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Number 5 and its meaning in the Bible

Number 5
Number 5

Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. (Matthew 25:2)

The number five is seen throughout the Bible, but almost every time it is used, it is merely a part of a whole. It is so small of a bigger piece that it could be considered only a "handful" as the five fingers on one's hand. The first five books of the Bible known as the Pentateuch comprise only a portion of the 66 books of the entire Bible.

Even though five represents a small sum which appears to be insignificant within the larger scheme, it does individually possess high value. When Abraham pleads to God to spare the people of Sodom, he begins by pleading for five fewer righteous people as to suggest that the loss of five would be insignificant in its consequence (Genesis 18:22-23).

Sometimes in the Bible, the number five is half of the perfect number ten as in the parable of the ten virgins. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise (Matthew 25:2).The Ten Commandments are distinctly divided into two pairs of fives. The first five commandments deal with our relationship with God; the last five deal with our relationship with others. Only Commandment #5 is different in that it is the only one with a promise associated with it.

At times five indicates just recompense or bounteous reward. Thieves must repay five times the value of the oxen they steal (Exodus 22:1). Benjamin was honored by Joseph with five times more food than his brothers (Genesis 43:34) and five sets of clothes (Genesis 45:22). We can't forget that Jesus took five loaves to feed five thousand. It was abundance for the multitude.

The number five represents God's grace seen throughout the structure of the tabernacle in the wilderness.

  • The pillars were five cubits apart and five cubits high.
  • The brazen altar was five cubits by five cubits.
  • There were five pillars at the end of the Holy Place.
  • The sides of the tabernacle were reinforced by five bars on each side (Exodus 26:26-27).
  • The inner covering of the tabernacle was composed of five curtains which were attached to five other curtains for a total of ten curtains (Exodus 26:3). Notice the double five pattern.
  • There were five original priests: Aaron and his four sons (Exodus 28:1)

Five is a number of preparation as the followings:

  • First five books of the Bible prepare you for Israel's story throughout the rest of the Bible.
  • The five wise virgins were prepared.
  • David, in preparing for Goliath, took up five smooth stones.
  • To prepare and perfect the saints for ministry, some are called to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors or teachers (Ephesians 4:11-12). Through these five outlets goes forth the gospel of Jesus Christ. Surely, you are prepared to fit into one of these five because of God's grace.



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