The most fascinating of Daniel’s several prophecies involves Nebuchadnezzar’s “forgotten” dream. In the dream, a statue cast in five layers of material represents the Babylonian empire and the four world empires to follow. The rock that crushes them all represents the kingdom of Jesus Christ, which overcomes all secular authority and vindicates the rule of God.
Dreams were neither foolproof nor infallible. Both Jeremiah and Zechariah spoke against relying on dreams to express the revelation of God. Dreams could come without being God’s word (Jer 23:28). Jeremiah lumped dreamers together with soothsayers, sorcerers, and false prophets (Jer 27:9). He cautioned exiles in Babylon not to listen to dreamers and false prophets who told them that the exile would not be long (Jer 29:8). Zechariah pointed people toward the Lord, apparently because they were relying on dreamers and others to give them the truth (Zech 10:1-2). Thus while God often used dream to reveal His will, there is a warning, too, not to rely on this method to know the will of God.
In the ancient Near East dreams were one of several ways people sought to see the future and to make decisions that would be beneficial to them. In some societies, people went to temples or holy places to sleep in order to have a dream that would show them the best decision to make.
Pharaoh dreamed that seven skinny cows gobbled up seven fat cows along the Nile River. Many people in Bible times believed that dreams carried hidden messages, so he called on the magicians of the land to tell him the meaning of his dream. Continue reading EGYPTIAN MAGICIANS→
We sometimes think of the Old Testament as a book in which God makes repeated appearances of many kinds. But when we put a time line next to the account, we quickly realize that God’s manifest presence was far more rare and purposeful than we realized. The last time God made a direct appearance in Genesis he visited Jacob in a dream (46:1-7) and assured him his family would become “a great nation” while in Egypt (v. 3). Over four hundred years would pass before God would make another recorded appearance. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (MOUNT SINAI)→
28. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
29. And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.