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Veil

A veil is an article of clothing meant to partially or completely obscure the face, usually that of a woman.

Veils are often part of the stereotypical image of the courtesan and harem[?] woman.

Hijab, the Muslim concept of female modesty, is often inaccurately referred to as "the veil." However, hijab takes many different forms. Perhaps most women who practice hijab do not cover their face, but rather their hair. However, the Afghan burqa[?] does cover the face.

The expression "to take the veil" can also mean to become a nun.

In the custom of white weddings, a diaphanous veil is often part of the bride's apparel.


This is an article from the public domain Easton's Bible Dictionary, originally published in 1897. This article is written from a nineteenth century Christian viewpoint, and may not reflect modern opinions or recent discoveries in Biblical scholarship. Please help the Wikipedia by bringing this article up to date.

Veil, Vail-

  1. Hebrew mitpahath (Ruth 3:15; marg., "sheet" or "apron;" R.V., "mantle"). In Isa. 3:22 this word is plural, rendered "wimples;" R.V., "shawls" i.e., wraps.
  2. Massekah (Isa. 25:7; in Isa. 28:20 rendered "covering"). The word denotes something spread out and covering or concealing something else (comp. 2 Cor. 3:13-15).
  3. Masveh (Ex. 34:33, 35), the veil on the face of Moses. This verse should be read, "And when Moses had done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face," as in the Revised Version. When Moses spoke to them he was without the veil; only when he ceased speaking he put on the veil (comp. 2 Cor. 3:13, etc.).
  4. Paroheth (Ex. 26:31-35), the veil of the tabernacle and the temple, which hung between the holy place and the most holy (2 Chr. 3:14). In the temple a partition wall separated these two places. In it were two folding-doors, which are supposed to have been always open, the entrance being concealed by the veil which the high priest[?] lifted when he entered into the sanctuary on the day of Atonement. This veil was rent when Christ died on the cross (Matt. 27:51; Gospel of Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45).
  5. Tza'iph (Gen. 24:65). Rebekah[?] "took a vail and covered herself." (See also 38:14, 19.) Hebrew women generally appeared in public without veils (12:14; 24:16; 29:10; 1 Sam. 1:12).
  6. Radhidh (Cant. 5:7, R.V. "mantle;" Isa. 3:23). The word probably denotes some kind of cloak or wrapper.
  7. Masak, the veil which hung before the entrance to the holy place (Ex. 26:36, 37).

From Easton's Bible Dictionary (1897)



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