THE FOOLISH VIRGINS.
: New Testament Stories
In certain parts of the East it is the custom for a man when he is
married to bring home his bride at night, and for his relatives and
friends to go out with lamps and torches and music to meet him.
Ten young women had been invited to meet the bridegroom with their
lamps burning and to sit down with him at the wedding-feast. Five of
them were wise and five were foolish. The wise ones took a supply of
n case their lamps should burn out before the bridegroom arrived;
the foolish five took no oil but what was in their lamps. But before
the bridegroom came they all fell asleep.
At midnight there was a cry, "Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out
to meet him." But five lamps had almost burnt out, and the foolish
virgins said unto the wise, "Give us of your oil, for our lamps are
gone out." But the wise ones answered, "Not so; lest there be not
enough for us and for you. 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-feast, and the
door was shut.
Afterwards, came also the other virgins, saying, "Lord, Lord, open the
door to us." But he answered and said, "Verily I say unto you, I know
you not," and would not open the door to them.
In this parable the bridegroom means Jesus returning to earth, on the
Day of Judgment. The ten virgins are the people of this world, some of
whom have their hearts full of the love of God and keep their lamps
burning with a steady and bright light; that is, they fulfil God's
commandments and obey the teachings of Christ. The others have not
this love in their hearts, and are not prepared for Christ's coming.
Their lamps give out a feeble light and soon will go out.