Mary and the Number Five

Christians in the Middle East call the Hamsa (which means Hand and Five) the “Hand of Mary.”


There is a good reason for associating Mary with a Hand. Her response to God’s request that she bear His Son was, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

In the Bible, the number FIVE is associated with:

Tabernacle: The construction of the house of the Ark of God in the wilderness was based on fives. There were five pillars at the end of the Holy Place. The pillars were five cubits apart and five cubits high. Etc. See Exodus 27.

Grace: First five books of the Bible. Five Levitical offerings (Leviticus 1-5). Jesus multiplied five loaves to feed 5,000 (Matthew 14:17).

Preparation: David took up five smooth stones before facing Goliath (1 Samuel 17:40). The five wise virgins were prepared (Matthew 25).

Just recompense: Thieves must repay five times the value of the oxen they steal (Exodus 22:1).

Reward: Benjamin was honored by Joseph with five times more food than his brothers (Genesis 43:34) and five sets of clothes (Genesis 45:22).

Mary fits each of these.

Mary carried the Son of God in her womb and in her heart. She truly is a Tabernacle, the Ark of the New Covenant.*

Mary is Full of Grace. “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, ‘Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.'” (Luke 1:41-42)

We were prepared for Mary (Isaiah 7:14*) and the Angel Gabriel prepared Mary to conceive (Luke 1).

Just recompense: Where Adam and Christ reveal a parallel in salvation history, so too do Eve and Mary. Before tossing Adam and Eve out of the Garden, God said “to the woman … I will intensify your toil in childbearing” (Genesis 1:16). God also said to the snake, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers” (Genesis 1:15). Mary was never just a uterine conduit to get Jesus into a human body or a Nanny to change his nappies and wipe his nose. She was, is and has always been an integral part of salvation history.

Reward: When the Angel Gabriel came to Mary, the first thing he said was, ““Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28).

In the Protestant list of the Ten Commandments, the 5th is “Honor thy father and thy mother.”  When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we become children of God, brothers and sisters to Christ.  That makes God our heavenly Father and Mary our heavenly mother.  So again … Mary and the number Five.

Ten Commandments - Catholic v Protestant

This is the first time I’ve ever seen these two lists side-by-side.*  The two FIVEs put murder and parenting side-by-side.  I find that kind of goosebumpily significant, in regard both to Mary and Jesus and also to the grave sin of abortion.

*Read more about why Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant @
*Read more about the Isaiah 7:14 prophecy @  Key point: The ancient rabbis who translated the Septuagint (a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek) rendered the Hebrew word “almah” as “parthenos”, a Greek word which unequivocally means “virgin” — NOT as “young woman.”

*Read more about the Ten Commandments @

1 Comment

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One response to “Mary and the Number Five

  1. chrissythehyphenated

    May, the fifth month, is also the month Catholics have dedicated to Mary, but I confess, I don’t know why. I googled “why is may mary’s month?” and got a lot of hits. Maybe I’ll look into when my brain is fresher than it is now. 🙂