This is my personal testimony concerning headcoverings for women…the Ruach HaQodesh (Holy Spirit) has inspired me to minister to women the spiritual revelations, authority and divine strength available to them through obedience to the Word of Yahuwah. This is what I have been shown through the scriptures, sound Biblical teachings and the Ruach about this somewhat controversial subject. It can make all the difference in the power of a woman’s (or man’s) spiritual life! And remember, the power of the Almighty - especially manifested in a woman’s life - ALWAYS stirs controversy from the unfortunate and widespread misinterpretation of Scripture. But before I discuss this from a Scriptural and spiritual perspective, let me remind you that up until the early 1960s, nearly ALL women (and men) covered their heads!
Not just in America, but in literally every country of the world. I have a small hat collection that shows just how popular hats used to be for ladies here in the U.S.A.… collected in my early twenties from second-hand shops, vintage stores and church rummage sales. Back then I simply thought they were classic examples of a bygone era and loved them for their nostalgic beauty…but now, I know better. My fascination was prompted by Ruach, and yes, even then I occasionally wore one to dress up. Funny, I never felt oppressed while wearing one of my gorgeous vintage hats – just classy and sassy!
WOMEN IN THE TEMPLE!
As shocking as it may seem, remember in Hebrew the word for sons and most oftentimes men includes BOTH men AND women…it can also mean clan or inheritance. And note - women inherited land, position and authority in ancient Israel (no other culture allowed this) and also served in the temple (Micah 6:4, Judges 13:23, 1 Sam. 1: 24-25). Quoting from an excellent article titled, ‘The Status and Role of Women in the First Century Messianic Community’ by Mark Ensign (JD, CPA, Teaching Elder of Adot Adonai, Attorney and Counselor at Law, Amarillo, Texas):
'In the Herodian Temple, standing at the time of Y’shua (Yahushua, my note), there was a segregated area called Ezrat Nashim (Women’s Court). The Torah does not make any distinction of this court and it was given no special status in Jewish practice. There were no prohibitions regarding the women moving from this court or restricting them only to this court.'
'Only later rabbinic literature imposes such restrictions.'
'But no references have been found to a Women’s Court in the First Temple or the pre-Herodian Second Temple. Coupled with the fact that the Torah does not mention such a court, it seems this court may have been imposed by King Herod when he remodeled the Second Temple beginning in about 20 B.C.E. Perhaps under the Greco-Roman influence, King Herod intended for women to have a second-class status, something they did not have in Biblical practice.'
Like men, women offered their sacrifices at the altar in the Priests’ Court, passing throughIsraelites’ Court (the men’s court) to reach the altar. A baraita says: “A woman was not seen in the [Priests’] Court unless she was bringing a sacrifice.” From this it is evident that when women offered their sacrifices in the Temple, they did enter the Priests’ Court. If, for instance, a woman offered a wave offering such as first fruits, she went up to the altar, waved the offering, and placed it beside the altar...
ALL of Messiah’s Set-Apart Servants are Priests of Israel!
Gal 3:28 - There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in the Messiah Yahushua.
1 Peter 2:5 - Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an set-apart priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to Yahuwah by Yahushua the Messiah.
A TARNISHED HISTORY
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Headcoverings simply irritated me! It seemed so ‘puffed up’! I did not know it then, but I had acquired a judgmental, religious spirit. When some of my close friends and family began wearing headcoverings (at the very beginnings of the ‘Messianic’ movement), I grew intolerant and angry, accusing them of ‘going back under the Law’ whenever I saw them ‘showcasing’ their newfound ‘religiosity’! (I know NOW, of course, most of them just wanted to be obedient and cared more about what Abba thought than what I thought! HalleluYAH!)
As sometimes happens, the blessings Ruach has for us initially ruffles our flesh – and boy, did it ever! Eventually I began asking myself Why does this bother me so much? Finally I recognized His conviction and repented. Only through prayer (and fasting) can we gain the liberty we need to embrace changes that magnify His Word and bring His greatest blessings into our lives through obedience. But I didn’t run out and put on a pretty scarf. Nope. That’s just not how it happened. It was a slow, sanctifying process. As Isaiah says (Is. 28:10), “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, and there a little.” And there were lots of other religious ideas I gained freedom from BEFORE I had revelation of the full impact of obedience concerning headcoverings! It was a sometimes heart-rending step-by-step process built on His Grace.
I’m certainly not saying that if a person doesn’t cover their head they aren’t saved, can’t be healed or aren’t somehow ‘worthy’ of deliverance! None of us are worthy! I was blessed to experience (and have seen others experience) many blessings without headcoverings! His Mercy endures forever! But after learning more about spiritual warfare and Biblical authority in Messiah, and actually experiencing the dramatic impact of headcovering in my life, I’ve often wondered…how much FASTER, and how much GREATER, would my spiritual growth and sanctification have been, how much SOONER would healing, deliverance and spiritual power have come, had I understood the Biblical implications of covering my head? Let me explain.
Wearing a headcovering has DRAMATICALLY changed my relationship with Yahuwah (the Father’s Hebrew Name) and sends a BOLD message to all spiritual beings including fallen angels: I am under the Messiah Savior’s Tallit Gadol (Great Prayer Shawl) – His Spirit and Blood Covering!
THE BATTLE IS REAL
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of Yahuwah. - Eph. 6:17
And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head…- Lev 21:10
For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke. - Isaiah 59:17
Most Believers identify military armour (helmet, shield, girding) with Messiah’s protection. A headcovering is a physical witness of a Set-Apart life to a dead and dying world. But more than that, it also covers the Keter (crown), where a high-intensity spiritual flame radiates from those saved by the Blood of the Lamb.
Then spake Yahushua again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. - John 8:12
There are several places in Scripture where the Light of the Almighty is not only implied, but also spoken of as a tangible thing to be seen with gifted spiritual eyes (this ability to see into the spiritual realm is sometimes bestowed with the Gift of Discernment, I Cor.12:10). When we cover our heads per Scripture, it diminishes the brightness of our soul’s flame. But why would we want that?
Two reasons: First, it ‘conserves’ our spiritual energy, and puts us under the guardianship of our Commander and Saviour, Yahushua (He is the head of the Almighty’s armies! Josh 5:14, Rev 19:11-16) and secondly, it hides us from the fatal attentions of fallen angelic beings (I Cor. 11:10) who seek to prey on innocent spiritual souls. But how does throwing on a headcovering protect us? And why?
Because it is an act of obedience, and in obedience is power. We relinquish our ways, our pride, our lives, our reasoning and understanding (the little power we ‘think’ we have), and choose to actively live according to our Saviour’s Will, Understanding and Testimony through His Word. This gives us the mantle of HIS Life, Power and Authority! No spirit created with a name can stand against us! It is a bold declaration. Additionally, when we do this we walk set-apart from the world and its slavery to unrighteous “fashions” (which is also a commandment – Jer. 10:2, 1 Tim. 2:9) we protect ourselves from defilement. Yes, wearing a headcovering can solicit scorn and condescension…but after 30+ years of walking in Yahushua HaMossiach (Jesus Christ the Messiah), I’ve slowly realized the immense spiritual power and intimacy available to us as Believers when we submit to Him through this simple sacrificial act (both men and women).
Moreover, it testifies to ALL CREATED BEINGS, especially His enemies, that we are under His Shield of Protection. It in fact declares to all beings Who we belong to and that we know our power and authority in Him! We have learned that all beings – from fallen angels, demons, principalities and powers, to the highest Seraphim, recognize HIS authority and mantle on the head of Yahushua’s servants! Thinking you have some protection and power in the Messiah and KNOWING it, and DECLARING IT, are two vastly different things.
My husband, Dr. William Schnoebelen, has an excellent FAQ teaching on headcoverings for men titled, Headcoverings: Abiding Under the Shadow of the Almight (online) at: http://www.withoneaccord.org/assets/images/freedownloads/Headcoverings%20Abiding%20under%20Shadow-2.pdf
1. The correct Hebrew term for skullcap is Kippah. It is rooted in the Hebrew word KAPAR (Strong’s #3722) which means atonement, literally to cover. (See Ex.29:33 and 30:10 among many other places)
2. A variation of the word, KIPPURIM is used in Lev. 23:27 for the Day of Atonement (YOM HA KIPPURIM).
3. Even more critically, the word is also related to the word KAPPHORET (#3727) which we translate as the mercy seat or lid of the ark of the covenant, where the atoning blood was applied every Yom Kippur (see Ex.25:17). Thus, by wearing it, I remind myself and others, I’m under the ATONING BLOOD of the Lamb.
4. It also serves as a reminder of the Helmet of Salvation that we are to wear. (Eph. 6:17)
5. It also refers to the garments of the priesthood. Remember, in the apostolic Scriptures, Peter tells us that we are ALL (men and women) part of a “holy priesthood” now (1 Peter 2:5), thus we are all priests before YHWH.
6. Ex. 29:9 and 39:28 are verses that refer to the “bonnet” (King James Authorized Version) as part of the commanded garments of the priesthood.
7. In Strong’s #4021 the Hebrew word for this is MIG-BA’A that means a “hemispherical cap.” It is derived from a different Hebrew word, GIB’A, meaning a little hill (#1389). Thus, the head covering priests in the Torah wore was a shaped like a sphere (Kippah).
Lev.10:6 says that priests should not UNcover their heads, even when mourning, “lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people.”
BARETTES & BEANIES
Some women are fortunate enough to be brought up wearing headcoverings and in Hebraic Roots and Jewish communities where it is part of the culture. For others such as myself, acquiring understanding of what it ACTUALLY means and why we should do it (and how) takes time. As one proverb says, You can’t push a wet noodle! As adamant as I am now about covering my hair, I admit it has been a long process. Here is roughly the timeline of my obedience:
1992-1993 Attended a large Hebraic Roots Congregation – no women wore headcoverings. However, I did cover my hair to light candles during Sabbath. It was always a very special time, and I knew and felt the power on my head – STILL didn’t get it!
1993-1995 Continued studying Hebraic Roots but sadly, due to location, attended a Sunday observance church. I was taught headcovering was no longer necessary for a woman because of the misguided teaching based on 1 Cor. 11:14-16: Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory for her: for her hair is given her for a covering. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
Does this translate into not wearing a headcovering? NO. Paul is talking about the nature of men and women, and cross-dressing (BTW, in Biblical times women wore something like waist-tied pantaloons to make rape and violation more difficult; men wore robes!). Paul knew of what he spoke and was delivering the message to an audience that had taken hold of all manner of perverse attire, attitudes and behaviors. As a result, the devil had corrupted their sexual identity making them EXTREMELY VULNERABLE TO FALLEN ANGELS. He is NOT saying it is a sin for a man to have long hair. He is NOT saying it is acceptable for a woman to showcase the beauty of her hair as a ‘covering’. He is preaching something like this to his Corinthian audience: Look here – like it or not, these activities of cult temple prostitutes shaving their hair in pagan rituals in sacrifice to their gods, and homosexuality within the community and cross-dressing have never been nor will be a part of the Hebraic way of life!
Paul ALSO uses two different words here of paramount importance! In Verse 11, Paul used the word katakalupto, meaning the covering a woman places ON her head (one which the scripture uses to indicate ‘the putting on and taking off again’ - which is not possible with one’s natural hair). This word is composed of the prefix kata which when translated means come down and kalupto which translated means to cover! This means something totally different than where, in Verse 15, Paul uses the word peribolaion, meaning hair.
SIDE NOTE: Before you get your dander up…Yahuwah’s covering as expressed through the wearing of veils for Hebrew women (and kippah for men) has NEVER included the covering of the face (this could be an entire article in and of itself!). In Hebraic thought, the face reveals the transcendent beauty shining forth in each soul Abba has created and manifested through His most beloved creation. The whole idea of face covering is UNTHINKABLE in Judaism for this reason. Hebrew peoples have worn beautiful headcoverings for millennia to honor the Almighty but remember, ha satan (satan) wants to pervert everything sacred! (Thus, you have the burka.)
For the next ten years I was sadly deceived concerning this vital practice, and although some of my dearest friends were covering their heads in obedience and exponentially gaining strength and understanding of spiritual warfare because of it…I was stubborn. I’d been ‘educated’ and had bought the lie hook line and sinker: women were NOT to cover their heads and to do so was a sure sign of ignorance and oppression. WRONG.
The Ruach is patient and kind. While praying one sunny afternoon by myself Ruach spoke to me: Pull up your hair and wear a wide barrette at your crown. I DIDN’T understand why at the time, but I was obedient to what I knew was the Voice of Yahushua’s Spirit if nothing else! For some reason, it seemed especially important on Fridays – something I would come to understand later as I continued to study Torah and the Scriptures in a more Hebraic mindset. A few months later, I knew I was to do this every day. So I did…and as the power and anointing grew, so did my realization that, even if only in obedience to I Cor. 11:5-6, my Keter (crown or top of head) needs to be covered! Because as someone used by Ruach in both prophetic and intercessory realms I have been given – and responsible for - the unction to prophesy and/or pray at all times of the day and night (1 Pet. 3:15) – and who wants an empty lamp when the Master calls?
Eventually, little by little and through ministry of the Ruach and study of the Scriptures cited above, I came to understand that a woman’s hair is NOT her covering! It is a reflection of the glory of Yahuwah (and if she is married, the glory of her husband – 1 Cor.11:7). It is to be kept from the sight of fallen angelic beings, the corruption of the world, and the lust of the flesh so inherent and uncontrolled in those not Set Apart. It IS a glory! Does heaven reveal itself to anyone just for the asking? NO. Is it a casual splendor anyone can see in passing? NO. It demands COVENANT.
So after a long progression of just pulling up my hair up in a barrette I eventually began piling up my hair on top of my head. Then, I began to wear a Kippah – a little circular piece of cloth generally known as a Yarmulke - and Ruach began showing me how the CROWN of YAHUSHUA resides on top of my head! Understanding dawned and I gladly obeyed and covered it! He was my Witness! I carry Him within this frail vessel, but He is there none-the-less…and HE deserves a Crown! As a Believer, especially a Set Apart one, the top of my head no longer belongs to me – it belongs to HIM! He lives in me! What I do not only reflects that, but also honors Him as He lives, and moves and maintains my very being! WHAT DID YAHUSHUA DO? He covered His head. Therefore, so do I.
DREAMS IN SPIRITUAL REALMS
For me, the Ruach has changed every aspect of my existence since practicing headcovering: my marriage, ministry and daily life. Then, there’s the whole dreamworld – a place as real to me as my waking hours and Biblically, a gift of the Ruach to be sought by those with a prophetic calling. As long as I can remember I’ve had the gift of dreams, but since becoming obedient according to Scripture regarding headcoverings, the blessings bestowed into my dream-life have grown by leaps and bounds - especially in the areas of interpretation and authority. NOTE: When I began wearing a headcovering to bed at night, the violent memories and dreams I was having stopped. Immediately.
Dream interpretation and dream warfare have become a powerful anointing for me, and although I still have a long way to go in developing the fullness of this gift, it’s like the Light and powers of heaven have opened, and I see…REALLY see, things from His perspective. And Yes, I cover my head at night! Why? Because I CAN…because I MUST. I am a minister of Yahuwah and honored to serve Him no matter if I am awake OR asleep. Because the spiritual realm is REAL, and I am called to walk through this world with the fire of revelation, the Word, and HIS power working through me…at ANY TIME, in ANY PLACE. These gifts are intertwined with His Spirit and make me whole. I speak the Divine Name at will in my dreams now, allowing victories too numerous to discuss here and insights into warfare and deliverance that is supported by the Bible! (Another article in the works!) We walk through the enemy’s camp unseen and bring the Word to the spiritually starving in desolate places of the earth. Both Bill and I have walked with Malakim (angels) in our waking and sleeping hours – to learn, grow, and do battle. We have seen tangible, life-changing results for hundreds. The verifications and supporting evidences foster not only our faith, but the faith of countless others. Time after time we are shown how to gain victory…and it all started with a plain small barrette and simple obedience. Today I walk with my spiritual Light tucked safely under a headcovering but Abba’s anointing has supercharged my warfare. Perhaps that is why the enemy’s forces are so opposed to it!
There is GREAT power in obedience (Ex. 19:5, Deut. 30:20, Jer. 7:23, Zech. 6:15). We can ALL become priests of Yahuwah (1 Pet. 2:5, 9)! If we confess Yahushua as Messiah, YAH come in the flesh, and step out in faith and READ HIS WORD, the Kodosh (Set Apart) King James Bible – pray and follow the commandments and feasts, keeping ourselves from the world and sanctified through His Word – we can walk through this world and the spiritual realms in VICTORY! If you’re hungry for more of HIM, if you’re tired of a mediocre spiritual existence that lacks power and authority and seek to become a true woman of valor and (most importantly) to express your faithfulness, Set Apartness and obedience…if you want ALL THE GIFTS His Spirit has for you and to become the adversary’s WORST NIGHTMARE – Women of Messiah - cover your head!
Because in our obedience is HIS power! HalleluYAH!