Have you ever dreamed of turning right or left, or holding something in your right hand?
Have you ever considered that the side it is on in your dream could be significant?
In this article we will unpack some meanings of right, left, front, and back. We will explore what they could mean from a biblical perspective, with some real dream examples.
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.
Dream Symbols: Right and left
Have you ever dreamed of something being in your right hand, or taking a right turn? Or maybe something was on the left-hand side. What does that mean?
Much of the associated symbolism of right and left comes from the fact that humans are predominantly right-handed, so the right hand would normally be stronger than the left – and used to carry out tasks.
Of course, neither right nor left is better than the other – they are just alternatives – and being left-handed can be a big advantage in some situations (e.g. Judges 20:16).
Right and left in the bible
The bible is a great resource for dream interpretation because it contains so much symbolic language. We will focus on the word right because it occurs many times. Left is usually the opposite alternative to right. The main uses of right in the bible are as follows:
- Power: Your right hand, Lord, is majestic in power; Your right hand, Lord, destroys the enemy. Exodus 15:6, NASB
- Strength: You have a strong arm; Your hand is mighty, Your right hand is exalted. Psalm 89:13, NASB
- Honour: Kings’ daughters are among Your noble women; At Your right hand stands the queen in gold… Psalm 45:9, NASB
- Authority: Who … is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. Hebrews 8:1, NASB
- Blessing and firstborn: Joseph blessing his sons in Genesis 48.13-19.
These confirm that the right-hand side can represent God-given authority, strength, or ability to do something.
Right and left in dreams
The late John Paul Jackson, who founded Streams Ministries, taught that right means what you have the ability or strength to do now, and left is something you are born or destined to do. This has borne out in my own dream life over the past 15 years and comes from left being the opposite of right.
But what does this mean in practice?
- Right is usually something happening right now, or at least very soon. The time is at hand! You have God’s power and authority to do it now.
- Left is usually something that will happen in the future. It is a promise that it will happen – but not yet. Maybe you are not quite ready, or other things need to happen first. You can see that it is coming – but it’s not at hand. It is your destiny.
In other words, if something is on the left, you will be able to do it in due course, but not right now. It brings hope to hold onto – that if you continue your journey with God it will come to pass.
Left carries hope – that if you continue your journey with God it will come to pass in due course.
Hebrew writing reads from the right to the left, so maybe that’s another reason why right symbolically comes before left in terms of timing.
Pay attention to right and left
It can be very frustrating to receive a prophetic word and get excited – only to have the weeks…and then the years…go by without anything happening. It is the same with dreams. It is easy to become demoralised and lose hope when that happens. The writer of Proverbs sums this up:
- Proverbs 13:12, NIV Hope deferred makes the heart sick.
I have discovered that God does give us a clue about the timing of things – and too often I have missed it. I have missed that left-future element and tried to do something it was not yet time to do! I hope you can learn from my mistakes and avoid similar frustrations.
When we write down dreams, we can forget to record that left-right detail. It may not seem important, but it is! As you pray through your dreams – pay attention to the memory! Picture the scene: was it on the left or the right?
Other potential meanings of right and left
Consider whether something is on the left because that’s normal (e.g. you are writing with your right hand and you are right-handed), or whether it is a feature. For example, if you live in the UK and pull over to the left-hand side of the road, that would be normal because we drive on the left. But if that happened in the US it would be unusual, and probably significant.
There could also be a wordplay involved:
- Right could be a wordplay meaning correct or the right thing.
- Left could be a wordplay meaning what remains, or what is left over.
Also, be aware that right and left have alternative meanings in different cultures, so always consider that when interpreting your dream. And if you are left-handed that could feature in your dream too!
Real dream examples: Left and right
|Just before I woke up, I dreamed that a bee landed on my right foot.||I’d just had a new idea which meant things would get busy for a while! This dream was affirming that this was from God.||The bee was me being a ‘busy bee’. The right indicated it was happening at that time. Foot is something to do (‘walk in’).|
|I dreamed I was driving and suddenly hit by a light blue car from the right! I drove a short way then pulled over to the left. I got out, met my husband and we started walking a different way.||I was about to realise something which would make me stop and think. Afterwards I would start doing something differently. (This revelation happened a few days later, and it related to the way I pray.)||The light blue car was new revelation from heaven about to hit (i.e. right then). Driving along then pulling to the left meant that in the future I would no longer be able to continue in my old way of praying.|
|I dreamed I saw a video of a concert auditorium – panning round from left to right. The left side was nearly empty, but it got busier as it moved to the right.||I was busy writing at that time. The dream showed me that it wouldn’t be like that forever. I should work hard to get it done, then things would quieten down.||The right side with lots of people indicated that right then I was busy. The left side represented the future – where I would have more free time.|
Dream symbols: Front and back
Front and back can also help with dream timings. Generally speaking, the front usually represents the future, and the back usually represents the past.
The FRONT usually represents the FUTURE, and the BACK usually represents the PAST.
Dreams can be a very useful way of God letting us know what is coming up ahead in our life, so we can prepare. Therefore, it is worth taking note of things that happen at the front end of something – or ahead of us in the dream.
Remember that God has good plans for us. If there is a potential for something to go wrong in our life, then He will warn us in a dream so we can make corrections. So don’t be scared of bad dreams about the future: with God there is always hope for change – and a bad dream might just prompt you to make the necessary adjustments to avoid that outcome.
God also loves to set us free from the past. So, the back end of something, or behind us, can feature in our dream to let us know that we need to address something from the past – or that the past is relevant at that moment. Or maybe we just need to know that we have moved on from that place!
Front and back of a house or vehicle
The front porch, front door, front window, or front garden (yard) of a house is often about something that will (or could) happen in the future. Whereas the back door, back window, or back garden can be about things that happened in the past.
Sometimes dreaming of our current back garden can be the way we have been doing things up to now, as opposed to things that are in the front garden – which is about the future.
This can be the same for cars and vehicles. For example, the front/hood of a car could be the future, and the back/boot of a car could be the past. the same goes for train carriages, aeroplanes, boats, and all types of vehicles. Are you looking ahead or are you looking behind?
Front and back of people
This also applies to our bodies. If we have something wrong with our back, or on our back, it might be about something in our past. If it is on our front, it could be about the future.
For example, I once dreamed that the backs of my legs were dirty, which indicated there was something unhelpful in my past. I needed to repent and be cleansed from those things – in order to do (walk in) what I needed to do next.
Ahead and behind on a journey
If the dream is set on a journey, then things in front of us (ahead) represent things that are potentially coming up in the future. The distance ahead can give us a clue about how far in the future it is. If it is directly ahead it might be quite soon.
Similarly, things that are behind us are things from the past. They could be things we have already been through in our life journey. Looking in the rear-view mirror would be focusing on the past.
Other meanings of front and back
Front as appearance: Front could be a wordplay meaning the appearance of something; something that is a front – hiding what is really going on behind. For example, dreaming of the front of a building could be about an external impression.
Front as attention: Something or someone at the front of a room/auditorium could be about what is taking our attention, or focus; what we are looking at or listening to.
Front as leadership: Being at the front can indicate a leadership role. So the front of something in a dreams could also be a wordplay for leadership.
Going in front of something: This could be about preparing for something, or making a way for it to happen; going ahead.
Back as a body part: This could be about our physical back or spine. As well as being the past, it could represent strength or support (it supports the body) or things being straight or aligned (or not, as the case may be). The context will give clues as to which it is.
Going behind something: This could be about protection or safety. We have the expression I’ve got your back.
Front and back seat driving: The context will tell you what this is about – there are many possibilities. It could be about who is in control (driving). Just think of the expression back seat driver!
Real dream examples: Front and back
|I dreamed I was in a dark church, worried I would get locked in. Then I went out the front door and turned left. I came to a lovely green area outside.||This dream promised that a situation I was finding difficult would change – but it would be in the future. I could embrace my current situation, knowing that doing so wouldn’t mean I got stuck there.||The dark church represented my current frustrations. Both the front door and turning left indicated that change would come in the future; i.e., not now, but it would happen.|
|I dreamed I was driving and had a good view of the road ahead. A right bend was coming up in front of me. In the new area I must beware of the mountain lions.||This indicated a change was coming very soon in the future, and that there would be some things to watch out for in this new phase. (This dream was just before I started posting on Pinterest).||The bend to the right meant this change would come very soon. It was about social media dangers; as I posted on Pinterest I must beware of adverts I saw on there.|
|I saw a helicopter lurching around trying to land in our back garden. It nearly took my head off! I ran to the front of the house to get out of its way.||This dream was alerting me that the ideas God was showing me were not for that time, they were for the future. By thinking I could do them right away, I was causing myself unnecessary frustration.||The helicopter represented a God-given idea. The back garden was me trying to do it, but I hadn’t been able to (I couldn’t bring it into land). It was for the future (front).|
Right, left, front and back are very helpful for determining the timing of what a dream is about. They can tell us whether the message is for now, or whether it is something to hold onto for the future:
- The right-hand side usually represents something you can do right now (present).
- The left-hand side usually represents your destiny; something that is still in your future.
- The front of something, or ahead, usually represents the future.
- The back of something, or behind, usually represents the past.
Remember that God always brings hope for change and wants us to have a good future. So even bad dreams are there to help us make good choices – and make corrections if necessary to achieve a different outcome.
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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. 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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Bible verses, prayers, actions and affirmations for preparing you to receive dreams from God.
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