How the Bible presents dreams and visions

Genesis Bible Background

01.17.2018 – Old Testament: Gen 41.25–32

To read the Bible in a year, read Genesis 41 on January 17, In the year of our Lord 2018

By Don Ruhl

People often want to take a series of dreams and visions in the Bible and understand or interpret them as chronological, but often they are just repeating the same truth with different pictures, such as the dreams that God gave Pharaoh,

Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do: The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads are seven years; the dreams are one. And the seven thin and ugly cows which came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty heads blighted by the east wind are seven years of famine. This is the thing which I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. Indeed seven years of great plenty will come throughout all the land of Egypt; but after them seven years of famine will arise, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine will deplete the land. So the plenty will not be known in the land because of the famine following, for it will be very severe. And the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass” (Genesis 41.25–32).

This same sort of thing happens in the Books of Daniel and Revelation. And for the same reason. Therefore, more than one dream does not necessarily mean that the writer is speaking of two different things that will follow one another, but it may mean, depending upon the context, that the Lord is just showing the same thing more than once to establish the fact that He will do as shown in the dream.


  • Do you believe that the Lord can control nature as He did with Joseph’s generation?
  • Do you believe that the Lord knows your thoughts?

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