The First Rule of Dream Interpretation
The first rule of interpreting dreams is that you must go to God because God is the one who interprets dreams. Joseph and Daniel are the two most well-known dream interpreters in the Bible, and they teach us that it is impossible to correctly interpret dreams without God.
“They said to him, ‘We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.’ And Joseph said to them, ‘Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.'” Genesis 40:8 ESV
“Joseph answered Pharaoh, ‘It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.'” Genesis 41:15-16 ESV
“Daniel answered the king and said, ‘No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries…'” Daniel 2:27-28 ESV
In other words, Joseph and Daniel both essentially say, “I don’t know the interpretation, but I do know God and He will reveal it to me.”
The Second Rule of Dream Interpretation
The second rule of interpreting dreams is that, biblically speaking, there are no other rules. Creating unbiblical rules will likely lead to error.
Make no mistake, however, that there are definite patterns and principles revealed in the Bible that makes it’s possible for us to learn to think in a way which helps us to understand dreams. There are four major patterns or principles which I refer to as the four “mostly’s” of dreams.
The Four “Mostly’s” of Dreams
For most people, most of the time, most dreams are mostly symbolic. This means that they are usually like parables that tell a story, or like a game of charades to convey a message. It’s as if God pulls together a cast and scene from what you know, who you know or know of, what you’ve seen, and where you’ve been to create a play specifically for you. Remember, this isn’t always true but it’s usually true for most people most of the time.
For most people, most of the time, most dreams are mostly about the dreamer. One of the biggest mistakes people often make is to assume that their dream is about somebody they interact with in the dream. This simply isn’t usually true. Also, most dreams are for the dreamer and that’s why they are the one dreaming it!
For most people, most of the time, most dreams are mostly because of the dreamer. Dreams don’t just happen to us—they happen because of us. Dreams are usually relevant to the dreamer and uniquely tailored for the dreamer, even if the symbolism in the dream distracts them from seeing it. Making this assumption will often help the dreamer see how the elements of their dream are incredibly accurate personal metaphors.
For most people, most of the time, most dreams are mostly revealing of the dreamer’s life. This means that most dreams most of the time are not foretelling, but they are relevant now. Dreams are often God-given answers to our deepest heartfelt thoughts or questions or our own wrestling with current situations or difficulties.
Jeremy Caris is the founder and president of Caris Ministries. Since he is called as a prophet and gifted as a teacher, much of his focus involves equipping believers to hear, know, and follow God in their own daily experience. He teaches the foundational truth of the Word with simple clarity, while revealing deep things of the spirit in practical ways. He has the unique ability to demystify the supernatural side of real relationship with a living God and make it an embraceable and accessible reality for all believers. Jeremy has been married to his best friend, Mandy Caris, for eighteen years, and is the proud father of two boys.