This blog is part of our 2021 Enlightenment Courses, an exclusive benefit for members of Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. Each month John Van Auken provides a lesson with a worksheet, a video, a blog, and in each issue of the member magazine, Venture Inward, he writes an article about this topic. For 2021, the topic of study and practice is Enhancing, Our Minds, Intuition, and Dreams. Members can access all of the available material in the Member-only section of our website at EdgarCayce.org/members.
Famous Bible Dreams
- John Van Auken
There are 21 major dreams in the Bible, 10 of which occur in Genesis when humanity was still very close to God. Let's look at these dreams to learn more about dreaming and interpreting.
Remember Abraham and his beautiful wife Sarah? The first Bible dream concerns them. It was a dream that saved them—not one of their dreams, but one of the foreign king's dreams! Long before Israel became a nation, the Holy Land was composed of many kingdoms, and people had to be cautious when in a foreign kingdom. Abraham and Sarah stopped overnight in Gerar, a Philistine district in the south-central part of what would become the Holy Land. Abimelech was the king of Gerar. He and his army had absolute control over all that goes on in their district. When a man as wealthy as Abraham came into his kingdom, Abimelech was informed. The king was also told of Sarah's amazing beauty. Abraham, in fear for his life and knowing how beautiful his wife was, claimed that she was his sister to avoid being killed to take Sarah. Since she was his sister, the king took her into his harem but before he touched her, he had a dream. The dream is found in Genesis 20 and goes like this: "God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, 'You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.' Now Abimelech had not gone near her, so he said, 'Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? Did he not say to me, "She is my sister," and didn’t she also say, "He is my brother"? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.' Then God said to him in the dream, 'Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her. Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you, and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all who belong to you will die.'"
My first thought when studying this dream was how many of us have such clear dreams! Obviously, in those early times humans, even Philistine kings, were closer to God than most are today; or God is something so intimate to our being that we can chat while asleep. Keep in mind God's answer to Moses when he asked for God's name, God said: "I am that I am," meaning that our sense of "I am" is intimately a portion of the Great I AM. Another aspect of this is dream is how moral they were and how clear they were about what was sin and what wasn't. They also believed that God could and would punish even a king for sin. Today, I'm afraid God's words would fall on many deaf ears. King Abimelech returned Sarah to Abraham the very next morning and reprimanded Abraham for setting up the king to sin by lying about their marriage.
One of the most famous dreams in the Bible is called "Jacob's Ladder" (Genesis 28:12). Jacob stops in a place that today we would call a "portal" to realms beyond the world. He sleeps with his head on a rock and dreams of the great stairway to and from heaven. He sees divine beings ascending and descending the stairway. At the top of the ladder the Lord promises that Jacob will return to his homeland safely and his descendants will possess the land of Canaan. So taken by this dream is Jacob that he proclaims: “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” He names the place "Bethel," meaning House of God.
I took this dream to indicate that there are specific times and places where God or the Eternal Forces can more easily commune with us. In my seven decades, I have had several experiences that support this idea. As ordinary and mundane as life can be most of the time, there are moments and places where visions can be had, even if it's just a special chair and time. Cayce taught that 2:00 AM was an ideal time to meditate if we had gone to bed at a normal time. I have meditated at this time for many years, and my dreams become vivid, frequent, and meaningful as a result. I also use the same location for meditation, as Cayce taught that the same place and same time helps build the subconscious connection to meditation time. Meditation is entering into our deeper consciousness, just as we do during sleep and dreaming.
One of the most educational dreams in the Bible is with Joseph, a great dreamer and dream interpreter. He is the one who while in jail correctly interpreted the dreams of pharaoh's steward and baker, telling the steward he would be reinstated, while the baker would be executed. What were the symbols? In the steward's dream he was squeezing grapes into a goblet, but the baker's bread was being eaten by birds. (See Genesis 40) Joseph taught that "dreams belong to God," and to understand them we must be close to the Universal Consciousness of God. Joseph is the famous son of Jacob who interpreted pharaoh's dream about the seven fat and skinny cows and ears of corn. Pharaoh called Joseph, "He who reveals mysteries." He gave Joseph control over all Egypt, and Egypt survived seven years of famine by storing up enough meat and grain during the good times to last through the hard times. Joseph's amazing dreams and interpretations are found in Genesis 37, 40, and 41. By following Joseph's example, I improved my dream interpretation. Cayce helped, because he taught that the best interpreter of a dream is the dreamer, which at first, I thought was me, but it wasn't. It was my deeper mind, the portion closer to God's mind. From that time on I always sought the meaning of a dream while in the dream or by seeking to get back into that level of consciousness.
Another good interpreter of dreams in the Bible was Daniel. All the wisemen in Babylon (where Daniel was a prisoner) could not interpret King Nebuchadnezzar's strange dream about a giant statue made of different metals and clay that was destroyed by stones which became a mountain (Daniel 2). Here's the problem, the king cannot remember the details of the dream only that it was a terrifying dream. He tells his wisemen he will cut them into pieces and destroy their homes if they don't tell him the dream and what it means. Daniel, ever trusting in God's powers (remember he slew Philistine giant Goliath with a stone and slingshot in 1 Samuel 17) sends a message to the king that tomorrow he will remind him what the dream was and what it means. That night Daniel and his three companions call on God to reveal the king's dream and its meaning. The next morning Daniel stands before the King of Babylon and tells him the dream and its meaning. Nebuchadnezzar jumps up and praises Daniel, for upon hearing Daniel the king remembers his dream and understands Daniel's interpretation. Briefly, Daniel interprets the king's symbol of a giant statue with parts as showing his current kingdom (gold) and the next several kingdoms to follow (silver, bronze, and clay), all followed by God's kingdom that will become a mountain. Nebuchadnezzar just doesn't think this is a good interpretation, he knows it is the true message! Then, the king appoints Daniel leader of all wisemen in the kingdom and his three companions in charge over districts.
To fully appreciate symbolism and meaning in both Joseph's and Daniel's interpretations, you should read these dream stories firsthand.
Edgar Cayce also taught that most dreams are symbolic correlations of outer life energies, attitudes, emotions, relationships, and events with inner forces affecting the course of soul life. Co-relating outer with inner is exactly what occurred in pharaoh's and Nebuchadnezzar's dreams. You could also go to Daniel 4 where the king tells us about his new dream to see how Daniel interpreted it.
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