What is biblical dream interpretation?

Why Heaven’s Dream Messages uses a biblical model of dream interpretation, what that means, and how that differs from other models.

In my articles I frequently say that I approach dream interpretation from a biblical perspective.

But what does that mean in practice, and why do I take that view?

This article unpacks what I mean by biblical dream interpretation, plus how it differs from the common/secular view of dream interpretation.

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.

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 to give you a foundation, plus my Beginner’s guide to biblical dream interpretation .

Where do dreams come from?

It is known that everybody dreams, although they can be very quickly forgotten. They usually occur during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of sleep, and most people have at least several dreams in a night.

But there are many different opinions about what dreams might mean. They have been studied as a branch of psychology, philosophy and science – and they have been the focus of religious and spiritual movements. Although dreams are common to humanity, they are still somewhat of a mystery, and there are many different models of dream interpretation.

There are many different models of dream interpretation.

There is a general understanding that dreams can give useful insights into our emotional life and things going in our subconscious – and it is true that the human brain is amazing. This common/secular approach to dreams assumes that any insight we glean is coming from an internal source, i.e., from within our own mind.

But if we believe in the existence of an external Creator God who wants to relate to us, then surely it makes sense that he could be speaking through our dreams? If he is, then it would mean that dreams are coming from an external source, i.e., from outside of our own mind.

Could dreams come from God?

I have been a follower of Jesus and studied the bible for more than 40 years. I have also interpreted my dreams in the light of my relationship with God for more than 15 years – and reviewed them all with hindsight to see whether my interpretations were accurate.

I have become convinced through these investigations that dreams can come from an external source – and contain messages from the same God who inspired the bible. I believe that:

  • God speaks to us through the messages in our dreams.
  • We can encounter God, Jesus, angels, and other spiritual beings in our dreams.
  • We can even engage heaven in our dreams.

My feeling – and those of many others like me – is that when we sleep our mind becomes less dominant, and our spirit becomes more receptive to heavenly messages. When we awake, we can often remember these encounters for a short period of time.

This idea is confirmed by the ancient writings in the bible and the numerous examples of dreams contained therein. There are many references to dreams, plus plenty of extra hints that they believed dreams were a window to the spiritual realm and a way of hearing from God.

I have written comprehensively about this in the following articles:

Bible verses about dreams

Are dreams in the bible? What does the bible say about dreams? Includes over 70 bible references on the subject.

Picture of a lady sleeping, with text: I was asleep but my heart was awake. Song of Solomon 5:2

Why biblical dream interpretation?

So why do I use a biblical model of dream interpretation?

Firstly, the bible is a reliable historical document when considered in relation to the to the quantity and quality of ancient manuscripts – plus the archaeological findings that support it. Taking a biblical tour of the British Museum alone is astonishing in the number of artifacts that back up the bible.

The Bible (Old Testament and New Testament) outstrips every other ancient manuscript in sheer numbers and in the dates of composition from the time of its original writing.


This is important, because we can be confident about the examples of dreams that the bible contains, and that it accurately reflects their understanding of dreams in ancient times. Sometimes, therefore, the term Ancient Hebraic Model is used to describe a biblical approach to dreams.

Secondly, I believe that the God who inspired the bible is the same God who speaks through our dreams.

I have always enjoyed reading the bible. As a teenager I would rise early to read it before school, and was fascinated by the stories and wisdom I found within. Most of all, I loved the fact that I encountered God, as he seemed to step out of the pages to meet me while I read. I have found that it is this same God who meets me through my dreams.

In 2013, I took a year out to study the entire bible full time, during which I learned some excellent inductive study principles that shaped the way I read the bible. After applying them, I found that some of the same principles also helped me interpret dreams. Without realising it, my whole approach to dreams had been shaped by studying the bible.

My approach to interpreting dreams was shaped by studying the bible.

The biblical view (or Ancient Hebraic view) is that dreams can come from an external source, i.e., God, and therefore provide insight we could not have known ourselves.

What is biblical dream interpretation?

In this blog, by biblical dream interpretation I mean interpreting dreams with the assumption that they come from the same God who inspired the bible and revealed himself in Jesus Christ.

The biblical approach assumes that dreams come from the SAME GOD who inspired the bible and revealed himself in Jesus Christ.

We can take inspiration from Joseph and Daniel, two of the great dream interpreters of the bible.

  • Genesis 40:8, NASB And they said to him, “We have had a dream, and there is no one to interpret it.” Then Joseph said to them, “Do interpretations not belong to God? Tell it to me, please.”
  • Daniel 2:28, NASB However, there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days. This was your dream and the visions in your mind while on your bed.

I believe that the bible is an astonishingly accurate historical account of how God has related with mankind over many thousands of years, and as such, provides great insight into God’s character and ways.

But I believe it is meant to inspire us and springboard us into our own relationship with God, and we should expect to have similar interactions with God in our own life as we read about in the bible, including dreams and visions – plus more, as the bible says:

  • Acts 2:17, NASB ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters will prophesy, And your young men will see visions, And your old men will have dreams.’
Picture of man wigth hands out and text: Do interpretations not belong to God? Genesis 40:8

What this means for interpreting dreams

What a biblical approach means in practice, when we are interpreting dreams, is this:

  • We primarily seek to understand what God says the dream means.
  • Knowing the God of the bible, and his character and ways, can help us correctly understand the heart behind our dream messages and the way he relates to us through them.
  • The language of the bible can help us understand the language of dreams.
  • The symbolism in the bible often carries the same meaning in dreams as it does in the bible, so it can help with interpreting dream symbols.
  • We can learn from the examples of dreams in the bible and their interpretations.

I am not saying that we always have to choose the biblical meaning of a dream symbol. I have found that God also uses personal and cultural meanings when speaking to us in dreams. He speaks to us in ways we can understand: He did that in bible times, and he still does it now.

Dreams do not always use the biblical meaning of a dream symbol.

Dreams are wonderful, as they are personally crafted by our Creator God according to what we understand, and what is going on in our relationship with him at the time.

But it does mean that God is the one who ultimately decides what a dream means – and we need to be led by the Holy Spirit in order to find the true, God-intended meaning of a dream.

Having said that, it is always worth considering how a dream element is used in the bible, and seeing whether that meaning makes sense in the context of our dream. Plus, there are certain biblical symbols that God seems to use in a consistent way. I have written articles about some of those, for example:

  • Snakes: Snakes usually indicate lies or deception
  • Wood and stone: Rock and stone usually represent God and wood is humanity.
  • Colours: Some colours, such as gold, blue, and white have common biblical associations.

How the biblical view differs from the common view

This table summarises how the biblical view of dreams differs from the common/secular view of dreams.

Source of dreamsFrom within ourselvesA source outside ourselves, i.e., God
Purpose of dreamsTo help store memories and work through feelingsA way for God to communicate messages to us and relate with us
Usefulness of dreamsTo reveal our subconscious thoughts and feelingsTo obtain personally tailored help and insight from an all-powerful God
Content of dreamsRestricted to what’s stored in our mindUnlimited in potential, and can reveal things we don’t know

Which of these views do you relate to?

It is an important question to resolve at this stage of your dream journey.

If God is speaking to us personally every night in our dreams, then it has to be worth making the effort to listen and understand what He is saying.

Wouldn’t you like to know if dreams really do come from God?

The only way to find out is to start the journey yourself – and then see what happens! Why not put your dreams to the test? I did, and wrote about it in the article below. Plus, see my Beginner’s Guide to biblical dream interpretation:


The articles on this website are based on a biblical approach, which means interpreting dreams with the assumption that they come from the same God who inspired the bible and revealed himself in Jesus Christ. If that’s what you are looking for, then my blog can help!

We have seen how the biblical view differs from the common/secular view of dreams in that it assumes that dreams can come from an outside source, i.e., God, rather than from our own subconscious.

I believe that dreams are best interpreted within the context of a living relationship with that same God.

In practical terms, this means that:

  • God determines the true meaning of any given dream.
  • We aim to be led by the Holy Spirit in the interpretation process.
  • Our interpretation should be consistent with the character of God.

If you would like a relationship with God but don’t know where to start, please do get in touch and I’d love to help.

If this article has been helpful or inspired you to start listening to your dreams, please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

Picture of a digital checklist, with text: Beginner's guide to biblical dream interpretation. Checklist with links
Light blue background image

Follow this blog

I hope you found this article helpful. If you want to know more, do subscribe to emails to receive regular dream interpretation tips.

Dream interpretations

The purpose of this blog is to provide biblical foundations for interpreting dreams 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.

Light blue background image

Pay it forward

If you have benefited from my articles and/or my help with dream interpretation and would like to show your appreciation, please consider paying it forward to help me continue the work and bless others.

Thank you very much for your support!

Picture of jenny Needham, Heaven's Dream Messages, with text : Thank you

Content Disclaimer

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Jennifer Needham disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.

More on this theme

Latest articles

Picture of person holding bible, with text: what is biblical dream interpretation?
Why I use a biblical model of dream interpretation, what that means, and how that differs from other models.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.