SHORT BIBLE STUDY: The Meaning of Dreams in the Bible

What do dreams mean in the Bible?

There are 21 dreams recorded in 5 of the 66 books of the Bible. These books are Genesis, Judges, 1 Kings, and Daniel in the Old Testament, and the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. In the Bible, dreams are messages from God, divine inspiration, warnings, future predictions, and present realities.

Genesis, the first book of the Bible, contains 10 dreams, perhaps the most famous being that of Jacob, who dreams of a ladder extending from heaven to earth and of angels ascending and descending between heaven and earth.

In the 37th chapter of Genesis, there is the story of Joseph, who dreams that his 11 brothers will bow down to him. Later, in the 42nd chapter of Genesis we see that this dream becomes reality as Joseph, who has been placed in charge of the grain of Egypt, has his brothers come down and bow before him as they beg for grain.

The Gospel of Matthew contains 5 dreams related to the birth of Jesus, and interestingly enough, the only dream recorded of a woman in the Bible is found in the Gospel of Matthew, as Pontius Pilate, the person who was presiding over the trial of Jesus, as his wife has a dream; a nightmare, about him presiding and advises him not to have anything to do with this.

So what do dreams mean in the Bible? Dreams in the Bible mean that God is faithful. God is interactively present in the ongoing story of life; in the ongoing Biblical story of faith. Dreams in the Bible mean that we can be awake to the presence of God in our lives.

As you live your life, as the story of your life is told, how does God speak to you through the dreams of your life?