About Context & Meaning in Dreams
Teddy Lishan Desta
Dec 13, 2003

Words can have multiple meanings, and dictionaries list them one by one. However, a word has to be defined under the context it is being used before it gives the intended message. Correct understanding and effective communication much depends on recognizing the given context. All the meanings (definitions) of a word are valid, but only one is correct provided the context.

Similarly, dreams and visions can sustain multiple interpretations. We consider meanings given to visions/ dreams valid as long as their interpretations follow well-established Scriptural usage or/ and traditional interpretation patterns. But which of the suggested meanings of a vision/ dream is correct, however, depends on the context under which God gave the dream/ vision. We have to recognize that the dream/ vision context is be known only to the one who received the Divine communication, or to the interpreter to whom God has revealed the context.

To illustrate my case, let me mention Vicki's recently posted vision about the snake. For example, I shared with her the following insights as two possible meanings to her vision.

1. The knot represents the mysteries of God, and the snake going around the knot to untie it symbolizes the inability of the human mind to unlock God's sealed and secured secrets.

2. The knot symbolizes a covenant relationship, as in the expression of tying a knot. The frayed ends of the rope may show that this relationship is experiencing some sort of strain (frayed nerves). The snake's activity around the knot could represent the devil's or his subtle human agent's attempt to untie the knot. Altogether, the vision could mean a marriage, family or fellowship under strain and subjected to the covenant undermining activity of Satan.

Add to the above what others have also shared, which were all valid. But since Vicki wrote part of her vision without telling us the context under which God gave it to her, and as much as the rest us were privy to the context of the vision, we simply subjected it to every legitimate interpretation possible.

Both context and meaning an interpreter can obtain by spending time with God in prayer asking about them. Daniel when faced with a 'similar' difficult task of providing the 'dream' as well as its 'interpretation' by King Nebuchadnezzar, he simply took the matter to God in an overnight prayer meeting. God provided the solution to his request.

In short, meaning to a vision/ dream can be provided out of ones learning of God's word or mature spiritual experience, but context has to be divulged by the owner (receiver) of the dream/ vision. Mona is not far from the truth when she says, it is the impressions of the one who received the dream/ vision which should get primary attention in reaching correct interpretation for a given vision/ dream.

God Bless you all.