How to Interpret Your Dreams Biblically

Tips for using the Bible to understand your dreams.


- Posted on Dec 12, 2018

Man holding an open Bible

Dreams are some of the most mysterious forces humans can experience. The Bible contains several famous stories of God communicating through dreams. Not sure what your dreams mean? Here are some tips for interpreting your dreams biblically.

1. Listen

The first step to interpreting a dream is to be receptive before the dream even occurs. Job 33 says, “For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night…” Be willing to listen and open to whatever dreams may come your way.

2. Acknowledge God’s presence

In Genesis 28, Jacob had a dream about angels climbing and descending a ladder that reached to heaven. How did Jacob respond to the dream? Genesis 28:16 says, “When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.’”

If you have a dream and aren’t sure what it means, a good first step is to thank the Lord for giving you this dream and acknowledge a divine presence.

3. Write it down

If you’ve had a dream and aren’t sure what it means, try writing it down. In Habakkuk 2, God instructed the Israelites to “write down the revelation and make it plain on the tablets.” Similarly, in Daniel 7, after Daniel had a dream he “wrote down the dream; he recorded a complete account of the matters.”

4. Ask

There are numerous instances in the Bible where people went to others for advice on interpreting a dream. The Pharaoh asked Joseph and Nebuchadnezzar asked Daniel. A wise friend or mentor can offer insights into your dream that you might overlook.

5. Look for symbols

The dreams recorded in the Bible often feature symbols. Here a few of the most common:

  • Weather – Daniel interpreted a dream about a tree being cut down as foreshadowing of Nebuchadnezzar’s fall from rule.
  • Numbers – Pharaoh dreamed of seven cows and seven heads of grain. The number seven in both cases represented seven years. Similarly, when the Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker dreamed, the number three represented three days.
  • Food – In Judges 7, Gideon overheard a man telling a companion about a dream of a loaf of barley. The crumbling of the cake was interpreted to mean the crumbling of the army Gideon was fighting. Animals – Daniel of four beasts who were interpreted to represent four kingdoms.

God can speak powerfully through dreams. Through prayer, understanding biblical references and discernment, you can learn to interpret your dreams and understand more clearly how God is working in your life.

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