Cover, Covering

See also Cover

COVER, COVERING. The term is used of clothing (Prov 31:22) and of bedspreads (7:16). The covering of the head seems to have been normal among Jews in OT times (Ezek 24:17). Women were enjoined by the Mishnaic law to cover their heads, and bareheaded married women might be divorced. Paul insists that men should pray with heads uncovered, but women should have their heads covered in public worship (1 Cor 11:4-11). Prostitutes are said to have had their heads uncovered, and Paul was making it clear that Christian women must show their loyalty to their husbands.

The Heb. כָּפַר֒, H4105, with the root meaning “to cover” is tr. “atonement.” It is basic in the observance of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The blood sprinkled on the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle (or, later, Temple), symbolized the covering of sin, so that the holy God of Israel could not look on the sins of His people. In this sense, sins were atoned—hidden from the eyes of God.