Dreams In The Bible

Dan Corner

All The Dreams In The Bible

You are about to read what the Bible says about dreams. This is a hot topic in our day and should be carefully studied because many have been seriously deceived by dreams. Some actually live their lives based on their own dreams. Chances are you, or someone you know, will sooner or later have to make some kind of important judgment/decision based on a dream. This study on dreams cites every major dream mentioned in the entire Bible. May God be pleased to use this to help clear up confusion about this subject.

Here Is Proof That Unsaved People Can Have A Dream From God Remember These Bible Truths To Prevent Religious Deception

Do They Occur Today?

On Pentecost, Peter spoke the following words which refer back to the book of Joel:

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams (Acts 2:17).

In part, that was fulfilled that same day Peter spoke those words, but would have to still be relevant today and therefore a definite possibility since we are still living in the last days. In other words, God can definitely speak to people today through dreams.

What The Bible Says About Dreams

The very first time we read of dreams from God is when he delivered a message to an unsaved man about Abraham's wife:

But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.” Now Abimelech had not gone near her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister,' and didn't she also say, ‘He is my brother'? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands” (Gen. 20:3-5).

Abimelech dialoged with God, while having a dream, which brought about God's second response to him:

Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her. Now return the man's wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all yours will die” (Gen. 20:6,7).

This proves one does not have to be anointed, especially close to God or even saved to have a dream or dreams from God. If that unsaved man can have a real dream from God, the same can happen today.

Jacob's Famous Bethel Dream

Jacob was one of the chief characters in Genesis. Regarding him we read:

When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the LORD, and he said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz (Gen. 28:11-19).

God communicated a wonderful promise to Jacob through that dream. Furthermore, that place was not actually the gate of heaven, even though Jacob thought it was (because of his dream). Other Scriptures show the gate of heaven is not a place but a person—the Lord Jesus (John 10:7,9). That wasn't the only time Jacob ever had a dream from God. In his own words, a different dream appeared like this:

In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted. The angel of God said to me in the dream, “Jacob.” I answered, “Here I am.” And he said, “Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land” (Gen. 31:10-13).

This time clear direction as to where to move was given through a dream.

Laban's Dream

Next we read of Laban's dream. Laban was Jacob's father-in-law:

I have the power to harm you; but last night the God of your father said to me, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad” (Gen. 31:29).

His dream was, therefore, a warning to him, which was similar to Abimelech's dream. Laban was also an unrighteous man.

Joseph, The Dreamer

Perhaps, if anyone is noted for having dreams from God and knowing the future because of such, it was Joseph. His dreams from God started at the age of seventeen (Gen. 37:2).

Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.” His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said. Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind (Gen. 37:5-11).

Those two dreams were easily understood by others who heard them, but that is not always the case, as you will observe. Also, the fulfilment of Joseph's dreams occurred many years later after various events transpired. In fact, at that time Joseph was in the palace, as second in command, only under the Pharaoh:

Then he remembered his dreams about them and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see where our land is unprotected” (Gen. 42:9).

Joseph, The Dream Interpreter

Joseph also had the ability, given to him from God, to interpret dreams. In the following two cases for the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, and later for Pharaoh, it was unsaved people who had those dreams from God:

Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt. Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined. The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he attended them. After they had been in custody for some time, each of the two men—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being held in prison—had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected. So he asked Pharaoh's officials who were in custody with him in his master's house, “Why are your faces so sad today?” “We both had dreams,” they answered, “but there is no one to interpret them.” Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.” So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, “In my dream I saw a vine in front of me, and on the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes. Pharaoh's cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh's cup and put the cup in his hand.” “This is what it means,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches are three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh's cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer” (Gen. 40:1-13).

In that particular dream, the three branches were three days. (The cupbearer's dream was not as easy to interpret with an apparent meaning as Joseph's initial dream.) Next it was the king's chief baker's turn to express his dream of the future. He too hoped for a favorable interpretation but didn't get it:

When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I too had a dream: On my head were three baskets of bread. In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.” “This is what it means,” Joseph said. “The three baskets are three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and hang you on a tree. And the birds will eat away your flesh.” Now the third day was Pharaoh's birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh's hand, but he hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation (Gen. 40:16-22).

This time three baskets equaled three days and the dream was about his future death.

Pharaoh's Dream

This pagan king's dreams about the future were significant and led to many important events, including Joseph getting into the palace. After Pharaoh learned about Joseph's ability to accurately interpret dreams, he sent for him. Joseph acknowledged that God would let Pharaoh know the meaning:

Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile, when out of the river there came up seven cows, fat and sleek, and they grazed among the reeds. After them, seven other cows came up—scrawny and very ugly and lean. I had never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt. The lean, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first. But even after they ate them, no one could tell that they had done so; they looked just as ugly as before. Then I woke up. "In my dreams I also saw seven heads of grain, full and good, growing on a single stalk. After them, seven other heads sprouted—withered and thin and scorched by the east wind. The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads. I told this to the magicians, but none could explain it to me.” Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream. The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven years of famine. “It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe. The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon. And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.” The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.” So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph's finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and men shouted before him, “Make way!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt” (Gen. 41:15-44).

Notice: In Pharaoh's dream:

● the 7 good cows = 7 years

● the 7 good heads of grain = 7 years and both good cows and good heads of grain were of the same time frame

● the 7 ugly cows and 7 worthless heads of grain = 7 years of famine of the same time frame

● 7 years of abundance would be followed by 7 years of famine

Hence, his dream foretold of future events and how to prepare for a horrible, wide-spread famine of seven years. It was through those dreams and subsequent interpretations that Egypt was prepared for their rough future ahead. In fact, people traveled to Egypt to buy grain at that time.

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Gideon Encouraged By A Dream From the Enemy

Gideon overheard his enemies speak of a dream someone had and the interpretation another one of them gave to that same dream. Both of those men were ungodly, yet the interpretation was accurate:

Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend his dream. “I had a dream,” he was saying. “A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.” His friend responded, “This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands.” When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped God. He returned to the camp of Israel and called out, “Get up! The LORD has given the Midianite camp into your hands” (Judg. 7:13-15).

From that we learn that dreams can also be a source of encouragement.

Solomon's Dream From God

Just like others, God appeared to Solomon in a dream and had a conversation with him which resulted in his special God-given abilities. Solomon was Godly at this point:

At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day. Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both riches and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream (1 Ki. 3:5-15).

READ About Solomon And His Apostasy

Some Dreams Are Natural And Come To All

A very important point to remember about dreams is that NOT every dream is from God. Some dreams are natural and have nothing to do with communications with God. Solomon, who knew that God speaks through dreams, was not obsessed with them, like some people. He also knew the truth about dreams being of natural origin too:

As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words (Eccl. 5:3).

Hence, life's anxieties can bring about certain dreams. But that is not all. Being deprived of the necessities for life can also result in dreams that have not originated from God:

As when a hungry man dreams that he is eating, but he awakens, and his hunger remains; as when a thirsty man dreams that he is drinking, but he awakens faint, with his thirst unquenched. So will it be with the hordes of all the nations that fight against Mount Zion (Isa. 29:8).

Hence, dreams can come because one is hungry or thirsty. At other times we also read that dreams are natural and come to all, even Israel's spiritually blind leaders in Isaiah's day:

Israel's watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep (Isa. 56:10).

Dangerous False Dreams

Unfortunately, dreams can also be a means to lead God’s people astray. In other words, just because someone claims to have a dream from God does not mean it is true (or even that he had any dream at all):

“Yes,” declares the LORD, “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The LORD declares.’ Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the LORD. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the LORD (Jer. 23:31,32).

The idols speak deceit, diviners see visions that lie; they tell dreams that are false, they give comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd (Zec. 10:2).

Do Not Listen To Those Dreams

Dreams can actually be lies given in God’s name:

Yes, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the LORD (Jer. 29:8,9).

Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar

There is an almost repeat of Joseph and Pharaoh’s dreams with Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel. This time it was wicked and idolatrous Nebuchadnezzar that had dreams about the future from God:

In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep (Dan. 2:1)

He sought for the interpretation, but wanted another to tell him what his dreams were first. He thought if such could reveal what the dream was, he would also accurately know what it meant. Physical death was the penalty for not knowing it or great material gifts were the reward. The king’s magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers were all unable to help the king with his dreams and angered him to the point that he was going to kill them all. Though Daniel was not in that group, because he was Godly, he was still going to be executed along with them. Wisely, Daniel sought God for mercy and the meaning of the dreams, even though he apparently already had that ability, according to Dan. 1:17:

When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact. He asked the king’s officer, “Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?” Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him. Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven (Dan. 2:14-19).

The Kings's Mysterious Dreams and The Interpretation

Daniel accurately declared the dream and its interpretation to the king:

You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth. This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold. After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay. In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy (Dan. 2:31-45).

Nebuchadnezzar's Second Dream

At a later point in time Nebuchadnezzar had another dream from God that frightened him:

I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous. I had a dream that made me afraid. As I was lying in my bed, the images and visions that passed through my mind terrified me (Dan. 4:4,5).

This time Nebuchadnezzar revealed his dream to others for their interpretation. No one was able to interpret it except Daniel:

These are the visions I saw while lying in my bed: I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous. The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth. Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. Under it the beasts of the field found shelter, and the birds of the air lived in its branches; from it every creature was fed. In the visions I saw while lying in my bed, I looked, and there before me was a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven. He called in a loud voice: “Cut down the tree and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches. But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the animals among the plants of the earth. Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times pass by for him” (Dan. 4:10-16).

God In Heaven Rules

Daniel (also called Belteshazzar) was perplexed and terrified before he gave the king the dream’s interpretation:

Belteshazzar answered, “My lord, if only the dream applied to your enemies and its meaning to your adversaries! The tree you saw, which grew large and strong, with its top touching the sky, visible to the whole earth, with beautiful leaves and abundant fruit, providing food for all, giving shelter to the beasts of the field, and having nesting places in its branches for the birds of the air you, O king, are that tree! You have become great and strong; your greatness has grown until it reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to distant parts of the earth. You, O king, saw a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, “Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven; let him live like the wild animals, until seven times pass by for him.” This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king: You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes. The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules. Therefore, O king, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue. All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.” Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird. At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble (Dan. 4:19-37).

It was all over pride that the king himself got humbled like that.

Daniel's Dream

After we read about Daniel interpreting dreams for another, he himself had a dream from God:

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying on his bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream (Dan. 7:1).

NOTE: The dream from God is described as visions passed through his mind. There must be a close connection between dreams that God gives and visions.

Joseph's Dreams

Before Joseph had sexual union with Mary (Mt. 1:18), she became pregnant. Not until after Jesus was born did they have sexual union (Mt. 1:25), but in the time period of her conception, a dream was needed to reassure Joseph about their marriage and not to divorce Mary:

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Mat. 1:20, 21).

That prevented Joseph from quietly divorcing Mary and also reveals how significant the precious name of Jesus is.

Magi wanted to find and worship the newly born king of the Jews, the baby Jesus. They were brought before King Herod and he wanted them to report to him as soon as they found the baby king of the Jews. Afterwards they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod:

And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. (Mat. 2:12).

Murderous Herod wanted to kill the baby. He still tried even after the Magi didn’t return with the information he wanted. But before his soldiers arrived in Bethlehem, Joseph was given another dream—this time about relocating physically:

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him” (Mat. 2:13).

Joseph’s third dream was about coming out of hiding in Egypt, which resulted in moving to Israel:

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel (Mat. 2:19-21).

How they specially moved to Galilee, instead of Judea, was also because of a dream:

But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee (Mat. 2:22).

Dream Of Pilate's Wife

Again, we see that an unsaved person had an accurate dream. This time it was Pilate’s unnamed wife:

While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him” (Mat. 27:19).


Apparently, her dream caused her misery or suffering, as that Scripture says.

Moses Unlike Others

Getting back to the Old Testament era, we read of an important truth about dreams when God was discussing Moses. While God was exalting Moses above others he has communicated with, the LORD revealed something significant about dreams. He referred to both visions and dreams as riddles. He also stated that when he would communicate with someone with a high spiritual caliper, like Moses, he would not speak in either dreams or visions, but face to face.

He [God] said, “Listen to my words: When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” (Num. 12:6-8)

Dreams and visions are, therefore, a lowly but legitimate way that God conveys his message to his servants.

False Prophets Can Accurately Foretell By Dreams

In the following case, the prophet referred to here is really a false prophet—one not sent by God even though the prediction, which came through dreams, comes true:

If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul (Deu. 13:1-3).

Please ponder that passage again. Many are unaware of the precious eternal truths cited there.

Saul's Complaint

God has sometimes given his answer for a problem or situation via a dream, but at other times withheld answering in this manner:

He inquired of the LORD, but the LORD did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets (1 Sam. 28:6).

Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” “I am in great distress,” Saul said. “The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has turned away from me. He no longer answers me, either by prophets or by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what to do” (1 Sam. 28:15).

Miscellaneous Dream Passages

I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, “I had a dream! I had a dream!” How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their fathers forgot my name through Baal worship (Jer. 23:25-27).

“Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the LORD. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the LORD (Jer. 23:32).


In conclusion, to be safe from the effects of deception we must carefully examine everything with Scripture, which is our standard of truth. See 2 Tim. 3:16,17. Dreams are no exception to this.



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