The Lifting of the Veil: Israel Has Been Veiled, Masked, Lost, or Camouflaged!
The context of Isaiah chapter 25 is clearly a prophecy concerning Israel, and we can therefore infer that it is these Biblical tribes whose "true identity" would be veiled or camouflaged. They would "almost appear invisible" or unrecognized as Israelite descendants. When the veil is finally lifted people will be surprised to learn the TRUE identity of YEHOVAH's people Israel!
by Jory Steven Brooks
In a wonderful and somewhat cryptic prediction for our own day, the prophet Isaiah declared, "And he [YEHOVAH God] will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations" (Isaiah 25:7, KJV). We are told that the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns, with his thoughtful heart, wept whenever he read these words! And yet it is an almost totally ignored prophetic revelation today.
Miles Coverdale in 1535 translated this prophecy, "...shat he take awaye...the coueringe [covering] wherwith all Gentiles are couered." What kind of covering veil hides the Gentiles? Back in Coverdale's day, the term, "Gentiles," was used to refer specifically to the Western European Christian nations known as "Christendom." If the Western "Gentiles" are in view, the veil cannot be a spiritual denial of the Christian faith. Could the veil instead be physical? Is it coincidence that the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples of Western nations have no idea of their ancestral origin, where they came from, or how or why they ended up in Europe and other lands? There is indeed a physical veil covering these peoples!
The Bishop's Bible of 1568 rendered this prophecy, "And in this mountaine shall the Lord destroy the couering that all people are wrapped in, and the hanging that is spread vpon all nations." What a mystery to ponder! What covering are people wrapped in, and what veil or hanging is spread upon all (Israel and/or Gentile?) nations?
It is interesting that the Bible in Basic English says of [YEHOVAH] God that "he will put an end to the shade covering the face of all peoples." One can easily envision here the Middle-eastern women even today whose faces and identities are veiled by a hijab, a headscarf, cloth shade or shroud. The Complete Jewish Bible speaks of a future removal of "the veil enshrouding all the nations." The Believer's Bible Commentary says, "He removes the covering of ignorance, the veil of Satanic blindness that has shrouded all nations." What ignorance has shrouded Israel or the Gentiles today? Is it physical or spiritual in nature? Although one could imply here a spiritual connotation, an actual shroud is physical in nature, and the word is also found in Isaiah 28:20, where it strictly refers to a physical covering, without having there any spiritual connotation. According to a modern definition in the Urban Dictionary, "a girl who wears too much make-up" is referred to as a "shroud." In other words, the wearer is attempting to physically hide her true complexion, her true identity!
Foreign translations shed some light as well. The Martin French Bible translation, in place of the English "covering," uses the word, "enveloppe," meaning "enveloped." What has enveloped Israel? This word reminds one of a thick fog which obscures the presence and identity of someone.
The Spanish language, Reina-Valera Version, uses the Spanish word, "mascara," meaning a mask, for the English "covering." Women are familiar with modern mascara which (in the object of beauty!) is meant to change their physical looks, and give them something of a new image. Will [YEHOVAH] God remove the mask disguising the true physical identity of Israel and/or the Gentiles?
It is interesting that a modern second definition of mascara is, "Paint worn to blend into an environment in addition to camouflage clothing." What does it mean to camouflage something? The dictionary defines it as, "Often a type of color-scheme designed to make the wearer blend in with the scenery, to almost appear invisible to others. Camouflage was actually developed by the French in 1915. They had a unit called the 'Camouflage Division'....To change or modify so as to prevent recognition of the true identity or character of" (Urban Dictionary). This again suggests that the mask or veil is a loss of identity and heritage.
The context of Isaiah chapter 25 is clearly a prophecy concerning Israel, and we can therefore infer that it is these Biblical tribes whose "true identity" would be veiled or camouflaged. They would "almost appear invisible" or unrecognized as Israelite descendants. They have "blended into the scenery" of European lands so well that some historians call them "autochthonous," thinking they originated there! They have been "Gentilized," and confused with the nations at large. The prophecy indicates, however, that this mask, or veil, will be removed! Lang's Bible Commentary says that in this word, veil, "we have the genitive of identity, the covering being marked as that which forms the front view, as the foreside." The veil therefore hides the physical identity of Israel, as their "front view" physical appearance is obscured or unrecognized. Barnes Commentary similarly makes this prophecy a matter of physical identity or appearance: "The word 'face' here is used as it is frequently among the Hebrews, where the face of a thing denotes its aspect or appearance..."
Biblical scholars tell us that chapter 25 of the Book of Isaiah was written about the year 712 B.C., only a decade after the destruction of the nation of Ephraim-Israel, when the ten tribes of the House of Israel were exiled out of Palestine by the Assyrian army. Historians tell us that they never returned as a body other than a few individuals, and they became known as the "lost tribes of the House of Israel." It was at this very time-period that the prophet Isaiah indicated that they would become "veiled," "masked," "lost" or "camouflaged." The tribal House of Judah, in contrast, still remained in the land of Canaan for another century; they were not then, nor ever have been, veiled or masked ! Jewish scholars have long agreed, as the Jewish Chronicle for May 2nd, 1879, stated: "The fate of the Lost Ten Tribes is a mystery which has a peculiar fascination for some minds...the Scriptures speak of a future restoration of Israel...The problem, then, is reduced to the simplest form. The Ten Tribes are certainly in existence. All that has to be done is to discover which people represent them."
Yet some Biblical commentaries instead interpret this prophecy of Isaiah in either of two ways: spiritual blindness, or physical death. In the latter interpretation, the "veil" is explained as a death shroud. However, the Pulpit Commentary disagrees, saying, "According to some, the 'covering cast over all people' is death, and the second clause of the verse is a mere repetition of the first. But, though the heads of criminals were covered when they were led to execution (Esther 7:8), yet death itself is never elsewhere called a 'covering'."
Conversely, is this prophecy simply spiritual, without any literal physical fulfillment? The Popular Commentary thinks so: "And in this mountain, the spiritual Zion...He will destroy...the veil...namely, that of their spiritual blindness, brought upon them by their own natural depravity." However, is it not a form of spiritual blindness to be veiled to our biblical heritage, calling, and responsibilities as the Israel of [YEHOVAH] God? The House of Israel was divorced, dispersed and ultimately "gentilized" due to this depravity; thus, their status as "lost" tribes was both spiritual and physical. The prophetic corporeal marker of a veil or shroud covering Israel indicates that there is indeed a physical component to Israel being "lost."
When will this veil be lifted? Fundamentalist theologian Dr. Harry Ironside stated, "But when the LORD Himself appears in glory, this blindness will pass away, not only from the eyes of Israel who are now unable to understand their own Scriptures because of the veil that is upon their hearts, but from the eyes of the Gentiles as well." Will the removing of the veil from [YEHOVAH] God's people be a sign of the end of the age and our Lord's return? Let us be praying that day will soon come! Amen!
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