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Dream / Vision


The Bible gives importance to dreams and interpreting dreams. It uses dreams for various purposes. God used dreams to reveal prophecies. Like Joseph, the husband of Mary, Joseph of the Old Testament, was also a dreamer. He had the gift of interpreting dreams. His dream of his brothers bowing down to him came true. His interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream saved Egypt and Jacob’s family from seven years of famine. The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and Prophet Daniel’s interpretation came true. Gideon got encouragement to win a war through a dream (Judg 7:5).

The Bible used dreams also to give warning from dangers. The Magi did not return to King Herod because God cautioned them to do so in a dream (Mt 2:12). God warned Joseph in a dream to flee to Egypt for saving the Infant Jesus’ life (Mt 2:13). Joseph’s another dream brought the Holy Family back to Nazareth (Mt 2:19-22). These dreams differed from ordinary dreams.


The Biblical concepts of vision and dream are different. The Angel Gabriel’s appearances to Zechariah and Mary were in visions. But for Joseph, the angel’s message came in a dream. Visions occur when one is awake, while dreams come when the person is asleep. Studies show that people always dream when they are asleep. But they remember only the dreams they’ve had just before they wake up or the dreams that awaken them from sleep. Joseph’s dream was so real and moving that he woke up instantly, considering it a divine summons.


Though visions and extraordinary dreams revealed God’s plans, the greatest revelation and God’ message came through Jesus. However, there are visions even in the New Testament period reminding people to leave the sinful ways and return to God. Let us study the Holy Bible that gives insights on the God’s mysteries. Once we are into it, we will enjoy studying it.

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