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Read Introduction to 2 Corinthians


15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.



But even to this day, when Moses is read,

Israel, in the day of Paul, continued to be hardened toward understanding Moses because they would not accept their sinful condition that the Law showed them (Ro 11:7-8, 25).

a veil lies on their heart.

A veil continued in Paul’s day to blunt Jews’ attitude toward Scripture. The “veil” is a figure of speech that indicates a hardened heart that refuses to accept the revelation of the New Covenant. They were oblivious to the New Covenant because of their negative attitude to what God said (Ro 11:25-26).

The problem was not in the Old Covenant but with Israel’s hardened attitude. A veil lay over their hearts; it was an issue of unbelief.



Verse 16 alludes to Exodus 34:34. This was when Moses took off the veil when he spoke with the Lord. Anyone who turns from the Lord has a cover on their hearts.

when one turns [converts] to the Lord,

Turning to the Lord here is conversion to Christ (v.14). The singular “one” indicates that an individual person, Jew or Gentile, who turns to the Lord can see the reality of who God is. When people convert to Christ, the obscurity about God disappears. Our Lord fulfilled all the types and rituals of the Old Testament.

the veil is taken away.

God takes away the “veil” of a hardened heart when a person embraces Christ as Savior (2 Co 4:6). When this happens, a person can experience and see the glory of the New Covenant.


The inner veil of our hearts is a symbol of the hardness of our hearts, preventing us from understanding God’s Word.


The “veil” is the symbol of spiritual hardness on our souls. Those hardened toward God’s Word cannot come to grips with the glory of God. They cannot change or mature but stay spiritually stagnant.

Only when God removes the veil that shelters the human heart can a person understand God’s Word. Neither is ignorance an excuse for rejecting Christ (Jn 5:39, 46). It is no excuse for neglecting what God says to believers, either (Lu 24:25). The problem is not with what God reveals but with the sinful heart.

Jesus fulfilled the Mosaic Law completely (Ro 10:4). He measured up to the Law on our behalf; therefore, we do not need to use operation bootstraps to lift ourselves toward God. Our Lord did that for us. Since that is true, His economy of grace has superseded the Law (Jn 1:170.