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2 Corinthians 3:13

    2 Corinthians 3:13 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    and are not as Moses, who put a veil upon his face, that the children of Israel should not look stedfastly on the end of that which was passing away:

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And are not like Moses, who put a veil on his face, so that the children of Israel might not see clearly to the end of the present order of things:

    Webster's Revision

    and are not as Moses, who put a veil upon his face, that the children of Israel should not look stedfastly on the end of that which was passing away:

    World English Bible

    and not as Moses, who put a veil on his face, that the children of Israel wouldn't look steadfastly on the end of that which was passing away.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    and are not as Moses, who put a veil upon his face, that the children of Israel should not look stedfastly on the end of that which was passing away:

    Clarke's Commentary on 2 Corinthians 3:13

    And not as Moses - The splendor of Moses' countenance was so great that the Israelites could not bear to look upon his face, and therefore he was obliged to veil his face: this, it appears, he did typically, to represent the types and shadows by which the whole dispensation of which he was the minister was covered. So that the Israelites could not steadfastly look - could not then have the full view or discernment of that in which the Mosaic dispensation should issue and terminate.

    Barnes' Notes on 2 Corinthians 3:13

    And not as Moses - Our conduct is not like that of Moses. We make no attempt to conceal anything in regard to the nature, design, and duration of the gospel. We leave nothing designedly in mystery.

    Which put a vail over his face - That is, when he came down from Mount Sinai, and when his face shone. Exodus 34:33, "and until Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face." He put off this veil whenever he went to speak with God, but put on again when he delivered his commands to the people, What was the design of this, Moses has not himself declared. The statement which he makes in Exodus would lead us to suppose that it was on account of the exceeding brightness and dazzling splendor which shone around him, and which made it difficult to look intently upon him; and that this was in part the reason, even Paul himself seems to intimate in 2 Corinthians 3:7. He, however, in this verse intimates that there was another design, which was that he might be, as Doddridge expresses it, "a kind of type and figure of his own dispensation."

    That the children of Israel - Mr. Locke understands this of the apostles, and supposes that it means, "We do not veil the light, so that the obscurity of what we deliver should hinder the children of Israel from seeing in the Law which was to be done away, Christ who is the end of the Law." But this interpretation is forced and unnatural. The phrase rendered "that" πρός τὸ pros to evidently connects what is affirmed here with the statement about Moses; and shows that the apostle means to say that Moses put the veil on his face in order that the children of Israel should not be able to see to the end of his institutions. That Moses had such a design, and that the putting on of the veil was emblematic of the nature of his institutions, Paul here distinctly affirms. No one can prove that this was not his design; and in a land and time when types, and emblems, and allegorical modes of speech were much used, it is highly probable that Moses meant to intimate that the end and full purpose of his institutions were designedly concealed.

    Could not stedfastly look - Could not gaze intently upon (ἀτενίσαι atenisai); see the note on 2 Corinthians 3:7. They could not clearly discern it; there was obscurity arising from the fact of the designed concealment. He did not intend that they should clearly see the full purport and design of the institutions which he established.

    To the end - (εἰς τὸ τέλος eis to telos). Unto the end, purpose, design, or ultimate result of the Law which he established. A great many different interpretations have been proposed of this. The meaning seems to me to be this: There was a glory and splendor in that which the institutions of Moses typified, which the children of Israel were not permitted then to behold. There was a splendor and luster in the face of Moses, which they could not gaze upon, and therefore he put a veil over it to diminish its intense brightness. In like manner there was a glory and splendor in the ultimate design and scope of his institutions, in that to which they referred, which they were not then "able," that is, prepared to look on, and the exceeding brightness of which he of design concealed. This was done by obscure types and figures, that resembled a veil thrown over a dazzling and splendid object.

    The word "end," then, I suppose, does not refer to termination, or close, but to the "design, scope, or purpose" of the Mosaic institutions; to that which they were intended to introduce and adumbrate. that end was the Messiah, and the glory of his institutions; see the note on Romans 10:"Christ is the end of the Law." And the meaning of Paul, I take to be, is, that there was a splendor and a glory in the gospel which the Mosaic institutions were designed to typify, which was so great that the children of Israel were not fully prepared to see it, and that he designedly threw over that glory the veil of obscure types and figures; as he threw over his face a veil that partially concealed its splendor. Thus, interpreted there is a consistency in the entire passage, and very great beauty. Paul, in the following verses, proceeds to state that the veil to the view of the Jews of his time was not removed; that they still looked to the obscure types and institutions of the Mosaic Law rather than on the glory which they were designed to adumbrate; as if they should choose to look upon the veil on the face of Moses rather than on the splendor which it concealed.

    Of that which is abolished - Or rather to be abolished, τοῦ καταργουμένου to katargoumenou), whose nature, design, and intention it was that it should be abolished. It was never designed to be permanent; and Paul speaks of it here as a thing that was known and indisputable that the Mosaic institutions were designed to be abolished.

    Wesley's Notes on 2 Corinthians 3:13

    3:13 And we do not act as Moses did, who put a veil over his face - Which is to be understood with regard to his writings also. So that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly to the end of that dispensation which is now abolished - The end of this was Christ. The whole Mosaic dispensation tended to, and terminated in, him; but the Israelites had only a dim, wavering sight of him, of whom Moses spake in an obscure, covert manner.