The Ten Virgins

By Don Mills

Who are the Ten Virgins in Matt. Chapter 25? Some teach that this Parable is a warning to be ready. Maybe the question should be, Who should be ready? Is it the Church or is it Israel that is warned to be ready with their lamps burning. First, let’s see who the Bridegroom is, then we can have a better idea of who the Ten Virgins are.

The Ten Virgins took their lamps, and “went forth to meet the bridegroom”, Matt 25:1. Jesus identifies himself in Luke 5:34,35, as the bridegroom. Even John the Baptist identifies Jesus as the bridegroom in John 3:29.  “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: But the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegrooms VOICE: This my joy therefore is fulfilled. John the Baptist could say this because he was standing there listening to Jesus, the bridegroom. Luke 12:35, 36 says, let your loins be girded about, and Your Lights Burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord, when HE will RETURN FROM THE WEDDING; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. This is a clear message to the Jews to watch and be ready, “Blessed are those SERVANTS”. Jesus calls us, the Church, FRIENDS, so we know he is not referring to the church there in Luke 12:35,36. Take note also, that, when the bridegroom returns HE WILL HAVE ALREADY TAKEN HIS WIFE, Rev. 19:7-9, Luke 12:36. Obviously these Virgins in Matt 25, cannot be the Church because the Church is coming back with The Bridegroom.

What does it mean that the foolish took their LAMPS, and took no oil? But the wise took oil in their vessels with their LAMPS? Concerning The Day Of The LORD the scripture says something very interesting in Zeph 1:12. It will come about at that time, that I will SEARCH JERUSALEM WITH LAMPS. And I will punish the men who are STAGNANT IN SPIRIT, who say in their hearts, The Lord will not do good nor evil, (NAS Version). Notice that this is the prophetic time period, during, The Day Of The Lord. It is a time of darkness and wrath, verses 12-18. The King James Version says; I will SEARCH JERUSALEM with candles, and punish the men that are SETTLED on their LEES.


In Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies it says; LEES of wine, so called because wine kept, preserved in strength and color, by letting it stand on the LEES: Jer 48:11, Zeph. 1:12 To rest upon ones LEES, is, TO LIVE A LIFE OF QUIET INDIFFERENCE; Isaiah 25:6. The dregs at the bottom of wine jars (New Bible Dictionary). Websters Illustrated Dictionary says of dregs (1) The sediment of a liquid; Lees (2) The basest or least desirable portion (3) A small amount; residue, contemptible individual or group. (The five Foolish?) Lees are the sediment or dregs of an alcoholic drink, such as wine.

Job 12:5 says something interesting that connects, The Lamp and Those Settled on their Lees. “He that is ready to slip with his feet is as a LAMP DESPISED in the thought of him that is AT EASE. ( Despised, is a Lamp gone out), He that is at EASE is one QUIETLY INDIFFERENT or one settled on their LEES. (The five foolish virgins?)

The importance of the burning lamp is pointed out for The Children of Israel in the book of Exodus 27:20,21. “And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that THEY bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, TO CAUSE THE LAMP TO BURN ALWAYS. In the tabernacle of the congregation without the vail, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the Lord: (IT SHALL BE A STATUTE FOREVER unto their generation on the behalf of the children of Israel.”) We see that it was the Lord that commanded the children of Israel to keep their LAMPS LIT ALWAYS and ALWAYS means ALWAYS. For the Jews to become indifferent, they would then have become as wine on the LEES and their LAMPS are gone out. (The Five Foolish?)  

In the East, a lamp or flame is appealed to for confirmation of a COVENANT, which is thought to explain Genesis 15:17.  Job 12:5 indicates that a lamp or torch, DESPISED, is a lamp that has ceased to burn: Lamps in the East were kept burning all night. There is a very interesting reason why this may have been so. A lamp lit would also keep the snakes out of peoples homes, an interesting concept. In Amos 5:17-20, it mentions a man leaning on the wall of his home only to be bitten by a serpent. Now, if that same man had his lamp lit would that have happened? It is also interesting that it is mentioned with the time of judgment, or, The Day Of The Lord.  ( The Foolish Virgins?)

The candle (or lamp) of the wicked shall be put out, Job 18:5-6, and 21:17. Also Proverbs 13:9,13 says; The light of the righteous rejoices: But the lamp of the wicked shall be put out. Whosoever despises the word shall be destroyed: (The five foolish or indifferent virgins?)

In Proverbs 9:1-6 (Wisdom Personified)
She hath mixed her wine
She hath sent out her maidens
Come eat my food and drink of the wine I have mixed
Forsake your folly and live
A call to the Daughters of Zion?

The VINEYARD of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel,…Isaiah 5:2-7. Israel is also likened to grapes in the wilderness, Hosea 9:10. The sin of Moab was that he was proud. “Moab hath been at EASE from his youth, and he hath settled on his LEES, and hath not been EMPTIED from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will send unto him wanderers, and shall cause him to wander, and shall empty his vessels, and break their bottles,” Jer 48:11-12. Moab was likened to wine on the LEES or (one that is stagnant.)

The Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, as a wine press, Lamentation 1:15. The foolish that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil in Zephaniah 1:12, are as foolish virgins with their lamps gone out. They have become STAGNANT or INDIFFERENT. They are become as wine on the LEES, the basest or least desirable. (The five foolish?) “The Lord will search Jerusalem with lamps IN THAT DAY and all the sinners of Israel shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us,” Amos 9:10. “The Lord of Hosts will make unto ALL PEOPLE a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the LEES, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the LEES well refined,” Isaiah 25:6. “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment,” Isaiah 63:1-4. This is an awesome description of judgement upon all peoples and even upon the Virgin Daughters of Jerusalem. (The Five Foolish?) The five wise will go forth with their lamps lit.

The heart of the Father towards Jerusalem is revealed in Isaiah 62:1 where it says, “For ZION’S sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a LAMP that BURNETH”. This shows that the Lord is looking forward to that day when the five wise virgins go forth to meet their Lord with their lamps lit during the Day Of Darkness. 

For thus saith the Lord unto the House of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live, Amos 5:4. The Five Wise Virgins shall seek him with their lamps lit. That is because The Day Of The Lord shall be darkness. The Five Foolish do not believe the Lord will do good nor evil. They are like wine on the LEES, or a lamp despised and gone out. “And in all vineyards shall be wailing: for I will pass through thee, saith the Lord. Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! To what end is for you? THE DAY OF THE LORD IS DARKNESS, and NOT LIGHT.” Amos 5:17-20 it’s as if they have been bit by the serpent. Woe to them that are at EASE in Zion…..Amos 6:1. (The Five Foolish?)

The Ten Virgins is a picture of those Jews that believe and are waiting for their Lord, and those that are indifferent to him.

Reasons Why The Ten Virgins Are Not The Church

1.      The Ten Virgins go forth to meet the Bridegroom AFTER THE WEDDING. But, the Lord will be returning with his Bride, the Church cannot be on the earth at that time. Rev 19:7,8,14. Zech 14:5, Col 3:4, 1Thess 3:13, 4:14, Jude 14.

2.      The Oil in Matt 25 concerning The Ten Virgins is NOT referring to the Holy Spirit. Most people just assume that every time oil is mentioned in the bible it is referring to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit CANNOT BE PURCHASED. It is wrong for anyone to suggest that Jesus is implying, that, The Holy Spirit can be bought or purchased. Jesus is the WORD made flesh and he is not going to contradict the scriptures. In ACTS 8:18-24 Simon offers Peter money so that he can lay hands on people. Peter, then says to Simon, “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. This lays to rest any reference to the oil being, The Holy Spirit in Matt 25.

3.      If you have, The Holy Spirit you cannot lose Him. Jesus said, “I will never leave you or forsake you”, Heb 13:5. This also lays to rest that you can somehow run out of the Holy Spirit. Therefore these virgins cannot be Christians.

4.      There is a picture of the Jews waiting for their Lord with their lights burning, in Luke 12:35-37. It talks about the Lord returning from the Wedding and, they, the Jews, waiting. Blessed are those SERVANTS. The Church is referred to as, FRIENDS, not servants, and the fact that the Church returns with the Lord at that time shows us that these are the Children of Israel, and for that matter you could call them, The Virgin Daughters of Zion.

The Virgin Daughters Of ZION

In Jeremiah 6:2, it speaks of the daughter of Zion as not hearkening to the truth. (The five Foolish?) “The comely and dainty one, the daughter of Zion, I will cut off”. The reason they are cut off is seen in verses 8-10, “Behold their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: Behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it”. This is a clear picture of what will happen, to those virgins who have let their lamps go out. Isaiah 62:11 speaks of the Lords return and the declaration to the daughter of Zion that the Lord will return and his reward will be with him. “Say ye to the daughter of Zion, behold his reward is with him”,…Rev 22:12.

Micah chapter 4 lays it out clearly concerning, the last days and how it affects, the daughters of Zion and how the Kingdom will come to her. In verse 8 it points out that the kingdom shall come and you could put in, The Five Wise Virgins in there when you read it. “And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the DAUGHTER OF ZION, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; THE KINGDOM SHALL COME TO THE DAUGHTER OF JERUSALEM.


Now when we look at Matt 25 it becomes apparent that the daughters of Zion are like, Ten Virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the Bridegroom. As we have seen, Jesus is the Bridegroom and when He returns He will already have taken His Bride. He will be returning from the wedding, Luke 12:36, Rev 19:7-14

There is a promise for the daughters of Zion in Zeph 3:14-17 and if you prefer you could say, the Five Wise Virgins. “Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem”. Verses 16 through 20 show the time in the end when the Lord will rejoice over Jerusalem and the daughters of Zion. “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing”. Zech 2:10-12 says, “SING O DAUGHTER OF ZION; for, lo, I COME, and I WILL DWELL IN THE MIDST OF THEE, saith the Lord”.  In that day, He will utter his voice from Jerusalem, Joel 3:15-16, Isaiah 2:34.

Zech 9:9 says Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold thy King cometh unto thee: He is just and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. Jesus came into Jerusalem and they received him not. When he comes again it will be a day of darkness and the believing Jews will go forth with their LAMPS LIT. They will be as servants that wait for their Lord that when he comes they may open unto him immediately. Make no mistake they will have their lamps lit because it is to show the everlasting covenant towards them to all generations. “For Jerusalem’s sake the Lord will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a LAMP THAT BURNETH”. Isaiah 62:1. Here, is a beautiful picture of the daughters of Zion or The Five Wise Virgins going forth to meet their Lord. The Ten Virgins cannot be the Church.