A Study of Visions

Visions

Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

rTes.h; – sawthar – to hide, to conceal carefully
~ykil’m. – kawkar – to search, to explore, to investigate thoroughly

Psalm 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old,

tAdyxi – cheedaw – riddle, difficult question, enigmatic saying

Visions are to be interpreted in a similar way as parables. Visions can by presented through all senses to have the recipient of the vision seemingly living through the message in an experience that had the tendency to shake them up. This can be seen in Daniel 2:1 with Nebuchadnezzar also in Daniel 7:15 and 28 with Daniel himself. By contrast parables are spoken or written.

While it is true that not all visions required necessary inference since some visions are simply given through direct statements (Genesis 20:3-9 and Numbers 12:6-8). All parables demand necessary inference and many visions demand it as well. Inside the vision or parable is a message implied. A message may be hidden. A message may be hidden so well it cannot be understood without help from God. Thus we have those who must interpret the visions such as Joseph or Daniel. Jesus had to explain some of His parables as is found in Matthew 13:10-23. From these we are taught how to handle visions and parables as implied meaning beyond the surface appearance, as messages hidden in symbols.

Numbers 12:6-8

6 Then He said, “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream.

7 Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house.

8 I speak with him face to face, Even plainly, and not in dark sayings; And he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant Moses?”

 

 

Matthew 13:10-17

10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.

12 “For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.

13 “Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

14 “And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive;

15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’

16 “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;

17 “for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did

 

John 16:23-29

25 ” These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father.

26 “In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you;

27 “for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.

28 “I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.”

29 His disciples said to Him, “See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech!

 

 

Various Times, Various Ways Spoke

Hebrews 1:1-2

1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,

2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

 

Visions

Parables

Poetry

Direct Statements – simple statements of fact

Implication

Allegory

Examples

Object Lessons

Directly – one on one God to Solomon (1 Kings 3:5-15)

Indirectly – God tells Nathan what He wants David to know (2 Samuel 7:4-17)

 

Numbers 12:6 Then He said, “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream.

 

 

 

First use of the word “vision”

hz<x]M;B; – H4236 – vision in the ecstatic state

only occurrence of this form of the word in the Bible

 

Abram – a vision that is a direct statement

Genesis 15:1-21

1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

2 But Abram said, “Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”

3 Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!”

4 And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.”

5 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”

6 And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

7 Then He said to him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it.”

8 And he said, “Lord GOD, how shall I know that I will inherit it?”

9 So He said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”

10 Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two.

11 And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

12 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him.

13 Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years.

14 “And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.

15 “Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age.

16 “But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

17 And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces.

18 On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates —

19 “the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites,

20 “the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim,

21 “the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”

 

 

First use of the word “dream”

~Alx]B; – H2472

Abimelech

Genesis 20:3-9

3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, “Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.”

4 But Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, “Lord, will You slay a righteous nation also?

5 “Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she, even she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this.”

6 And God said to him in a dream, “Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her.

7 “Now therefore, restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.”

8 So Abimelech rose early in the morning, called all his servants, and told all these things in their hearing; and the men were very much afraid.

9 And Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? How have I offended you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done deeds to me that ought not to be done.”

 

 

 

Jacob – the vision is a direct statement

Genesis 46:1-5

1 So Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.

2 Then God spoke to Israel in the visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob!” And he said, “Here I am.”

3 So He said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there.

4 “I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will put his hand on your eyes.”

5 Then Jacob arose from Beersheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob, their little ones, and their wives, in the carts which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.

 

 

Joseph

Genesis 37:6-11

6 So he said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed:

7 “There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.”

8 And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

9 Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.”

10 So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?”

11 And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

 

1. Joseph introduces us to visions

2. His brothers immediately and correctly infer what his first dream means

3. Joseph does not give the meanings to his dreams but he probably knows what they imply

4. Jacob also immediately and correctly infers the meaning of the second dream which is a bit harder to derive than the first

5. The first dream helps us with the second

 

Something needs to be said about visions. Those who have them know the visions have a meaning. They may not know what the meaning is but they know something is meant by them. This is true concerning Pharaoh’s chief butler and chief baker in Genesis 40:8, Pharaoh in Genesis 41:8, The two men of Midian in Judges 7:13-15, Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2,

 

The chief butler and the chief baker

Genesis 40:5-23

5 Then the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, had a dream, both of them, each man’s dream in one night and each man’s dream with its own interpretation.

6 And Joseph came in to them in the morning and looked at them, and saw that they were sad.

7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in the custody of his lord’s house, saying, “Why do you look so sad today?”

8 And they said to him, “We each have had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.” So Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please.”

9 Then the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, “Behold, in my dream a vine was before me,

10 “and in the vine were three branches; it was as though it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and its clusters brought forth ripe grapes.

11 “Then Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.”

12 And Joseph said to him, “This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days.

13 “Now within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your place, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand according to the former manner, when you were his butler.

14 “But remember me when it is well with you, and please show kindness to me; make mention of me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house.

15 “For indeed I was stolen away from the land of the Hebrews; and also I have done nothing here that they should put me into the dungeon.”

16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph, “I also was in my dream, and there were three white baskets on my head.

17 “In the uppermost basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket on my head.”

18 So Joseph answered and said, “This is the interpretation of it: The three baskets are three days.

19 “Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head from you and hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from you.”

20 Now it came to pass on the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants; and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants.

21 Then he restored the chief butler to his butlership again, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.

22 But he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them.

23 Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.

 

Pharaoh’s dreams of seven years of plenty and seven years of famine

Genesis 41:1-37

First Dream

1 Then it came to pass, at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh had a dream; and behold, he stood by the river.

2 Suddenly there came up out of the river seven cows, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow.

3 Then behold, seven other cows came up after them out of the river, ugly and gaunt, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the river.

4 And the ugly and gaunt cows ate up the seven fine looking and fat cows. So Pharaoh awoke.

 

Second Dream

5 He slept and dreamed a second time; and suddenly seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, plump and good.

6 Then behold, seven thin heads, blighted by the east wind, sprang up after them.

7 And the seven thin heads devoured the seven plump and full heads. So Pharaoh awoke, and indeed, it was a dream.

8 Now it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. And Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them for Pharaoh.

9 Then the chief butler spoke to Pharaoh, saying: “I remember my faults this day.

10 “When Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and put me in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, both me and the chief baker,

11 “we each had a dream in one night, he and I. Each of us dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream.

12 “Now there was a young Hebrew man with us there, a servant of the captain of the guard. And we told him, and he interpreted our dreams for us; to each man he interpreted according to his own dream.

13 “And it came to pass, just as he interpreted for us, so it happened. He restored me to my office, and he hanged him.”

14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh.

15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it.”

16 So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.”

17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph: “Behold, in my dream I stood on the bank of the river.

18 “Suddenly seven cows came up out of the river, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow.

19 “Then behold, seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and gaunt, such ugliness as I have never seen in all the land of Egypt.

20 “And the gaunt and ugly cows ate up the first seven, the fat cows.

21 “When they had eaten them up, no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were just as ugly as at the beginning. So I awoke.

22 “Also I saw in my dream, and suddenly seven heads came up on one stalk, full and good.

23 “Then behold, seven heads, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprang up after them.

24 “And the thin heads devoured the seven good heads. So I told this to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”

25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do:

26 “The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads are seven years; the dreams are one.

27 “And the seven thin and ugly cows which came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty heads blighted by the east wind are seven years of famine.

28 “This is the thing which I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do.

29 “Indeed seven years of great plenty will come throughout all the land of Egypt;

30 “but after them seven years of famine will arise, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine will deplete the land.

31 “So the plenty will not be known in the land because of the famine following, for it will be very severe.

32 “And the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.

33 “Now therefore, let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt.

34 “Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years.

35 “And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities.

36 “Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.”

37 So the advice was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants.

 

Barley Bread and Gideon’s Victory

Judges 7:13-15

13 And when Gideon had come, there was a man telling a dream to his companion. He said, “I have had a dream: To my surprise, a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian; it came to a tent and struck it so that it fell and overturned, and the tent collapsed.”

14 Then his companion answered and said, “This is nothing else but the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel! Into his hand God has delivered Midian and the whole camp.”

15 And so it was, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, that he worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel, and said, “Arise, for the LORD has delivered the camp of Midian into your hand.”

 

1. This Midianite man understands there is implication in a vision – it means something

2. He correctly infers what the vision means

3. God sends the vision to a soldier of Midian – not to Gideon

4. God wants Gideon to know the message and to know that the Midianites are fearful of the message

5. The telling of the dream and its interpretation

 

 

 

 

Samuel – a vision that is in direct statements

1 Samuel 3:10-15

10 Now the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”

11 Then the LORD said to Samuel: “Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.

12 “In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end.

13 “For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them.

14 “And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”

15 So Samuel lay down until morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel was afraid to tell Eli the vision.

 

David inquires of God with and without the ephod. God answers, but not in a vision. God tells David what would happen if he were to stay in Keilah thus David leaves – potential future that could be avoided

1 Samuel 23:1-14

1 Then they told David, saying, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and they are robbing the threshing floors.”

2 Therefore David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the LORD said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines, and save Keilah.”

3 But David’s men said to him, “Look, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?”

4 Then David inquired of the LORD once again. And the LORD answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah. For I will deliver the Philistines into your hand.”

5 And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines, struck them with a mighty blow, and took away their livestock. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

6 Now it happened, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, that he went down with an ephod in his hand.

7 And Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah. So Saul said, “God has delivered him into my hand, for he has shut himself in by entering a town that has gates and bars.”

8 Then Saul called all the people together for war, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men.

9 When David knew that Saul plotted evil against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.”

10 Then David said, “O LORD God of Israel, Your servant has certainly heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah to destroy the city for my sake.

11 “Will the men of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as Your servant has heard? O LORD God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant.” And the LORD said, “He will come down.”

12 Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the LORD said, “They will deliver you.”

13 So David and his men, about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah and went wherever they could go. Then it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah; so he halted the expedition.

14 And David stayed in strongholds in the wilderness, and remained in the mountains in the Wilderness of Ziph. Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand.

 

David inquires of God with the ephod

1 Samuel 30:7-8

7 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, “Please bring the ephod here to me.” And Abiathar brought the ephod to David.

8 So David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.”

 

 

Nathan – a vision of what to tell David

2 Samuel 7:4-17

4 But it happened that night that the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying,

5 “Go and tell My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Would you build a house for Me to dwell in?

6 “For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought the children of Israel up from Egypt, even to this day, but have moved about in a tent and in a tabernacle.

7 “Wherever I have moved about with all the children of Israel, have I ever spoken a word to anyone from the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’ ” ‘

8 “Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel.

9 “And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth.

10 “Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously,

11 “since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the LORD tells you that He will make you a house.

12 ” When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.

13 “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

14 “I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men.

15 “But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you.

16 “And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.” ‘ ”

17 According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.

 

Solomon asks for wisdom in a dream

1 Kings 3:5-15

5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?”

6 And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

7 “Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.

8 “And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted.

9 “Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”

10 The speech pleased the LORD, that Solomon had asked this thing.

11 Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice,

12 “behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.

13 “And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days.

14 “So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”

15 Then Solomon awoke; and indeed it had been a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, offered up burnt offerings, offered peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.

 

 

Peter thought he was seeing a vision

Acts 12:7-11

7 Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands.

8 Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.”

9 So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.

10 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.

11 And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.”

 

Paul does not know if what he saw was in the body or out of the body

2 Corinthians 12:2-4

2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago — whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows — such a one was caught up to the third heaven.

3 And I know such a man — whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows —

4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

 

Peter must infer what a vision means

Acts 10:9-29

9 The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour.

10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance

11 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth.

12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air.

13 And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”

14 But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”

15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.”

16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.

17 Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate.

 

28 Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

29 “Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me?”

 

1. Peter does not immediately know what the vision means – but he knows it means something

2. The message does not explain itself – there is an implied message

3. Peter infers by what occurs next – the message come just before the events of Cornelius

 

Parables and Visions – there is a parallel

Two parables to Ezekiel which could have been in vision form

Ezekiel 17:1-24

1 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

2 “Son of man, pose a riddle, and speak a parable to the house of Israel,

3 “and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “A great eagle with large wings and long pinions, Full of feathers of various colors, Came to Lebanon And took from the cedar the highest branch.

4 He cropped off its topmost young twig And carried it to a land of trade; He set it in a city of merchants.

5 Then he took some of the seed of the land And planted it in a fertile field; He placed it by abundant waters And set it like a willow tree.

6 And it grew and became a spreading vine of low stature; Its branches turned toward him, But its roots were under it. So it became a vine, Brought forth branches, And put forth shoots.

7 ” But there was another great eagle with large wings and many feathers; And behold, this vine bent its roots toward him, And stretched its branches toward him, From the garden terrace where it had been planted, That he might water it.

8 It was planted in good soil by many waters, To bring forth branches, bear fruit, And become a majestic vine.” ‘

9 ” Say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Will it thrive? Will he not pull up its roots, Cut off its fruit, And leave it to wither? All of its spring leaves will wither, And no great power or many people Will be needed to pluck it up by its roots.

10 Behold, it is planted, Will it thrive? Will it not utterly wither when the east wind touches it? It will wither in the garden terrace where it grew.” ‘ ”

11 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

12 “Say now to the rebellious house: ‘Do you not know what these things mean?’ Tell them, ‘Indeed the king of Babylon went to Jerusalem and took its king and princes, and led them with him to Babylon.

13 ‘And he took the king’s offspring, made a covenant with him, and put him under oath. He also took away the mighty of the land,

14 ‘that the kingdom might be brought low and not lift itself up, but that by keeping his covenant it might stand.

15 ‘But he rebelled against him by sending his ambassadors to Egypt, that they might give him horses and many people. Will he prosper? Will he who does such things escape? Can he break a covenant and still be delivered?

16 ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘surely in the place where the king dwells who made him king, whose oath he despised and whose covenant he broke — with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die.

17 ‘Nor will Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company do anything in the war, when they heap up a siege mound and build a wall to cut off many persons.

18 ‘Since he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, and in fact gave his hand and still did all these things, he shall not escape.’ ”

19 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “As I live, surely My oath which he despised, and My covenant which he broke, I will recompense on his own head.

20 “I will spread My net over him, and he shall be taken in My snare. I will bring him to Babylon and try him there for the treason which he committed against Me.

21 “All his fugitives with all his troops shall fall by the sword, and those who remain shall be scattered to every wind; and you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken.”

22 Thus says the Lord GOD: “I will take also one of the highest branches of the high cedar and set it out. I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and will plant it on a high and prominent mountain.

23 “On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it; and it will bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a majestic cedar. Under it will dwell birds of every sort; in the shadow of its branches they will dwell.

24 “And all the trees of the field shall know that I, the LORD, have brought down the high tree and exalted the low tree, dried up the green tree and made the dry tree flourish; I, the LORD, have spoken and have done it.”

 

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