How many times have you had a dream where someone you know shows up and then the next day you’re telling that person what you saw them doing? Maybe you’ve seen a famous person or someone you’ve never met appear? What about something potentially more subtle…have you ever noticed any prominent colors – either of objects, or the overall appearance of the scene?
A few weeks ago, I had a great example of all these symbols in a really short dream. I’m going to explain a little of what people, colors and names can mean and then walk through my dream and explain a little about how to figure these out. Included at the end this article will be a couple of the best resources where you can find out much more about these as they may appear in your own dreams.
All throughout the Bible we find the mention of many colors either directly or in less obvious ways. Often, a prominent object has a color containing immense significance, even though its mention may be very subtle and easily overlooked. Each of the colors appearing in dreams can have many different meanings including both positive and negative. In the following paragraphs are a few of the more prominent colors you will see.
Brown and tan may appear in various settings. Objects like pottery, dirt and mud relate to the general color of human skin. In Genesis, we know that God made Adam from dirt. Anytime you see these colors or something in that spectrum, it’s a good possibility that it contains a symbolic link to of the characteristics of the human nature (Genesis 2:7). (See also my article: Dreaming of Caves and Tunnels).
Green is very prominent in dreams and nature and relates to grass, plants or leaves. In a positive sense, this can indicate fruitfulness of a person and productivity as you think about a garden with many types of vegetation. Isaiah tells us that “all flesh is like grass” and sometimes that is an indication about the life of a person. Alternatively, in the case of a green reptile or long uncut grass in the yard of a house, it can mean a manifestation of pride (Isaiah 40:6-8). Pale green generally means sickness, disease or possibly even death (Revelation 6:8).
Red is another common and basic color. This frequently relates to blood, or the shedding of it, either in war or by Jesus’ death on the cross. Other common meanings include a passionate or zealous person (good or bad) or, in the right context, a woman of very loose morals with the reputation of a prostitute (Revelation 17:1-6).
Blue and purple can both indicate royalty. Blue can also represent something of the spirit realm and we see the connection between our atmosphere which gives the idea of being up high in the spirit realm. In a negative sense, blue can also indicate depression. Purple can also represent affluence as it is commonly mentioned in that context in several Biblical passages (Revelation 18:16, Daniel 5, Proverbs 31:22).
Yellow can indicate fear, caution, glory, warmth, etc. Generally, we associate the sun with the color yellow and this is especially true of the morning sunlight which brings a very yellow or gold color to everything it illuminates. This represents the glory realm of God. In a negative sense, think of how caution signs and yellow lights on a road are an indication to slow down and watch out; also bees, certain spiders and other insects have yellow and black stripes as a warning to avoid them.
White most often indicates something pure or sinless and is often linked to new fallen snow. However, there is a notable exception in that sometimes it can reveal a person who outwardly looks good, but inwardly is a hypocrite or filled with spiritual pride (Matthew 23:27).
Each of these colors can appear in different ways and give clues about the characteristics of some element of the dream. For example, if you see someone wearing clothing with one of these colors, that’s a pretty good hint about their nature or spiritual condition (good or bad). You may also see objects such as a cup, book, vehicle, door or a building that is likewise characterized by their primary color.
Pay attention also to combinations of colors. I once had a dream of a woman wearing an all red suit and a cape with a green and white mask on her face. This represented a woman with a negative reputation (red) hiding behind a veil (mask) of false religious pride (green and white).
Bright, Dim or Dark Settings
The settings in our dreams will appear in one of three primary types of lighting conditions – bright, dim or dark. Those that are brightly lit with bold colors usually are God’s message to you – either about something positive or negative. Dimly lit dreams can (but not always) be of the soulish realm revealing something hidden in your past or exposing a negative circumstance. Darkness dreams often show something you are unaware/uninformed about but can also be a warning of something evil (see my article: Night and Darkness: Common Dream Setting With a Personal Message).
There are more possibilities than what I’ve described here – this is only a very basic starting point. Many other colors will appear in your dreams and you can use these simple ideas above to begin your own further study. Also, there are exceptions to everything I’ve written above so the best thing is to study to learn the interpretation of dreams! See the links below for resources that contain more extensive insights by reliable authors.
A huge percentage of our dreams are going to include people of all sorts. Some you may already know, either from the present time or in the past. Parents, family members, a child, friends, work associates or a boss, pastor, etc are all common. Sometimes the meaning of the dream is literally about that person you see but many times it is not. This is where you have to be a little bit careful. Interpreting the appearance of a person literally, when the dream does not have anything to do with that person could get you in a lot of trouble if you reveal that indiscriminately to just anyone.
The first step to determining the meaning of a person is to consider the relationship you have with them and what that symbolizes in the context of the dream. Once you have that, then you can consider how they may literally or symbolically point to a message about either you or something going on in their life right now. If you see someone you knew from the past but are not currently associated with, it is usually the meaning of their name or the most prominent characteristics as you remember them that contains the significance to you personally right now.
Famous people may appear at times, and include actors, athletes, businessmen, presidents of countries, etc. The meaning for these is often something about the most prominent role they fill. When a president of a country or company appears, it can be literally about that person or it can be a message to you regarding high level authority. Actors in dreams often indicate something about a prominent role they filled in a movie they are most famous for or else it may be the meaning of their name that fits the context of the rest of the dream.
Previous relationships including ex-spouses or boy/girlfriends that reappear after many years are common and can indicate soul ties or a hidden desire you are holding onto that is coming up and manifesting in your dreams. These are often dimly lit or dark dreams that reveal the soulish realm. This may be God’s way of highlighting past issues that you think you dealt with, but in reality, you may have only repressed (other possibilities also exist). These often require you to go through a process of taking these to Jesus so He can reveal the root issue and heal whatever is necessary (often involving forgiveness and repentance).
Age is another symbolic element. At times, we may see someone we know at a different age than they currently are. Seeing a person younger than reality can indicate something of their earlier years; this is speaking about events of the past. An adult who appears in the form of a baby can mean they are either in a helpless state in some aspect of their life or they are acting in a spiritually immature manner.
Also, it is very common to see a newborn baby in a dream – this usually means you are receiving something new in your life that you will need to work to develop (new project, ministry, endeavor, a prophecy coming into fulfillment, etc).
The appearance of an older man or woman (usually unknown) can either indicate wisdom or maturity (Leviticus 19:32). In the negative sense, it can be a man or woman of the flesh with sinful character flaws that must be put to death (Ephesians 4:22). These are all based on context and again, as always, can include either a positive or negative meaning.
It should also be noted here that a dream of a man may actually be about a woman in real life, or vice versa. In these cases, the clue is normally that the real life person is displaying (or lacking) certain characteristics normally found in a someone of the opposite sex. As with all dream interpretation, a healthy dose of discernment and advice from the Holy Spirit is needed to accurately sort out any confusing symbology.
When looking back in the Old Testament, names were often given to a newborn child that contains a prophetic or circumstantial meaning. Sometimes you can find the meaning of the name right in the text of a Bible passage or else you can look it up using a concordance. A name that does not appear in the Bible can be found using an internet search, “meaning of name _______”.
Sometimes it is actually a specific or general element in the life story of a person in the Bible that you must look up to discover a message that relates to you right now. There is also the possibility that you may get a name of an unknown person in a prophetic dream that you will meet soon.
Dream Example: Orange Train Car & Hannah
Several weeks ago, I had a dream where I saw a very quick snapshot image of a single orange freight train boxcar with graffiti writing on the side of it. There were three words written from top to bottom but only one that I could read – the name Hannah.
Let’s take this apart and see what the message is… First, the color orange does not appear literally in the Bible. A couple of years ago when I first began seeing this color, it took me quite a long time to figure out the meaning. After much searching I came to realize that it meant transition, fire and also construction work. If you think about it, neither of these are particularly pleasant! (See Ezekiel 1:4 for amber which is the closest color to orange.)
Fire can often indicate a refining process (as in the purification of precious metals) where character flaws are being raised to the surface so they can be seen and eliminated. Think also of orange cones that appear on the side of the road when construction work is being done. Orange is also like a transition, as a halfway point in the color spectrum as it changes from yellow and red.
The name Hannah can be easily found using a word search in an online Bible or app. The actual person by this name appears in 1 Samuel 1 where the story tells how a a real woman named Hannah had been without any children for a number of years and this had become a matter of great personal crisis. She receives a prophetic word about a child from the priest Eli which comes to pass within the next year. Her child is then born whose name is Samuel and he becomes of the great prophets in the Old Testament.
And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish. Then she made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.”
1 Samuel 1:10-11 (NKJV)
In my own personal life, I can relate to this story of Hannah very well. I have been through an extended time of personal transition and a refining fire process which I’ve mentioned in several previous articles. All this is in the context of a huge life-calling prophecy I received in 2015 that has shown signs of its arrival, but has not fully manifested as of the time of this writing. Let’s look at the primary symbols here again…
- Hannah = a real Bible character whose life is symbolized by a prophetic sign indicating the coming arrival of a long-awaited, greatly desired gift from God
- Orange = refining fire with significant personal turmoil involving character transformation during an extended time of major life transition
- Freight train car = the clue that this entire dream is about business as related to a personal life-calling prophecy
Consider the brief descriptions of what people, names and colors can mean in your dreams. Take another look above at my example of how this dream above breaks down into separate elements, including those details that could be easily overlooked due to their subtlety. Use the ideas given in this article as keys to look up whatever may appear in your own dreams. Next, check the resource links below for much more in-depth Bible-based dream symbol research that will greatly benefit you in your own further study.
- Joshua Media Ministries International: Interpreting People
- Joshua Media Ministries International: Interpreting Colors
- Dream Encounters: Seeing Your Destiny from God’s Perspective, by Barbie Breathitt (also available in Amazon kindle format)
- The Divinity Code, by Adam Thompson and Adrian Beale
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