What 5 Means In The Bible

5 is a number of great importance in the Bible, and the use of this number has to do with the idea of divine purpose – God’s plan or purpose embedded into the world. To understand its importance, it is vital to look at passages in the Bible which highlight the great importance of five. In the book of Deuteronomy, five is mentioned as the number of nations which were to be dispossessed of their land, in order to make room for the Israelites. Similarly, in Genesis, God increased Abraham and Sarah’s family to five generations – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Levi, and Judah, which still form the basis of the Israelite’s national and family identity.

What is also interesting to note is the importance of the number five in relation to the Levitical law. God gave the Levites five inalienable rights for their service in the Tabernacle. According to Leviticus 25: 8-9, the Levites held five rights that could not be taken away from them: one-third share in the land, the cities of the Levites, access to the altar sanctuary, one-half share of the food of the sacrifices, and one-half share of the tithes of the people.
In addition to these examples, other segments of the Bible also emphasize five. In the book of Matthew, for example, Jesus was quoted as saying that it was “better for a man to be thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around his neck than to cause one of these little ones, his disciples, to stumble” (Matthew 18:6). Here, the number five signifies Jesus’ disciples. Similarly, in the book of Psalms, David wrote “I will sing five songs of joy” (Psalms 5:2).David is here evoking the five senses that humans share, which signifies our responsibility to serve the Lord with all of our being, through sight, smell, touch, sound, and taste.
The number five also appears in the longest book of the Bible – Psalm 119. Here, the Hebrew letters from the word “Torah” (האורי) are repeated five times, which signify its status as an authoritative book for the Israelites. Five is also associated with the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, ה, which is symbolic of God Himself — the divine father of all creation — as outlined in Exodus 4:22-23.
The Book of Revelation also speaks of five, in that it speaks of the five earthly kingdoms that precede Christ’s return. In Revelation 17:10, there are five kings who “have not yet received royal power.” The five kings symbolically signify the five major world powers that would condition the world prior to Christ’s second coming: Assyrian Empire, Medo-Persian Empire, Greek Empire, Roman Empire, and the Anti-Christ’s one-word government.
Furthermore, the Bible refers to five in regards to the word “grace.” In Romans 5:6, Paul writes “For while we were yet weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” The number five is associated with this verse because grace is a unique and powerful trait of God– it is a sign of mercy and blessing gifted by the Lord – thus, it perfectly sums up the number five according to the Bible.
Aside from the verses in the Bible, 5 is also a symbolic representation of certain spiritual principles and values. According to the ancient author Philo of Alexandria, the number 5 signifies intelligence and knowledge due to its 5 vertices, which represent the five senses. The spiritual energy of 5 can also be found in its corresponding symbol, the pentagram – a five-pointed star or geometric shape that is symbolic of harmony and balance.

The Number 5 in Judaism

The number 5 is greatly emphasized in Judaism. In the Jewish tradition, five is symbolic of the five books of the Torah – Bereshit, Shemot, Vayikra, Bemidbar, and Devarim – and of the five scrolls containing the Song of Songs, Ruth, Esther, Kohelet, and Ecclesiastes, as well as the five pillars of the Mishnah – Zeraim, Moed, Nashim, Nezikin, and Kodashim.
The number 5 is also symbolic of the 5 sections of the Talmud – Yad Malachi, Bet Shammai, Bet Hillel, Seder Toharot, and Nezikin. Judaistic commentaries often use the term “five books” or “five scrolls” when referring to these five sections of the Talmud, thus emphasizing its importance.
Further, in Jewish tradition, the number 5 is important as it is symbolic of the Five Books of Moses, or Chumash. The Chumash is an important ancient text that and is divided into five parts, thus emphasizing its symbolic relationship with the number 5.
The fifth day of Passover is also important in Judaism, known as the “Fifth Day of the Omer,” which is said to be a time when the power of spiritual creativity can be used to bring good in the world. During this time, Jewish people traditionally recite a special prayer—“Kol HaNeshamah”—dedicated to the fifth day of the Omer.
The Jewish holiday of Shavuot also emphasizes the number five, since it lasts for five days, and is a time for thanking and praising God for His blessings. One of the main rituals for this holiday is the quire, or circle dancing, around the altar, which is said to represent the five books of the Bible. The number five is also symbolic of the five corners of the Tallit, or Jewish prayer shawl.

The Number 5 in Christianity

The number 5 is also of great importance in Christianity. In the Bible, the number 5 is used often when referring to different aspects connected to Jesus. First of all, Jesus chose five disciples, Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, Matthew, and James, to follow Him and spread the Gospel. Jesus was also tempted by the Devil for 40 days and 40 nights, which is divided into 8 sets of 5 and the struggle was symbolic of a greater battle for truth and spiritual maturity.
Jesus also used the number 5 to teach spiritual lessons. In John 21:5, Jesus says to his disciples “Children, have you any food?” This was a reprimand for the lack of faith in Him. His use of the word “children” was meant to remind his followers of their spiritual obligation to Him, as children of God.
Apart from this, the number 5 is also relevant in Christianity because Jesus used it to symbolize hope, comfort, and abiding faith. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus gives his followers the “Great Commission.” In this scripture, Jesus commands his followers to go out and “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” This holy trinity of individuals communicates the idea that Jesus is part of a greater plan of unity, comprising of 5 individuals.
The symbolic relationship between five and Jesus continues in Christianity, as the number five is also used to refer to Jesus himself. In several books of the Bible, Jesus is described as having five wounds, which is said to symbolize his fivefold ministry. In Isaiah 53:5, this is further alluded to by saying “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities.”

The Number 5 in the Religious Traditions of Islam and Hinduism

The number 5 is also found in the religious traditions of Islam and Hinduism. In Islam, the number 5 is often used to refer to the main tenets of Islamic faith – Belief in one God, Belief in the prophets, respect for divine books, belief in the afterlife, and observance of the five daily prayers.
Moreover, the Islamic tradition also mentions five essential pillars of faith. These five pillars are: bearing witness that “there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His Chosen Prophet”, observing five daily prayers, alms-giving to the poor, a pilgrimage to Mecca, and abstinence from food and drink between sunrise and sunset during the holy month of Ramadan.
In Hinduism, the number 5 holds great significance and is often used to refer to the five elements of nature – the earth (Bhumi), the water (Jalam), the fire (Agni), the air (Vayu), and the space (Aakash). These five elements come together to form the quintessential purusha, or primal being, as established in the Charvak scripture.
In addition, the number 5 is also associated with the five faces of the Hindu god Shiva. According to the Puranas, these five faces are named in relation to Shiva’s five different aspects: Ishana (Ruler or Lord), Tatpurusha (Guardian or Protector), Aghora (Destroyer of Evil or Healer), Vamadeva (Creator of Truth or Awareness), and Sadyojata (Preserver of Good or Originator).


In conclusion, it is clear that the number 5 appears in numerous religions and belief systems across the world. It is a number associated with great importance and is used to refer to the five books of the Torah and other spiritual principles, such as the five senses, the five corners of the Tallit, the five faces of Shiva, and the five elements of nature. In each of these cases, the significance of the number five is based on the idea of divine purpose and an unwavering faith in something greater than oneself. Thus, it is clear that the importance of 5 in the Bible is unparalleled and is something that should be appreciated and respected.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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