Wisdom of Sirach 34:7

For dreams have deceived many, and they have failed that put their trust in them.
Read Chapter 34

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
Know that the images that occur in dreams can be impressed on the soul in six different ways. Sometimes, in fact, dreams are caused by bad digestion or by fasting, at times they are the fruit of an illusion, at other times of reflection and illusion together, at still other times of revelation, and, finally, at times of reflection and revelation together. Everyone experiences the first two types. The other four, rather, we find in the pages of sacred Scripture. If, in fact, dreams were not for the most part provoked by the hidden enemy through an illusion, the wise man would not have put us on guard, saying, "Dreams have led many into error, and those who put their hope in them have gone astray." Nor would he exhort us, "Do not practice any sort of divination or magic." These words show unequivocally how one must flee from everything having anything to do with the divining arts. Furthermore, if dreams did not at times proceed from reflection joined to illusion, the wise man would never had said, "From many cares come dreams." And if, at times, the mystery of a revelation did not give origin to dreams, Joseph would not have been revered by his brothers in a dream, nor would an angel have said to the husband of Mary in a dream to take the baby and flee to Egypt. Moreover, if dreams did not proceed from reflection together with a revelation, the prophet Daniel, when he interpreted the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, would not have begun by referring to a reflection, saying, "O king, the thoughts that came to you while you were in bed concern the future. He who reveals mysteries wanted to reveal to you what will take place." And then, "As you watched, O king, you saw a statue, an enormous statue of extraordinary splendor, rising before you with a terrifying appearance." Thus Daniel, while he cautiously allows it to be understood that the dream will become reality and shows from what reflection it was produced, clearly shows that at times a dream is born simultaneously from reflection and from a revelation. Clearly, precisely because dreams have such different characteristics and origins, the more difficult it is to discern what their source is, the less should one be inclined to put faith in them. The saints, however, by a special sensibility they possess, are able to distinguish between illusions and revelations and to penetrate the meaning of the words and images in visions. Thus they know either what they have received from the good spirit or what illusion they have been victimized by. But if a soul is not prudent regarding dreams, it will find itself lost in a forest of vanity through the work of the deceiving spirit, whose art it is at times to predict many true things, so as to then imprison the soul in the snare of a single lie. - "Dialogues 4.50.2–6"

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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