Who are these ten virgins? We can get a sense of this if we recall that Jesus has just left the temple area with his disciples. They point out the temple buildings to him, magnificent as they were, and he tells them about the tribulations to come, including the destruction of these buildings and tremendous loss of life. He then warns them to stay awake and care for those entrusted to them. He goes on to tell them this parable to underscore the necessity of readiness, for they too will come upon times of dire happenings, whether the end times themselves or only the end of their own life.