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Biblical references to 'veil'

The Bible was never intended to be a history book, yet it gives a useful insight into past customs.



Biblical references to 'veil'

In the Bible, we see many references to the veil.1 Ruth used hers as a shopping bag (see Ruth 3:15). Isaiah shows that the veil was considered a beautiful decorative addition to someone's wardrobe (Isa. 3:23) and in Song. 5:7 it was a protective item of clothing.

Gen. 24:65 shows it was used to hide somebody's modesty, in Exod. 34:33-35 the veil hid somebody's face because it shone and in II Cor. 3:13-16 it obscured vision. In Gen. 38:14 it conceals identity, and in Isa. 25:7 it is used to cover and hide people.

But most entries in the Bible show the veil being used as a symbolic curtain, protecting a holy place (see Exod. 26:31-35, 27:21, 30:6, 35:12, 36:35, 38:27, 39:34, 40:3,21,22,26, Lev. 4:6,17, 16:2,12,15, 21:23, 24:3, Num. 4:5, 18:7, II Chron. 3:14, Matt. 27:51, Mark 15:38, Luke 23:45, Heb. 6:19, 9:3, 10:20.)

Of these entries, three are very significant. In Matt. 27:51, Mark 15:38 and Luke 23:45, it describes how the veil in front of the temple violently ripped open when Jesus died on the cross. This signified that Christ, by his death, opened a way to God.

Later, in Heb. 10:20, we read that the 'veil' which was the curtain or entrance to a holy place, was also Christ. Believers were then shown an open way to the presence of God. The way and means by which Christians enjoy such privileges, is by the sacrifice of Jesus. Christians believe that the way to heaven is by accepting Christ as Saviour.

(Return to the Wedding Veil page.)


1: In some versions the spelling is the old-English 'vail'.