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Updated on September 19, 2014
The Ten Virgins
The Ten Virgins
The Foolish Virgins
The Foolish Virgins

The parable of the Ten Virgins is told by Jesus in the New Testament and found in Matthew 25:1-13. Five of the virgins who are prepared for the bridegroom's arrival are rewarded, but the five unprepared are excluded from the feast. The theme is eschatological and all must be prepared for none knows when the Lord will reappear.

The ten virgins are members of the church (bride) of Christ for they signify unmarried young women, who have preserved the purity of their bodies, and have not followed other gods. Only the sinless can meet the Lamb of God. They have not followed other religions for they kept themselves pure. The foolish virgins are initially included in the wedding, but without oil in their lamps, or good deeds as Christians, they are left behind. They have not proved themselves worthy to be saved. The foolish virgins signify Chritians in name only without deeds to show their calling.


The Fetching of the Bride

The New Testament depicts how the Jewish bridegroom goes to the house of the bride in the night and leads a procession of wedding guests and his bride to his home. This is described in Matthew 25:1-13. The virgins go out to meet the groom and while waiting for the groom, they fall asleep.. The procession is at night and the virgins need to light their lamps as they wend their way to his home through the darkness of the night.

Five of the virgins are wise and have brought sufficient oil for their lamps. Five are foolish and have not. The bridegroom is delayed until late into the night. All sleep while waiting and when he arrives the foolish virgins ask the wise ones for oil, but they refuse, saying that there will certainly not be enough for that. While the foolish virgins are away trying to get more oil, the bridegroom arrives. The wise virgins are there to welcome him and the foolish ones arrive too late and are excluded from the procession.

Hiding your light under a bushel
Hiding your light under a bushel


There is debate about what kind of lamps these are. Are they the little clay lamps or torches? It is unimportant whether the clay ones fit the story better. What is important is that the foolish virgins are unprepared and they do not have oil for their lamps.

Without the oil, the lamp will not show its light and would be useless in the wedding procession of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, the bridegroom. The unwise virgins do not fit in with the procession and therefore excluded. They cannot walk in the procession without light in their lamps. They are unprepared and therefore left behind. The oil is the Holy Spirit which lights up the wise virgins for their works shine out in the darkness of the world. The unwise virgins show no laudable signs of good works.

Matthew 25:9

  • There is not enough oil for both. These ladies are not being selfish. The point is you need to make your own preparations. The point is you have to have your own faith. Someone else cannot believe for you and each one is rewarded according to his/her own faith.

Hebrews 1:9

  • Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

1 John 2:27

  • But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

Matthew 5:16

  • Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven.


Jesus said "I am the Light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12). Therefore the lampstand points us to Jesus Christ Himself, the light of the whole world.

We need the Lord's light "For with thee is the fountain of light: in thy light shall we see light "(Psalm 36:9). When God commands His light to shine in our hearts that we begin to see how excellent it is to know Jesus Christ, compared to all other things (II Corinthians 4:6). We also start to see how blind we are by the world and the lusts of our hearts (2 Corinthians 4:4 Titus 3:3).

We have to walk in His light (I John 1:5-7; Ephesians 1:18; 5:5-8). We should confess ourselves to Jesus Christ the Righteous Judge, who sacrificed Himself for our sins (I John 1:9; 2:1-2). The priests trimmed the wicks of the lamps in the lampstand and re-filled the bowls with oil and the light burned brightly again. The light must not diminish at all. Likewise, the light should continue to glow in our hearts constantly and not dim and bleary.

When our conscience is clear and we are walking in the light, we are then the light of the world (Matthew 5:14-16). We can shine for the Lord in the midst of this crooked and perverse generation (Philippians 2:15).


The bridegroom is Jesus Christ and this parable describes His return. Both the Old Testament (Isaiah 54:4-6; 62:4-5; Hosea 2:19) and the New Testament (John 3:27-30; Matthew 9:15; Mark 2:19-20) represent the Messiah as a bridegroom. Both God’s people Israel as well as the Church are described in Scripture as the bride (Ephesians 5:25-32) for the Messiah.

Jesus Christ will return at an unknown hour and that His people must be ready. Being ready means preparing for whatever arises in our lives and keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus at all times. We may be working, eating, sleeping, or pursuing leisure activities. Whatever it is, we must be prepared when He comes.


The difference is between the wise and the foolish virgins and why they can not share the oil. This is not due to selfishness or unkindness. The kind of oil that is needed to illuminate the way and light up the darkness can not be shared with another person. Each must have her own light. How can one share obedience, and love of God? One's faith cannot be divided! Each must obtain that special kind of oil for himself/herself! This oil cannot be purchased at any price on the open market. The holy oil of preparedness is increased little by little in righteous living, fasting, self control of bodily lusts, preaching the gospel, and studying the scriptures with the help of the Holy Spirit. Good thoughts and actions all contribute to the working of the Holy Spirit. Our lamps must keep on shining brightly eternally until the Lord returns to judge the world.

The five virgins who have the extra oil represent those who are saved and looking with eagerness to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. They have faith and have determined that whatever occurs, when Jesus returns, they will be looking with eagerness. The five virgins without the oil represent false believers who enjoy only the benefits of the Christian community without true love for Christ. They are more concerned about the activites in the church rather than about longing to see Jesus. Their hope is that because they are associated with true believers, that will bring them into the kingdom of God. This, of course, is never the case. One person’s faith in Jesus cannot save another. The 'Lord, Lord' and 'I do not know you' of verses condemn the false believers Matthew 7:21-23, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name 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.

By Anonymous stranger 2006
By Anonymous stranger 2006 | Source


To be ready for Christ’s return, we must be prepared through saving faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in Jesus Christ will manifest itself in every aspect of our lives. Faith is the hope of things to come, but it is not apparent. The fruit of the Spirit we bear will begin to show in our daily lives (Galatians 5:22). A desire for greater holiness and less sin will be apparent (Titus 2:11-14).For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men". This teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for the blessed hope of salvation. Jesus gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people worthy of salvation.


The Parable of the Ten Virgins tells us to be prepared for the return of Jesus Christ to accompany His chosen people who have accepted, obeyed and kept all His commandments to His heavenly home. With the help of the Holy Spirit living in their hearts, they wait patiently with gladness for His return to judge the whole world, with their whole heart keeping God's commandments and loving God with all their heart, soul and mind and to love their neighbour as themselves.

Those who can join in the wedding feast of the bride (church) and the groom (the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ) are the virgins (church members who are true members who are correct in their behaviour shining in their character and bearing the good deeds).


The Holy Spirit is the Lord God's Manifestation of power to execute justice over evil on the eartjh. The Holy Spirit was prophesied in the Old Testament by the prophets Isaiah, Ezekiel and Zechariah. The Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of Jesus Christ which dwells in the hearts of men after the death of Jesus Christ teaching and guiding them in the way of the Lord God.

The light in the lamp held by the wise virgins is the Spirit of God and Jesus Christ. It gives Man the Spiritual Power, leads Man and guides him to know Jesus revealing the truth, praying and sanctifying the believers. The Holy Spirit also makes the Believers bring forth the fruits of the Holy Spirit and last but not least of all, distributes various spiritual gifts upon them. The Holy Spirit is the most powerful force working on the chosen people of God.

The Ten Virgins on Vimeo 29, 2012 - This is a Relief Society Video that we put together to show to the sisters. It speaks of the parable of the Ten Virgins from the Bible, and has talks ...

Parable: The Ten Virgins

The five foolish virgins did not realize that without oil, the lamps could not be lit. Do you realize?

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Christians without the Holy Spirit is like the foolish virgins. Do you know this?

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Speaking in tongues is evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit. Do you know this?

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© 2010 einron


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    • einron profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA


      You wrote:

      We got to get back to being in love with him. Keep going back for fresh anointing. And we got to stop worshiping the idols of this world and put Him first again.


      Christians must remember and not forget how excited we were when we first got committed to Jesus. The light we have should not be diminished. May the love continue to bloom and shine until Jesus returns!

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA


      Thank you for your comments about the preparation for the return of the Lord Jesus. The Holy Spirit is indeed extremely important asset to the Christians. I hope to write more on the topic.

      May God bless your ministry!

    • djbraman profile image


      7 years ago

      This is a very good hub and the key here is that the virgins went out to meet the groom but fell asleep. This is the typical dead church. They were all excited when they entered into the covenant with Christ but they forgot what He had done for them. They had laid aside the fine linen He had adorned them with and the precious jewels from the Kingdom treasures. They became a run away bride. We got to get back to being in love with him. Keep going back for fresh anointing. And we got to stop worshiping the idols of this world and put Him first again. Jesus is coming back for an unblemished bride, the overcomer of this world. Well glory. Wonderful scripture and loved the photos.


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