The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge that feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, recalling the expression of Christ's sadness over the fate of Jerusalem:
Two Turtle Doves
The Old and New Testaments, which together bear witness to God's self-revelation in history and the creation of a people to tell the Story of God to the world.
1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Four Calling BirdsThe Four Gospels: 1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke, and 4) John, which proclaim the Good News of God's reconciliation of the world to Himself in Jesus Christ.
All four gospels present Jesus as both the Son of God and son of man. They all record His baptism, the feeding of the 5,000 from five loaves and two fishes, Mary's anointing of the Lord Jesus, His prayer in the garden of Gethsemane, His betrayal, trial, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection.
On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Five Gold Rings
The first Five Books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch:
1) Genesis, 2) Exodus, 3) Leviticus, 4) Numbers, and 5) Deuteronomy,
which gives the history of humanity's sinful failure and God's response of grace in the creation of a people to be a light to the world.
On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Six Geese A-laying
The six days of creation that confesses God as Creator and Sustainer of the world.
1) Blessed are the poor in spirit – those who know their need for God
2) those who mourn – those who have repentant hearts
3) the meek – those who rely on God instead of their own strength
4) those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
5) the merciful – those who help the afflicted
6) the pure in heart – free from corruption, sin and guilt
7) the peacemakers – those who help bring God’s peace to mankind
8) those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake – those who are mistreated because of Christ and suffer for His sake.
On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Nine Ladies DancingThe nine Fruit of the Holy Spirit: 1) love, 2) joy, 3) peace, 4) patience, 5) kindness,
6) generosity, 7) faithfulness, 8) gentleness, and 9) self-control. (Galatians 5:22)
On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Ten Lords A-leaping
The ten commandments: 1) You shall have no other gods before me; 2) Do not make an idol; 3) Do not take God's name in vain; 4) Remember the Sabbath Day; 5) Honor your father and mother; 6) Do not murder; 7) Do not commit adultery; 8) Do not steal; 9) Do not bear false witness; 10) Do not covet. (Exodus 20:1-17)
On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Eleven Pipers Piping
The eleven Faithful Apostles:
1) Simon Peter – heard (and obeyed)
2) Andrew – natural man
3) James – gift or endowment
4) John – beloved of God
5) Philip -- friend
6) Bartholomew – covered in blood, forgiven
7) Matthew – strong and able to fight (the devil)
8) Thomas – twin or joined with, one in heart
9) James son Alphaeus -- transformed
10) Simon the Zealot – zealous for the Lord
11) Thaddaeus – courageous and bold
On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Twelve Drummers DrummingThe twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles' Creed: 1) I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 2) I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. 3) He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. 4) He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. 5) On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 6) He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 7) I believe in the Holy Spirit, 8) the holy catholic (the undivided) Church, 9) the communion of saints (joint participation and fellowship), 10) the forgiveness of sins, 11) the resurrection of the body, 12) and life everlasting.