Five: Incompletion or lacking
For a person to understand the meaning of the number “five”, one must first realize that the meaning of the number ten is completion or wholeness. Since five is half of ten, the idea is that the number five represents incompletion or that which is lacking. A Scripture that expresses this idea is found in the book of John. At a place called Beit Chesed (Bethesda), there was a pool whose waters healed the sick. The reader is told that around the pool there were five porches. It is stated that on these five porches laid individuals who were not whole. Some were paralyzed and the rest of them had a variety of health problems. It is not a chance happening that these people who were lacking their health were on five porches. Another well-known passage that contains the number five is found in I Samuel 17. In the account of David and Goliath, David picks up five stones (see I Samuel 17:40). Why is the reader told the specific number and not simply that David had gathered a few stones? The answer is to assist the reader in understanding that the stone, which David hurled at Goliath, was not the source of victory. Rather, this was only the means that God used to accomplish His victory. In other words, the stone and even David, who hurled this stone at Goliath, were insufficient to bring about this victory.
One of the first places where the idea of "lacking" or "incompleteness" is seen regarding the number five is in the book of Genesis. In chapter 18, two angels are sent to Sodom to destroy the city. God tells Abraham that if 50 righteous people are found in the city, then the city will be free of this punishment (We will learn that the number 50 is related to freedom when this number is studied). This is revealed to Abraham and he responds saying, perhaps the city will lack 50 righteous people by five. It is significant that Abraham uses the number five when referring to the city lacking enough righteous people.
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