Interestingly, and remarkably significant in light of our study in Coverings, in the Old Testament Yahweh has given us in a most unique way a prophetic testimony concerning His required response to, or His pattern for, long hair. There was a man named Seir who had seven sons (Genesis 36:20–21). Seir’s name means “hairy” or “shaggy.” Can you imagine what glorious “hairy” named his first son? His “long shaggy hair” demanded a covering, so he named his first son Lotan, or “covering.” (Note the word “Lot” in his name, which also means “covering.”) And what kind of covering was there to be over his “long hair” testimony? His second son provided the answer to that question, as he named him Shobal, or “flowing.” So, glorious “hairy” provoked the need for a “covering flowing.” How very explicit!
Furthermore, this flowing covering is equally evidenced in the Greek word for the woman’s headcovering; and as you will see, even for the woman’s dress.
In Chapter Five we note that the Greek word for the second covering (coverings are in pairs), the headcovering, addressed in 1 Corinthians 11:5–7 and 13 was “katakalupto.” This word is actually a combination of two words—”kata” and “kalupto.” The word “kalupto” by itself is actually the word “covering,” and alone could have sufficed in stating the mere fact of a covering on the woman’s head. But, Paul purposefully did not use this word alone. Rather, he added to it the more intensive “kata.”
The Greek word “kata” has multiple meanings, including that of “entirety,” or more specifically—from the top and going down. For example, the word “catholic” comes from the word “katholikos,” which again is the combination of two words—”kata” and “hola.” This word originates with Aristotle and means whole, entire, or complete. Thus we see again this strengthened form of a word—kata (entirely) hola (whole), or the entire whole.
Therefore, by adding “kata” to “kalupto,” Paul strengthened the word “covering,” making the combination of the two a more complete or inclusive covering—to cover entirely, or wholly. This intentional difference therefore tells us that the second covering is not just a mere “kalupto,” or covering; but moreso, it is a thorough “katakalupto,” entirely sufficient to wholly cover the woman’s long hair—from the top down. This is an obvious and important distinction made here by Paul, one we need to recognize and thereby put into practice.
In like regard, in 1 Timothy 2:9–10 we read Paul’s equal instruction: “I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.” Here again, the Greek word for the woman’s “clothing” bears the familiar prefix “kata.” But here, Paul now used the word “katastole.” So what then is “proper clothing” for a woman, that which fulfills the requirement of being modest and discrete? The answer is clear, for Paul specifically tells us in this word “katastole.”
“Katastole” is equally a combination of two Greek words—”kata” and “stole.” According to Strong’s Concordance, the Greek word “stole” is a “long fitting gown (as a mark of dignity): long clothing (garment), (long) robe.” To give you an idea of this word’s usage and the garment it would hereby identify, this is the same Greek word used in Revelation 7:9, 13, and 14 where we see a great multitude “standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes [or, stole]. . . . These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes [stole] and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
So when Paul instructed that the woman was to wear a garment that was “modest and discrete,” again he could have simply used the word “stole.” But no, here again he added to this already definitive term for a long garment the strengthened form of “kata,” emphasizing that it was to be a long, entirely covering garment, extending to the feet.
Furthermore, if the glorified Savior wears a “poderes,” a robe specifically reaching to His feet, or “ped” (Revelation 1:13), how much more should women wear a dress that equally reaches to their feet, just as women from before the founding of this nation onward consistently did so until the Curse of 1920? Thus, regarding both the woman’s headcovering and her dress, in both cases Paul strengthens these words by adding the more inclusive “kata,” evidencing thorough and complete coverings for each.
Therefore, this “katastole,” or entirely covering garment; and “hairy” Seir’s two sons, “covering flowing”; as well as the woman’s “katakalupto,” or entirely covering headcovering; each speak of thorough and complete coverings. Whether it be the woman’s entirely covering modest and discrete dress that evidences her “claim to godliness,” or her like entirely covering headcovering; clearly, the Scriptures instruct that a woman making a claim to godliness is to fully cover both her body as well as her head.