The Position of Woman
1 Timothy 2:9-14
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with modesty and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold…

This was —

I. A BOLD DECLARATION on the part of the apostle. "Let the woman learn in silence (or rather in quietness) with all subjection, for I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in quietness"; but the course he followed in this matter was wise, in the condition of life then prevailing. In our days there is no doubt a change of those conditions, which would make the rigorous application of such a rule unwise and unjust. Women, in larger numbers now than then, are of necessity independent, and are compelled to earn their own livelihood, and make their own homes; and being, in some respects, the weaker, they should have no artificial barriers put in the way of their doing so. There are disabilities, the relics of feudal times, which slowly, yet surely, are being swept away, though much still remains to be done. Under our English laws, for example, a woman may be compelled to pay taxes, though she has no right to influence the election of those who impose them — as her gardener or coachman may do. But the general law laid down by Paul still holds good. The public work of life, whether in the world or in the Church, is, broadly speaking, not woman's but man's. His is the life of turmoil, hers of quietude. She is receptive; he is aggressive: and it is not so much in her conspicuous activity as in her yielding affectionateness that her true strength is found.

II. BY A SCRIPTURAL ARGUMENT. He goes back to Eden for justification of his teaching — for he was accustomed to regard the facts of the Old Testament as symbolical and parabolical sources of perpetual instruction. "Adam was first formed," says he, "then Eve." Man's priority in creation, standing as he did alone and in immediate relation to God, was an indication of his place and power, as having the headship over her whom God made to be his helpmeet. But if the helpmeet becomes the head, and the head weakly yields, there comes an overthrow of the Divine order, as there did come in Paradise. Practical shrewdness and discernment; the firm and regulative judgment which should characterize the ruler, are less hers than man's. Her very excellencies, connected as they are with the finer sensibilities and the stronger impulses of a noble and loving nature, disqualify her for the headship, whereas the balance in man's nature is the other way; in the direction of the intellectual and the governing. But it is here asserted that "Adam was not deceived," and was therefore more guilty, because with his eyes open to the wrong he yielded to conjugal love. In other words, the will and the judgment were sacrificed to the affections — the essence of moral fall. Paul closes his remarks on woman by alluding to —

III. A BLESSED ASSURANCE. "Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing"; or, as the R.V. has it, "through the childbearing." Perhaps there was some hint here of the blessing that comes through pain and travail, of whatsoever kind it be; and also of the great and noble work possible only to motherhood. But the more correct translation gives us rather the thought of what may be called pre-eminently "the childbearing " — when Jesus Christ, the world's Saviour, was born of a woman, and appeared in the likeness of sinful flesh — for it was thus that the great promise was fulfilled which brought a gleam of hope into the darkness of Eve's despair, "the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head."

(A. Rowland, LL. B.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

WEB: In the same way, that women also adorn themselves in decent clothing, with modesty and propriety; not just with braided hair, gold, pearls, or expensive clothing;

The Charity Purse
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