Biblical symbolism of the colour green in dreams, what that means in practice, with real dream examples.
Have you ever wondered what the colour green means as a dream symbol?
In this article we will take inspiration from the bible to investigate the spiritual meaning of green in dreams, and what that means for us in practical terms.
We will explore its meaning in positive and negative contexts, with some real dream examples too!
I approach dream interpretation from a biblical perspective. My belief is that our dreams can come from God, and understanding them is best understood within the context of an ongoing relationship with Him.
The symbolic nature of dreams
Firstly, if you have just come across this post and are new to dream interpretation, it is worth mentioning that dreams are symbolic in nature. You might find it helpful to read Understand your dreams: A bible-based introduction to dream language and my 3-step dream interpretation method to give you a foundation.
Secondly, remember that dreams are personal, so the meanings that I suggest may not apply to your specific dream. But please feel free to use my ideas as a springboard to thinking and praying about dreams yourself. Don’t take my ideas as gospel, but rather let them help you start to think metaphorically.
Introducing the colour green!
The colour green just shouts out LIFE! From the tender green of a new shoot pushing its way through the soil, to the dark evergreen of a conifer in the snow – green is everywhere on our planet. Green speaks of health and abundance; wealth and prosperity; healing, renewal, and fruitfulness.
In colour schemes, green is reminiscent of nature and the environment. It can vary from a calming, peaceful tone to a vibrant, energizing lime green!
But green also has a negative side. It can be associated with envy, greed, sickness and lack.
As with any dream symbol, each colour can potentially have both positive and negative meanings. The context, feeling and atmosphere of a dream will give us clues to help us determine whether to interpret it in a positive or negative way – so let’s unpack what it could mean in our dreams!
Symbolism of green in the bible
The bible is a great resource for dream interpretation as it contains so much symbolic language. This is particularly true for the colour green.
I carried out a search for the word green in the bible. There are (very appropriately) abundant references to green, and numerous different words are used.
I don’t intend to mention them, but if you are interested I found a good summary of the Greek and Hebrew words for green at womanofnoblecharacter.com: The incredible symbolism of the colour green in the bible.
The greenery of plants and vegetation
The different words and references mostly refer to the green colour of plants in various stages: from the tender green colour of grass and shoots to the verdant colour of trees. Here are some examples:
- Genesis 1:30, NASB “…and to every animal of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to everything that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food.”
- 2 Kings 16:4, NASB … on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.
- Isaiah 15:6, NASB …the grass is withered, the new growth has died, There is no greenery.
- Joel 2:22, NASB …the pastures of the wilderness have turned green, For the tree has produced its fruit, The fig tree and the vine have yielded in full.
- Mark 6:39 NASB And He ordered them all to recline by groups on the green grass.
In the natural sense, we can see that sometimes the vegetation is described as flourishing (green), but sometimes it is the opposite; it has withered or is not growing (no greenery).
Sometimes it is a positively unhealthy colour, for example in leprosy, or the yellow-green pallor of sickness and decay.
Green used symbolically in the bible
What is particularly helpful to us, is that green is used symbolically throughout the bible. This makes it very helpful for dream interpretation! Let’s look at a few examples:
Those who are healthy and prosperous to an old age are described as green trees:
- Psalm 92:14, NASB They will still yield fruit in advanced age; They will be full of sap and very green,
- Proverbs 11:28, NASB One who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.
- Psalm 52:8, NASB But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the faithfulness of God forever and ever.
However, those who are not successful are described as decaying or scorched plants:
- Psalm 37:2, NASB For they will wither quickly like the grass, And decay like the green plants.
- Isaiah 37:27, NASB They were shattered and put to shame; They were like the vegetation of the field and the green grass, Like grass on the housetops that is scorched before it has grown.
Therefore, we can see that the state of plants and trees in our dreams (and their greenness) can be symbolic of the state of different areas of our life. But shades of the colour green can also be used in the same way.
Plants and trees can be used in dreams to reflect the state of our life. Different shades of green can be used in the same way.
Trees need water to be green
One aspect that comes through strongly in the bible is that trees and plants need water to be green and healthy. Consider the following verses:
- Jeremiah 17:7-8, NASB Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water That extends its roots by a stream, And does not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought, Nor cease to yield fruit.
- Psalm 23:1-3, NASB The Lord is my shepherd, I will not be in need. He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul;
Symbolically, this relates to our connection with God. If Heaven is our source, we will be green and healthy like the plants, and we will lack nothing. We will be at peace with life.
Positive context: Green as abundant life
In a positive context, green represents abundant life. I chose this term because it covers so many aspects in one word – and it is a word that Jesus used!
- John 10:10, NASB I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly.
ABUNDANT: existing or occurring in large amounts; marked by great plenty; amply suppliedMerriam-Webster.com/dictionary
Abundance in every area
As we saw in our bible search, this concept of abundant life covers multitude of aspects of life and growth, for example:
- Physical health and wellbeing
- Business and finances
- Fruitfulness and fertility
- Spiritual life
God wants us to have everything we need to succeed in life – i.e., to enable us to do all the things that we were created and destined to do; to fulfil the desires that are hidden in our heart. He wants us to grow and mature in all the different areas of our life, and to come to a place of peace and wholeness.
He says that when we make Him our source and focus, then all those things we need to fulfil our destiny naturally follow:
- Matthew 6:33, NASB But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you.
- 2 Corinthians 9:8, NASB And God is able to make all grace overflow to you, so that, always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
In practical terms, if something in a dream is a positive green colour, it usually indicates growth or fruitfulness in an area of our life. We need to look for clues from the dream to discover which part of our life it refers to.
Addressing spiritual life and growth
Dreams often address our spiritual health and growth – because out of this flows everything else. Jesus made it very clear that true life is found in Him and in knowing God. He talked about this life with reference to His Spirit, which He likened to a fountain of water:
- John 4:14, NASB …whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never be thirsty; but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up to eternal life.”
- John 17:3, NASB And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
Jesus defined this life as ‘knowing God’. To know God is to have life – real life. This is spiritual life. None of the other things will satisfy us if we do not have this life.
So, our dreams are a fantastic tool to help us:
- to get to know God
- to grow and mature spiritually
- to be successful in fulfilling our true purpose.
Plants and other green objects in dreams often deal with these types of things.
And finally, the greatest expression of the colour green is resurrection life; this is the new life that comes through Jesus Christ; this is eternal life.
The greatest expression of the colour green is eternal, resurrection life through the power of Jesus Christ.
Positive examples of green in dreams
|I dreamed I was waiting for my teacher friend to get changed. Suddenly she was there in front of me, wearing a beautiful green sparkling dress.||This dream was encouraging me to mature and develop my teaching gift. At the time I never realised I was called to teach / write.||The green dress was positive, and was on my teacher friend, so represented my gift of teaching. It showed me the potential life and fruitfulness that could come of it.|
|I dreamed that lots of tiny green tomatoes were growing on my tomato plant. I was told they needed to ripen further before I could pick them.||This was encouraging me that I would be fruitful in writing, and have lots of God-given ideas for blog posts that I could write in the days and weeks to come.||At the time I was writing lots of posts, so it was easy to see that the tomatoes represented fruitfulness in that. But they were also green in the ‘new’ sense – i.e. they needed time to develop.|
|I dreamed I was driving with some friends. We saw a new green area on the right with lots of people in it. I commented that I hadn’t been there before.||This was about something new that I had just started – which was quite hard work. The dream confirmed that it was a good thing for me to do be doing: it would be fruitful.||The pleasant green grass was positive. ‘On the right’ indicated that it was happening at the time of dreaming. (It was when I had just started sharing my blog on Pinterest).|
Negative context: Envy, sickness, lack
Sometimes green appears in a negative context. We can tell this from the context of the dream. It could feel unpleasant, or we might think it is a sickly shade of green. Or maybe the object has the potential to hurt us like a green snake.
Basically, if a dream object is green in a negative context, then the thing that it represents is not going to help us succeed or prosper! it is something unhealthy, or non-lifegiving.
Green as poverty, sickness and death
The negative meaning of colours is often the opposite of the real thing. For green, if the positive meaning is life, health and abundance, then the negative meaning is a lack of those things.
- The opposite of prosperity is financial lack or poverty
- The opposite of life and health is sickness and death
- The opposite of eternal life is feeling separated from God
If a dream symbol is green in a negative context, it is unhealthy or non-lifegiving
We even use the word ‘sickly’ to describe some shades of green. This comes from the yellowish-green pallor that the skin takes on in sickness or death, or the decaying colour of plants; not something we want in our life!
Green as greed or envy
The other negative aspect of a colour is when the meaning gets distorted. With green we can see that worked out as follows:
- Greed is when we desire prosperity for the wrong reasons – for our own selfish gain when we don’t really need it.
- Envy is when we compare ourselves to someone else and start to want what they have!
Comparison is never a good thing. We either feel proud and puffed up because we think we are better than others, or we feel worthless and envious because we don’t think we are as good as them. Both are equally bad and sum up the negative aspects of green.
God always brings hope, and the potential for restoration. So if we are dreaming of green in a negative context it’s because there is an opportunity to change our attitude and outcome – with God’s help.
Negative examples of green in dreams
|One January I dreamed a bright green boa constrictor was wrapped around my son, and I decided it was time to get it off!||Something needed to be removed from my life because it was restricting and hindering me. (That was the year I left my paid part-time job because it was draining all my energy.)||My son represented an area of my life – a responsibility. A constrictor snake squeezes the life out of you – and the green indicated it was draining my life.|
|I dreamed I checked a prescription in the pharmacy where I worked, and signed it off in green writing to give it out. Afterwards I realised I’d made a mistake!||I had agreed to something without checking with God. I would need to backtrack and apologise. This dream prompted me to seek out what that was!||The green writing was like the ‘green traffic light’. i.e. ‘go-ahead’’ – except in this case it was a mistake to go ahead. Thankfully I was able to change my decision.|
|I dreamed the lamp in my bedroom was giving off a horrible greenish yellow light, so I turned a knob to make the light go clear again.||I needed to adjust my understanding in an area of unhealthy thinking. This dream was prompting me to seek God so He could show me what it was.||This was a negative context of green: the sickly unhealthy type. ‘Seeing clear light’ represents understanding – or seeing things clearly.|
More possible meanings of green
Here are some other possible meanings of green:
Green light: A green light, such as a traffic light, means go! In a dream, that would mean that it’s OK to proceed in the area of life that the dream is about.
Inexperienced: We talk about someone being green if they are new or inexperienced. Think of green tomatoes – they need to grow and mature a bit more.
Conscience: Green can represent our conscience.
Green snake: This can be false guilt (i.e. conscience + lie). This isn’t always the case though – for example in my boa constrictor dream above.
In a positive context green usually represents life, growth and abundance – in various areas of life, including (frequently) our relationship with God.
In a negative sense green can represent sickness, lack, or anything unhelpful to our success. It can also be greed or envy.
Here are a few closing thoughts:
- The colour green in a dream could represent any number of things. The above ideas should give you a good starting point.
- I believe that only God can tell us what the colour means in a specific dream, so you could try asking Him!
- Consider the atmosphere and context of the dream to see whether the colour is being used in a positive or negative sense.
- In addition to the meanings that I have shared, remember that it could mean something personal or culturally significant to you, that isn’t mentioned here.
And, of course, dreams themselves are a great way to help you grow in your relationship with God. And they can help you stay on the right path – towards abundant life and fruitfulness in Christ!
And finally…. have fun interpreting those green dreams! If this article has helped you interpret a dream, please leave a comment below!
I hope you have found this article helpful. If you want to know more, do subscribe to my emails below to receive regular dream interpretation tips.
The purpose of this blog is to provide solid biblical foundations for interpreting dreams, change mindsets in the church, and encourage others to make their own dream journey with God. I am primarily a writer and bible teacher – who loves dreams, and I hope you will be inspired to learn to interpret your own dreams.
It is not currently my aim to routinely engage in dream interpretations or provide training, except through writing blog posts. You can read my most up to date position on interpreting dreams here: Requests for dream interpretations.
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