Generally, an item of female dress worn by an unmarried woman in the presence of her future husband and also by a prostitute. Head-coverings were worn by men and women as a sign of mourning. The term is also used metaphorically to indicate a lack of understanding of God’s truth. Scripture uses the imagery of “removing a veil” to refer to God’s final self-revelation at the end of the age, or the making known of God’s will and nature through Jesus Christ or other means.
The veil as an item of female dress
Worn by women in generalSS 4:1The veil covered the lower part of the face, so focusing attention on the eyes and temples. See alsoGe 24:65 Rebekah veils herself in the presence of her future husband, Isaac; SS 4:3; SS 6:7
1Co 11:4A man’s uncovered head in worship signifies submission to his spiritual head, i.e., Jesus Christ; 1Co 11:5-6 A woman’s covered head signifies proper submission to her husband. See also1Co 11:7,13
The veil worn by Moses2Co 3:13After speaking with God, Moses’face was radiant; the veil, possibly a loose part of his clothing pulled over his face, prevented the Israelites from seeing that the radiance did not last. See alsoEx 34:29-35
Dictionary of Bible Themes Scripture index copyright Martin H. Manser, 2009. As Editor, Martin Manser wishes to thank all those who compiled or edited the NIV Thematic Study Bible, on which this work is based.
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