The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 5

Leviticus 19:25 NIV- But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your harvest will be increased. I am the Lord your God. 

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The number 5 symbolizes God’s grace, goodness and favor toward humans and is mentioned 318 times in Scripture. Five is the number of grace, and multiplied by itself, which is 25, is ‘grace upon grace’ (John 1:16). The Ten Commandments contains two sets of 5 commandments. The first five commandments are related to our treatment and relationship with God, and the last five concern our relationship with others humans.

Appearances of the number five

There are 5 primary types of offerings God commanded Israel to bring to him. They are the Burnt Offering (Leviticus 1; 8:18 – 21; 16:24), Sin (Leviticus 4; 16:3 – 22), Trespass (Leviticus 5:14 – 19; 6:1 – 7; 7:1 – 6), Grain (Leviticus 2) and Peace Offering (Leviticus 3; 7:11- 34).

The Book of Psalms is divided into 5 major sections. Section 1 (Psalm 1 to 41) refers to the Passover, Israel’s beginning, and the start of the God’s plan of salvation that centers around Christ. Section 2 (42 to 72) sings about a unified Israel in the land and pictures the creation of the New Testament Church.

Section 3 of 5 (73 to 89) bemoans the destruction of both God’s Temple and Jerusalem. This section also hints at prophecies regarding the End Time Great Tribulation. Section 4 (90 to 106) rejoices over the 1,000 reign of Jesus and shows Israel gathered again. Section 5 (107 to 150) pictures a time when Judah (representing all Israel) shall again be delivered.

There are five books of God’s Law (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) commonly referred to as the Pentateuch (‘Penta’ means five).

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The 4 Gospels plus Acts equals five books which, as a set, can be designated as “the New Testament Pentateuch.” They reveal Jesus’ teachings concerning the Law and the Prophets. The apostle John wrote 5 books centered on the grace of God and eternal life (the gospel of John, 1John, 2John, 3John and Revelation). Jesus multiplied five loaves of barely to feed 5,000 (Matthew 14:17).

How is the number 5 seen in God’s tabernacle?

The ‘tabernacle in the wilderness’ profoundly reflects God’s grace in its use of the number 5. This tabernacle, whose design was given directly by God, contained five curtains (Exodus 26:3), five bars (Exodus 26:26 – 27), five pillars and five sockets (Exodus 26:37) and an altar made of wood that was five cubits long and five cubits wide (Exodus 27:1). The height of the court within the tabernacle was five cubits (Exodus 27:18).

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The Holy anointing oil (Exodus 30:23 – 25), the ingredients of which were given directly by God, was used to consecrate the furniture of the tabernacle. It was comprised of 5 parts, for it was a revelation of pure grace. The proportion of spices used in making the oil were a multiple of five, which then had a Hin of olive oil added to it.

  • Pure Myrrh, 500 shekels
  • Sweet cinnamon, 250 shekels
  • Sweet calamus, 250 shekels
  • Cassia, 500 shekels

Additional info on the Biblical Meaning of 5

There are five books in the Bible that contain only one chapter (2John, 3John, Philemon, Jude and Obadiah). Moses wrote 5 books, the most of any Old Testament writer. In the New Testament, the apostle Paul wrote fourteen books.

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Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar was given, by God, a dream where he saw a giant statue of a man. This statue, according to the interpretation given by the Eternal to Daniel, represented 5 periods of world-ruling empires.

  • The statue’s head of gold represented Babylon (Daniel 2:32, 38)
  • The Chest and Arms of Silver symbolized the Persian Empire (Daniel 2:32, 39)
  • The Belly and Thighs of Bronze (brass) represented the Macedonian Empire under Alexander the Great
  • The Two Legs of Iron symbolized Rome’s Empire (Daniel 2:33, 40 – 43)
  • Period 5 are the Ten Toes of Iron mixed with Clay are the successors to the Roman Empire (Daniel 2:41 – 44)
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