Search Bible
Click for Help   Click for QuickNav   Click for Advanced Search Options
Search KJV
Version Selector Down Arrow

Search a pre-defined list

OR Select a range of biblical books



OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups:
'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

Your Bible Version is the KJV
Version Selector Up Arrow
KJV King James Version
NKJV New King James Version
NLT New Living Translation
NIV New International Version
ESV English Standard Version
CSB Christian Standard Bible
NASB New American Standard Bible
NET New English Translation
RSV Revised Standard Version
ASV American Standard Version
YLT Young's Literal Translation
DBY Darby Translation
WEB Webster's Bible
HNV Hebrew Names Version
RVR60 Reina-Valera 1960
VUL Latin Vulgate
WLC Westminster Leningrad Codex
LXX Septuagint
Go to Top
Link to This PageCite This Page
Version Selector Up Arrow
Version Selector Up Arrow

Cite this page

MLA format Copy link to clipboard

Note: MLA no longer requires the URL as part of their citation standard. Individual instructors or editors may still require the use of URLs.

APA format Copy link to clipboard
Chicago format Copy link to clipboard
Share this pageFollow the BLB
Version Selector Up Arrow

Share this page using one of these tools:




Or email this page to a friend:

Version Selector Up Arrow

Follow the Blue Letter Bible on:



Or subscribe to our Newsletter:

Printable Page
Left Contextbar EdgeLeft Contextbar Edge BackgroundRight Contextbar Edge2Prior SectionReturn to CommentariesReturn to Author BiographyNext SectionRight Contextbar Edge2Right Contextbar Edge BackgroundRight Contextbar Edge1
Choose a new font size and typeface

Customize your font sizeIncrease your font sizeDecrease your font sizeReturn to default font size

Choose a Bible text color
Read the Bible in blackRead the Bible in dark blueRead the Bible in blue

Customize your text type
Arial font
Trebuchet MS font
Georgia font
Times New Roman font

Customize your Hebrew text type
SBL Hebrew font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Customize your Greek text type
Gentium font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Close font preferences
The Blue Letter Bible
BLB Searches
Search the Bible
Search KJV
Version Selector Down Arrow

Advanced Options

Search a pre-defined list

OR Select a range of biblical books



OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups: 'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'


Advanced Options

Exact Match
Beginning of the Word
Any Part of the Word
Theological FAQs
Multi-Verse Retrieval
Search KJV
Version Selector Down Arrow

Line-By-Line Order:
Line-By-Line Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Line-By-Line Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Line-By-Line Separate Line  Separate Line
Line-By-Line Verse Only  Verse Only
Line-By-Line Reference Only  Reference Only
Reference Delimiters:
No Reference Delimiters  None — Jhn 1:1 KJV
Square Reference Delimiters  Square — [Jhn 1:1 KJV]
Curly Reference Delimiters  Curly — {Jhn 1:1 KJV}
Parenthesis Reference Delimiters  Parens — (Jhn 1:1 KJV)
Paragraph Order:
Paragraph Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Paragraph Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Paragraph Reference-Only  Reference-Only
Number Delimiters:*
No Verse Numbers  No Number
No Verse Delimeters  No Delimiter — 15
Square Verse Delimiters  Square — [15]
Curly Verse Delimiters  Curly — {15}
Parenthesis Verse Delimiters  Parens — (15)
Other Options:
Abbreviate Books  Abbreviate Books
Quotes Around Verses  Quotes around Verses
Remove Square Brackets  Remove Square Brackets
Sort Canonically  Sort Canonically

* 'Number Delimiters' only apply to 'Paragraph Order'

Let's Connect

Connect on Facebook Connect on Twitter Connect on Instagram Connect on Pinterest Connect on YouTube

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Daily Devotionals

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one’s mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

One-Year Plans

Two-Year Plan

Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Thomas Ice :: An Interpretation of Matthew 24-25

Thomas Ice :: Part 37 - Matthew 25:1-13 The Parable of the Ten Virgins

toggle collapse


by Thomas Ice

Part 37 - Matthew 25:1-13 The Parable of the Ten Virgins


Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went out to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, saying, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. And later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ But he answered and said, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.—Matthew 25:1-13

Alas, we wave good-bye to chapter 24 and say hello to chapter 25. There are a number of items that need to be addressed as we move into Matthew 25, which impact how we should understand Christ’s intent in this passage. If we are wrong on these issues it will guarantee that we will misinterpret the passage (unless we are illogical in the process).

One of the first issues that should be recognized is that the parables and teachings in Matthew 25 are a continuation of the flow of the previous chapter. Jesus has not totally shifted gears and started speaking about something totally new when He enters this section. This means that these parables are related to Israel, (not the church), her first century rejection of His Messiahship, and the coming spoken of here relates to the second coming and judgment that will take place upon Christ’s arrival. Stanley Toussaint explains as follows:

This parable as well as the next one deals with the Jews in the tribulation period. This is seen from various facts. The context favors this view (Matthew 24:3, 8, 14, 15, 30, 31, 33, 42, 44, 47, 51). The subject being discussed is the end time, the final years before the kingdom is established. At the time the church will be absent from the earth. Therefore this section deals with a Jewish period of time. 1

Chapter 25 highlights that since the Jewish people missed Messiah’s first coming because of unbelief and were judged temporally in A.D. 70, they need to be prepared for His return so that they will escape judgment and enter into blessing (the millennial kingdom). “He taught that following His return (Matthew 24:30) and the regathering of the nation Israel to their land (Matthew 24:31), the nation would be brought under judgment (Matthew 25:1-30),” says Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost. “Christ used two parables to teach that the regathered nation will be judged to determine who is saved and who is unsaved. The purpose of this judgment will be to exclude the unsaved from, and to received the saved into, the kingdom that He will establish following His Second Advent.” 2 Jesus accomplishes His goal as He continues presenting parabolic lessons and teachings about judgment upon His return. Matthew 25 can be broken down into the following three sections: First, the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), second, the parables of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), and third, the judgment of the Gentiles (Matthew 25:31-46).


In a sense, Matthew 24:50-51 raises the following question: “On what basis will Israel be judged?” The answer in Matthew 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 24:4-42.) 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 (Matthew 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” (Matthew 24:44). 3


Since this parable deals with the future nation of Israel (likely the current nation of Israel that exists today), this is not a passage that comes into play concerning the rapture. This means that the parable of the ten virgins does not support the notion of a partial rapture position, which has been argued from this, as well as other passages (Matthew 24:40-51; Mark 13:33-37; Luke 20:34-36; 21:36; Philippians 3:10-12; 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 2 Timothy 4:8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:24-28; Revelation 3:3, 10; 12:1-6). This view teaches that the rapture occurs before the tribulation, but only “spiritual” Christians will be taken, while other Christians will remain through the tribulation. They also believe that multiple raptures will occur throughout the seven-year tribulation period. This view is thought to have been developed by Robert Govett in the mid-nineteenth century in England, and held mainly by British advocates such as J. A. Seiss, G. H. Lang and G. H. Pember. 4

Since this passage, by and large, is not thought to relate to the rapture by pretribulationists because it contextually refers to Israel, it is even harder to make a case for a partial rapture. “We shrink from the partial rapture idea because other passages seem plainly to suggest that every member of the body of Christ will be caught up (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58, etc.),” notes Randolph Yeager. “Partial rapture would seem to imply rupture in the Body of Christ.” 5 Quite frankly, the same grace that saves each believer is the grace that will take one out at the rapture. One does not have qualify through their own works or reach a certain level of sanctification to be taken at the rapture. Qualification for being taken in the rapture is not a reward for faithfulness, but like salvation itself is a free gift. One’s name is added to “the rapture manifest” when their name is added to the roll the moment one trusts Christ as his Savior. Even if a believer does not believe in the pretribulational rapture, they will be taken anyway if they are indeed a believer. I am sure some will be taken by surprise, and perhaps some kicking and screaming but they will be taken nevertheless.

Partial rapturists say that this parable pictures the part of the church that is watching and waiting for the Lord’s return as the five wise virgins who had oil and the carnal church who is left behind as the five foolish virgins. This they believe supports the notion of the partial rapture theory.

There are major problems with anyone’s attempt to apply this parable to the church to begin with, since Israel is in view. Further, the imagery does not match up with what should be if this were actually teaching a partial rapture doctrine. The imagery used in the parable of the ten virgins does not comport with that used of the church in other New Testament passages. “The passage itself uses none of the characteristic terms relating to the church, such as bride, body, or the expression in Christ,” 6 notes John Walvoord. Instead we see that the ten virgins are merely bridesmaids who would be attending at a wedding and not brides themselves. Were this portraying in some way the church, then these virgins would need to be portrayed as brides who were waiting upon their bridegroom, which would be Christ. This is not what is found in the passage. Dr. Walvoord further explains in the following:

If watchfulness is necessary for worthiness, as partial rapturists characteristically argue, then none of the ten virgins qualify for “they all became drowsy and fell asleep.” The command to “watch” in Matthew 25:13 has, then, the specific meaning of being prepared with oil—being genuinely regenerated and indwelt by the Spirit rather than having unusual spirituality. The clear teaching is that “watching” is not enough. This passage will serve to refute the partial rapturists instead of sustaining their viewpoint. Only by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit can one be qualified for entrance into the wedding feast, but all the wise virgins enter the feast. 7

1  Stanley D. Toussaint, Behold The King: A Study of Matthew (Portland: Multnomah Press, 1980), p. 283.

2  J. Dwight Pentecost, The Words and Works of Jesus Christ: A Study of the Life of Christ (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981), p. 407.

3  J. Dwight Pentecost, The Parables of Jesus (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982), p. 154.

4  Charles C. Ryrie, Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide To Understanding Biblical Truth (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1986), p. 480.

5  Randolph O. Yeager, The Renaissance New Testament (Bowling Green: Renaissance Press, 1978), Vol. 3, p. 345.

6  John F. Walvoord, The Rapture Question, Revised and Enlarged Edition (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1979 [1957]),104.

7  Walvoord, The Rapture Question, p. 104


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


Bible Search

Multiverse Retrieval

LexiConc Search

FAQ Search

Browse Dictionary Topics

Bible Reference

Encyclopedias / Dictionaries

Introductions to the Bible

Topical Indexes

Charts and Outlines


Maps / Images

Bible Commentaries

Text Commentaries

Audio & Video Commentaries

Theological Resources

Articles / Books

Women's Resources

Don Stewart

BLB Theological

Creeds, Catechisms, and Confessions





Digital Books

Mobile Apps for iPhone / iPad

Mobile blb.org

BLB Offline CDs

Free Web Tools


Email Devotional Sign-Up

BLB Daily Promises

Day by Day by Grace

Morning and Evening

Daily Bible Reading Plan


Video Tutorials


Theological Questions

Website Support

iApp Support

General Questions


Sowing Circle

Co-Laboring Ministries


About the BLB

Statement of Faith




Ministry FAQs


Donation Information

Contact the BLB

Hotjar - Unlimited insights from your web and mobile sites

BLB Institute

BLB Blog

Email Newsletters



Blue Letter Bible study tools make reading, searching and studying the Bible easy and rewarding.

Blue Letter Bible is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

©2017 Blue Letter Bible


Verse Tools Arrow

Email / username or password was incorrect!

Check your email for password retrieval

Enter Your
Email or Username




Did you forget your password?

Register a new BLB account

Why won't my login from the old site work?

Complete the form below to register  [?]

Error: That Email is already registered

Error: Please provide a valid Email

Error: Passwords should have at least 6 characters

Error: Passwords do not match

Error: Please provide a valid first name

Error: That username is already taken

Error: Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores

Enter Your EmailUsername

First Name


[ Cancel ]


Passwords should have at least 6 characters.
Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores.

Thank you for registering. A verification email has been sent to the address you provided.

Error: That Email / Username is not registered

Enter Your Email or Username


Return to Login

Close Login