I have an idea as to why there are 10 virgins of 5 and 5:
The number 10 alludes to the "Ten Words" of the Ten Commandments;
the number 5 alludes to the "Five Books" of the Torah.
As for the interpretation of the parable, I have this so far:
The points of reference:
The Jewish wedding
The Bridegroom returning to claim his bride
The bridesmaids – Five Wise, Five Foolish
The lamps and the oil
Only five bridesmaids are invited into the wedding feast even though all ten were fully expecting to partake of the feast.
The call to action:
Make sure you are one of the obedient and not just “one who believes.”
The meaning of the points of reference:
The Bridegroom: Yahowsha returning at the end of days
The Wise Virgins: People who believe in and obey God
The Foolish Virgins: People who believe God, but are not fully obeying God
Lamp - the Commandments; Light - the effect of obeying the Commandments:
Proverbs 6:23 CJB
For the mitzvah is a lamp, Torah is light, and reproofs that discipline are the way to life.
Proverbs 13:9 WEB
The light of the righteous shines brightly, But the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.
Job 24:13 WEB
"These are of those who rebel against the light; They don't know the ways of it, Nor abide in the paths of it.
Psalm 119:105 WEB
Your Torah is a lamp to my feet, And a light for my path.
Psalm 43:3 WEB
Oh, send out your light and your truth. Let them lead me. Let them bring me to your holy hill, To your tents.
Psalm 89:15 WEB
Blessed are the people who learn to acclaim you. They walk in the light of your presence, Yahweh.
Psalm 119:130 WEB
The entrance of your Torah gives light. It gives understanding to the simple.
Oil: God’s favor and Spirit (grace) to obey the Commandments
Wisdom - Keeping the Commandments:
KJV Deuteronomy 4:6 KEEP therefore and DO them; for this is YOUR WISDOM and your UNDERSTANDING in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these STATUTES, and say, Surely this great nation is a WISE and UNDERSTANDING people.
KJV Deuteronomy 4:8 And what nation is there so great, that hath STATUTES and JUDGMENTS so righteous as all this TORAH, which I set before you this day?
These verses tell us that KEEPING and DOING the TORAH is done by a WISE and UNDERSTANDING PEOPLE.
WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING IS FOLLOWING TORAH
Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, Revere Yahowah, that is WISDOM; and to depart from evil is UNDERSTANDING.
Psalm 111:10 Reverence for Yahowah is the beginning of WISDOM: a GOOD UNDERSTANDING have all they that DO his COMMANDMENTS: his praise endureth for ever.
You do not know the day or the hour . . . :
Matt. 24:36 says, "No one knows about that day or hour . . ." Here we are looking at a Hebrew idiom: “no one knows the day or hour” was referring to the Feast of Trumpets. (The word “know” in this context is ‘oida’ meaning to ‘recognize’ or ‘understand’).
What is the only Feast that we do not know the exact day or hour of its arrival?
It is the Feast of Trumpets.
Do we know an approximate time of its arrival?
Yes, most times we can guess within two days of its arrival, and when it does happen it is not a complete surprise to us. To understand the timing of our resurrection we need to understand the timing of the Feast of Trumpets. The timing of our resurrection should not be a mystery, so let us not be ignorant of the timing of our Groom’s return. All ten virgins knew the general time of the groom’s arrival, but only five of them were adequately prepared. Our resurrection will occur at the last trump on the Feast of Trumpets (Tishri 1) after the new moon has been sighted and confirmed. If we are to understand Yahowsha’s return properly, we must first understand the Feast of Trumpets.
After the groom sounds the shofar those of us who recognize the voice of our shepherd will find our way to our groom, through crooked streets, uphill, past strangers who don’t know or recognize the groom, around corners of tribulation, until we meet Him halfway. Our marriage will be spiritually consummated (with the holy spirit), and our physical bodies will be changed (“born again”), from bodies of flesh to spiritual terrestrial bodies. We will then be escorted to our wedding chamber in the Heavens where we will be with our divine groom for eternity.
Numbers 15:16 CJB
The same Torah and standard of judgment will apply to both you and the foreigner living with you.'"
Isaiah 42:4 CJB
“he will not weaken or be crushed until he has established justice on the earth, and the coastlands wait for his Torah."
Attend to me, my people; and give ear to me, my nation: for a law shall go forth from me, and I will establish my justice for a light of the peoples.
Matthew 5:17 CJB
"Don't think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to completely obey it.
"Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins..." (Matthew 25:1a)
The master of that servant shall come in a day when he does not look for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 24:50-51)
The above passages refer to the coming of the master of a servant, in a day in which he is not looking, nor is he aware of the hour of his master’s coming. The consequence for this servant is a “cutting asunder.” It is this time frame in which right afterwards is the coming of the Bridegroom. The Greek word for “cutting asunder” is 'dichotomeo,' Strong's number <1371>, meaning "dividing into two parts." So we are told there is going to be a division, or separation, right at the time when the virgins are to “go forth to meet the bridegroom.”
All the Virgins Had Lamps
In Mat 25:1, both the wise and foolish virgins "went forth" to meet the Bridegroom. All ten had lamps, but the foolish took NO Oil with them:
For the commandment is a lamp; and the law ("Torah") is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: (Proverbs 6:23)
We see from Proverbs that one's Lamp speaks of the Commandments, and that the Law ("Torah") is the light given off from the lamp. Yahowsha is our living example of the Torah being lived out in daily life. Thus it is that Yahowsha said, "I am the Light of the world" (John 8:12, 9:5).
Not only this, but Yahowsha also said of His disciples, "You are the light of the world" (Mat 5:14). Colossians 1:27 is a revelation given to the Bride-Candidates, showing us that allowing "Messiah-in-you" to keep the Torah, is our only hope of entering in to glory.
Our only hope of entering into glory - is for us to allow "Messiah-in-you" to become the Light, as we allow "Him-in-Us" to obey our Father's Commandments. Unless we allow "Messiah-in-you" to live, and keep His own Commandments in us, we have no hope of entering in. All the virgins had the Lamp, the Commandments written in their Bibles, but only the wise had the Light that comes from walking in the Commandments.
Only the Wise Virgins Had Light
So the five wise and the five foolish virgins were all "Bride Candidates" by their own estimation. They all had the Lamp of the commandments, but only the Wise Virgins allowed "Messiah-in-them" to provide the Light of living out the Torah in their daily lives. Perhaps the Foolish Virgins were told, "That's Jewish," “that's not for us today" or "We’re not under the Law." Perhaps they listened to the many voices of the Blind leaders of the Blind telling them, "Nobody can keep the Law," and so they did not search out the issues in the Scriptures for themselves. They missed out on the importance of the Light of living out the Torah in their daily lives. So we see now that not all of the virgins were truly Bride Candidates in their behavior.
The behavior of the Wise Virgins can be seen further in the Book of Revelation, as the (repentant) virgin Daughter of Zion:
These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. (Revelation 14:4)
These virgins were not defiled with women. They had repented of the spiritual harlotry - the idolatry - that the other "virgins" engaged in. Instead, they followed the Lamb wherever He took them, even into unfamiliar spiritual territory. They allowed the Lamb to live in them, and to walk in them, in the same obedience that He walked in 2,000 years ago, when He was in His own body. They allowed the Lamb to be their Light on a daily basis.
We are usually taught that the Foolish Virgins are those who lack the "Oil" of the Holy Spirit. But what do the Scriptures say? In Mat 25:3 we see that the Wise took oil, but the Foolish did not. Many today focus on the Oil, and speculate as to what it means. But we are told that Oil is found in the dwelling of the Wise (Prov 21:20). Since wisdom is given by Yahuweh, and the Oil is related to Wisdom, then we must conclude that the "Oil" is given by His Grace - the Set-Apart Spirit power provided by "Messiah-in-you" to accomplish His purposes.
So we need not search for the "Oil" - we merely need to seek for Wisdom, and the Oil will be there when it is needed. As we increase in the wisdom of allowing the Commandments to shine forth as Light, then "Messiah-in-us" will be there to provide the Oil for the light. As soon as we make an attempt to walk in His Commandments, Statutes and Judgments (walking in the Light), He will supply the Oil - by the Grace He gives us from within, to do His will.
In Mat 25:5, we see that both the Wise and Foolish Virgins slumbered, and slept. In verse 6, the Messenger cried out at Midnight. Then in verse 7 we see both the Wise and Foolish Virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. The lamps of the Foolish had gone out - they had no oil. It is implied that the Lamps of the Wise did not go out, and that they had no lack of oil.
But let us now focus on the major differences between the Wise and Foolish Virgins. Notice in verse 10 that "…they that were ready (the Wise) went in with him to the marriage…." Then we see in verses 11-12, "Afterward came also the other virgins (the Foolish), saying, ‘Master, Master, open to us.' But He answered and said, 'Verily I say unto you, I know you not'."
The Wise Virgins Were Ready to Enter In
They that were "Ready" - the wise virgins - went in with him to the marriage. The reason they went in, we are told, is that they were 'Ready.' But what does it mean to be Ready?
Let’s look at those that were NOT ready. These were the Foolish Virgins. The first thing we notice is that these "other" virgins uttered the phrase, "Master, Master." This phrase "Master, Master" is spoken five times in the Renewed Covenant, in context of disobedience, and being refused entrance in to the Kingdom. So here we have another clue - that this is a very serious issue, perhaps related to the breaking of Yahuweh's Covenant - His "Marriage Agreement."
Notice the phrase, "Master, Master" as seen in Matthew 7:21 and again in verse 22, to further identify the foolish virgins:
Not every one that saith unto me, Master, Master, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Master, Master, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:21-23)
The Yahowsha’s response, seen in Mat 7:23 above, is very similar to what was said to the Foolish Virgins, but with one additional clue: "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work 'iniquity'."
The Greek word for ‘iniquity’ is anomia, Strong’s number <458>, meaning "transgression of the law; contempt or violation of law; condition of being without law; wickedness." It is this additional clue that shows us one point of separation between the wise, and the foolish. But let's look further.
The Bridegroom Answers, "I Know You Not"
The word ‘know’ in the Greek is 'eido' - Strong’s # <1492>, meaning "to perceive with the eyes, pay attention, observe, inspect, examine, experience any state or condition, to see, i.e. have an interview with, visit, have regard for one, cherish, pay attention to, see with the mind's eye; signifies a clear and purely mental perception."
So the Wise Virgins must have been "known" by the Bridegroom. He had regard for them. But not so with the other group. They were not known by the Bridegroom. They were said to be workers of 'anomia' - they were "without Law" - they were not "do-ers" of the Law. And they were considered "foolish."
What about the Oil? Walking in Wisdom is simply walking in obedience to Torah. Most teachers today have removed the Torah (the Law) from the Renewed Covenant teaching.
Yahuweh, on the other hand, is establishing the Renewed Covenant among His people, by writing the Torah (Law) on their inward parts, and writing it in their hearts (Jer 31:33; Heb 8:10). Yahuwah is likewise 'sealing' His Torah among His Disciples, so that they may 'know' Him, and so He may know who they are by the "seal" (Isa 8:16; So 8:6; Ex 31:13,16; Eze 20:12, 20). So again - in these passages - we see many links between wisdom and knowing the Father. We are told that the ‘wise’ man is a man of ‘knowledge’ - that is, knowledge of the Father (Prov 24:5).
The passages in Ex 31:13 and Ezekiel 20 reveal exactly what determines "knowing" ("I know you not" or "I never knew you"). Likewise, the companion passage in Ex 31:16 reveals that this is a "Renewed Covenant" issue, concerning the eternal agreement between the Bridegroom and the Bride. The refusal of the Bride-Candidates to keep this Agreement is seen in Scripture as 'lawlessness,' the anomia seen among those claiming the New Covenant - ("you that work iniquity").
Only five are "in relationship”, “obedient” and are invited into the wedding feast, the others are not "in relationship", “disobedient”, and, therefore, not part of the wedding; hopefully, they have a chance (during the Tribulation) to obey, and to “buy” from Him (Rev 3).
The Wise Virgins Identified in Scripture
The Psalms and Proverbs both have much to say about those who would be wise, and those who are foolish. Notice the frequent relating of 'wisdom' with Commandments and Law:
1. The reverence of Yahowah is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. (Psalms 111:10)
2. Thou through thy commandments has made me wiser than my enemies: for they are ever with me. (Psalms 119:98)
1. The fear of Yahowah is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)
2. My son, hear the instruction of thy father (masculine; Yahowah), and forsake not the law of thy mother (feminine; the Set-Apart Spirit): (Proverbs 1:8)
3. For Yahowah giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6)
4. The wise shall inherit glory (Proverbs 3:35)
5. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom (Proverbs 4:7)
6. My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: (Proverbs 6:20)
7. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not (Proverbs 8:33)
8. The fear of Yahowah is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)
9. The wise in heart will receive commandments (Proverbs 10:8)
10. A wise son heareth his father's instruction (Proverbs 13:1)
11. The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. (Proverbs 13:14)
12. A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil (Proverbs 14:16)
13. There is Oil in the dwelling of the wise (Proverbs 21:20)
14. Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son (Proverbs 28:7)
15. Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father (Proverbs 29:3)
All these verses hold the promise of being wise in your "latter end" (Prov. 19:20). The "latter end" is that most-waited-for time, that glorious time, when we shall hear the "midnight cry" saying: "Behold, the bridegroom comes; go ye out to meet him" (Matt 25:6).
Gaining wisdom is the key, the secret, to having that precious Oil that the five Wise Virgins had. Having the Oil is merely a by-product, a result of being wise, and of being known by the Bridegroom. Being wise, and avoiding being foolish, is the real issue. This is a New (Eternal) Covenant issue.
Yahowsha exhorted His Bride, when He said, "...O fools, and slow of heart to believe ALL that the prophets have spoken" (Luke 24:25). Yahowsha spoke that as a warning to us. He said that the 'foolish' are slow of heart, because they are not "do-ers" of all the Prophets have spoken. What was He referring to? For one thing, He was Referring to the Israelites in the Wilderness, who are another picture of the Foolish Virgins. The Prophets tell us exactly what prevented the Israelites of that generation from entering in. Passages from the Prophets:
“Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am Yahowah that sanctify them.
But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.” (Ezekiel 20:12-13)
“I am Yahowah your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am Yahowah your God. (Ezekiel 20:19-20)
“Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant” ("owlam berith"). (Exodus 31:16)
“For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (John 5:46-47)
In the above passage in John5:46-47, Yahowsha clearly tells us that if we are NOT a believer (a "do-er") of Moses' words, we can NOT be a believer (a "do-er") of His words (for Moses' words ARE His words). He is telling us today, "If you love me, keep MY commandments" (John 14:15).
Likewise, being a "do-er" of all that the Prophets have spoken ("My Commandments"), will result in the foolish becoming wise, and becoming a partaker in the Everlasting Covenant.
Many today do not realize that the 'New Covenant' is the very same ‘Everlasting Covenant’ spoken of in the Book of Hebrews, and also in the Psalms:
“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our MessiYah that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Yahowsha MessiYah; to whom be glory for ever and ever.” Amein. (Hebrews 13:20-21)
"…Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:” (Psalms 105:9-10)
In the Psalms passage above, we see that transgressing the covenant made with Abraham, is transgressing the very same covenant confirmed unto Jacob for a law, and is also transgressing the Everlasting Covenant ratified in the Blood of Yahowsha.
The Foolish Virgins Break the Marriage Agreement
It was disobedience, or "transgression of the law," that prevented Israel from entering in to the Promised Land. Likewise, it will be anomia, the same "transgression of the law," that will prevent the Foolish Virgins from entering in with the Bridegroom, because the "Law" is part of the Marriage Agreement broken by the Foolish Virgins.
What about the Foolish Virgins? Throughout Scripture, we see two opposing pictures of virgins. First, there is the (repentant) Virgin Daughter of Zion, picturing the Wise Virgins. Second, there is the Virgin Daughter of Babylon, also called the Virgin Daughter of Egypt. This reveals the Foolish Virgins.
“Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate.” (Isaiah 47:1)
Those of the Company of the Virgin Daughter of Babylon were not aware that they were part of the Babylon Religious system.
They had been taught to shun "The Law." Therefore they did not allow the Lamb to live in them fully. By refusing to observe "My Sabbaths," as Messiah calls them, they refused Him. They prevented "Messiah-in-them" from obeying some of His Father's Commandments, by His Grace.
By refusing to keep the Passover, they refused the Passover Lamb Himself. By refusing the Passover meal, they refused to eat His Flesh and drink His Blood of the New Covenant, thus they did not have His Life in them (John 6.53-56; Mark 14:16-24). Instead they practiced a pagan Passover substitute of their own choosing, calling it the 'Lord's Supper.'
The Virgin Daughter of Babylon also observed Christmas and Easter, and practiced myriads of other ancient, pagan religious rites (all wrapped in modern religious packaging, deceiving many). Moreover, we are taught: "God doesn't see your sin - He sees the Blood of Jesus." But notice what Yahuweh says about that:
For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me. (Isaiah 47:10)
These are the foolish virgins. They stand as a warning to all who would be wise.
The Bride Makes Herself Ready - By the Bridegroom's Ability
Therefore let us begin to allow Messiah-in-us, to walk in the New Covenant, by His Grace - the Holy-Spirit power and ability He gives us from within, to keep His Commandments:
“Behold, the days come, saith Yahowah, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith Yahowah: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith Yahowah, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jeremiah 31:31-33)
“And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” (Ezekiel 36:27)
“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know Yahowah: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith Yahowah: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Yahuweh will forgive our iniquity, and remember our sin no more, when we repent - after we cease our iniquity and sin, and begin to walk in His Commandments, Statutes and Judgments, by His Grace. For those that are inclined to do so, let us that are foolish repent - so that we may become wise.
The Bridegroom will be here soon. Let us make ourselves "Ready."
Let us decide whether we would be among the "Wise" Virgins - or among the "Foolish."