How many times have you seen animals in your dreams but didn’t know what they meant? Probably you have, several times. God speaks to us in metaphors and so it should be no surprise that He often uses His own creation as symbols to illustrate something we need to know. Trees, water, storms, mountains and stars are all common symbols that we should expect to see at some point in our dreams. So how do we find the meaning of them? Well…don’t worry – it’s probably easier than you might think.
Here are a few tips I gave a reader who sent me a dream with a bear and elephants. This dream was about a work situation and God used those animals to tell something rather important. Check it out…
Animals: It’s About Their Characteristics
Before we get into the dream, let me make the point that God uses various aspects of His creation to speak to us in our dreams. The animals you see in your dreams may or may not have any relation to where you live. Sometimes God will use what’s right in your surroundings and other times, He uses something unfamiliar that you have to do some research on.
Some of the animals you see will be in the Bible and you can start looking them up there. Others you’ll have to go online and find out what their characteristics are so you understand the message behind the image you’re seeing. Of course, all this is standard Bible-based dream interpreting methodology that I’ve written about many times here.
The meaning of these animals is significant because God can be telling you something about your career, friends, a relationship or yourself using these animals. That’s exactly what was going on in the dream below that a reader sent me recently. The majority of this article is taken directly from my emails with Carol who lives in Botswana.
Dream: Bear and Elephants
Note: Normally, I don’t ask to publish a dream here when I have not had a chance to get to know a person well enough but this one below just stood out to me and so I asked permission. Carol agreed and so according to my typical manner, I only use first name (or the name the person prefers to be called by, depending on culture) and I include the country.
The next many paragraphs in this article are taken directly from emails…
I had a dream whereby I went to a retreat with my colleagues at work. When we got there, many people got attacked by a very angry bear, but none of them were hurt. There was a lady which I gave a plastic with groceries. She later told me that the bear did not attack them but instead, it attacked the items in the plastic (my groceries). She came with an empty plastic to me.
Later one male colleague realized that he forgot some valuable items in another building and he decided to use a bicycle to go and collect them. On his way, he fell and had a big wound on one of his legs. I then ran to him to check how he was injured. When I was about to approach him, a big elephant came running towards me. However, there was a big grass on my side and I hid on the big grass. The elephant passed without recognizing me.After some few seconds, more elephants came running from the other side whilst I was still hiding on the big grass and they trampled over me. However, I was not hurt. Then I woke up.
The setting of this dream indicates that it could be about the people you work with. Consider what is happening in your workplace and how this all may apply. Groceries represent things you need – not necessarily food. A bear is a strong force and can be in the form of a person or a demonic force. This seems to be an attack against things that are basic necessities. This is about a thief of some type.
People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving. Yet when he is found, he must restore sevenfold; He may have to give up all the substance of his house. I will say more about the animals below.
Proverbs 6:30-31 (NKJV)
In the next scene, the man who went on the bicycle to get valuables is almost a repeat theme – valuables, but maybe personal possessions. Falling off a bike can indicate a person that is going to have a “fall” in their life – a mistake of some type. A wound is some type of personal injury that is the result of this “fall”.
For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity.
Proverbs 24:16 (NKJV)
Back to the animals again…this requires some discerning. Here is how to think of it… An elephant is a strong force but not the same as a bear. A bear is sort of a predatory animal and carnivore but an elephant is a herbivore – it can be dangerous in some situations, mostly by its size and if you happen to get in its way, but normally it is not a threat in the way that a bear is. So this illustrates the type of situation going on. The bear can be about a demonic presence but being run over by the elephant can be about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Bears also eat anything that is left in the open and not secured.
When you see animals, you have to consider them in the way the Bible speaks of them – the type of animal you see tells you something about who or what they represent. It can be either people or demonic spirits. See how it says in this verse below “like a bear” – this is saying what you see has similar characteristics to a bear in real life. This is how sometimes you must understand God’s creation in order to understand a symbolic image in a dream. The same goes for elephants as I was saying above.
“And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh!’
Daniel 7:5 (NKJV)
These are some things to consider regarding what the message in the dream is. Overall, this is God’s way of showing you some things that are in the process of happening right now. I’m not able to say exactly what is going on other than this here above. See what you think of this and how it fits circumstances in your life right now. It may be God is speaking about what is happening right now or what is soon to happen. Ask Him for more info about this and ask Him what you should do. Dreams of this type require a response from us so we do not find ourselves in a negative situation.
This is a type of warning dream where wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit is necessary to navigate around any disaster. Fortunately, this dream shows you are not injured so whatever is happening, you will be ok. But ask God for a proper response. Also there is something here for you to do in regards to the man who falls on the bike. If you know who he is, you might find a way to tell him about this dream.
Here is the verse that applies to all warning dreams:
A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; The simple pass on and are punished.
Proverbs 27:12 (NKJV)
Ok, see what you think and if you have any questions, please ask – I try to respond as soon as able. God Bless!!
Note: my standard closing line in all my initial email replies is to ask if the dreamer has any questions, comments or follow up on what I sent them. Feedback of any kind is very helpful to me because sometimes I’m not exactly sure what is going on in a dream where several meanings are possible. I do what I can based on what I believe I’m seeing but then sometimes I will ask for clarification or extra information so I can narrow down the interpretation. This is a limitation of online dream interpretation where I don’t have the luxury of asking any clarifying questions before I give an interpretation.
Something you can all do if / when you contact me – please send me at least a quick reply after I interpret your dream – as you can see below, this is what Carol did and it was very helpful to me!
Reply – Validation
When I gave my interpretation, I was at first a little unsure if the dream was actually about something at Carol’s job or if it might be about something different. I left some parts of my interpretation open to different possibilities in the beginning just in case I was off on the exact situation it was about. This is a case where getting feedback from the dreamer is very helpful to me and lets me narrow my focus if needed to clarify any part of the dream that might be in question.
Fortunately, what I wrote in my interpretation was helpful and here is the reply Carol sent me back…
God has used you amazingly to interpret this dream to me. It is as if you knew what is happening in my life. Apparently our organization is going through a reform process and quite a number of people are going to lose their jobs. I have already informed my colleague (the one who fell on the bike) about it. I am praying about it and I believe God will see us through.
When I received that response from Carol, I had the thought this would be helpful for many others to see the dream and the interpretation because of how common animals are in our dreams. If you go back up and look this all over again, you will see how Carol’s response helped reveal more about the meaning of the empty plastic bag, which I said were about basic necessities. Carol’s reply helped to reveal that this is connected to the impending loss of a job, and with that, loss of income needed for those personal necessities. This again underscores why it is so helpful to me when I can get a reply back from those I send dream interpretations to.
A very big thank you to Carol from Botswana for letting me publish this dream here on my website!
For any others who would like my help in interpreting a dream, please see the link below for how you can do that.
- Article: Warning Dreams of Personal Attacks: How to Respond
- Article: WOLF: Ignoring Warning Dreams Will Cost You Severely
- Online symbols reference: Joshua Media Ministries International (see also animals page)
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