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They are good angels who might be ensnared as the "sons of God" were in Gen. 6:,
when they contemplated unveiled women.
They are the fallen angels of Gen. 6: who worked such havoc with humanity which
finally resulted in the Flood.
No.1 we can reject outright. When the Lord Jesus interprets the symbol of "stars" as
"angels" in Rev. 1: 20, we have no right to re-interpret his interpretation and make them
human leaders. This is opening the door to error and not light and understanding.
No.2 is popular with many evangelical expositors, but when we take it to the test of
Scripture, what do we find? Just where do we have any command in the Old or New
Testament to avoid offending angels? And even if angels were offended by the
behaviour of some of the Corinthian believers, what practical effect would this have had
on this church? To avoid offending God is of supreme importance, but we have no
divine commands concerning the effect of human conduct upon angels.
View No.3 may be possible, but again, we have no clear teaching of Scripture as to the
attitude of angels towards humanity, and therefore we cannot accept this idea.
We are left therefore with view No.4, and lest any should think that this is one of the
cranky ideas of modern dispensationalists, we would point out that it was put forward as
early as Tertullian (160-222A.D.). The Apostle has already used Gen. 1:-3: in his
arguments concerning the relationship of the sexes. What more natural that his thoughts
should travel on to chapter 6: of the same book where, in the Septuagint, angeloi,
angels are used of the "sons of God"? These "kept not their first estate" (Jude 6) and
co-habited with women, which resulted in the evil Satanic seed who were physical
monstrosities (giants Gen. 6: 4), and finally produced the conditions which necessitated
If this is what Paul is referring to, it will fit in with his arguments and the context we
are now considering. It should be clear that neither men or women are safe in the
spiritual conflict that surrounds us unless they abide in the position that God has placed
them in, the one to the other. If a woman steps out of her God-appointed relationship
with the man, then she puts herself in danger. Refusal to wear the veil would have been
tantamount to doing this, and such a woman would then have been open to the powers of
darkness who would not have been slow to take advantage. There is plenty of evidence
in the Acts of active demonism, and the time was not without its dangers, just as it will be
at the end of this age (II Tim. 3: 1).
Paul goes on to state the right relationship of the sexes (verses 11 and 12) and to point
out that all these things (ta panta) have their origin in God. Even naturally and bodily,
the man has been made different to the woman. Relating to the hair of the head, women
grow considerably longer hair than men, so nature (or the God of nature) teaches us that
woman has been given a natural covering which men lack (15). Nothing is clearer than
the fact that, whatever similarities men and women may have, they also have definite
differences which distinguish them and this is according to God's will.