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Chapter XVII.—The Impious See True Dreams and Visions.

“But it is manifest that the impious see true visions and dreams, and I can prove it from Scripture.  Finally, then, it is written in the law, how Abimelech, who was impious, wished to defile the wife of just Abraham by intercourse, and how he heard the commandment from God in his sleep, as the Scripture saith, not to touch her, 1353 because she was dwelling with her husband.  Pharaoh, also an impious man, saw a dream in regard to the fulness and thinness of the ears of corn, 1354 to whom Joseph said, when he gave the interpretation, that the dream had come from God. 1355   Nebuchadnezzar, who worshipped images, and ordered those who worshipped God to be cast into fire, saw a dream 1356 extending over the whole age of the world. 1357   And let no one say, ‘No one who is impious sees a vision when awake.’  That is false.  Nebuchadnezzar himself, having ordered three men to be cast into fire, saw a fourth when he looked into the furnace, and said, ‘I see the fourth as the Son of God.’ 1358   And nevertheless, though they saw apparitions, visions, and dreams, they were impious.  Thus, we cannot infer with absolute certainty that the man who has seen visions, and dreams, and apparitions, is undoubtedly pious.  For in the case of the pious man, the truth gushes up natural and pure 1359 in his mind, not worked up through dreams, but granted to the good through intelligence.



Gen. xx. 3.


Gen. xli. 5, ff.


Gen. xli. 25.


Dan. ii. 31.


Lit., of the whole length of the age.


Dan. iii. 25.


We have amended this passage.  The text applies the words “natural or innate and pure” to the mind.

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