Ten bridesmaids (Mt 25:1-25:1)

“The kingdom of heaven

Will be like this.

Ten bridesmaids

Took their lamps.

They went to meet

The bridegroom.”

 

Τότε ὁμοιωθήσεται ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν δέκα παρθένοις, αἵτινες λαβοῦσαι τὰς λαμπάδας ἑαυτῶν ἐξῆλθον εἰς ὑπάντησιν τοῦ νυμφίου

 

This parable is unique to Matthew, but there is something similar in Luke, chapter 12:35-36, about having lamps lit.  Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven would be like (ότε ὁμοιωθήσεται ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν)10 bridesmaids, virgins, or unmarried maidens (δέκα παρθένοις) having lamps with them (αἵτινες λαβοῦσαι τὰς λαμπάδας ἑαυτῶν).  They were waiting to go out to meet the bridegroom (ἐξῆλθον εἰς ὑπάντησιν τοῦ νυμφίου).  The custom at that time was to have these virgin bridesmaids or unmarried maidens accompany the bridegroom from his house to the house of the bride before they would go to the wedding place.  Thus, these bridesmaid virgins would act as an escort in a procession to the bride’s house and then to the wedding banquet place.