1 Corinthians 13:12 ASV For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know fully even as also I was fully known.
Jamieson Fausset and Brown Commentary:
now — in our present state.
see — an appropriate expression, in connection with the "prophets" or seers
1 Samuel 9:9 (Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to enquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.)
through a glass (KJV) — that is, in a mirror; the reflection seeming to the eye to be behind the mirror, so that we see it through the mirror. Ancient mirrors were made of polished brass or other metals. The contrast is between the inadequate knowledge of an object gained by seeing it reflected in a dim mirror (such as ancient mirrors were), compared with the perfect idea we have of it by seeing itself directly.
darkly — literally, "in enigma." As a "mirror" conveys an image to the eye, so an "enigma" to the ear. But neither "eye nor ear" can fully represent (though the believer’s soul gets a small revelation now of)
1 Corinthians 2:9… the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.
Paul alludes to Numbers 12:8… not in dark speeches; the Septuagint, …not in enigmas. Compared with the visions and dreams vouchsafed to other prophets, God’s communications with Moses were "not in enigmas." But compared with the intuitive and direct vision of God hereafter, even the revealed word now is "a dark discourse," or a shadowing forth by enigma of God’s reflected likeness.
2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
where the "light" or candle in a dark place stands in contrast with the "day" dawning.
God’s word is called a glass or mirror also in:
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
then — "when that which is perfect is come" (13:10).
face to face — not merely "mouth to mouth"
Numbers 12:8 With him (Moses) will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches;
Genesis 32:30 was a type
Genesis 32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
John 1:50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. 51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
know … known — rather as Greek, "fully know … fully known." Now we are known by, rather than know, God
1 Corinthians 8:3… if any man love God, the same is known of him.
Galatians 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God,
At the present time we know of God imperfectly through his written word, but when Christ returns to raise and glorify the faithful with eternal life they will know God by experience for he will be ‘all in all’.
I hope this helps