Monday, June 13, 2011

The Hebrew Term for Veil (Parochet)

Here is a very nice summary of the terminology used to describe the Vail ("parochet") from the book called "Issues in the book of Hebrews" by Frank B. Holbrook, Biblical Research Institute, General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, 1989.

This is, of'course, a Christian book, but I found the information presented about the Vail to be somewhat interesting and more or less accurate. This will also provide you with an alternative point of view on the subject. 

Please note, that since the copy I have is poorly formatted, the following excerpt presented as is, with only minor corrections to make the text more readable. This is from page 110 of the book:

"In every case the Hebrew term parochet, applies to the second curtain, the one that separates the holy from the Most Holy. By contrast, the first curtain throughout the ОТ is called the "door of the tabernacle. Ballenger quotes the 23 references to parochet in support (Exod 26:31,33,35;27:21; 30:6; 35:12; 36:35; 38:27; 39:34; 40:3, 21-22, 26; Lev 4:6,17; 16:2, 12,15; 21:23; 24:3; Num 4:5; 18:7; 2 Chr 3:14).

When we examine these passages, we find in almost every case the reference is clearly to the second veil. In two places, however, the meaning is open to question: (1) "But he shall not come near the veil or approach the altar, because he has a blemish, that he may not profane my sanctuaries; for I am the Lord who sanctify them" (Lev 21:23); and (2) "You and your sons with you shall attend to your priesthood for all that concerns the altar and that is within the veil; and you shall serve. I give your priesthood as a gift, and any one else who comes near shall be put to death" (Num 18:7).

Further, we should note that the second veil is not always designated simply as "the veil," that is, by parochet without amplification: "the veil which is before the testimony" (Exod 27:21), "the veil that is by the ark of the testimony" (Exod 30:6), "the veil of the screen" (Exod 35:12), "the veil of the screen" (Exod 39:34), "the veil of the screen" (Exod 40:21), "the veil of the sanctuary" (Lev 4:6), "the veil of the testimony" (Lev 24:3), and "the veil of the screen" (Num 4:5). "

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