Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Why did Paul say that women were to “be silent in the assemblies?”

READER QUESTION:  Why did Paul say that women were to “be silent in the assemblies?”


The bottom line is, women ARE to be silent out of respect for the official leader who is teaching. That doesn’t mean they cannot talk at all in the congregation; rather, they need to sit and learn and not interrupt during the teachings, thus causing their husbands to try to explain, which would cause further interruption.

Below are 3 pertinent passages and footnotes of explanation:

1 Corinthians 14: 34. Let your women be silent in the assembly: for it is not permitted them to speak, but to be in subjection, as also Torah says. 35. And if they wish to be informed on any subject, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is unbecoming for women to speak in the assembly. (AENT)

Sounds pretty simple and straightforward in the passage above, right? But here, in the next two passages below, we see “the bigger picture.”

1 Timothy 2:9. So also, that women (appear) in a chaste fashion of dress; and that their adorning be with modesty and chastity; not with curls or with gold, or with pearls, or with splendid robes; 10. but with good works as is becoming to women who profess reverence for Elohim. 11. Let a woman learn in silence, with all submission: 12. for I do not allow a woman to teach or to be assuming over the man; but let her remain in stillness.[1] 13. For Adam was first formed, and then Eve. 14. And Adam was not seduced, but the woman was seduced and transgressed the command. 15. Yet she will live by means of her children,[2] if they continue in the faith and in love, and in being Set Apart, and in wisdom. (AENT)

(Carmen’s note: Actually Adam WAS seduced and also transgressed, which is why the world is in the shape it’s in today! See Genesis 3:1-7. I suppose Paul meant that the SERPENT didn’t “seduce” Adam. But it is clear that he allowed Eve to do so.)


[1] See the footnote on Titus at the end of this explanation about “women being silent in the assemblies”…

[2] It is imperative to note that, according to YHWH’s Will for women (who are child bearers), a righteous woman raises her children up to perpetuate the Malchut Elohim (Kingdom of Elohim); therefore, she lives by means of her children. A woman who does not bear physical children can also raise up “spiritual children.” (The KJV says “saved in childbearing” which is very misleading.)

The answer to your question is just ahead, so please read on:

Titus 2: 1. But as for you, teach the things that belong to wholesome doctrine. 2. And teach the older men to be watchful in their minds and to be sober, and to be pure, and to be sound in the faith, and in love and in patience. 3. And so also the elder women that they be in behavior as is becoming to the Fear of Elohim; and not to be slanderers; and not to be addicted to much wine; and to be teachers of beautiful things,[3] 4. making the younger women to be modest, to love their husbands and their children, 5. to be chaste and Set Apart and to take good care of their households and to be obedient to their husbands, so that no one may reproach the Word of Elohim. (AENT)


[3] Referencing 1 Timothy 2, at the beginning of this article, Rav Shaul (Paul) commands that women keep silent in the assembly and not assume authority over a man. However, Titus explains that, just like older men are given instructions on how to behave in a godly manner, the older women are also instructed to lead by examples of their own piety and to teach the younger women in the Fear of Elohim.

(FYI: The Aramaic word malpan means to teach; and we frequently see Y’shua referred to as a Malpana (Teacher) almost as often as he is called a “Rabbi.”)

So, with all the above passages read together in context, it would appear that the concern in 1 Timothy seems not so much about women “speaking”; rather, they are not speak out of turn while the official leader is teaching. Surely, such action is disrespectful universally; as it is not normal for men to be given such liberty, either! Rav Shaul encourages the older and spiritually mature women to both teach and be examples for the younger women, as they are able to help safeguard young men and women from “worldly lusts.”

While we don’t see endorsement of women congregational leaders in Paul’s writings, we certainly DO see encouragement for women to exercise leadership in modesty and be Set Apart unto YHWH.

That being said, women (like everyone else) must learn when to speak and when to remain silent, depending on the time, place and situation.  As we see in various places in the Bible, women certainly are allowed to “teach” as I show in my website’s article.

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