ten virgins parable

10 Virgins and Their Lamps


At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! come out to meet him!’ Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’ But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’ Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Matthew 25:1-13

Yahshua the Messiah spoke this parable to His disciples as He discoursed on the time of the end. He wished to impress on them the need to be wise, prompt, and ready rather than foolish, late and unprepared. As end-time seekers of truth, it is of utmost importance that we understand the deep meaning of this prophetic parable and apply that meaning to our spiritual well-being.

 The Kingdom of Yahweh

Like many of His other parables, Yahshua likens this one to the Kingdom of Yahweh. The message of His coming Kingdom is in fact what Yahshua’s ministry was all about. We see this expressed clearly at the very inception of His ministry.

“After John was put in prison, Yahshua went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of Yahweh. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of Yahweh is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:14-15)

The Kingdom of Yahweh was near then and is even nearer now. The message to repent and believe is as important now as it was then. With this thought in mind, we must ask ourselves are we ready for Yahweh’s Kingdom to be established upon this earth? Does our life reflect the Kingdom way of life? Or, are we unprepared for what is ahead?

Yahshua has told us that if we make the kingdom our priority in life that we will have little to worry about. Consider what He said inMatthew 6:33-34, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Those who fall in the category of being wise have set the priorities of life in proper perspective. They are seeking the Kingdom as their number one priority of life. They do not worry about tomorrow. They know that Yahweh’s Kingdom government will ultimately be established on this earth when Yahshua returns. And they live the Kingdom way of life now in anticipation of that moment when Yahshua returns.

 What Is the Kingdom of Yahweh?

Yahweh’s Kingdom is His government. That government is encompassed by Yahweh’s Torah Law. As described in Isaiah 2, the mountain of Yahweh’s government shall reign supreme over all others.

“This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: In the last days the mountain of Yahweh’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, And all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, Come, let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, to the house of the Elohim of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths. The law will go out from Zion, the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.

Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of Yahweh” (Isa. 2:1-5).

Our Savior has told us that we should constantly pray for Yahweh’s Kingdom to come. “This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” Matthew 6:9-10.

The wise live their lives in anticipation of Yahweh’s government by establishing the Kingdom way of life now. They walk in the light of Torah (Ps. 119:105). Keeping the commandments is in fact one of the identifying characteristics of end-time true worshipers. “Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey Yahweh’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Yahshua,” Revelation 12:17. “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey Yahweh’s commandments and remain faithful to Yahshua,” Revelation 14:12.

From the context of these verses it is apparent that the wise virgins are end-time true worshipers who keep the commandments of Yahweh. They possess both love (1John 5:3) and respect (Prov. 9:10) for Almighty Yahweh. Now that we have proven the end-time importance of this parable let us examine its meaning.

 Virgins Spiritually Undefiled

A physical virgin is generally viewed as a female who is sexually pure and undefiled. In the figurative sense the term may relate to either sex—male or female. Spiritually speaking sexual impurity represents idolatry.

The term virgin in a spiritual context is used to represent those who are pure and spiritually undefiled by idolatry. The Apostle Paul used similar terminology to describe his desire for the Corinthian believers. “I am jealous for you with a righteous jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Messiah, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him” (2 Cor. 11:2).

Ultimately, in the time of the end pure spiritual virgins will be manifested as the ones known as the 144,000. We see this group first in Revelation chapter 6 where they are being sealed with the Name of Yahshua and Yahweh. They are seen again in Revelation chapter 14 after the sealing is complete. There they are on Mount Zion with Yahshua the Messiah when He returns. They are spiritually pure and undefiled. They are pure from idolatry.

“These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to Yahweh and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless” (Rev. 14:4-5).

The woman that the 144,000 were not defiled with refers to the false religion of Babylon (the great harlot) and her daughters (Rev. 17). The five wise virgins who are prepared for the time of the end fall into the same category as the 144,000.

On the other hand, even though the five foolish virgins are pure, being virgins, they are unprepared for what is ahead and therefore they will be excluded. We can therefore conclude that if we are going to be accepted into the Kingdom of Yahweh we must be more than just spiritual virgins. We must be spiritual virgins who are properly prepared to inherit the Kingdom.

 The Meaning of Oil

These ten virgins took their lamps (the Word of Yahweh, Ps. 119:105) and went out to meet the bridegroom (the Messiah,John 3:27-30). The five foolish virgins took no additional oil for their lamps. The five wise virgins took their lamps and they took extra oil along in a jar or vessel. They were prepared for a lengthy wait.

Oil is at the center of understanding the meaning of this parable. It represents several significant things. First of all, it represents holy consecration. This can be seen in the passages dealing with the Tabernacle and the priesthood.

“Take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and everything in it; consecrate it and all its furnishings, and it will be holy. Then anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils; consecrate the altar, and it will be most holy. Anoint the basin and its stand and consecrate them. Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and wash them with water. Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest. Bring his sons and dress them in tunics. Anoint them just as you anointed their father, so they may serve me as priests. Their anointing will be to a priesthood that will continue for all generations to come” (Ex. 40:9-16).

The oil was used to consecrate or sanctify people and things for a holy purpose. If you are not continually setting yourself apart for a sanctified purpose through living the precepts of Scripture, then your oil of consecration needs refilling.

Secondly, the oil represents the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was given to King Saul after he was anointed with oil.

“Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, Has not Yahweh anointed you leader over his inheritance? The Spirit of Yahweh will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person” (1Sam. 10:1, 6).

We see that David also received the Holy Spirit upon being anointed with oil. “So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of Yahweh came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah. Now the Spirit of Yahweh had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Yahweh tormented him” (1Sam. 16:13-14).

And finally Isaiah 61:1 speaks prophetically of Yahshua when it says: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Yahweh is on me, because Yahweh has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”

In all three of these instances the Holy Spirit is represented by oil. It should be noted that according to the Apostle Peter inActs 5:32 the Holy Spirit is only given to those who obey Almighty Yahweh.

Lastly, we see that the oil represents the Name of Yahweh. “Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth; Therefore the virgins love you” (Song of Solomon 1:3, NKJV).

This parable teaches us that it is not enough to be consecrated. It is not enough to have the Holy Spirit. And, it is not enough to know Yahweh’s Name.

If we are to gain the Kingdom we must have extra oil stored back for our lamp so that we are prepared to light the way for the bridegroom. Where there is no oil, there is no light. Where there is no light there is insufficient truth to be prepared to meet the bridegroom.

 Understanding the Parable

Now that we have defined the key words in this parable, we can fully comprehend the message that Yahshua taught. For nearly two thousand years the pure spiritual virgins of true worshipers have waited for the bridegroom Yahshua to return. Their once brightly burning lamps of the Word of Yahweh have gone out for lack of oil. Only the wise virgins have the extra oil of sacred consecration, the Holy Spirit, and Yahweh’s Name.

Because of the long wait all the virgins become drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight (the darkest hour) the cry rang out to meet the bridegroom. All are awakened and trim the wicks of their lamps (Yahweh’s Word). However, the foolish virgins have no oil; they have lost their consecration, the Holy Spirit, and Yahweh’s Name.

The wise tell the foolish to go and buy their own oil. While the foolish virgins were away getting oil the bridegroom comes.

The wise virgins were ready. They entered into the wedding banquet with the bridegroom and the door was shut.

Upon their return, the foolish virgins who have apparently bought oil, ask to enter in. “But he replied, I tell you a truth, I don’t know you.” The conclusion of the parable is in verse 13, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”

It is evident to all True Worshipers that we are living in the time of the end. The signs are all around us. Midnight is very near.

Soon the cry will ring out to come meet the bridegroom. Are you spiritually pure and undefiled? Do you have the extra oil to fill your lamp and let your lamp shine before the bridegroom? Are you consecrated? Do you have Yahweh’s Holy Spirit? Are you sealed with Yahweh’s Name?

If you answered yes to these questions then you are a wise virgin who is ready to meet Yahshua when he returns.

If you did not answer yes to all these questions then the time has arrived for you to become a spiritual virgin who possesses extra oil. Remember, watch and be ready! Yahshua will only recognize the wise virgins when He returns to establish Yahweh’s Kingdom on this earth.

by Elder Bob Wirl

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Gerard Rodriguez
2 years ago

Bob, I like your take on this topic. I get a kick out of the many commentaries, and Christian ministers, that want to insist the “virgins” refers to the church. That’s like saying the “woman who had given birth to the male child” in Rev 12 is the church.

It’s good to hear a rational and biblical take on this. I also like the connection to the 144,000 of the descendants of Jacob. Their path to redemption might be different than those redeemed at Christ’s appearance, but the end result is the same glorification.