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Dreams in the Bible

“Why do you complain to him that he answers none of man’s words? For God does speak – now one way, now another – though man may not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men as they slumber in their beds, then he opens the ears of men and humbles them according to their rebelliousness.” ~ Job 33:13

Dreams are mentioned over 80 times in the Bible, and with good cause. In ancient times it was well understood that dreams were one of the ways in which the Divine could communicate with humanity.

Genesis
In the book of Genesis is the story of Joseph, who was stolen from the land of the Hebrews and taken into Egypt. Joseph interpreted the dreams of the Pharaoh’s butler and baker, which both came to pass. The butler, who was very impressed, told the Pharaoh about Joseph’s abilities. The Pharaoh, who had been having some very troubling dreams himself, called Joseph to him in hopes of receiving guidance.

“And behold, there came up out of the river seven fat and beautiful cows; and they fed in a meadow. And behold, seven other cows came up after them, poor and lean. And the lean cows ate up the first seven fat cows. And behold, seven ears of grain growing on one stalk, full and good, and behold, seven other ears thin and blasted by the east wind, sprang up after them, and the thin ears devoured the seven good ears.” Genesis 41:18-23.

Joseph interpreted this dream to mean that Egypt would have seven years of abundance, to be followed by seven years of famine. Because of Joseph’s interpretation, the Pharaoh was able to prepare for the seven year famine, which did, indeed, follow seven years of plenty, thereby saving the people of Egypt from starvation.

Daniel
In the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream so troubling that he called “all the magicians and the astrologers and the sorcerers and the Chaldeans to show the king his dream.” Daniel 2:2

When all of the kings advisers had failed to interpret the king’s dream, the dream came to be known to Daniel, who said that he needed some time to think about it – but that he would have an interpretation for the king.

“Then was the mystery revealed to Daniel in a night vision.” Daniel 2:19

Matthew
“The Lord appeared to him in a dream, and said to him, ‘O Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take your wife Mary, because he that is to be born of her is of the Holy Spirit.’” Matthew 1:20.

King Herod sent the three Magi to learn about the Christ child, yet they dreamed that they should not return to Herod with any news of the infant Jesus.

“And they were told in a dream not to return to Herod, so they departed to their own country by another way.” Matthew 2:12.

Even Pilate’s wife dreamed of Jesus after her husband had taken him into custody. She told him “have nothing to do with that righteous man; for today I have suffered a great deal in my dream because of him.” Matthew 27:19.

Acts
In the book of Acts, Paul talks about how one day visions from Heaven will be experienced by the masses rather than by a chosen few.

“It shall come to pass in the last days, said God, I will pour my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy and your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams.” Acts 2:17.

It seems that this prophecy has come to pass, as many more people are displaying psychic abilities and are able to understand their dreams and visions. Perhaps as these abilities help us to get more in tune with the Divine, we will find that we more often live from a place of love and compassion, and the last days of hate and ignorance shall pass into a far memory as we move into an new era of heart-centered living.

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