Who do the wise and foolish virgins represent in the parable spoken by Jesus in Matthew 25?
This is one of the incredibly mangled misunderstood scriptures in the Bible. It saddens me to see this misunderstood so badly and not taught correctly in Sunday school. Dr. Tom Ice correctly explains as follows:
. The 5 virgins are the Jewish Remnant saved during the Tribulation. Most Church preaching teaches the virgins in Matthew 25 incorrectly.
Here’s Dr Tom Ice with the correct translation The Parable of The Ten Virgins
In a sense, Matthew 24:50- 51 raises the following question: ” On what basis will Israel be judged?” The answer in 25:1-13 is preparedness. The parable of the ten virgins provides a picture of living Israel brought back to the land at the end of days for a judgment to see who is prepared and who is unprepared the second time for the coming of Messiah. The focus is on Israel in the last days (i.e., the tribulation period just described in Matthew 24:4- 2. The prepared enter the millennial kingdom while the unprepared are excluded.
The ten virgins represent the nation of Israel as a whole. The nation is divided into two groups of five each. One group, the wise, is depicted as prepared and waiting since they have obtained extra oil in case a delay occurs in the coming of the bridegroom. This first group represents believing and prepared Israel. The second group, the foolish, did not prepare and they represent unbelieving Israel. They were not ready for the coming of Messiah. Dr. Pentecost tells us the following:
Although a strong testimony will be given to the nation of Israel during the Tribulation (Matt. 24:14), some people will be unprepared when the King comes to institute His millennial kingdom. The prepared will be received into the kingdom to enjoy its bounty but the unprepared will be excluded. Thus this parable teaches that there will be a judgment of living Israelites to determine who is and is not prepared. This is an expression of Christ’ s previous statement that ” you also must be ready” (Matt. 24:44).
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Comment from Per Bondesen from Quora
I share your amazement that most preachers get this parable wrong. After all, the Bible’s use of imagery is not that complicated.
We have Jesus, who is the bridegroom, we have the believers, the church, who will become his bride, so who are the 10 virgins? They cannot possibly be Christians, because then they would not be among the virgins but would be Jesus’s bride.
The virgins are all aware of the upcoming wedding party, but they differ in how they have prepared the selves for it. They are Jews during the time of Jacob’s trouble and they are keenly aware that Jesus has already picked up his church during the rapture and that he will return accompanied by her within 7 years for the wedding feast.
This interpretation fits with the Aramaic Bible text as you will find it in “The Comparative 1st Century Aramaic Bible in Plain English & King James’ Version New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs”.
It reads in Mt 25:1
Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be compared to ten virgins; the same took their lambs and went to meet the groom and the bride. The last three words are astounding: AND THE BRIDE!
Response from Brother Brendan:
Hi Andrew, You’ve got this wrong, we the church are not the bride of Christ, redeemed Israel is the bride of Christ, we are the body of Christ, how can the body be the bride?, in Matthew 25:10 the wise virgins go into the wedding not the wedding feast, so the bride is made up of two parts the wise virgins and when Christ comes back he brings the spirits of the old testament saints with him and resurrects their bodies and reunites their bodies with their spirits to complete the bride,(The spirits of just men made perfect) verse 31 of Matthew 25 “When the son of man comes with all his holy angels” for his bride. Brendan
My response to Brendan:
Thank you Brendan,
Great hearing from you. Hope you’re doing well. I think of you often. You’re in my prayers.
Thank you so much for adding your insight into this subject. First and foremost I agree that there is no precise scripture
that specifically calls the church the Bride of Christ. I have no problem not using this term. I fully agree that we are
the Body of Christ.
The study of proving both by proper exegesis and in context of Matthew 24 and 25 we know clearly that the parable of the virgins are the JEWS
which you agree with. This is what I stated in my Blog. It goes without saying it’s clear the 10 virgins are not the groom’s wife – they are only guests trying to get into the wedding.
In Jeremiah 3:14KV God is already married to Israel. This was under the old covenant which will bring in the Old Testament Saints. The Tribulation Saints will come in under the parable of Matthew 25:10. They get invited to the wedding as you stated. This is NOT the Body of Christ. We’re in complete agreement.
However, I must respectfully disagree in that we the church are also referenced ”compared to” multiple times in scripture as also the
“Bride of Christ”. When two are joined together in marriage they both become one. So to be the Body of Christ is to be a chaste virgin
given to Christ the Bridegroom. The following scripture applies: 1 Corinthians 12:27 KJV; 2 Corinthians 11:2 KJV;
2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Additional scripture is also found in: Ephesians 5:23-32 KJV; including Revelation 19:7-8 KJV and Revelation 21 (The 2nd Advent and setting up the Millennial Kingdom whereby the Body of Christ – The Church will return with Christ and with the Old Testament Saints you refer to as “The spirits of just men made perfect) verse 31 of Matthew 25” however, I think you mean Hebrews 12:22,23 KJV”
Again, thank you for adding your thoughts.
God bless you,
Brother Brendan’s response:
Thank you, Andrew you are an encouragement to me. Just to elaborate a wee bit on the bride she is also called the new Jerusalem, Augustine was the guy that came up with the idea that God was finished with the Jews and the church is the bride and when i say church it was the RCC he then said that Rome is the new Jerusalem and that is why to this day It’s called the eternal city.
What Paul said in Ephesians 5;23 is an analogy to explain submission, he’s not saying we are his bride, and 2 Corinthians 11:2 Paul is saying that “I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” again Paul is using an analogy to say he has presented or done his best by teaching and example to present the church as a chaste virgin”, Paul is not in a position to literally betroth the church to Christ, God has decided in eternity past who the bride will be.
In Rev 19:7 it tells us “For the marriage of the lamb has come and his wife has made herself ready” so this is just before they leave heaven to come to earth and she isn’t married yet, and who is she?.
We both know Andrew that when Jesus died on the cross his spirit left his body and he took the spirit of the good thief with him and they descended into the heart of the earth, Jesus unlocked upper sheol where the old testament saints were waiting (paradise) they then left and went to heaven, some of them were allowed to enter their bodies and walk into Jerusalem that was proof that Christ was releasing them from sheol (The book of Deuteronomy says “The Lords anger burns to the lowest sheol”) it makes a distinction.
Although they went to heaven their bodies are still in the grave where as we get our glorified bodies in the pre-trib rapture, so when Christ comes back he brings with him the spirits of the old testament saints with him and after he has dealt with the AC etc and is about to enter the Millennial kingdom he resurrects their bodies and reunites their spirits with their bodies Daniel 12:2 and as Job said Job 19:25 “For I know that my redeemer lives and he shall stand at last on the earth, and after my skin is destroyed this I know that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself and my eyes shall behold and not another” so that will be the bride complete and the wedding of redeemed Israel and the Lord will happen on earth at the start of the Millennial kingdom and in Matthew 25:10 the wise virgins went into the wedding not the wedding feast, that’s my take on it anyway, the Lord bless you Andrew.
My response to Brother Brendan
Iron Sharpens Iron.
Your information is solid scripture based Truth.Thank you Brother. Thank you. I’m eternally grateful for your friendship and fellowship. Again we see the Harlot Roman Catholic Church involved.
I will pray for you Brother and that God may open your wife’s eyes.
God bless you abundantly dear Brother.
Be strong in The Lord and in The Power of His Might. Ephesians 6:10 KJV