What kinds of dreams are mentioned in the Bible?


By BibleAsk Team

Dreams in the Bible

The Bible speaks of three different kinds of dreams:

  • First-Ordinary dreams that people dream especially when they are hoping for something (Isaiah 29:8; Psalms 126:1).
  • Second-Inspired dreams or visions (waking dreams- Numbers 24:4) that are given by God with specific messages to guide His children.
  • Third-false dreams by false prophets (Jeremiah 23:25).

The Bible gives us many examples of inspired dreams:

Old Testament

Abraham (Genesis 15:1): God through a vision gave His servant the Abrahamic Covenant.

Abimelech (Genesis 20:1-7): Abimelech took Sarah into his harem thinking she was Abraham’s sister, but God spoke to him in a dream to not touch Sarah because she was Abraham’s wife.

Jacob (Genesis 28:10-17): After Jacob fled from Esau’s anger, God gave him a dream of a ladder touching heaven on which angels ascended and descended. This dream meant that Abraham’s blessing would be given to him.

Joseph (Genesis 37:1-11): Joseph had dreams that his family would one day bow to him in respect. And his dreams came to pass when he became the second-in-command over Egypt.

Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker (Genesis 40): when Joseph was in prison he interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker and one was restored to his position and the other killed.

Pharaoh (Genesis 41): Pharaoh had a dream from God which Joseph interpreted as a warning of great 7 years of famine that would follow 7 years of plenty.

The Midianite and Amalekite armies (Judges 7:12-15): One of the enemies of Israel had a dream which was interpreted that Gideon would win the battle.

Samuel (1 Samuel 3): Samuel had a vision when he was a boy and God told him that He will judge the sons of Eli.

Solomon (1 Kings 3:5): God spoke to Solomon in a dream saying, “Ask what you wish Me to give you.” Solomon asked for wisdom.

Daniel (Daniel 2; 4): God gave the Babylonian kings dreams which were interpreted by Daniel the prophet foretelling of the future kingdom that would rule the world till the coming of Christ and also of warnings.

New Testament

Zacharias (Luke 1:5-23): God spoke to Zacharias that he would have a son – John the Baptist.

Joseph (Matthew 1:20; 2:13): God instructed Joseph in a dream to marry Mary. Later on, God gave him a dream telling to go to Egypt so Herod could not kill Jesus and another to tell him Herod was dead and he can go back home.

Pilate’s wife (Matthew 27:19): God warned Pilate through his wife’s dream saying not to hurt Jesus.

Ananias (Acts 9:10): God spoke to Ananias to visit Paul and pray over him to regain his sight.

Cornelius (Acts 10:1-6): God spoke to the gentile Cornelius to find Peter and listen to the truth and he was saved with his household.

Peter (Acts 10:9-15): God gave Peter a vision telling him that God had pronounced the Gentiles “clean” and that he should start preaching to them.

Paul: Paul had several visions. One instructing him to preach in Macedonia (Acts 16:9-10). Another was that he should continue preaching in Corinth (Acts 18:9-11). And another was about heaven (2 Corinthians 12:1-6).

John (Revelation): Most of the book of Revelation is a vision given by God to John who was exiled on the island of Patmos telling him of future events.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

We'd love your feedback, so leave a comment!

If you feel an answer is not 100% Bible based, then leave a comment, and we'll be sure to review it.
Our aim is to share the Word and be true to it.