What Is the Meaning of the Number Five in the Bible?

The number five is the symbol of grace in the Bible. There are five Levitical offerings: the burnt offering, the meal offering, the peace offering, the sin offering and the trespass offering. Jesus took five loaves of bread and miraculously multiplied them to feed 5,000 people. Also, during a feast, the portions of Joseph’s favorite brother, Benjamin, was five times as much as the others.

Conversely, because humans have five toes, five fingers and five senses, the number can also mean human weakness. In Luke Chapter 16, the rich man who scorned Lazarus and ended up in hell has five brothers. He asks Abraham to send the soul of a dead person to them so they could avoid his fate. Abraham tells him that his five brothers should heed the words of Moses and the prophets, but the rich man tells him that wouldn’t work, though seeing a soul return from the dead would.

The Samaritan woman who Jesus met at the well had five husbands, and when she met Jesus she was living with a man who was not her husband. When Jesus, who has never met her before, tells her this, she understands that he is the Messiah and brings the news of their meeting to her people.