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The sight of things normally hidden from human eyes. Visions, dreams, and heavenly journeys are closely related phenomena through which secrets are thought to be revealed. These media of revelation are especially characteristic of apocalyptic literature. Ancient Jewish and Christian visions may be grouped into five types: (1) visions of the enthroned deity or the divine council (Exod 24:9-11; 1Kgs 22:19-23; Isa 6; Ezek 1:1-3:15; Rev 4:2-11); (2) visions of some other heavenly reality or of an earthly reality present, threatened, or to come (1Kgs 22:17; Amos 7:1-3; Amos 4-6:1; Jer 4:23-26; Ezek 8-11; Ezek 40-48; Zech 1:7-17; Zech 1:3; Zech 6:1-8; Luke 1:11; Luke 1:21); (3) visions based on a play on words or a symbol (Amos 7:7-9; Amos 8:1-3; Jer 1:11-12; Jer 13-14:11; Jer 24; Ezek 37:1-14; Zech 2:5-9; Zech 5:1-4); (4) allegorical visions, that is, visions in which each object, being, or event represents in a figurative or pictorial way a corresponding entity in reality (Zech 1:18-21; Zech 1:4; Zech 5:5-11; Dan 8; Rev 12; Rev 13; Rev 17); and (5) visions that combine two or more of the above types (Dan 7).

  • Powell, Mark Allan, ed. HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Abridged Edition. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.