1“Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2“And five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. 3“For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5“Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. 6“But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7“Then all those virgins rose, and trimmed their lamps. 8“And the foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9“But the prudent answered, saying, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10“And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11“And later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ 12“But he answered and said, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13“Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.
I'm having a real problem trying to explain how the virgins (παρθένος) can be identified with the Church/Bride in the literal interpretation of the parable. I find that I don't really understand something until I can explain it in writing, and at this point, I can't. When it comes to the meter, the application seems to work just fine, but the passage doesn't have to be about the Church to comment on the Church's character. We have seen the Matt 24 meter apply 2nd Advent events to the Church in symbolic ways, this might similar.
I'm starting to think that παρθένος was used rather than νύμφη, specifically for the meter. By that I mean, metrically, παρθένος, would apply to the Church as the Bride, but prophetically, it would apply to Tribulation survivors as bridesmaids. So maybe the generic nature of the word was intentional for the purposes of dual application.
Here is my main issue. In the parable, the virgins are waiting for the bridegroom to come and let them into the wedding. Matt 22:1-9 states that the bridegroom comes to earth at the 2nd Advent to let people into the wedding, so how or why would the Church be waiting on earth for the bridegroom to let them into the wedding, when we're supposed to be returning with Him?