The number five occurs numerous times throughout our everyday lives and we probably do not even register it. We have five fingers on each hand and five toes on each foot. We have five senses: smell, touch, taste, sight and hearing. There are five rings in the Olympic logo and five players in a basketball team. The number five was Coco Chanel’s lucky number, hence Chanel No.5.
The number five is reportedly mentioned 318 times in the Bible and, according to some interpretations, the Bible states there are five big mysteries in the world: the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, the Creation and the Redemption.
The first five books of the Old Testament are labelled the Pentateuch, and some people refer to the first five books of the New Testament as the New Testament Pentateuch.Although there are only four gospels, the fifth book, the Book of Acts, also discusses the teachings of Jesus.
The Psalms can be divided into five sections, mimicking the five-fold division of the Pentateuch. The Book of Lamentations, written by Jeremiah, has five chapters. There are five books of the Bible that only have one chapter: Obadiah, Philemon, 2 John, 3 John and Jude.
The Apostle John wrote five books: the Gospel of John, the three Epistles of John and the Book of Revelation. Likewise, it is believed that Moses wrote the five books that make up the Pentateuch.
According to tradition, Jesus Christ received five wounds during his Crucifixion. The Flagellation of Christ, the Crown of Thorns, causes these wounds, as well as the nails in his hands, the nails through his feet, and the lance that pierced his side to prove he was dead.
Some believe the number five represents God’s Grace, which is what the fifth book of the Bible Deuteronomy focuses upon. As a result, there could be a significance behind the number’s usage throughout the Bible, however, since there are so many occurrences, it is likely many of these are coincidences. I have not searched for all 318 incidences of the number five but here are a few more examples over and above the ones I have already mentioned:
There are also multiples of five that occur frequently throughout scripture.
Are these examples significant or do you think they are coincidences? I would be interested to hear what you think. Also, can you think of any other examples worth mentioning?
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Rev'd Martin Wheadon