I know that I wrote about this verse yesterday, and my internal rotation is telling me that I should be showing you a style post now. But that will have to wait until tomorrow, I think. Instead, I'm about to share another thought about what I wrote about yesterday.
We make a lot of deductions from that verse. 1. Since the sotah's hair is uncovered/unbraided, it must not have been visible/loose before. 2. Since her hair was covered in this context, it was always covered. 3. Since her hair was covered, it was covered for modesty, and uncovering it was immodest. 4. That covering has to do with her marital status, and not with adulthood (not necessarily so unconnected a status, in those days). 5. When we discuss a covering, we presume that it covers all a woman's hair, and not just her head, which is what is stated in the verse. And the list could go on.
Now, some of this gets cleared up, or problematized in later sources. We don't, after all, derive law straight from the Torah. But still, as far as a verse to hang later practice onto, this is pretty tenuous. Interesting and fun to play with- but tenuous in terms of proving much of anything as established biblical law...
I rather enjoy this tenuous connection. It gives deep significance to the practice of head-covering, but doesn't bind very closely, in terms of precision and limits.
On the other hand, it ties head-covering to a whole host of complex issues: body modesty, the Temple and its rituals (the context is the Sotah ritual, the ritual for determining if a woman has committed adultery or not), and relationships and marriage, besides the obvious gender issues. It gives me space to go in all sorts of directions with this practice, both positive and negative.