Matthew 25

1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

9 “ ‘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.’

10 “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.

It seems that the wise bridesmaids have enough oil to share. Why didn't the wise ones share oil with the foolish ones? Isn't sharing with those who lack a general virtue?

  • 1
    Since public opinion is favouring another answer and since my own view certainly goes against tradition I have no objection if you wish to remove your acceptance and place it elsewhere. Regards, Mr Chan.
    – Nigel J
    May 21, 2021 at 14:26
  • I'm a little confused. In the text it says there may not be enough oil for both, so I'm not seeing anything that would imply there would be enough to share. This question seems to start from a position of not accepting the parable at face value. It said they didn't share because they didn't think there'd be enough. This question seems to assume that there was in fact enough and that they were just being selfish (and presumably dishonest). I think a better question would be "why wasn't there enough to share?", though I agree with @rhetorician that we need to be careful not to read into...
    – bob
    May 21, 2021 at 19:23
  • ...parables what isn't there. Just to clarify my thinking, nothing in the text says how much the wise bridesmaids had left when the groom arrived--it could have been plenty or none, and in addition, since they didn't know how long the wait would be, it's reasonable to assume that they couldn't risk sharing and neither group having enough, and both being in the same bad boat. But the point of the parable isn't the sharing or not of the oil. It's keeping watch.
    – bob
    May 21, 2021 at 19:26

9 Answers 9


An important concept in biblical hermeneutics regarding parables is this: Do not make a parable say something it does not intend to say.

The central message of the parable in the beginning of Matthew Chapter 25 concerns preparedness, a theme that Matthew started in the previous chapter.

Preparedness carries with it the elements of vigilance, attentiveness, awareness, fitness, and alertness. While being a caring and sharing person is certainly an important biblical value, generosity is not the main point of the parable.

There are two groups among the 10 virgins in the parable, five foolish and five wise. All 10 virgins were eagerly awaiting the groom's parade, but only five came with extra oil for their lamps, just in case the parade was delayed, which it was!

I do not know what your eschatological beliefs are, but I think most Christians can agree that the return of King Jesus for his own is a closely guarded secret.

But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father (Matthew 24:36 NIV).

All 10 virgins were not privy to when the groom's parade would begin. Only five, however, were prepared for a longer-than-usual wait time and were therefore deemed wise. Their wisdom was rewarded by being allowed to attend the wedding reception, whereas the foolish virgins were locked out of the party.

In short, the primary lesson of this parable concerns preparedness for the return of the King, our Lord Jesus Christ, and preparedness for his return will be rewarded!

As Jesus said in Luke 12:37,

It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.

  • 4
    "Do not make a parable say something it does not intend to say." - Who is to say what the intentions were? Could a parable not be about more than what has previously been thought? May 21, 2021 at 15:58
  • @LioElbammalf: Hermeneutics is both a science and an art. The science part tells us that a parable is designed to get hearers to ask themselves, "What does this story mean to me? How does it apply to me? Based on what this story means to me, what changes do I need to make in my beliefs or behaviors?" In Matthew 24 & 25, Jesus wants his hearers to ask themselves "Am I ready and prepared for the Lord's return? Am I living in anticipation of his soon return? Will I be found doing his will when he returns?" A parable is NOT an allegory. Not every element in a parable has symbolic meaning. May 24, 2021 at 0:41
  • @LioElbammalf: One obvious danger in over-spiritualizing a parable is that the parable's meaning and application to an audience get muddied. Although parables ARE stories, their purpose is not to inspire flights of fancy. Their purpose is for an audience to get the point being made. That many hearers fail to get the point is God's way of separating believers from unbelievers. Unbelievers have ears but are unable to hear the truth and apply it to their lives. Believers, on the other hand, are willing and able to hear the truth and adjust their lives accordingly. (See Matthew 13:10-15). May 24, 2021 at 0:43
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    Thats all very well but you haven't actually talked about what I pointed out. You speak of the intention of the parable but unless those intentions are spelt out in the bible what you're actually talking about is your interpretation. As you say, many hearers fail to get the point - you're assuming you aren't one of those people. That your interpretation fully encompasses all there is to learn from the parable and you've no more need to listen. May 24, 2021 at 11:13
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    @rhetorician I think the danger of spiritualizing away a truth is just as great as over simplifying so as to not recognize everything that is going on. For me, I noticed that 1) It never says that the 5 unwise virgins had no oil in their house, only that they didn't take any. 2) trim their wicks is a reference to consulting the Word (Your word is a lamp to my feet - Psalm 119:105). 3) The unwise virgins were without hope the moment they left their house - there was nothing they could do. The time for preparation was over. That's only scratching the surface. It's a fascinating parable
    – user42370
    May 25, 2021 at 16:58

We can glean more understanding if we understand the context of a Jewish marriage. Ancient Jewish marriages were complex and structured. When the bride receives word that the groom is ready, they would go out and buy a large amount of oil for their lamps. At the time the groom finally comes to get his bride it is late at night, often between 6PM and midnight, on a day or hour they do not know. When the bride goes to bed, they put their lamps at the window to signal that the bride is home. This is why they have large amounts of oil because they didn't the day or the hour. If there's no lamp at the window, the groom will go back home. Hence, why Jesus says in Matthew 25:12 - ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ The Greek word for know is οἶδα (G1492), which means "to see". So, Jesus is saying "You were not home. I did not see your light at the window."

To better understand why the 5 wise virgins said "‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’", it is a reference to Isaiah 55:1-2 - “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. (Bold is mine)

Essentially, the wise virgins do not share their oil for 2 reasons - 1) if they share their oil, there won't be enough for everyone and there's a real chance there'll be no light at the window and no wedding at all. But, I suspect the real reason is 2) They are spiritually bankrupt, since Isaiah 55:2 says they didn't have money for the real deal because they spent it all on what did not matter. So, to answer your question, it is an idiom. The wise virgins do not share their oil because it's not something that can be shared.


It seems that the wise bridesmaids have enough oil to share. Why didn't the wise ones share oil with the foolish ones? Isn't sharing with those who lack a general virtue?

They are unable to share the oil because the oil symbolizes something that cannot be shared, and in fact, the whole parable is symbolic. In order to answer the question, we need to understand the parable.

The bridegroom is the Lamb.

―Matt. 25:1―
1Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
(Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982.)
―Rev. 19:7―
7Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
(The Holy Bible: New International Version. Colorado Springs, Colorado: Biblica, Inc. 2011.)

The Lamb is Christ.

John 1:29
29The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
(Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982.)

The virgins who are betrothed to Him are members of His Church.

II Cor. 11:2
1For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
(Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982.)

The sleep symbolizes the death experienced by those who expire before Christ's second coming.

―Matt. 25:5―
5The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
(The Holy Bible: New International Version. Colorado Springs, Colorado: Biblica, Inc. 2011.)
―John 11:11-14―
11These things He said, and after that He said to them, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up." 12Then His disciples said, "Lord, if he sleeps he will get well." 13However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. 14Then Jesus said to them plainly, "Lazarus is dead.
(Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982.)

The waking symbolizes the resurrection that will take place when Christ comes, either to life or death.

―Matt. 25:6-7―
6At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.
(The Holy Bible: New International Version. Colorado Springs, Colorado: Biblica, Inc. 2011.)
―Dan. 12:2―
2And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.
(Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982.)

As there are two outcomes in the resurrection, two also are the kinds of Church of Christ members: wise and foolish.

The parable places a focus on lamps and oil―oil being what's needed for the lamp to shine its light. The oil symbolizes good works.

God's words are likened to a lamp.

Ps. 119:105
105Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
(Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982.)

Christ also likens the members of His Church to lamps, with good works being what's needed for them to shine their light―the good works referring to the practice of God's words, which were spoken by Christ.

Matt. 5:15-16
15Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
(Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982.)

Those Church members who are foolish, lacking oil, are those who, after receiving God's words spoken by Christ, did not obey them.

―Matt. 25:3―
3Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,
(Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982.)
―Matt. 7:26―
26"Everyone who hears what I say but doesn't obey it will be like a foolish person who built a house on sand.
(God’s Word Translation. Holiday, Florida: Green Key Books, 2006.)

On the other hand, the wise members obey what was taught to them.

―Matt. 25:4―
4but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
(Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982.)
―Matt. 7:24―
24"Therefore, everyone who hears what I say and obeys it will be like a wise person who built a house on rock.
(God’s Word Translation. Holiday, Florida: Green Key Books, 2006.)

These righteous works are also symbolized by the fine linen that the bride will wear at the wedding.

Rev. 19:8
8Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)
(The Holy Bible: New International Version. Colorado Springs, Colorado: Biblica, Inc. 2011.)

At the resurrection, those who do good will receive everlasting life.

John 5:28-29
28Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.
(Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982.)

This oil cannot be shared because, when Christ comes, each person will be given according to their own works.

Rev. 22:12
12"Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.
(The Holy Bible: New International Version. Colorado Springs, Colorado: Biblica, Inc. 2011.)

The foolish were unable to return with oil in time, because the time for working ends when a person dies.

Eccles. 9:10
10Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
(Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982.)

This response is to stimulate (provoke) some reflecting. Many have interpretations of this parable. And assign ‘meaning’ to elements, example that the oil is representative of the Holy Spirit.

But think - can you ‘purchase’ the Holy Spirit? The ‘foolish’ virgins were told to go buy some more. No - you need to apply an exegetical approach - not use this/any parable to support a ‘doctrine’. So let’s look a little closer ...

‘Oil’ throughout the Old Testament had two purposes. To anoint, or for light. Obviously the oil in this parable was for light. And this makes biblical sense - we are told repeatedly to ‘walk in the light’, and, not to walk-in darkness. So the ‘oil’ in this parable was for ‘light’. Light let’s you ‘see’. What were these virgins meant to ‘see’.

Now here we apply context. This parable follows Matthew 24 - the well known ‘Olivete discourse’. Jesus gave several ‘signs’ that would indicate the ‘end times’. Including his second coming. This parable was saying that you watch for the signs - carefully - because just as in a [Jewish] wedding - there would be a seemingly long delay. Therefore you need to walk in the light of what you know. What you believe (accept). ...... And, you can’t share this. What you accept can not be shared. We all need to believe for ourselves. You can’t walk in my light. I can’t ‘share’ my oil.

Context, the following parables talk about delay. This parable was given on the day that the temple reading was from the Song of Solomon - which is about a Jewish wedding. Jesus a Rabbi was using the daily prescribed reading to make the point that his second coming would [seem] delayed, just as the groom would/did in a Jewish context - but in the mean time - walk in the ‘light’ of what you believe, accept, have been told.

Interesting what I learnt from another response - that the foolish virgins had no oil. They were not walking in any revelation - or believe. They would have been [blindly] following. No wonder the door wasn’t opened, they were not walking ‘in’ any ‘light’ [belief] (thanks @Nigel J)

  • "Interesting what I learnt from another response". That knowledge might be worth unlearning. May 25, 2021 at 15:50

"Oil" here is a metaphor of divine operation/grace of Holy Spirit, which cannot be effective unless a person co-works with it, that's why Paul says that divine grace was not ineffective in him, because he co-operated freely with this grace and increased it in his life through ceaseless efforts and preaching (cf. 1 Cor. 15:10).

This is the key to understanding the given passage: nobody can receive grace from another person as some sort of material, tangible thing, for divine grace or divine gift is divine operation in us which cannot be bought by money as Simon Magus thought (Acts 8:20), but can only be obtained and increased by a toil of prayers and asceticism against sins that beset us, and most importantly by deeds of mercy and charity. Therefore, the oil-possessing virgins not only did not give this "oil" to those who had not, but they could not have done so, for "oil" of divine grace cannot be mechanically given to anybody from outside, but everybody should obtain it through their own efforts and free co-action with this grace.

This explains also why the foolish maidens rushed to the market (i.e. the world) to get the oil, i.e. to gather and increase the grace of Holy Spirit through prayers and deeds of mercy, yet, alas, too little time was left for that; the parable thus gives a caveat that we should not be tardy in following divine commandments and through this increasing divine grace in us, for nobody knows when the Judge, Christ will come to us, for He will come as a thief (1 Thes. 5:2).


It seems that the wise bridesmaids have enough oil to share. Why didn't the wise ones share oil with the foolish ones? Being Christians, should we not share.

You're right in that Christians should share, but only with those that are truly in need.

Just because you have more wealth than I do, you are under no obligation to keep giving part of what you have to me until I have at least as much as you do. That is Marxism, not Christianity. That the early Christians lived communally, sharing everything with each other is a myth propagated by modern Leftists (most of whom are atheists anyway).

Consider this advice:

For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. — 2 Thessalonians 3:10

Christian charity is something freely given to those in real need (e.g. a widow, unable to work, with no relatives to provide support). Yes, people are expected to share their increase with the poor, but they are not expected to deliver it to them gift-wrapped:

When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the LORD your God. — Leviticus 19:9–10

This is charity only in the sense that the poor don't deserve the deliberately left crops. Those people must perform work to obtain it, and by doing the gathering themselves they maintain their self-respect. Real charity provides people with an opportunity to help themselves.

Charity is not about feeling obliged to help people that would rather take your money than work for it; it is not about helping people that continually fail to think ahead, taking no responsibility for their decisions.

Sharing with the lazy and foolish merely brings us down to their level. Instead we should be setting an example and helping bring them up to our level, just as Jesus set the example for us that we should be working to achieve.

In this parable, the wise brought an extra container of oil with them, setting an example of preparedness for the others to follow. They shared this knowledge with everyone that could see them carrying their containers. The foolish were short sighted, seeing only the rosy future and failing to plan for contingencies. They chose to ignore the advice of the wise and suffered the consequences.

Charity of course is not the point of this parable (which is that Christians should always be prepared for Christ's return (or our sudden deaths), and that a half-hearted effort just won't make it), but it is nevertheless an important concept to understand.

  • But most parables concern the word of God, the Gospel, the Spirit, something like that. While being good stewards of earthly goods might entail not donating them all immediately, doesn't being good stewards of these spiritual things entail sharing them freely with anyone who desires them?
    – curiousdannii
    May 21, 2021 at 13:26
  • @curiousdannii. Suppose two brothers get their weekly allowance. One immediately spends his on candy. Two days later, the other brother decides to go to a movie. As a good brother, shouldn't the second brother pay for both of them since he can afford it? I'd say no. May 21, 2021 at 13:34
  • Right, but I just don't see how the analogy applies to something like the Gospel. In the parable of the workers the boss pays all the workers the same, even those who only worked an hour. If someone wants to know God after a time of not caring, and we could share our knowledge of God with them, wouldn't that be a great thing to do?
    – curiousdannii
    May 21, 2021 at 14:11
  • @curiousdannii, "we could share our knowledge of God with them", yes, but in this case they already had the knowledge but failed to take it seriously enough. Both groups knew that they needed light while they waited, but while one group prepared itself for a long wait, the other group didn't bother to take extra oil. Sharing knowledge of the possible need for extra oil would have happened before they went out. Deciding not to make use of that knowledge happened before they went out. I suspect that up until the last moment, they were glad that they hadn't had to lug a container with them. May 21, 2021 at 16:22

In the 'Parable of the Ten Virgins' from the [Gospel of Matthew - Chapter 25 : verse 1], Ten Virgins (παρθένοις) take only their Lamps (λαμπάδας) to meet their Bridegroom (νυμφίου) : "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to [ten virgins who took their lamps] and went out to meet the bridegroom."

The 'Ten Virgins' parable in [Matthew 25:1] begins by referencing a spiritual state called the "Kingdom of Heaven" (βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν) alluded to earlier by Jesus of Nazareth in the [Gospel of Matthew - Chapter 5] from which "righteousness" is a treasure given to people who "keep and teach the commandments of The Law [HaTorah]".

Continuing his parable in Matthew 25 about the questionable righteousness of 5-wise & 5-foolish virgins, Jesus of Nazareth focuses on "Lamps" as a wedding gift humans bring when entering the kingdom of heaven.

Since the "Lamp" (λύχνος) was previously described by Jesus of Nazareth in Matthew 6:22 as person's "Eye" (ὀφθαλμός):** "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light." - Then the kingdom of heaven must reside in a physical world, because the eye is a physical object.

What is the physical "Oil" (ἐλαίου) used to fuel the inspirational light of a person's eye Lamp while watching for his/her opportunity to use their soul for the "Kingdom of Heaven" (βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν)? a [Mitsvah] מִ֖צְוָה is the candle of the Law. - We know this from [Proverbs 6:23] "For a commandment is a candle, and the Torah is light, and disciplining rebukes are the way of life" ( כִּ֤י נֵ֣ר מִ֖צְוָה וְת֣וֹרָה א֑וֹר וְדֶ֥רֶךְ חַ֜יִּ֗ים תּוֹכְח֥וֹת מוּסָֽר )

When a person recognizes the opportunity to perform a Commandment ( מִ֖צְוָה ) then their Lamp is able to stay lit.

The wise-virgins of [Matthew 25:8-10] resemble the way to life [Proverbs 6:23] by giving disciplining rebukes to the foolish-virgins for not studying Torah, unaware of what Mitsvot to perform and when to perform them : "the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut."

The Parable of the Ten Virgins is about the Righteous knowing when to give charity to the poor, unlike the unrighteous who do not recognize when they are commanded to give offerings to G-d. Explained by Jesus of Nazareth in Matthew 25:34-46.

The Parable of the Ten Virgins was not originally taught to "Christians". - The term "Christian" (Χριστιανούς) would not become a label until the disciples formed the church at Antioch (Ἀντιόχειαν).

The self-proclaimed "Christian" (Χριστιανούς) label of [Acts 11:26] is not required to fulfill righteous deeds of the "Kingdom of Heaven" (βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν) as referenced in Matthew 25.


It is impossible to share what the oil stands for.

It is written somewhere in the Bible that people will die according to their own sin. Not according to their father’s sin (Jer 31:30). It follows that the same applies to the opposite ditch; that people get saved according to their own collected heavenly treasures (Mat 6:20), not somebody else’s.

Thus, the oil in the parable stands for a person’s heavenly bank account, which is based on how they have lived their lives, and is therefore impossible to share with anybody else.


The foolish 'took no oil with them'.

No oil at all. The common misinterpretation of this parable suggests that the foolish took no extra oil. But the text says 'they took no oil'.

No oil at all.

The foolish took 'their lamps'. Again the common misinterpretation supposes that there was oil in the lamps but no 'vessel' containing extra oil. But the text does not suggest that. The text says . . . . 'they took no oil'.

All they had was a lamp.

This was the depth of their folly : a lamp, a wick, a means of lighting the wick . . . but no oil.

The wise had oil in their vessels, that is to say the 'vessel' that is a part of every oil lamp. It is part of the lamp.

The foolish had an empty vessel. The vessel, part of the lamp, was empty.

They were so foolish that they did not know that you need oil in order to light a lamp.

So when the cry came, all lit the wicks on the ten lamps. Five wicks sputtered and died. The wick went charcoal black. A wick just burns up if there is no oil present.

They ... had ... no ... oil.

That is how foolish they were. They did not understand how a lamp works.

Having the gospel without the Holy Spirit within oneself is like having a lamp without any oil in the belly of the lamp, in the 'vessel' of the lamp.

One has just a piece of apparatus.

But no life. No oil. No burning presence. No Spirit.

And a piece of metal apparatus (bare doctrine, mere words, letters on a page, verbals in the mouth, doctrines in the head) will just not do when the Bridegroom appears to consummate the marriage.

The Presence of the Bridegroom was already known by the wise. For they had the oil, already. They had an anointing. They were full of the Holy Spirit.

This cannot be 'shared'. One must possess it, oneself.

One can share fellowship, one can share truth, one can share one's own experiences, one can share teaching. But one cannot share the presence of the Holy Spirit with another. If both have that, then there is a bond : 'we all drink into one Spirit', 1 Corinthians 12:13.

But ye have an anointing from the Holy One [1 John 2:20 YLT]

This is experienced as a result of a baptism of repentance. Many talk of 'the baptism of the spirit' but few seem to experience a baptism of repentance, leading to genuine faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: [1 Peter 1:22 KJV]

Obeying the truth through the Spirit results in unfeigned love of the brethren.

That genuine charity will share what it can. But it will also possess, for itself, that which is personal and intimate and essential to life.

And it will be ready when the Bridegroom appears.

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    The verse itself contradicts your interpretation: The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ That is, their lamps ran out of oil; they did not start out empty. May 21, 2021 at 3:56
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    @BraddSzonye Their lamps were 'going out' because there was no oil. They had a dry wick which was charring, not an oily wick which burns with oil but does not, itself, consume. A dry wick just fizzles out and is left a black piece of charcoal. I say again, they had no oil. That is the whole point of the story.
    – Nigel J
    May 21, 2021 at 12:00
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    @nigel the wording IS ambiguous. "Took no oil" could mean "took lamps completely empty of any trace of oil" or it could mean "took lamps but didn't check them to see how much oil was in them, or bring any oil to refill them." Your vivid description lamps all being lit at once and some of them sputtering out is not present in the scripture. You invented it.
    – barbecue
    May 21, 2021 at 12:24
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    @NigelJ are we to believe the that 5 of these virgins were walking in the dark with empty lamps and only at midnight attempted to light the dry wicks whereupon they became aware for the first time that night that they had no oil? The point of the parable is that all went out with lights lit but only the wise planned for possible delay of the grooms arrival. So only the wise virgins had ability to refresh their lamps when the call went out that the groom was arriving. No further comment.
    – Kris
    May 21, 2021 at 14:38
  • 2
    @Kris Nobody 'walked in the dark'. They all slumbered and slept. At midnight they awoke to the cry that the bridegroom cometh. Until his appearing, they did not need a lamp at all. When does the text say they lit the lamps ? Only at midnight.
    – Nigel J
    May 21, 2021 at 14:42

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