of shame to him?

    Webster's Revision

    Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a dishonor to him?

    World English Bible

    Doesn't even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a dishonour to him?

    Definitions for 1 Corinthians 11:14

    Doth - To do; to produce; make.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:14

    Doth not - nature - teach you, that, if a man have long hair - Nature certainly teaches us, by bestowing it, that it is proper for women to have long hair; and it is not so with men. The hair of the male rarely grows like that of a female, unless art is used, and even then it bears but a scanty proportion to the former. Hence it is truly womanish to have long hair, and it is a shame to the man who affects it. In ancient times the people of Achaia, the province in which Corinth stood, and the Greeks in general, were noted for their long hair; and hence called by Homer, in a great variety of places, καρηκομοωντες Αχαιοι, the long-haired Greeks, or Achaeans. Soldiers, in different countries, have been distinguished for their long hair; but whether this can be said to their praise or blame, or whether Homer uses it always as a term of respect, when he applies it to the Greeks, I shall not wait here to inquire. Long hair was certainly not in repute among the Jews. The Nazarites let their hair grow, but it was as a token of humiliation; and it is possible that St. Paul had this in view. There were consequently two reasons why the apostle should condemn this practice: -

    1. Because it was a sign of humiliation;

    2. Because it was womanish.

    After all it is possible that St. Paul may refer to dressed, frizzled and curled hair, which shallow and effeminate men might have affected in that time, as they do in this. Perhaps there is not a sight more ridiculous in the eye of common sense than a high-dressed, curled, cued, and powdered head, with which the operator must have taken considerable pains, and the silly patient lost much time and comfort in submitting to what all but senseless custom must call an indignity and degradation. Hear nature, common sense, and reason, and they will inform you, that if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Corinthians 11:14

    Doth not even nature itself - The word nature (φύσις phusis) denotes evidently that sense of propriety which all men have, and which is expressed in any prevailing or universal custom. That which is universal we say is according to nature. It is such as is demanded by the natural sense of fitness among people. Thus, we may say that nature demands that the sexes should wear different kinds of dress; that nature demands that the female should be modest and retiring; that nature demands that the toils of the chase, of the field, of war - the duties of office, of government and of professional life, should be discharged by people. Such are in general the customs the world over; and if any reason is asked for numerous habits that exist in society, no better answer can be given than that nature, as arranged by God, has demanded it. The word in this place, therefore, does not mean the constitution of the sexes, as Locke, Whitby, and Pierce maintain; nor reason and experience, as Macknight supposes; nor simple use and custom, as Grotius, Rosenmuller, and most recent expositors suppose; but it refers to a deep internal sense of what is proper and right; a sense which is expressed extensively in all nations. showing what that sense is.

    No reason can be given, in the nature of things, why the woman should wear long hair and the man not; but the custom prevails extensively everywhere, and nature, in all nations, has prompted to the same course. "Use is second nature;" but the usage in this case is not arbitrary, but is founded in an anterior universal sense of what is proper and right. A few, and only a few, have regarded it as comely for a man to wear his hair long. Aristotle tells us, indeed (Rhet. 1: - see Rosenmuller), that among the Lacedemonians, freemen wore their hair long. In the time of Homer, also, the Greeks were called by him καρηκομόωντες Ἀχαῖοι karēkomoōntes Achaioi, long-haired Greeks; and some of the Asiatic nations adopted the same custom. But the general habit among people has been different. Among the Hebrews, it was regarded as disgraceful to a man to wear his hair long, except he had a vow as a Nazarite, Numbers 6:1-5; Judges 13:5; Judges 16:17; 1 Samuel 1:11. Occasionally, for affectation or singularity, the hair was suffered to grow, as was the case with Absalom 2 Samuel 14:26; but the traditional law of the Jews on the subject was strict. The same rule existed among the Greeks; and it was regarded as disgraceful to wear long hair in the time of Aelian; Hist. lib. 9:c. 14. Eustath. on Hom. 2:v.

    It is a shame unto him? - It is improper and disgraceful. It is doing that which almost universal custom has said appropriately belongs to the female sex.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Corinthians 11:14

    11:14 For a man to have long hair, carefully adjusted, is such a mark of effeminacy as is a disgrace to him.