on Exodus 26 :31
Thou shalt make a veil - פרכת parocheth, from פרך parach, to break or rend; the inner veil of the tabernacle or temple, (2 Chronicles 3:14), which broke, interrupted, or divided between the holy place and the most holy; the Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was standing. Compare Hebrews 9:8. The Septuagint constantly render it by καταπετασμα. Does not the Hebrew name פרכת parocheth moreover intimate the typical correspondence of this veil to the body or flesh of Christ? For this καταπετασμα or veil was his flesh, (Hebrews 10:20), which, being rent, affords us a new and living way into the holiest of all, i.e., into heaven itself. Compare Hebrews 10:19, Hebrews 10:20; Hebrews 9:24. And accordingly when his blessed body was rent upon the cross, this veil also (το καταπετασμα του ἱερου) εσχισθη, was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; Matthew 27:51 - See Parkhurst, under the word פרך.
The veil in the tabernacle was exceedingly costly; it was made of the same materials with the inner covering, blue, purple, scarlet, fine twined linen, embroidered with cherubim, etc. It served to divide the tabernacle into two parts: one, the outermost, called the holy place; the other, or innermost, called the holy of holies, or the most holy place. In this was deposited the ark of the covenant, and the other things that were laid up by way of memorial. Into this the high priest alone was permitted to enter, and that only once in the year, on the great day of atonement. It was in this inner place that Jehovah manifested himself between the cherubim. The Jews say that this veil was four fingers' breadth in thickness, in order to prevent any person from seeing through it; but for this, as Calmet observes, there was no necessity, as there was no window or place for light in the tabernacle, and consequently the most simple veil would have been sufficient to obstruct the discovery of any thing behind it, which could only be discerned by the light that came in at the door, or by that afforded by the golden candlestick which stood on the outside of this veil.
on Exodus 26 :31
Vail - Literally, separation (see Exodus 35:12 note).
on Exodus 26 :31
26:31 The veils are here ordered to be made, one for a partition between the holy place and the most holy, which not only forbad any to enter, but so much as to look into the holiest of all. Under that dispensation divine grace was veiled, but now we behold it with open face. The apostle tells us, this veil, intimated that the ceremonial law could not make the comers thereunto perfect. The way into the holiest was not made manifest while the first tabernacle was standing; life and immortality lay concealed till they were brought to light by the gospel, which was therefore signified by the rending of this veil at the death of Christ. We have now boldness to enter into the holiest in all acts of devotion by the blood of Jesus; yet such as obliges us to a holy reverence, and a humble sense of our distance. Another veil was for the outward door of the tabernacle. Through this the priests went in every day to minister in the holy - place, but not the people, Heb 9:6. This veil was all the defence the tabernacle had against thieves and robbers, which might easily be broken through, for it could be neither locked nor bared, and the abundance of wealth in it, one would think, might be a temptation. But by leaving it thus exposed, The priests and Levites would be so much the more obliged to keep a strict watch upon it: and, God would shew his care of his church on earth, though it be weak and defenceless, and continually exposed. A curtain shall be (if God please to make it so) as strong a defence, as gates of brass and bars of iron.