The number 5 is used in the scriptures to point to the death of man. It is the number of death. It has been said by many teachers that 5 is the number of grace. It is associated with grace in the atoning death of Jesus Christ.
Animal sacrifice – a 5 X 5 altar, Exodus 38:1
Four men were smitten in the fifth rib in the book of 2 Samuel. The references are 2:23, 3:27, 4:6, and 20:10. Eve was formed from Adam’s rib when he died (a deep sleep) for her. Christ died for His wife, the church. He was pierced on His side and His blood was poured out. He now has 5 wounds in glory. One of the verses from Charles Wesley’s song, Arise My Soul, Arise, captures this truth very well. It says, “Five wounds He bares, received on Calvary. They pour effectual prayers, they strongly plead for me.”
The number 5 as used in Revelation:
Revelation 3:1 – Sardis (meaning red ones) is the 5th of the seven churches. It is the dead church.
Revelation 6:9 – The fifth seal of the seven is souls under the altar slain.
Revelation 9:1-13 – The fifth trumpet of the seven sounds and death comes out of the pit onto the earth. The men of the earth are tormented for 5 months (given in verse 5).
In Revelation 4, there are 4 cherubim around the throne. The fifth one, who was the covering cherubim, fell because of pride (Ezekiel 28:11 – 19). His name was Lucifer (seven letters); now it is Satan (five letters). He is the devil (five letters) who has the power of death (five letters), (Hebrews 2:14). Christ died to destroy the devil and the power of death.
The law is associated with the number 5 because failure to keep the law of God is what kills me (Romans 7). There are ten (2 X 5) commandments.
If you look at the order of the books of the Bible and the chapter and verse designations, you will also see the number 5 connected with death.
Genesis 5:5 – The first man dies.
Proverbs 5:5 – The strange woman’s feet go down to death.
Acts 5:5 – Ananias dies. In verse 10, his wife dies.
Romans 5 – Our death in Christ undoes our death in Adam.
Ephesians 5:25 – Christ, the husband of the church, gave himself for it. He died for His bride, the church.
Exodus 20 (5 X 4) and Deuteronomy 5 contain the 10 commandments. Deuteronomy is the 5th book of the Bible.
The Book of Lamentations is the 25th (5 X 5) book of the Bible and has 5 chapters.
Matthew 25 – This is the parable of 5 wise virgins as compared to 5 foolish virgins. The 5 wise receive grace. The 5 foolish are told to depart; Christ did not know them. (See Psalm 5:5)
As stated above, the grace of God is found in the death of Christ.
Abram was changed to Abraham by adding the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet (hey) to his name. Abram died (a deep sleep) in the giving of the covenant of grace to him (Genesis 15:12).
The kingdom of God is mentioned five times in the book of Matthew. You have to die, be crucified with Christ, and then be born again to enter into it.
In the ten commandments, the fifth commandment is the first commandment with a promise.
The fifth epistle of Paul, Ephesians, is the book that describes the grace (spiritual blessings) that we have in Christ (phrase used 5X’s).
As a point of interest when discussing Bible versions, the KJV has 5 sentences in Ephesians 1 where other newer versions have 6 sentences.
One final thing to mention about the number 5 in the scriptures has to do with the creation account and Bible chronology. (Please see Bible Lessons section for a more detailed discussion on Bible Chronology.) A careful study of the chronology of the Bible yields a year for creation of 4004 BC and a year of 4 BC for the birth of Christ. Each day of creation also points to a period of 1000 years in God’s plan for history (2 Peter 3:8). Jesus Christ was born 4000 years after creation or the beginning of the 5th day of history. Now look at the account of the 5th day of creation in Genesis 1 of the KJV. You will see the word, “abundantly”. If you cross reference the word, “abundantly” it will take you to John 10:10 where Jesus says, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 is a contrast between the death that the devil brings to the grace that Jesus brings (10 being 2 X 5). For another look at the word “abundantly” and the number 5 see Song of Solomon 5:1.
I think this is a nice ending to our study of the number 5 in the scriptures.