Large, elaborate tapestries depicting biblical scenes were popular in rural Norway in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They were often associated with marriage celebrations, either as a part of the bride's trousseau or as a gift given to the newly married couple. Commonly used as bed covers, these panels performed multiple functions within the home, providing warmth, decoration and moral instruction to the members of the household. The narrative depicted on this piece illustrates the parable of the five wise and five foolish maidens, as recounted in the book of Matthew in the New Testament of the Bible. The figures in the top register represent the wise maidens, whose oil-filled lamps light the path, guiding the bridegroom to the wedding feast. In the lower register, the foolish maidens with their empty lamps weep into their handkerchiefs upon learning that they have been excluded from the celebration.