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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) One who dreams.

2. (n.) A visionary; one lost in wild imaginations or vain schemes of some anticipated good; as, a political dreamer.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

drem, drem'-er (chalom, chelem; onar): In all time dreams and their interpretation have been the occasion of much curious and speculative inquiry. Because of the mystery by which they have been enshrouded, and growing out of a natural curiosity to know the future, much significance has been attached to them by people especially of the lower stages of culture. Even the cultured are not without a superstitious awe and dread of dreams, attaching to them different interpretations according to local color and custom.

Naturally enough, as with all other normal and natural phenomena for which men could assign no scientific and rational explanation, they would be looked upon with a certain degree of superstitious fear. "Dreams, Which are the children of an idle brain, Begot of nothing but vain fantasy, Which is as thin of substance as the air And more inconstant than the wind." -Shakespeare.

1. Physiological and Psychological Ground:

While a fully satisfactory theory of dreams has not yet been established and while it is hardly possible that there will ever be a satisfactory explanation for each individual dream, yet through the rapid discoveries of physiological psychology in the recent decade or more, much new light is thrown on the subject. With the contribution modern psychology has made to our knowledge of the association of ideas through the connected relation of certain cortical centers and areas, it has come to be pretty well established that the excitation of certain bodily organs or surfaces will stimulate certain brain areas. Conversely the stimulation of certain cortical areas will produce a response in certain bodily regions over which these centers or areas preside.

Connecting thought processes are therefore dependent upon the proper correlation of ideas through what are known physiologically as the association centers. If then it comes to pass that, as occurs in dreams, only fragmentary ideas or loosely connected trains of thought occur, and if, as frequently happens, there is momentary connection, but little connection with normal waking experience, it will easily be seen that the excitation of certain centers will awaken certain trains of thought which are but poorly related to the balance of one's thinking processes. Much is being said about the dissociation of ideas and the disturbance of personality of which dreams are one of several forms. Others are hallucinations, trances, visions, etc.

Dreams are abnormal and sometimes pathological. Sleep is a normal experience. Perfect and natural sleep should be without dreams of any conscious occurrence. Perhaps psychologically there can be no such thing as perfectly dreamless sleep. Such a condition would probably be death itself. Nature doubtless has her silent vigils, keeping watch in the chambers of the soul during the deepest sleep. The only difference is that they do not come to the threshold of consciousness. Thus, dreams are to the sleeping state what visions and hallucinations are to the waking state, and like them have their ground in a distorted image-making function. While the source of the materials and the excitant may not be the same in each case, yet functionally they are the same.

The stimuli of dreams may be of two kinds. First, they may be physical and objective, or they may be due to suggestions and the association of ideas. They may be due to some physical disorder, such as imperfect digestion or circulation, improper ventilation or heating, or an uncomfortable position. Since by the very nature of the case dreams do not occur in a conscious state, the real cause cannot easily be discoverable and then only after the subject is entirely awakened through the effects of it.

They may also be due to the association of ideas. Suggestion plays a large part. The vividness and recency of a conscious impression during the waking state may be thrown up from the subconscious region during the sleeping hours. The usual distorted aspect of dreams is doubtless due to the uncoupling of groups of ideas through the uncoupling of the cortical association areas, some of them being less susceptible than others to the existing stimulus.

The materials of dreams need not be recent; they may have been furnished by the conscious processes a long time before, but are brought to the threshold only by means of some train of ideas during a semi-conscious state. It is interesting to note that while time and space seem quite real in dreams, the amount covered in a single dream may occupy but a moment of time for the dreamer.

2. History of Belief in Dreams:

Dreams have always played an important part in the literature and religion of all peoples. They have furnished mythologies; they have been the sources of systems of necromancy; they have become both the source and the explanation of otherwise inexplicable acts of Providence. Growing out of them we have a theory of nightmares and demonology. They have become the working material of the prophet both Biblical and pagan. Medieval civilization is not without its lasting effects of dreams, and modern civilization still clings with something of reverence to the unsolved mystery of certain dreams. While we have almost emerged from anything like a slavish adherence to a superstitious belief in dreams, we must still admit the possibility of the profound significance of dreams in the impressions they make upon the subject.

3. Dreams in the Old Testament:

The Bible, contrary to a notion perhaps too commonly held, attaches relatively little religious significance to dreams. Occasionally, however, reference is made to communications from God through dreams (Genesis 20:6 1 Kings 3:5 Matthew 1:20; Matthew 2:12, 13, 19, 22). It recognizes their human relations more frequently. In the Old Testament literature, dreams play but little part except in the books of Genesis and Daniel, in which there are abundant references to them. For their moral bearings the most important ones perhaps are those referred to in Genesis 37:5-10. An uncritical attitude will give to them a lifeless and mechanical interpretation. A sympathetic and rational explanation gives them beauty, naturalness and significance. Joseph was the youngest and most beloved son of Jacob. He was just in the prime of adolescence, the very period of day dreaming. He was perhaps inordinately ambitious. This was doubtless heightened by the attentions of a doting father. The most natural dream would be that suggested by his usual waking state, which was one of ambition and perhaps unhealthy rivalry (see ASTRONOMY, sec. II, 6). The source of Pharaoh's dreams and his solicitude are likewise capable of interpretation on somewhat natural grounds (Genesis 41:7-32). The significance of them was given by Joseph.

Another illustration of the psychological exposition preceding is the dream of Solomon (1 Kings 3:5, 11-15). In this narrative, after Solomon had done what pleased Yahweh and had offered a most humble prayer on an occasion which to him was a great crisis and at the same time a moment of great ecstasy in his life, he doubtless experiences a feeling of sweet peace in consequence of it. His sleep would naturally be somewhat disturbed by the excitement of the day. The dream was suggested by the associations and naturally enough was the approving voice of Yahweh.

Dreaming and the prophetic function seem to have been closely associated (Deuteronomy 13:1, 3, 1). Whether from a coldly mechanical and superstitious, a miraculous, or a perfectly natural point of view, this relation is consistent. The prophet must be a seer, a man of visions and ideals. As such he would be subject, as in his waking states, so in his sleeping states, to extraordinary experiences. The remarkable dreams of Nebuchadnezzar, who stands out as an exceptional example, afford an illustration of what may be styled a disturbed personality (Daniel 2:3-45; Daniel 4:5-19). The effort made by the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers, according to the best skill of the Orientals, was unavailing. Daniel, whether by extraordinary intellectual insight or by Divine communication, was able by his interpretation and its moral to set before the king a powerful lesson.

The New Testament gives still less place and importance to dreams than the Old Testament. There are only six references and one citation to dreams or dreamers. It is significant that all these references are by Matthew, and still more significant that Jesus nowhere refers to dreams, evidently attaching little if any importance to them. The references in Matthew are confined entirely to warnings and announcements (Matthew 1:20; Matthew 2:12, 13, 19, 22; Matthew 27:19). Once a citation (Acts 2:17) is used for illustrative purposes (compare Joel 2:28). See also AUGURY, IV, 5; DIVINATION, VI, 1, l(b); MAGIC; REVELATION.

Whether God communicates directly or indirectly by dreams is still unsettled. With our present knowledge of spirit communication it would not seem unreasonable to assume that He may reveal Himself directly; and yet on the other hand the safest and perhaps surest explanation for our own day and experience is that in dream states the mind is more impressionable and responsive to natural causes through which God speaks and operates. That dreams have been and are valuable means of shaping men's thoughts and careers cannot be denied, and as such, have played an important part in the social and moral life of individuals and of society. A valuable modern illustration of this is the dream of Adoniram Judson Gordon (see How Christ Came to Church), through the influence of which his entire religious life and that of his church were completely transformed.


Judd, Psychology; Cutten, The Psychological Phenomena of Christianity; Ladd, Philosophy of Knowledge; Baldwin, Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology; Ellis, The World of Dreams (Houghton, Mifflin Co.).

Walter G. Clippinger

1797. enupniazomai -- to dream
... Word Origin from enupnion Definition to dream NASB Word Usage dream (1), dreaming
(1). dreamer. Middle voice from enupnion; to dream -- dream(-er). ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/1797.htm - 7k
Strong's Hebrew
1167. baal -- owner, lord
... 1), archers* (1), bird* (1), bound (1), bridegroom (1), captain (1), case* (1),
charmer* (1), citizens (1), creditor* (1), dominant (1), dreamer* (1), due (1 ...
/hebrew/1167.htm - 6k

2472. chalom -- a dream
... dream. Word Origin from chalam Definition a dream NASB Word Usage dream
(41), dreamer* (1), dreamers (1), dreams (22). dreamer. Or ...
/hebrew/2472.htm - 6k

2492. chalam -- to be healthy or strong
... to be healthy or strong. Transliteration: chalam Phonetic Spelling: (khaw-lam')
Short Definition: dream. cause to dreamer, be in good liking, recover ...
/hebrew/2492.htm - 5k

2492b. chalam -- to dream
... Word Origin a prim. root Definition to dream NASB Word Usage dream (3), dreamed
(2), dreamer (3), dreams (2), had (13), had a dream (4). 2492a, 2492b. ...
/hebrew/2492b.htm - 5k


Joseph the Dreamer
Joseph the Dreamer. <. Joseph the Dreamer Amy Steedman. Produced
by Sankar Viswanathan, Juliet Sutherland, and the Online ...
//christianbookshelf.org/steedman/joseph the dreamer/

Joseph the Dreamer.
... JOSEPH THE DREAMER. Two ... Joseph. "Behold, this dreamer cometh!" cried one.
Now they had their father's favourite in their power. ...
/.../anonymous/children of the old testament/joseph the dreamer.htm

Joseph the Dreamer
Joseph the Dreamer. <. ... Title Page. JOSEPH THE DREAMER. [Illustration: Joseph
as Ruler of Egypt speaks to his brothers.]. By AMY STEEDMAN. [Illustration]. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/steedman/joseph the dreamer/title page.htm

Books in this Series
//christianbookshelf.org/steedman/joseph the dreamer/books in this series.htm

But not yet About the Good to be Got from Martyrdom must we Learn. ...
... saying, As the nations serve their gods, so let me do likewise." [8236] But also
says He: "If there arise among you a prophet himself, or a dreamer of dreams ...
/.../scorpiace antidote for the scorpions sting/chapter ii but not yet.htm

Why Eminent Men are Permitted by God to Become Authors of ...
... [28.] Blessed Moses, then, writes thus in Deuteronomy: [461] "If there arise among
you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams," that is, one holding office as a ...
/.../vincent/the commonitory of vincent of lerins/chapter x why eminent men.htm

All the Arguments, Indeed, which this Jew of Celsus Advances ...
... For it is written in your law, If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer
of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder come to ...
/.../origen/origen against celsus/chapter liii all the arguments.htm

How God Makes Trial of the Strength of Man's Will by Means of his ...
... pass which he spoke, and he say to thee: Let us go and serve strange gods which
ye know not, thou shalt not hear the words of that prophet or dreamer; for the ...
/.../cassian/the conferences of john cassian/chapter xiv how god makes.htm

John ix. 29
... It there says, "If there arise among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth
thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass whereof ...
/...//christianbookshelf.org/arnold/the christian life/lecture xxxiii john ix 29.htm

The Story of Joseph
Joseph the Dreamer. <. ... so full of pride. "Behold, this dreamer
cometh!" they said one to another. "Come now, therefore ...
//christianbookshelf.org/steedman/joseph the dreamer/the story of joseph.htm

Dreamer (4 Occurrences)
... 1. (n.) One who dreams. 2. (n.) A visionary; one lost in wild imaginations or vain
schemes of some anticipated good; as, a political dreamer. ... DREAM; DREAMER. ...
/d/dreamer.htm - 18k

Dreams (34 Occurrences)
... Deuteronomy 13:1 If there arise in the midst of you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams,
and he give you a sign or a wonder, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV ...
/d/dreams.htm - 17k

Nehelamite (4 Occurrences)
... 32). The origin of the name is unknown. It is rendered in the marg, "dreamer.".
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. NEHELAMITE, THE. ...
/n/nehelamite.htm - 89k

Dream (82 Occurrences)
... often followed by an objective clause. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia.
DREAM; DREAMER. drem, drem'-er (chalom, chelem; onar): In ...
/d/dream.htm - 47k

Dreamed (20 Occurrences)

/d/dreamed.htm - 12k

Foretells (1 Occurrence)
... Foretells (1 Occurrence). Deuteronomy 13:1 If there arise in the midst of you a
prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and he give you a sign or a wonder, (See NIV). ...
/f/foretells.htm - 6k

Forcing (25 Occurrences)
... Deuteronomy 13:5 And that prophet or that dreamer of dreams is to be put to death;
for his words were said with the purpose of turning you away from the Lord ...
/f/forcing.htm - 15k

Ransomed (27 Occurrences)
... Deuteronomy 13:5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of the dream, is put to death,
for he hath spoken apostacy against Jehovah your God (who is bringing you out ...
/r/ransomed.htm - 15k

Revolt (18 Occurrences)
... Deuteronomy 13:5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death;
for he hath spoken revolt against Jehovah your God who brought you out of ...
/r/revolt.htm - 13k

Dreamers (4 Occurrences)

/d/dreamers.htm - 7k

Bible Concordance
Dreamer (4 Occurrences)

Genesis 37:19 They said one to another, "Behold, this dreamer comes.

Deuteronomy 13:1 If there arise in the midst of you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and he give you a sign or a wonder,

Deuteronomy 13:3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet, or to that dreamer of dreams: for Yahweh your God proves you, to know whether you love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Deuteronomy 13:5 That prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death, because he has spoken rebellion against Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to draw you aside out of the way which Yahweh your God commanded you to walk in. So you shall put away the evil from the midst of you.



Related Terms

Dreams (34 Occurrences)

Nehelamite (4 Occurrences)

Dream (82 Occurrences)

Dreamed (20 Occurrences)

Foretells (1 Occurrence)

Forcing (25 Occurrences)

Ransomed (27 Occurrences)

Revolt (18 Occurrences)

Dreamers (4 Occurrences)

Proves (11 Occurrences)

Perversion (13 Occurrences)

Proveth (2 Occurrences)

Prison-house (29 Occurrences)

Counseled (12 Occurrences)

Announces (5 Occurrences)

Arises (21 Occurrences)

Apostacy (7 Occurrences)

Ariseth (20 Occurrences)

Seduce (8 Occurrences)

Prophet (315 Occurrences)

Rebellion (51 Occurrences)

Testing (46 Occurrences)

Purge (35 Occurrences)

Appears (38 Occurrences)

Thrust (92 Occurrences)

Proof (38 Occurrences)

Redeemed (78 Occurrences)

Trying (68 Occurrences)

Miraculous (54 Occurrences)

Heaven (653 Occurrences)

Tried (96 Occurrences)

Bondage (55 Occurrences)

Putteth (182 Occurrences)

Remove (173 Occurrences)

Divination (25 Occurrences)

Drive (132 Occurrences)

Preached (75 Occurrences)

Jesus (10891 Occurrences)

Loving (292 Occurrences)

Wonder (148 Occurrences)

Attention (236 Occurrences)

Arise (235 Occurrences)

Taught (134 Occurrences)

Draw (212 Occurrences)

Slavery (31 Occurrences)

Kingdom (409 Occurrences)

Hearken (253 Occurrences)


God (45911 Occurrences)

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