Saturday I started the 12 Days of Christmas post series based on a book called The Real 12 Days of Christmas by Helen Haidle. You can read the introduction about it and the first 4 days here.
"On the fifth day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me...five gold rings..."
Up until now, most of the gifts of Christmas have had more than one interpretation. From here on, I didn't see much discrepancy on what the gifts could represent; everyone seems to agree for the most part.
All through ancient history, gold rings were meant to indicate lifelong commitment, security in relationship, and in some cultures, even ownership. It's the reason that the traditional wedding band, even today, is a gold band.
In "The 12 Days of Christmas" song, it is said that the five rings represent the first five books of Old Testament (or the Torah), known as the Pentateuch, which means "five books". These first five books were written by Moses, and in a nutshell, they lay out the original Covenant God made with His people.
This Covenant that God made with them was actually a Marriage Covenant. Watch this:
"For your Maker is your husband,
The LORD of hosts is His name;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;
He is called the God of the whole earth. " Isaiah 54:5
Since the nation of Israel is said in the Scriptures to be the wife of Jehovah God, it makes sense that the Pentateuch would be represented by gold rings, the symbol of lifelong marital commitment, one for each book.
One may say, "But I'm not an ancient Hebrew...or Jewish." To that I would say don't forget that the New Testament Church is the Bride of Christ! Yet He still began with the nation of Israel, the apple of His eye, who would bring forth His Messiah...our Bridegroom!
Have you ever been to a Jewish wedding? Unfortunately I haven't, but I found a very informative website about Judaism written by an orthodox Jewish man. He does not write from a Messianic standpoint, as he is not a Messianic Jew (meaning he doesn't believe Jesus is the Messiah), but he has done much research on Judaism and seems to know what he's talking about. Here's one thing he said about the ceremony between man and his wife:
"The man then places the ring on woman's finger and says 'Be sanctified (mekudeshet) to me with this ring in accordance with the law of Moses and Israel.'"So the five gold rings given by my True Love (God) represent the first five books of our Old Testament, the Pentateuch, in which the Law of Moses and the Covenant between God and His wife, the nation of Israel, was recorded and made known. Furthermore, the ring is a symbol of the commitment of the wife to her Husband and the Husband to His wife through the sanctification of the wife. Amazing.
I just can't think of anything more perfect than gold rings to be the picture of symbolism here.
I don't think I'll ever sing this song the same again.