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The Number 5

Biblical Meaning of the Number 5

The Number 5

The number 5 symbolizes the grace, goodness and favor of God to humanity. 

Five is also a number reflected in human beings: 

► Five toes, 

► Five fingers and 

► Five senses: hearing, smell, taste, touch and sight. 

The number 5 occurs several times in the Bible as well: 

Stigmata in Christianity is the appearance of bodily wounds, scars and pain in places corresponding to the 5 symbolic wounds to Jesus Christ's crucifixion: his hands, feet and rib. 

Triclavianism is the belief that 3 nails were used to crucify Jesus Christ.

The 5 pieces of Jesus' garment which remained from His crucifixion after the soldiers fashioned four pieces of His garment, plus His tunic, which they did not rip. 

  • John 19:23-24 "When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided His garments into four parts, one for each soldier, with the tunic remaining. It was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it. Instead, let us cast lots to see who will get it.” This was to fulfill the Scripture: “They divided My garments among them, and cast lots for My clothing.” So that is what the soldiers did."

The symbolism of God's grace was witnessed when Jesus took 5 loaves of bread and turned them into an ample supply to feed 5000 people. 

  • Matthew 14:17-19 "We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. And He said, "Bring them here to Me." And He directed the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He spoke a blessing. Then He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people."

God changed Abram's name to Abraham (father of a multitude of nations). He changed it by inserting the hebrew letter h or "Hey" in the fifth position. 

  • Genesis 17:5 "No longer will you be called Abram, but your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations."

God asked Abraham to offer up 5 species of animals in order to establish a covenant with him: a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtle dove and a young dove. 

  • Genesis 15:9 "And the LORD said to him, “Bring Me a heifer, a goat, and a ram, each three years old, along with a turtledove and a young pigeon."

The apostle Paul declared that 5 times he received 39 lashes from the Jews and 3 times he was beaten with rods. 

  • 2 Corinthians 11:24-25 "Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked. I spent a night and a day in the open sea."

The 5 foolish virgins and the 5 wise virgins in Jesus' parable. 

  • Matthew 25:2 "Five of them were foolish, and five were wise."

The 5 offerings: The burnt offering, The meal offering, the peace offering, the sin offering and The transgression offering. 

  • Leviticus 1 to 7 

When David fought the enemy of Israel, a giant named Goliath, he took with him 5 smooth stones. 

  • 1 Samuel 17:40 "And David took his staff in his hand, selected five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag. And with his sling in hand, he approached the Philistine."

God showed grace to the sick, blind, lame, and paralyzed in the pool of Bethesda, a place surrounded by 5 gates. 

  • John 5:2-3 "Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool with five covered colonnades, which in Hebrew is called Bethesda. On these walkways lay a great number of the sick, the blind, the lame, and the paralyzed."

The Samaritan woman whom Jesus met at the well had 5 husbands and at the time she met Jesus, she was living with a man who was not her husband. When Jesus, who never met her before, mentioned this to her, she understood he was the Messiah and announced the encounter to her people. 

  • John 4:17-18 "I have no husband,” the woman replied. Jesus said to her, “You are correct to say that you have no husband. In fact, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. You have spoken truthfully."

The tabernacle in the desert deeply reflects God's grace in its use of the number 5. The instructions given by God on how to build it were all centered around the number five: 5 curtains (Exodus 26:3); 5 rods of acacia wood (Exodus 26:26 - 27); 5 pillars of acacia and 5 bases of brass (Exodus 26:37); a wooden altar 5 cubits long by 5 cubits wide (Exodus 27:1); The height of the courtyard is 5 cubits (Exodus 27:18). 

The rich man who despised Lazarus and ended up in hell had 5 brothers. He asked Abraham to send to them the soul of a dead person so that they could escape his fate. Abraham replied that his five brothers should heed the words of Moses and the prophets so that they could obtain grace. 

  • Luke 16:27-28 "Then I beg you, father,’ he said, ‘send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment."

  • Isaiah 9:5 "For every trampling boot of battle and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire."

May the Holy Spirit guide you in understanding this message

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