Grace means favor, but what kind of favor for favor is of many kinds. Favor shown to the miserable we call mercy; favor shown to the poor we call pity; favor shown to the suffering we call compassion; but favor shown to the unworthy we call GRACE! This is favor indeed; favor which is truly Divine in its source and in its character.
Light is thrown upon it in Romans 3:24, "being justified freely by His grace." The word here translated "freely" occurs again in John 15:25, and is translated "without a cause" ("they hated me without a cause"). Was there any real cause why they hated the Lord Jesus? No! Nor is there any cause in us why God should ever justify us. So we might read Romans 3:24 thus: "Being justified without a cause by His grace." Yes, this is grace indeed, - favor to the unworthy.
It was so with Abram. There was no cause in him why God should have called him and chosen him! There was no cause why God should have made an unconditional covenant with him and his seed for ever. Therefore the number 5 shall be stamped upon this covenant by causing it to be made with 5 sacrifices - a heifer, a goat, a ram, a dove, and a pigeon (Genesis 15:9).
It is remarkable, also, that afterwards, when God changed Abram's name to Abraham (Genesis 17:5), the change was made very simply, but very significantly (for there is no chance with God), by inserting in the middle of it the fifth letter of the alphabet, the symbol of the number five, Abram, became AbraHam (Genesis 17:5). All this was of grace, and it is stamped with this significance. It is worthy of note that this change was made at a particular moment. It was when Abraham was called to "walk before" God in a very special manner. He was to look for the promised "seed" from no earthly source, and thus he was to "walk by faith and not by sight." It was at this moment that God revealed Himself for the first time by His name of EL SHADDAI, i.e. the all bountiful One! able to supply all Abraham's need; able to meet all his necessities; able to do for him all that he required. How gracious! How suitable! How perfect! It is the same in 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18, when we are called, as Abraham was, to "come out," to "be separate," and walk by faith with God. He reveals himself (for the first time in the New Testament) by the same wonderful name, "Ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord ALMIGHTY"! - able to support and to sustain you; able to supply all your need. This is grace.
What is the Fifth Book of the Bible?
The Fifth Book of the Bible (Deuteronomy) magnifies the grace of God, and in it special pains, so to speak, are taken to emphasize the great fact that not for the sake of the people, but for God's own Name's sake had He called, and chosen, and blessed them. Read Deuteronomy 4:7, 20, 32, 37, 8:11, 17, etc.
The Fifth Book of Psalms
The fifth book of Psalms sets forth the same great fact. Its first Psalm (Psalm 107) magnifies this, and shows how "He sent His word and healed them" (verse 20), and again and again delivered them out of all their trouble.
How is 5 related to Israel leaving Egypt?
Israel came out of Egypt five in a rank. In Exodus 13:18 it says, "The children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt." In the margin it says they went up by five in a rank. It may be in ranks, i.e. fifties, as in 2Kings 1:9 and Isaiah 3:5. The point is that they went up in perfect weakness; helpless, and defenseless; but they were invincible through the presence of God in their midst.
Did David take 5 stones?
Five smooth stones were chosen by David when he went to meet the giant enemy of Israel (1Samuel 17:40). They were significant of his own perfect weakness supplemented by Divine strength. And he was stronger in this weakness than in all the armor of Saul. It is worthy of note that after all he used only the one, not any of the four. That one was sufficient to conquer the mightiest foe.
What book did Jesus use to resist the devil's temptations?
It was the fifth book that David's son and David's Lord used in His conflict with that great enemy of whom Goliath was the faintest type. It was only the Book of Deuteronomy which formed the one stone with which he defeated the Devil himself (compare Matthew 4:1-11 and Deuteronomy 8:3, 6:13,16). No wonder that this Book of Deuteronomy is the object of Satan's hatred. "No marvel" that today his ministers are transformed "as the ministers of righteousness" (2Corinthians 11:14,15), are engaged in the attempt to demolish this Book of Deuteronomy with their destructive criticism. But their labor is all in vain, for it is stamped with the number which marks the omnipotence of God's power and grace.
What is the promise of 5?
"Five of you shall chase a thousand, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight" (Leviticus 26:8), conveys the truth elsewhere revealed; - "If God be for us who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31). But note, it does not say "five shall chase a thousand"; but "five OF YOU," - 5 of those whom God has redeemed and delivered, and whom He will strengthen with His own might.
What did the apostle Paul prefer ABOVE the gift of tongues?
"I had rather speak five words with the understanding, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue" (1Corinthians 14:19).
That is to say, a few words spoken in the fear of God, in human weakness, depending on Divine strength and blessing, will be able to accomplish that which God has purposed; while words without end will be spoken in vain. Man may applaud the latter and bestow his admiration on their eloquence. But God will own only the former, and follow them with this blessing, making them to work effectually in them that believe (1Thessalonians 1:6, 2:13).
What was God's 5 part demand of Pharaoh?
God's demand to Pharaoh was five-fold in its nature, because it was the expression of His grace in this deliverance of His people. It brought out, therefore, 5 distinct objections from Pharaoh. God's demand sprang purely from His own spontaneous grace. Nothing necessitated it; neither Israel's misery nor Israel's merit called it forth.
"God heard their groaning, and God remembered HIS covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them" (Exodus 2:24,25).
It was not their covenant with God, as with Israel afterwards at Sinai; but it was God's covenant which HE had made with their fathers. All was of grace. Hence, God's demand to Pharaoh (in Exodus 5:1) was stamped by the five great facts which it embraced:
God and His Word. - "Thus saith Jehovah, God of Israel." To this was opposed the objection of Pharaoh (verse 2), "Who is God that I should obey His voice?"
God's People. - "Let my people go." To this Pharaoh objected (10:9-11), "Who are they that shall go?" Moses said, "We will go with our young and with our old, and with our sons and with our daughters, etc." "Not so; go now, ye that are men" (10:11), was Pharaoh's reply. In other words, God's people consist of His redeemed; and the enemy will be quite content for parents to go and serve God in the wilderness, provided they will leave their little ones behind in Egypt!
God's Demand. - "Let my people go." No, said Pharaoh; "Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land" (8:25). And many think today that they can worship in Egypt, but "Moses said, It is not meet so to do" (8:26).
God's Feast. - "That they may hold a feast unto me." Pharaoh's objection was (10:24), "Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed." How subtle was the opposition! But how perfect was Moses' reply (10:26), "We know not with what we must serve the LORD until we come thither." We cannot know God's will for us until we are on God's ground. Light for the second step will not be given until we have used the light given for the first.
God's Separation. - "In the wilderness." When Pharaoh objected to their going at all, and wished them to serve God "in the land," Moses insisted on a separation of "three days' journey into the wilderness" (8:27). There must be a divinely perfect separation of the redeemed from Egypt and all its belongings.
But now Pharaoh's objection is more subtle. He said (8:28), "I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away!" Oh! how many yield to this temptation, and are always within easy reach of the world. Living within the borderland, they are always open to the enemy's enticements, and always in danger of his snares.
Behold, here, then, the perfection of grace, manifested in the demand of God for those "whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy" (Psalm 107:2). Each of its five-fold parts was stoutly resisted by the enemy, but the grace of God is invincible.
How is the number 5 represented in God's tabernacle?
The Tabernacle had five for its all-pervading number; nearly every measurement was a multiple of 5. Before mentioning these measurements we ought to notice that worship itself is all of grace! No one can worship except those who are sought and called of the Father (John 4:23).
"Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest and causest to approach unto Thee, that he may dwell in Thy courts; we shall be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house, even of Thy holy temple" (Psalm 65:4).
The Divine title of the book we call Leviticus is in the Hebrew Canon "He CALLED." It is the book of worship, showing how those who are to worship must be called by God, and showing how He wills to be approached. The book opens with the direction that if any man will bring an offering to the Lord he shall bring such and such an offering. The offerers and the priests are told minutely all that is to be done. Nothing is left to their imagination.
We have seen that Leviticus is the third book of the Bible. It comes to us stamped with the number of Divine perfection. The opening words are, "And God spake," an expression which occurs in the book 36 times (3x3x2x2).
Indeed, this third book is unique, consisting, as it does, almost wholly of the words of Jehovah. No other book of the Bible is so full of Divine utterances. It is fitting, therefore, that the number three should be stamped upon it.
"I JEHOVAH AM" occurs three times (19:1, 20:26; 21:8); and "I JEHOVAH DO" twice (21:15, 22:9), or five times together.
* Leviticus 11:45, 28:5,6,22, 19:12,14,16,18,28,30,32,37, 20:8, 21:12, 22:2,8,31,32,33, 26:2,45.
** Leviticus 11:44, 28:4,30, 19:3,4,10,25,31,34,36, 20:7,24, 23:22,43, 24:22, 25:17,38,55, 26:1,13,44.
Here then we have Divine communication, and the number of Deity stamped upon it. This might have been brought out under the number three, but it is well to have it here in connection with worship as springing from the will of God, and being founded in grace.
The Tabernacle has this number of grace (5) stamped upon it.
The outer court was 100 cubits long and 50 cubits wide. On either side were 20 pillars, and along each end were 10 pillars, or 60 in all; that is 5 x 12, or grace in governmental display before the world, 12 being the number of the Tribes.
The pillars that held up the curtains were 5 cubits apart and 5 cubits high, and the whole of the outer curtain was divided into squares of 25 cubits (5x5). Each pair of pillars thus supported an area of 52 cubits of fine white linen, thus witnessing to the perfect grace by which alone God's people can witness for Him before the world. Their own righteousness (the fine linen) is "filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6), and we can only say "by the grace of God I am what I am" (1Corinthians 15) - a sinner saved by grace. This righteousness is based on atonement, for 5 x 5 was also the measure of the brazen altar of burnt offering. This was the perfect answer of Christ to God's righteous requirements, and to what was required of man.
True, this brazen altar was only 3 cubits high, but this tells us that the provision was Divine in its origin, that atonement emanates solely from God.
The building itself was 10 cubits high, 10 cubits wide, and 30 cubits long. Its length was divided into two unequal parts, the Holy place being 20 cubits long; and the Holy of Holies 10 cubits, being therefore a perfect cube of 10 cubits. It was formed of forty-eight boards, twenty on either side, and eight at the end, the front being formed of a curtain hung on five pillars. These forty-eight boards (3x42) are significant of the nation as before God in the fullness of privilege on the earth (4x12). The twenty boards on each side were held together by five bars passing through rings which were attached to them.
The curtains which covered the Tabernacle structure were four in number. The first was made of ten curtains of byssus in various colors adorned with embroidered cherubim. Each curtain was 28 (4x7) cubits long and four wide. They were hung five on each side, probably sewn together to form one large sheet (20x28); the two sheets coupled together by loops, and gold. The second covering was formed of eleven curtains of goats' hair, each 30 cubits long and four wide, joined together in two sheets fastened by loops. The third was of rams' skins dyed red, and the fourth was of tachash (or colored) skins, of which the dimensions are not given.
The Entrance veils were three in number. The first was "the gate of the court," 20 cubits wide and 5 high, hung on 5 pillars. The second was "the door of the Tabernacle," 10 cubits wide and 10 high, hung like the gate of the court on 5 pillars. The third was the "beautiful vail," also 10 cubits square, which divided the Holy place from the Holy of Holies. One feature of these three veils is remarkable. The dimensions of the vail of the court and those of the Tabernacle were different, but yet the area was the same. The former was 20 cubits by 5 = 100 cubits; the latter were 10 cubits by 10, equaling 100 cubits also. Thus while there was only one gate, one door, one vail, they each typified Christ as the only door of entrance for all the blessings connected with salvation. But note that the "gate" which admitted to the benefits of atonement was wider and lower (20 cubits wide, and 5 cubits high); while the door which admitted to worship was both higher and narrower, being only 10 cubits wide, half the width, and twice the height (10 cubits high); thus saying to us, that not all who experience the blessings of atonement understand or appreciate the true nature of spiritual worship. The highest worship - admittance to the mercy-seat - was impossible for the Israelites except in the person of their substitute - the high priest; for the beautiful vail barred their access. Yet this vail was rent in twain the moment the true grace which came by Jesus Christ was perfectly manifested. And it was rent by the act of God in grace, for it was rent "from the top to the bottom."
It is worthy of note, and it is a subject which might well be further investigated by those who have leisure, that the Gematria (substituting numbers for letters) of Hebrews 9, which gives an account of the Tabernacle, yields the number five as a factor. Taking each letter as standing for its corresponding figure, the value of Hebrews 9:2-10, describing the Tabernacle and its furniture, is 103,480. The factors of this number are all full of importance, viz., 5 x 8 x 13 x 199; where we have five the number of grace, four the number of the world, the sphere in which it is manifested, while in thirteen we have the number of sin and atonement. (See under Thirteen)
In like manner the second section of the chapter (Hebrews 9:11-28), which relates to the application of the type to Christ and His atoning work, is a simple multiple of thirteen, viz., 204,451 (13x15,727).
While the important digression in verses 16, 17, and 18, amounts to 11,830, which is 132 x 14 x 5, where we have the same great important factors.
What were the 5 special ingredients of Holy anointing oil?
The Holy anointing oil (Exodus 30:23-25) was composed of five parts, for it was a revelation of pure grace. This five is marked by the numbers four and one. For four parts were spices, and one was oil.
The four principal species: -
- Myrrh, 500 shekels ( 5 x 100).
- Sweet cinnamon, 250 shekels ( 5 x 50).
- Sweet calamus, 250 shekels (5x50).
- Cassia, 500 shekels ( 5 x 100).
And olive oil, one hin.
This anointing oil was holy, for it separated to God; nothing else could separate. It was of God, and therefore of grace; and therefore the number of its ingredients was five, and their quantities were all multiples of five.
Additional commentary on the Biblical Meaning of 5 *
The number 5 is the number of God’s grace or goodness toward man. The number is mentioned 318 times in the Bible. The Ten Commandments have 2 sets of 5 commandments - 5 toward God and 5 toward neighbor.
The Psalms are divided into 5 books. The 5 books of the Law are also known as the Pentateuch. The 4 Gospels plus Acts equals 5 books or the New Testament Pentateuch - revealing Jesus’ teachings concerning the Law and the Prophets.
The apostle John wrote 5 books centered on the grace of God and eternal life. Five is the number of grace, and 5 x 5 = 25, or "grace upon grace" (John 1:16).