And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face. (Exodus 34:33)
The radiance that emitted from Moses face must have been extraordinary. Several translations tell us that his face emitted “beams” of light that shone so brightly that the people were afraid to approach him. The Hebrew word translated as “beams” is קרן keren which can also mean “horn.” That is why Michelangelo’s famous sculpture of Moses portrays him as having horns — an unfortunate misunderstanding that has had some long lasting consequences. However, ugly horns are not what the children of Israel observed; they witnessed rays of light shining from his face, indicating he had been in the Presence of the Almighty.
The veil he wore served to conceal the radiance of God’s Glory as he spoke to them. Consequently, each time Moses spoke to the congregation, they could hear his words but could not perceive his features hinting at the fact that, though Israel continually heard God’s Word, they rarely perceived what He was really saying. This inability to perceive was because, as the Apostle Paul saw it, a veil was upon their heart. In his second letter to the church of Corinth, Paul connected this situation to those of his day who didn’t recognize Yeshua as the Messiah and, consequently, could not truly discern what and who Moses was writing about.
Essentially, Paul argued that those without Messiah look at the Torah and see death because the veil is still upon their eyes. But when one turns to the Messiah, the veil is lifted and, not only do we see Yeshua in the Torah, we see the life inherent in the Torah and the Prophets. Let’s put it this way: those who are in Messiah should not view the Torah as having “horns” — an allusion to something wicked — but as rays of light that point us to the Messiah. When we see that Yeshua is the object of the Torah, we can perceive the life within the words of Moses, not death. Yeshua Himself said that Moses “wrote about me” (John 5:46).
So the point today is that we, as believers, should not allow the veil to remain upon Moses and miss out on all the wonderful rays of light that shine forth from the so-called Old Testament. From cover to cover, the Bible is the Word of God and, as we know, we live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD God. It is our duty and is in our best interests to study all of God’s Word because, as Paul encouraged Timothy:
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Blessings and Shalom,