Cloth covering. 1. Women’s veils Rebekah veiled herself before meeting Isaac (Gen 24:65). Her veil was perhaps the sign that she was a marriageable maiden. Tamar used her veil to conceal her identity from Judah (Gen 38:14,19). Another Hebrew term renders “veil” at Isa 3:23. Here veils are but one of the items of finery the elite women of Jerusalem would lose in the coming siege. The same Hebrew term in rendered “shawl” (NASB), “cloak” (HCSB, NIV, REB), and “mantle” (KJV, NRSV) at Song 5:7. There, removal of the shawl was part of a
humiliating assault on the king’s beloved. At Isa 47:2 the removal of one’s veil is against a sign of shamelessness. Paul regarded the wearing of veils as necessary for women praying or preaching (“prophesying”) in public (1 Cor 11:4-16). 2. Moses’ veil. Moses spoke to God with his face unveiled and then delivered God’s message to the people with his face still unveiled. Afterward. Moses veiled his faced (Exod 34:33-35). For Paul, Moses’ practice illustrated the superiority of the new covenant: Christians see the abiding splendor of the era of the Spirit and God-given righteousness; Israel saw the fading splendor of the era of death reflected in Moses’ face (2 Cor 3:7-11). Moses’ veil further illustrates the mental barrier preventing Israel from
recognizing Christ in the OT (3:12-15). Through faith in Christ the veil is removed, and believers enjoy free access to God who transforms life (3:15-18). 3. Imagery. The “veil which is stretched over the nations” (Isa 25:7 NASB) is likely an image for death, which is also swallowed up well. 4. Temple veil. This curtain separated the most holy place from the holy place (2 Chron 3:14).
Only the high priest was allowed to pass through the veil and they only on the Day of Atonement (Lev 16:2). At Jesus’ death the temple veil was ripped from top to bottom, illustrating that in Christ God had abolished the barrier separating humanity from the presence of God (Matt 27:51; Mark 15:38; cp Luke 23:45).
Hebrews 10:20 uses the tabernacle veil, not as the image of a barrier but of access. Access to God is gained through the flesh of the historical Jesus (cp. John 10:7).