Dreams in the Bible: Above and Beyond Christianity

Dreams in the Bible: Above and Beyond Christianity November 1, 2018

 “We both had dreams,” they answered, “but there is no one to interpret them.” Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”~ Genesis 40:8

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Millions study and strive to hear God’s voice during the day, but few realize they can also connect with His voice at night through dreams. When people hear of modern-day prophetic dreams that came true and saved or changed people’s lives they think of dreaming as a New Age Phenomenon. Dreams began with God and were recorded in the Bible. Was the Bible the first official Dream Journal?

People had had prophetic and shared dreams since before Christ was born as seen by the Bible stories of Daniel and the dream of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:1–49) in 606BC, the Pharaoh’s  Dream (Gen 41), and Solomon’s Dream (1 Kings 3:4-15).

These dreams are discussed by our panel in the Video Podcast on the bottom of this blog.  

Prophetic dreams took many forms in the Hebrew Bible. The ancient Israelites believed dreams foretold and interpreted reality and were of divine origin. Some things never change.

Dreamers in the Bible and modern-day prophetic dreamers shared similarities concerning recurrent dreams recorded by Dr. Larry Burk of Duke University Medical in the Breast Cancer Dream Research Project. Ancient Biblical dreamers and modern daydreamers had the same important dream messages sent to them multiple times using different signs symbols and dreamscapes as an early warning until the dream’s call-to-action or message was understood.

Only when the dream was interpreted correctly did the recurrent dream/nightmare stop.

Three Bible dreams were discussed by our dream expert panelists Rev. Geoff Nelson, author Denise Alexander Pyle, and Show Host Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos. They answer the question, “Are the meanings and interpretations of ancient prophetic dreams still relevant today?”  

The Bible dreams discussed are Prophetic. Here are two definitions of prophetic dreams:

  • you see the future through your dream
  • a supernatural night vision that contains foresight.

It is difficult to determine if a dream is prophetic until we see that it has taken place. Only when the dream has been recorded in some way can it be validated.

Here is a bit about our esteemed panel of experts.

Rev. Geoff Nelson is a retired Presbyterian pastor, completed his training as a spiritual director at San Francisco Theological Seminary, has forty years of experience working with his own dreams and twelve leading dream groups in churches and other settings. His DMin dissertation “Dream Groups in the Church” addressed the benefits and challenges of conducting dream groups in local churches. He is involved with the IASD, International Association for the Study of Dreams and is the author of Dreaming in Church. He is best reached by email

Author Denise Alexander Pyle describes herself as a “New Way Jew” who taught Sunday School to fifteen-year-olds in Confirmation Class at a reformed Temple in Michigan where the emphasis of the curriculum was Judeo-Christian ethics and living the Ten Commandments in modern times. This topic has been her passion and culminated in her writing The Power of 10: A Guide to Living the Ten Commandments in Modern Times. Denise is best reached from her website

Kathleen (Kat) O’Keefe-Kanavos is a three-time breast cancer survivor. Her Divine Dreams saved her life all three times when they told her of cancer the medical community had missed.  She co-authored Dreams That Can Save Your Life: Early Warning Signs of Cancer and Other Diseases with Duke University Medical Radiologist and researcher Dr. Larry Burk.

In the Beginning, There were Dreams.

Denise Alexander Pyle began the Panel discussion with the Precognitive Dream Bible-Story about the Pharaoh- the political and religious leader of Egypt, holding the titles: ‘Lord of the Two Lands’ and ‘High Priest of Every Temple.’ In the Bible, Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dream and Patricia tells it in her own words on the Video Podcast posted below.

Pharaoh’s Precognitive Recurrent Dream:

Pharaoh dreamed he was standing by the Nile. Out of the Nile came seven sleek and fat cows that grazed in the reed grass. Then seven ugly and thin cows came out of the Nile and stood by the other cows. The ugly and thin cows ate the seven sleek and fat cows.

And Pharaoh awoke.

Then he fell asleep and dreamed a second time. Seven plump and good ears of grain grow on one stalk. Then seven thin and blighted ears sprouted after them. The thin ears swallowed up the seven plump ears.

Pharaoh awoke again and realized it was a dream.

In the morning Pharaoh called for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt and told them his dreams. No one could interpret them. The chief cupbearer said, “I remember the chief baker and I dreamed on the same night, each having a dream with its own meaning. A young Hebrew who is now jailed interpreted our dreams. As he interpreted to us, so it turned out. I was restored to my office, and the baker was hanged.”

Pharaoh sent for Joseph and said, “I have had a dream no one can interpret.  It is said you can interpret it.” Joseph answered, “Not I. God will give Pharaoh an answer.”

Then Pharaoh told Joseph his dream.

Joseph said, “Pharaoh’s dreams are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one. They are seven years of plenty. The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, as are the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind. They are seven years of famine.

There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt followed by seven years of famine, and the famine will consume the land.

“The doubling of the dream means it’s fixed by God, and will shortly come about.”

All the food was gathered and stored.  When the seven years of famine came, as Joseph had said, he opened the storehouses. The entire world came to buy grain because the famine was throughout the world.

According to Denise Alexander Pyle, this ancient Biblical message still holds true today. Bible spirituality and dreams are part of our modern lives. Our dreams are subconscious messages we need to figure out because they may be a warning about our future. “Our current dream message may be telling us how to save our planet from famine, now,” Denise says.

Rev. Geoff Nelson followed Patricia’s Dream with his favorite Bible Dream; 1 Kings 3:4-15.

 King Solomon’s Intention-induced Precognitive Dream:

King Solomon went to Gibeon, the principal high place of worship. There, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night and said, “Ask what I should give you.” Solomon said, “Now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child. Give your servant an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil.”

God said to him, “Because you have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for understanding to discern what is right, I give you a wise and discerning mind. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor all your life; no other king shall compare with you.  If you walk in my ways, keeping my commandments, as your father David did, I will lengthen your life.”

Then Solomon awoke. It had been a dream.

Rev. Geoff sees this as an important dream because Solomon, having just been made king, is overwhelmed by his responsibilities and filling his dead father’s shoes.  Solomon is aware of his immaturity and visits what may have been a Dreaming Temple, like the Greek/Roman Asclepeion Temples, where dreamers slept overnight on the ground to “incubation” a dream intention for Divine guidance and report their dream to a priest the following day. Solomon’s dream is a combination of “Set your dream intention” and “Ask, and you shall receive.”

Rev. Geoff Nelson felt this dream was important because Solomon asked for wisdom in a dream, and got it, showing dreams are answered.  “There is a lack of awareness in the role of dreams in history, especially biblical history.” Rev. Geoff says. His book addresses this issue.

And, Kat ended the panel with her favorite Precognitive Dream in the Bible that could also be defined as Dreaming for Others, which is Daniel’s Dream about King Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream (Daniel 2:1–49).

Daniel Dreams-With-Others to share King Nebuchadnezzar’s Precognitive Dream:

In the second year of his reign, King Nebuchadnezzar had troubling dreams and was unable to sleep. He commanded the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, to tell him his dream. The Chaldeans said, “O king, tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.” The king answered, “… if you do not make known the dream and its interpretation, you shall be torn limb from limb, and your houses shall be laid in ruins. But, if you show the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me rewards. Therefore show me the dream and its interpretation.”

The Chaldeans answered, “There is not a man on earth who can meet the king’s demand because no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”

The king was furious and commanded all the wise men and their families be killed.

Daniel requested a time when he might show the interpretation to the king. Then, Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, and they prayed together for the dream and interpretation.

“Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night.”

Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men and said, “Do not destroy the wise men and I will show the king the interpretation.”

Arioch brought Daniel before the king.

The king declared, “Are you able to make known to me the dream and its interpretation?” Daniel answered, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. This mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind.”

Daniel Interprets the Dream that has not been told to him by the king.

“You saw, O king, a great image and its appearance was frightening. The head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them could be found. But, the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”

“Now we will tell the king its interpretation.” You, O king, are the head of gold. Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze shall rule over all the earth. And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom that shall be partly strong and partly brittle.  As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand and it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”

The king said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.”

 Daniel was able to dream with others to get the kings dream and interpretation.

Rather than being killed, Daniel Is Promoted to chief prefect over all the wise men,  and his renamed prayer-friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were appointed overseers to the affairs of Babylon. Assigning new names was a common court practice in the ancient world. It was a bit of modern-day “reinventing yourself.”

“What made this Precognitive Dreams so significant was the fact that David had to dream the King’s unshared dream in order to interpret it. This is dreaming with and for others which was an IASD Online Symposium in which I participated,” Kat said.

Throughout these dream Bible stories, it is made clear these were “dreams by night.”

Does God give prophetic dreams to people today? Yes, he does! Modern-day precognitive true dream stories validated by medical reports of mothers dreaming for daughters, daughters dreaming for their mothers, and strangers dreaming for the relatives of deceased loved-ones are published in Part Eight of the book Dreams That Can Save Your Life: Early Warning Signs of Cancer and Other Diseases.  

3 Dream Tips for Modern Times:

  1. Denise: “We need good sleep. Our best dreaming is in the 7th and 8th hour of sleep.”
  2. Rev Geoff: “Dreams are a Universal, timeless portal to beyond. Keep a Dream Journal.”
  3. Kat: “Dreams are Sacred Doorways to Divine-Intervention. Write down your dreams to find your Divine message.”

Dream research mentioned in this bog has proof through pathology reports that God does still give prophetic dreams to people today.

Like King Solomon’s Dream, Denise’s book and published professional articles share the importance of the power of Ten Commandments in modern lives. Rev. Geoff’s book shows how Dreaming in Church is an echo of the ancient Asclepeion Dream Temples. Like the ancient Pharaoh and King’s dreams, information is still shared through the Divine Sacred Dream Doors to help us stay alive in order to complete our soul-purpose on the earth plane? Bad times are a part of life. Sometimes life gets in the way. Just as they did in the Bible, Dreams can clear our path.

Please enjoy the Video Podcast where the panelists also share a dream and sleep tip.


About the Author: Kathleen (Kat) O’Keefe-Kanavos is a VIDEO Podcaster, three-time Breast Cancer Survivor, and Dream Expert seen on Dr. Oz, DOCTORS, NBC, & CBS. Her Divine Dreams diagnose her illness. Kat and Duke U Dr. Larry Burk co-wrote Dreams That Can Save Your Life. She’s a Syndicated Columnist, TV Producer/Host and award-winning Author/Lecturer who promotes patient advocacy and connecting with Divine-guidance through Dreams. “Don’t tell God how big your problems are. Tell your problems how big your God is.” Learn more @



Photo Credit:

 httpspixabay.comenchild-reading-bible-bed-african-945422BiBle Pixabat FREE for commercial use No Attribution required

all jpg photos and book covers from panelists used with their permission.

Poster by radio show host Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanaovs and used with her permission.





Research Links:

Pharaoh: Lord of the Two Lands

What are prophetic dreams?

Dream Moods

Dreaming In Church |,

Pharaoh: Lord Of The Two Lands – Ancient Egypt – Menu Page,

Genesis 41 – Nrs Bible – Bible Study Tools,

1 Kings 3:14 So If You Walk In My Ways And Keep My ..,

Daniel 2 Esv – Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream – In The – Bible Gateway,

Prophetic Dreams and Visions in the Hebrew Bible – Bible Odyssey-

1 Kings 3:4-15 – Solomon’s Dream at Gibeon


META DATA: Kathleen OKeefe Kanavos, Bible, Patheos, Dreams In The Bible, Precognitive Dreams, Above and Beyond the 5 Senses

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