The Wise Virgins had Oil, but the Foolish Virgins had none– at the crucial time it was needed. What is the ‘prophetic’ meaning of the Oil? The Scriptures tell us, so we must look there to find the answer.
Oil is seen throughout the Scriptures. Oil is seen for purposes of anointing, and for fuel for the Lights. It is used to cook with, and is used for baking. It is a necessary ingredient in many foods, as well as in prescribed sacrifices. Our focus, however, will be only on Oil for anointing, and for providing Light. Let’s start with the following passage:
Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. (Matthew 25:7-9)
Here we see Oil used as fuel for the Light. The wise had Oil, and the Foolish had none. This is a parable, meant to convey some Scriptural truth to us, in picture form. So we must ask, what does this Oil represent, and where does it come from? Let’s look.
An Offering from a Willing Heart
Let’s begin our quest by looking at a few passages regarding Oil for the Light:
“And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying, Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass… And oil for the light, and spices for anointing oil, and for the sweet incense…” (Exodus 35:4-5,8 ) “And they brought the tabernacle unto Moses… The pure candlestick, with the lamps thereof, even with the lamps to be set in order, and all the vessels thereof, and the oil for light, And the golden altar, and the anointing oil, and the sweet incense…” (Exodus 39:33a,37-38a)
From the above passages, we see a very clear picture of what Yahweh requires. First we note in Exodus 35:4 above, that twice Yahweh mentions that an “offering” is to be taken from the people, but then He reveals it is only to be taken from those of a “willing heart.” The willing heart is one which, although not required to do so, brings the offering anyway.
This offering of Oil for the Lights is one that Yahweh requires, but the fact that it is based on “willingness of heart” tells us this is a “New Covenant” parable or picture, rather than an “Old Covenant” matter. Under the external Old Covenant, obedience was done from the motive of Fear of Death. However, under the internal New Covenant, obedience to the same Commandments is to be done from a motive of Love, which is stronger than death, as a motive for obedience.
The word “heart” in the above passage is the Hebrew word ‘leb,’ Strong’s number <03820>, and has many meanings, two of which are “wisdom” and “understanding.” Remember it was those with a “willing heart,” implying those that have wisdom and understanding, who bring the offering. And this offering includes “Oil for the light.”
Oil for the Light
The phrase “Oil for the Light” occurs five times in Scripture, the number “5” telling us immediately that this phrase is a ‘prophetic’ word-phrase that refers to the “Bride,” as we saw in “Prophetic Numbers in Scripture.” So it appears we are on the right track in looking at these passages.
Notice in the Exodus passages above, that there are two separate offerings of oil– one for the lights, and another for anointing. This detail makes it clear that the “oil for anointing” and “oil for the lights” are two separate offerings. Thus we see that oil for the lights is a separate issue, and is NOT related to the anointing provided by the Holy Spirit.
So our first conclusion is that the Wise Virgins’ Oil is NOT the presence of the Holy Spirit, as many have speculated. However, we must look further in Scripture before we may conclude what this Oil is.
Light from the Lamp
The Oil we are looking for is something that provides Light from the Lamp. So let’s look into the nature of Light in Scripture:
And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:16-18 )
Here we see in this passage in Genesis that Yahweh is the originator of the light. It is later in Scripture, that we see the following:
I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; (Isaiah 42:6)
Here in Isa 42:6, Yahweh reveals that He will give Messiah “for a light.” Let us now compare the following phrases from Scripture:
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world…” (John 8:12a) “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5) “I am come a light into the world,…” (John 12:46a)
We are told in many ways, that Yahshua Messiah Himself is the Light, that He is actual “source” of the Light. But notice in the following passages, how that believing on, and following Messiah, results in the “Life” and “Light” of Yahweh within man:
“…he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12b) “…that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” (John 12:46b) “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4) “The LORD is my light…the LORD is the strength of my life…” (Psalms 27:1a) “For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.” (Psalms 36:9)
Here we see in the above passages, how Believing on and Following Yahshua, results in the Life of “Messiah-in-us,” who is our Strength, and our Light.
Thus far we have seen how the Life of “Messiah-in-us” provides the Biblical Grace, which is simply the strength, or power He gives us, to live His Resurrection Life within us. We have seen how His “Life-in-us” becomes our Light. But to get a more detailed picture of just what this Light is, we will home in on a few other passages:
“I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.” (Psalms 71:16) “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.” (Psalms 112:4) “…we have received grace…for obedience to the faith…” (Romans 1:5) “Ye are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works,…” (Matthew 5:14a, 16a) “…by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19) “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:16) “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7) “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.” (1 John 2:9)
From the above passages, we now get a clear picture of what the “Light” is. It is simply the good “works” produced by Messiah-in-us, works done by His Grace– His strength given to us for the purpose of our obedience. To see what this obedience is, let’s look at the following Lamp/Light passages:
“Thy word is a lamp…and a light…” (Psalms 119:105a) “…the commandment is a lamp…the law(“Torah”) is light…” (Proverbs 6:23a) “The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.” (Proverbs 13:9)
Here we see that the Word is both the Lamp, and the Light. The “Commandment”– the Word of Yahweh– is the Lamp, but walking in obedience to the Torah, living out the Torah in our daily lives, is the Living Word, or the “Light” produced by the Lamp.
So the obedience that results in “Light” is simply the obedience of “Messiah-in-us,” by His own strength, as we allow Him to keep the Torah in our daily lives.
We see in these passages that if we walk in His Light, and in His obedience, that His Righteousness in us becomes our “Light.”
This finding of the “Light” gives us an astonishing new definition, of exactly what it means to “Believe on” and to “Follow” Yahshua, as seen in John 8:12 and John 12:46. If we truly “Believe” Yahshua, and truly “Follow” Him, then we are allowing Him-in-us to provide our “Light”– allowing Him-in-us to keep the “Law” or Torah, including Yahweh’s Statutes, Commandments, and Precepts!
This is exactly in agreement with what we found in “Righteousness as the Light,” that the “Light” is the “Fruit” of Righteousness– the “works” produced by “Messiah-in-us” as we allow Him to do so. We also saw that Righteousness and Peace is the result that comes to those that Hearken to “My Commandments.” As we keep this thought in mind, we are now ready to see one last piece of the puzzle. Let us now look at the Oil.
Oil for the Lamp
We begin our look at the Oil for the Lamp with the following passage:
“There is… oil in the dwelling of the wise…” (Proverbs 21:20a)
Logic would tell us that we would find “Wisdom” in the dwelling of the wise. However, in the above passage we are told that there is “Oil” in the dwelling of the Wise. This ‘prophetic’ hint gives us a clue to search out other Oil/Wisdom passages. Let’s look at the following pair of passages:
“…that he may bring forth… oil to make his face to shine…” (Psalms 104:14a,15b)
Who is as the wise man? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? a man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed. (Ecclesiastes 8:1)
Here we are told in the first verse above, that Yahweh brings forth the “Oil” that makes man’s face to shine. But in the next passage, we are told that it is “Wisdom” that makes man’s face to shine. Is this a Bible contradiction?
This is not a contradiction, but a “Riddle” for the Bride! These two passages together reveal to us that the “Oil” that makes man’s face to shine is the “Wisdom” that Yahweh brings forth in man. Our conclusion is that the “Oil” that makes the Lamps provide Light is WISDOM.
But we must test our conclusions against Scripture. To establish validity of an idea, there must be two or three confirming witnesses of Scripture. Let’s look at several Scripture passages:
Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness. (Ecclesiastes 2:13)
Here we see a parallel/contrast, showing Wisdom and Light contrasted against foolishness and darkness. We saw in “Righteousness as the Light” that the Light is provided by Yahweh Himself. Here we get the idea again that Wisdom is related to the Light, and that foolishness is related to darkness, or lack of Light. So let’s look at some more Wisdom passages:
Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. (Deuteronomy 4:5-6) And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. (Job 28:28 ) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. (Psalms 111:10) Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. Psalms 112:1 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)
Scripture reminds us many times, that Wisdom begins with the “Fear of Yahweh.” But the “Fear of Yahweh” is directly related to the keeping of His Commandments. We are also told in the above passages that “Understanding” is the same as departing from evil, and likewise “Understanding” is the same as “knowledge” of the Holy (the One who is Holy).
But Ezekiel (Eze 20:12,20) reveals to us that the “knowledge” of Yahweh comes only to those that keep His Sabbaths– again confirming the idea that Wisdom and understanding are shown by those who keep and observe Yahweh’s Torah!
Grace Necessary for Oil
Since we are not able (in our own strength–without His Grace) to keep the Commandments, so that we might have Wisdom, we then see in the following passage, that Yahweh has made provision for that also:
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
(1 Corinthians 1:30)
So we see in the above passage that, not only is Yahshua our Righteousness, Sanctification, and our Redemption– but He is also our Wisdom.
So how is Yahshua made to be Wisdom unto us? When we first received Yahshua as Messiah, we obeyed the Commandments, and He then became our Wisdom. At that time, our Lamps had Light.
It is Messiah, living in us, who provides the Grace– the ability to keep the Commandments of Yahweh– and so we continue to acquire Wisdom in accordance with the requirements of Deut 4:5-6, which have not changed. “Messiah-in-us” is the source of the Light. But notice what eventually happened:
And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. (Matthew 25:8 )
Yes, the lamps of the Foolish Virgins had gone out. At one time their Lamps gave off Light, when they accepted the Seed of Righteousness, Yahshua Himself, to be planted in their hearts. They had been “Born Again.”
But after the Seed of Righteousness sprouted within them, the Foolish Virgins heard some bad teaching, which affected their actions. By believing and embracing this false teaching, they actually prevented “Messiah-in-them” from growing– from living in obedience to the same Commandments Messiah kept 2,000 years ago, when He lived in His own Flesh. And because this false teaching had convinced the Foolish Virgins to forsake the Law, their actions were now considered “wicked” according to Yahweh. Notice the result of forsaking the Law– the Torah– in the following passages:
Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law<08451> (‘Torah’). (Psalms 119:53)The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out. (Proverbs 13:9)
In the above pair of passages, we see a vivid illustration of the result of forsaking the keeping of Yahweh’s Law– His Torah. Here we see the result: The Lamp of those that forsake Yahweh’s Torah will go out– it will be extinguished!
On the other hand, we see that the Wise Virgins have the “Light of the Righteous.” As we saw in “Righteousness as the Light,” the Wise Virgins had Light in their Lamps. They were producing the Fruit of Righteousness– which is seen in keeping the Torah. But the Fruit produced by the Foolish Virgins is wickedness– which we have seen is simply “Refusal to keep the Law– the Torah.”
Grace Given for Obedience
After they were ‘Born Again,’ and perhaps filled with the Holy Spirit, the Foolish Virgins’ Lamps flickered a few times, and eventually went out. They were now considered “wicked” by their actions.
The Foolish Virgins were initially given the measure of Grace, but they did not “grow” in Grace, which is given to all men for the purpose of “obedience” (Rom 1:5). Perhaps because of their doctrines, they trusted in the Grace they were once given, but did not cease the behaviour defined in Scripture as “wicked”: They had forsaken the Law– the Torah of Yahweh (See Psalms 119:53).
This “Grace for obedience” is given to all, that we might be able to keep the Law– the Torah of Yahweh– which includes His Commandments, statutes, and ordinances. Without His Grace for obedience, we would be just like the Israelites, who fell in the wilderness because of their disobedience to the Torah. We are told that the Israelites who fell in the Wilderness are “examples for us” and are for our warning (1Cor 10:11; Heb 3:12; 4:1,11).
At one time, when they had first received Messiah, the Foolish Virgins had Oil, and their Lamps provided Light. This Light was their Wisdom and understanding, and was in plain view of the Nations. But now the Light of the Foolish Virgins had gone out. Their Lamps remained, but there was no Light to be seen. So, what do the Foolish Virgins do next? Let’s look.
Go To Those Who Sell Oil
The Foolish Virgins, their Lamps having gone out, had no Oil. Let’s look at the following passage:
But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. (Matthew 25:9-10)
Notice that the Wise Virgins told the Foolish to go to “them that sell” and buy some Oil for themselves. For understanding on who it is today that sells “Oil” to these Virgins, see “Those Who Sell Oil.” It appears the Foolish Virgins were indeed able to go out and buy some Oil, because we see they later returned.
So what other clues do we see in Scripture regarding buying of this “Oil” of Wisdom? Notice the following:
Wherefore is there a price<04242> in the hand of a fool<03684> to get<07069> wisdom, seeing he hath no heart<03820> to it?
The Hebrew words in the above passage are very revealing. The Hebrew word ‘m@chiyr,’ Strong’s number <04242>, meaning “buying price, worth, gain or hire,” is seen in the above verse as a “purchase price” of wisdom. This word <04242> appears 15 times in Scripture. We saw in “Prophetic Numbers in Scripture” that the number “15” in Scripture speaks prophetically of “rest” and “My Sabbaths.”
Because of the prophetic nature of the Strong’s number <04242>, having a double appearing of the number “42.” Again, we saw in “Prophetic Numbers in Scripture” that the number “42” in Scripture speaks prophetically of the “Appearing of Messiah-in-you” and of “Resurrection Life.”
The Hebrew word for ‘get’ <07069> used in the passage above can have many meanings, including “buy, get, or purchase.” Likewise, the Hebrew word for ‘heart’ <03820> used in the passage above has additional meanings of “understanding and inclination.” Thus from the root meanings of the Hebrew words in Proverbs 17:16, we see the above passage can be read as:
“Why is there a purchase-price in the hand of a ‘Foolish one’ to buy wisdom, since he has no heart– no understanding nor inclination on his own?” (Proverbs 17:16– Author’s Paraphrase from alternate word meanings)
So we see from the many related Scriptures, that the Oil for the Lamps is speaking of “Wisdom” that is lacking among those that are “Foolish.”
The Foolish Virgins had a genuine desire to go with the Bridegroom to the wedding. Yet they did not have the “heart” or “inclination” to follow Yahshua wherever He went, even into ‘unfamiliar’ Doctrinal territory.
Yahshua Himself kept all the Commandments, precepts, and ordinances of Yahweh. But the Foolish Virgins refused to allow Yahshua, and all Yahshua’s Disciples, to be their example, as we are exhorted in Scripture (Luke 4:16; Luke 22:13-15; 1Cor 5:7-8; Php 3:17; 1John 2:6).
Alas, the Foolish Virgins had been convinced by the popular Theologians– and their twisted Doctrines of Sin, Law, and Grace, twisted beyond recognition of all of Scripture– that they no longer needed to keep the Commandments, Statutes and Judgments of Yahweh. So while the Foolish Virgins were out to “Buy” their “Oil,” noticed what happened:
And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
The bridegroom came, those ready went in, and the door was shut! When the Foolish Virgins returned, they were ultimately told, “I never knew you!” Why were they told this? Let’s look at several companion passages:
“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity<458>.” (Matthew 7:23)
In the Matthew 7 passage above, we are given the exact reason the Foolish Virgins are told, “I never knew you.” Notice the additional phrase, “ye that work iniquity<458>.” Notice that the word <458> is the Greek word ‘anomia’ meaning “transgression of the Law,” which is the Bible definition of “Sin” (1 John 3:4). The Foolish Virgins heard those words because they continued to Transgress the Law, and as a result they were “not known” by The Bridegroom.
It is in “abiding” in Yahshua that we “know” Him. But it is only in keeping Yahweh’s Commandments that we can “abide” in Him. If we “transgress the Law (Sin), we can NOT know Him. (Romans 2:13; 1 John 3:6, 14, 24).
Unless the requirements for “knowing” Yahweh are met, we can NOT know Him, nor can we know Yahshua. Notice the following Scripture passages. Take note in these verses what is required to “know” Yahweh. Note also why the Israelites fell in the wilderness:
“Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them. But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.” (Ezekiel 20:10-13)
It is well for us to remember the above passage in Ezekiel. The Foolish Virgins had not read the above passages in Ezekiel, and the Book of Hebrews, and other passages that explain in detail, why the Israelites fell in the Wilderness.
The Foolish Virgins did not realize that the Scriptures warn us that we, too, can fall in the Wilderness, for the SAME reason the Israelites fell in the Wilderness. In fact, the Scriptures reveal that the keeping of Yahweh’s Sabbaths are the “sign” of them that “Know” Him (Ex 31:13; Eze 20:12; Eze 20:20). No, the Foolish Virgins continued to “transgress the Law,” which is Sin (1John 3:4). They lacked the Oil of Wisdom.
The Oil for the Lamps– the Wisdom from Yahweh– is available to all who are willing to pay the price for it. But notice the price:
“…the price of wisdom is above rubies.” (Job 28:18 )
Here we see the price of Wisdom is “above Rubies.” But notice what we see next:
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” (Proverbs 31:10)
We have seen previously that the Woman of Proverbs 31 speaks of the Bride, who is one and the same with the Wise Virgins. Now in the above passage, we are told that the price of this Woman is far above Rubies, telling us that, from her merchandise and her worth, the Bride she is able and willing to pay the “Ruby” price of Wisdom.
Those that will be among the Company of the Bride, are those who have paid the price for the Oil of Wisdom. These are the Wise Virgins. All others, no matter how sincere, are not willing to pay the price for the Oil of Wisdom. These are the Foolish Virgins.
The Virgins picture all those who have been set free by the Blood of the Lamb. The Wise Virgins had Wisdom. The Foolish Virgins had no Wisdom. All who have been set free by the Blood of the Lamb, now have a choice.
Are we willing to follow the Lamb, wherever He goes– no matter how unfamiliar the path? We may not know the way, but we must trust Him to lead us on the right path:
I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. (Proverbs 4:11) And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. (Isaiah 42:16)
The “Oil” of the Wise Virgins– the paths of Wisdom– are ways we have not known, but they are the Right paths, and they lead us to “Messiah-in-you,” and to Resurrection, and into the Marriage of the King.