|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:12-18 It is the duty of the ministers of the gospel to use great plainness, or clearness, of speech. The Old Testament believers had only cloudy and passing glimpses of that glorious Saviour, and unbelievers looked no further than to the outward institution. But the great precepts of the gospel, believe, love, obey, are truths stated as clearly as possible. And the whole doctrine of Christ crucified, is made as plain as human language can make it. Those who lived under the law, had a veil upon their hearts. This veil is taken away by the doctrines of the Bible about Christ. When any person is converted to God, then the veil of ignorance is taken away. The condition of those who enjoy and believe the gospel is happy, for the heart is set at liberty to run the ways of God's commandments. They have light, and with open face they behold the glory of the Lord. Christians should prize and improve these privileges. We should not rest contented without knowing the transforming power of the gospel, by the working of the Spirit, bringing us to seek to be like the temper and tendency of the glorious gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and into union with Him. We behold Christ, as in the glass of his word; and as the reflection from a mirror causes the face to shine, the faces of Christians shine also.
Verse 14. - Their minds. This word is rendered" devices" in 2 Corinthians 2:11; "minds" in 2 Corinthians 3:14 and 2 Cor 4:4; and "thought" in 2 Corinthians 10:5. It means that their powers of reason were, so to speak, petrified. Were blinded; rather, were hardened. The verb cannot mean" to blind." By whom were their minds hardened? It would be equally correct to say by themselves (Hebrews 3:8), or by Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4), or by God (Romans 11:7, 8). The same veil. Of course the meaning is "a veil of which the veil of Moses is an exact type." The veil which prevented them from seeing the evanescence of the light which shone on the face of Moses was symbolically identical with that which prevented them also from seeing the transitory character of his Law. It had been as it were taken from his face and laid on their hearts (see Acts 13:27-29; Romans 11.). Many commentators have seen in this verse a reference to the Jewish custom of covering the head with the tallith, a four-cornered veil, when they were in the synagogues. But this is doubtful, since the tallith did not cover the eyes. More probably his metaphor may have been suggested by Isaiah 25:7, "And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast ever all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations." Untaken away. There are two other ways of rendering this verse:
(1) "For until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remaineth unlifted; which veil is done away in Christ," as in the Revised Version; or
(2) "The same veil remaineth, it not being revealed that it is done away in Christ," as it is taken by Chrysostom and many others, and in the margin of the Revised Version. The latter seems to be the better view. It is not the veil, but the old covenant, which is being done away in Christ. To the Jews that truth still remained under a veil. The present tense, "is in course of annulment," might naturally be used until the utter abrogation of even the possible fulfilment of the Mosaic Law at the fall of Jerusalem. In the reading of the old testament; rather, the old covenant. There is no allusion to the Old Testament as a book, but the phrase is equivalent to "Moses is read" in the next verse. (On this obduracy of the Jews, see Romans 11:7, 8, 25.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But their minds were blinded,.... This confirms the sense given of the foregoing verse, and shows, that not the Israelites only in Moses's time, but the Jews in the times of the Gospel, had their minds so blinded, that they could not behold the glory of the Gospel, nor Christ the end of the law; see Romans 11:7.
For until this day, to this very time,
remaineth the same veil untaken away; not the selfsame veil that was on Moses's face, but the veil of blindness, darkness, and ignorance, upon the hearts of the Jews:
in the reading of the Old Testament; the books of the Old Testament, which were used to be read in their synagogues every sabbath day; the true spiritual meaning of which, as they respect Christ and the Gospel dispensation, they understood not; of which darkness, the veil on the face of Moses was a type and emblem:
which veil is done away in Christ; can only be removed by Christ, by his Spirit and grace, and through the light of the Gospel of Christ, shining into the heart; and so dispel that blindness and ignorance which is in the understanding; whereby the books of the Old Testament are understood, and appear to agree exactly with the Gospel of Christ, in the books of the New Testament.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14-18. Parenthetical: Of Christians in general. He resumes the subject of the ministry, 2Co 4:1.
minds—Greek, "mental perceptions"; "understandings."
blinded—rather, "hardened." The opposite to "looking steadfastly at the end" of the law (2Co 3:13). The veil on Moses' face is further typical of the veil that is on their hearts.
untaken away … which veil—rather, "the same veil … remaineth untaken away [literally, not unveiled], so that they do not see THAT it (not the veil as English Version, but 'THE Old Testament,' or covenant of legal ordinances) is done away (2Co 3:7, 11, 13) in Christ" or, as Bengel, "Because it is done away in Christ," that is, it is not done away save in Christ: the veil therefore remains untaken away from them, because they will not come to Christ, who does away, with the law as a mere letter. If they once saw that the law is done away in Him, the veil would be no longer on their hearts in reading it publicly in their synagogues (so "reading" means, Ac 15:21). I prefer the former.
2 Corinthians 3:14 Parallel Commentaries
2 Corinthians 3:14 NIV
2 Corinthians 3:14 NLT
2 Corinthians 3:14 ESV
2 Corinthians 3:14 NASB
2 Corinthians 3:14 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible