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Daniel The Dreamer, Daniel The Dream-Reader

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Chapter Summary

Daniel is best known for the tale of the prophet in the lion's den and the writing on the wall, it teaches another valuable lesson: you can have dreams, and you can interpret dreams, but you cannot do both simultaneously, you cannot have your dreams and interpret them too. The first main distinction to be made is between dreams (chalom/helem) and waking visions (mareh/mara). Symbolic dreams, are the primary locus of the act of interpretation in the Hebrew Bible. Apocalyptic visions speak for themselves. Symbolic dreams are always public events. If dreams are a route of communication among God, ruler, and people, the same is true of writing. The Hebrew Bible upholds the balance of power between king and people, while the Christian tradition treasures the prophetic. The chapter ends with the statement Those who can, dream; those who cannot, read.

Keywords: Christian; Daniel; dreamer; God; Hebrew Bible; prophet; Symbolic dreams



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