7.5.3.4. Five Provision, Fullness, Grace

The number five appears in the book of Revelation in association with the time period (five months) during which the locusts torment those men without the seal of the living God (Rev. Rev. 9:5+, Rev. 9:10+) and as the number of kings which have fallen when John is shown the mystery of Babylon (Rev. Rev. 17:10+).

Although perhaps more subtle than other biblical numerology, five appears to be associated with the idea of provision, fullness, or grace. The waters of the flood were on the earth five months (150 days) before they subsided (Gen. Gen. 7:24). In the reunion of Joseph with his brothers, Benjamin’s serving was five times that of the other brothers (Gen. Gen. 43:34). Benjamin was given five changes of garments (Gen. Gen. 45:22) whereas his brothers were only given one. When five of Joseph’s brothers are presented before Pharaoh, it is to obtain the best land for their flocks (Gen. Gen. 47:2-6). David selected five stones with which to slay Goliath (1S. 1S. 17:40).1 When David lacked provisions, he requested five loaves of bread (1S. 1S. 21:3). Jesus fed the multitudes using five loaves of bread (Mtt. Mat. 24:17; Mark Mark 6:38; Mark 8:19; Luke Luke 9:13; John John 6:9). See also [E. W. Bullinger, Number in Scripture: Its Supernatural Design and Spiritual Significance (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1967), 135-149].

From these examples we conclude that those upon whom the locusts are unleashed for five months (Rev. Rev. 9:5+, Rev. 9:10+) receive the full provision of torment which God has in store for them.


Notes

1 David probably selected one stone for Goliath and four more for each of Goliath’s brothers. The four brothers of Goliath (2S. 2S. 21:22) included Ishi-Benob (2S. 2S. 21:16), Saph or Sippai (2S. 2S. 21:18; 1Chr. 1Chr. 20:4), Lahmi (2S. 2S. 21:19; 2Chr. 2Chr. 20:5) and an unnamed brother (2S. 2S. 21:20-21; 1Chr. 1Chr. 20:6-7). Along with Goliath, who was killed by David (1S. 1S. 17:4, 1S. 17:49-50), there were five brothers (1S. 1S. 17:40) of the same father, a giant from Gath (2S. 2S. 21:22; 1Chr. 1Chr. 20:8).

2 E. W. Bullinger, Number in Scripture: Its Supernatural Design and Spiritual Significance (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1967), 135-149.