“The Church is... where the Lord is acknowledged, and where the Word is.” - The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine §242
Kempton New Church

Week 3
Day 3


The Ten Virgins

Matthew 25:1–13

Then shall the kingdom of the heavens be likened to ten virgins, who taking their lamps came out to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were prudent, and five foolish. Those who were foolish, taking their lamps, did not take oil with them. And the prudent took oil in their vessels with their lamps. And while the bridegroom delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

And in the middle of the night there was a cry made, “Behold, the bridegroom comes; come out to meet Him.” Then all those virgins arose and adorned5 their lamps. And the foolish said to the prudent, “Give us of your oil, because our lamps are extinguished.” And the prudent answered, saying, “Not so, lest there not be sufficient for us and for you. But go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.”

But when they were gone to buy, the bridegroom came; and they who were prepared went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. And afterwards the rest of the virgins came also, saying, “Lord, Lord, open to us.” And he answering said, “Amen I say to you, I have not known you.” Watch therefore, because you do not know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man comes.

AE 252:8. This [parable] is about conjunction with the Lord, by love and faith. Moreover this [is what] the “wedding” signifies. “Oil” signifies the good of love, and “lamps” the truth of faith.

To make clear that in every particular that the Lord spoke there is a spiritual sense, I will lay open the particulars of the spiritual sense of this parable.

TCR 719. ...Those who merely understand and talk about what is true and good are like the foolish virgins who had lamps but no oil; while those who not only understand and talk about what is true and good, but also will and do it, are the wise virgins who were admitted to the wedding, while the former stood at the door and knocked, but were not admitted.

AC 4636. That by this parable the Lord described His own coming, is evident from the particulars, and from the end, where He says, “Watch therefore, for you do not know the day nor the hour in which the Son of man comes.” [See also AC 4638:6 about why the prudent could not share with the foolish.]

5 Or prepared

Questions and Comments
  1. Notice how many parables the Lord tells about the kingdom of the heavens. Heaven, hell, and the life after death were new concepts in the New Testament. Why is heaven frequently compared to a wedding?
  2. What do you think it means that the bridegroom delayed, and that they slumbered and slept?
  3. What is an example of being spiritually prudent?
  4. Why must there be a judgment either to heaven or to hell?
  5. How does this parable help us understand the second coming of the Lord?
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