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    Q: #454. How many times did people have "dreams or visions" in the Bible?

By: Steve Shirley

    A: This is a difficult question to answer with precision. While it is fairly easy to determine what were dreams from God (I found 20), visions are not quite so easy. Far more people had "visions" in the Bible than had dreams. In addition, it is sometimes hard to distinguish between what was a vision from God, and what was actually a physical appearance of God (or an angel). For example, in (Acts 7:55-56), did Stephen physically see "the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God," or was it a vision? In (Lk 1:5-23), did the angel Gabriel physically appear to Zacharias, or was it a vision? Did the Lord physically stand by Paul (Acts 23:11)? (Also see: Acts 27:23-24, Dan Ch. 5). Because these are questionable, I am not counting them.

     In addition, the 17 prophetic books of the Old Testament, beginning with Isaiah and ending with Malachi are almost entirely (and in some cases entirely: i.e. Obadiah, Nahum) made up of "visions" For example, the book of Isaiah begins in verse 1 saying, "The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem...." It is then filled with vision after vision. Ezekiel is the same, saying in verse 1 "the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God." Because of this, I will not be including each individual vision within these books (nor the "visions" in the book of Revelation) in the chart below.

     So, after reading through hundreds of verses on "dreams and visions," here is the chart I ended up with.

Who had the "dream" or "vision?"Verses
1. Abraham(Gen 15:1 - vision)
2. Abimelech(Gen 20:3-7 - dream)
3. Jacob / Israel#1. (Gen 28:12-16 - dream) #2. (Gen 31:10-13 - dream) #3. (Gen 46:2-4 - vision)
4. Laban (Gen 31:24 - dream)
5. Joseph#1. (Gen 37:5-8 - dream) #2. (Gen 37:9-11 - dream)
6. The butler(Gen 40:5-13 - dream)
7. The baker(Gen 40:5-8,16-19 - dream)
8. Pharaoh(Gen 41:1-7,17-32 - dream)
9. Balaam(Num 24:2-9 - vision)
10. A Midianite man(Judg 7:13-15 - dream)
11. Samuel(1 Sam 3:2-15 - vision)
12. Nathan(2 Sam 7:4,17, 1 Chr 17:1-15, Ps 89:19 - vision)
13. Solomon(1 Kin 3:5-15 - dream)
14. Micaiah(1 Kin 22:17-23 - vision)
15. Nebuchadnezzar#1. (Daniel ch.2 - dream) #2. (Daniel ch. 4 - dream)
16. DanielAlmost all of Daniel chapters 7-12 - visions
17. Joseph#1. (Mt 1:20-23 - dream) #2. (Mt 2:13-14 - dream) #3. (Mt 2:19-20 - dream) #4. (Mt 2:22-23 - dream)
18. The Wise Men(Mt 2:12 - dream)
19. Pilate's Wife(Mt 27:19 - dream)
20. Ananias(Acts 9:10-11 - vision)
21. Saul / Paul#1. (Acts 9:11-12 - vision) #2. (Acts 16:9-10 - vision) #3. (Acts 18-9-10 - vision) #4. (Acts 22:17-21) - vision #5. (2 Cor 12:1-4 - vision)
22. Cornelius(Acts 10:3-6 - vision)
23. Peter(Acts 10:9-17, Acts 11:5-10 - vision)

     It should also be noted that not all dreams or visions that people claim to be from God are actually from God: (Ecc 5:3,7)(Ezek 12:21-25)(Jer 29:8-9)(Jer 14:14)(Jer 23:16,25-29)(Zech 10:2).

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