WHAT DREAMS WERE INTERPRETED? Not every dream was thought to be from God. Not every dream was significant. Some could be wishful thinking (Psa 126:1; Isa 29:7-8). In times of need and especially when a person sought a word from God, dreams could be significant.
Not even dream needed to be interpreted. To note this we can distinguish three types of dreams. A simple “message dream” apparently did not need interpretation. For instance, Joseph, in Matt 1 and 2, understood the dreams concerning Mary and Herod even though no mention is made of interpretation. A second type, the “simple symbolic dream” used symbols, but the symbolism was clear enough that the dreamer and others could understand it. The OT Joseph had this kind of dream in Gen 37. The third type, complex symbolic dreams, though, needed the interpretive skill of someone with experience or an unusual ability in interpretation. The dreams of Nebuchadnezzar described in Dan 2 and 4 are good examples of this kind of dream. Even Daniel himself had dreams in which the symbolism was so complex that the had to seek divine interpretation (Dan 8).