The Veil
2 Corinthians 3:15, 16
But even to this day, when Moses is read, the veil is on their heart.…

The historical incident in this passage makes way for the allegorical representation. When Moses came down from the mount he veiled his face that the people might not see his features and might not witness the fading of his celestial glory. And Paul affirms that a similar veil conceals the countenance of the great prophet and lawgiver when his writings are publicly read in the hearing of his countrymen. In many ways the Pentateuch is a witness to the Messiah, even Jesus. But over the Pentateuch, as read, there rests a veil which hinders the Jews from penetrating to the spiritual, the prophetic, meaning of the inspired writer. Moses testified of Christ; but to the unenlightened the writings of Moses prevent any perception, any vision, of the Divine Lord. A similar veil keeps many from apprehending the truth which is so near them.

I. IN WHAT DOES THE VEIL CONSIST? Especially in prejudice and in unbelief. As the Israelites were so persuaded of the incomparable excellence of the Mosaic Law that they could not discern the higher revelation to which that Law was designed to lead, so oftentimes men's minds are so preoccupied with their own notions of religion, of righteousness, etc., that they are not prepared to give heed to the Divine manifestation and appeal.

II. WHAT DOES THE VEIL HIDE? The covering referred to in the context hid the face of the lawgiver; but the veil of error and of unbelief conceals the countenance of Christ, the revelation of Divine attributes, purposes, and promises. What it would be most for our interests to behold we may, by our sin and folly, obscure from our own view. See what we may, if we behold not the light of God's glory in the face of Jesus Christ we forfeit the highest privileges of which we are capable.

III. HOW IS THE VEIL REMOVED? The answer is very simple, "When it shall turn to the Lord." That is to say, the obstacle to spiritual vision lies with ourselves and not with Heaven. Repentance, or the turning of the heart away from sin, is the condition of true enlightenment, Whilst the mind is occupied with itself and its own inclinations and fancies, the spiritual glory of the Saviour is not discernible. It only needs that, under the guidance of the Spirit of God, the mind should look away from self to Christ, in order that at once the scales should fall from the eyes of the beholder, and the veil should drop from the face of the Redeemer, and a true revelation should take place.


1. The transitory character of preparatory dispensations is clearly discerned; the veil being dropped, it is seen that the glory of the older covenant has gone.

2. The true glory of Christ and of Christianity is made manifest; the new covenant appears in all its splendour, unfading and eternal. - T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.

WEB: But to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart.

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