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Holman Bible Dictionary


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An experience in the life of a person, whereby a special revelation from God was received. The revelation from God had two purposes. First, a vision was given for immediate direction, as with Abram in Genesis 12:1-3 ; Lot, Genesis 19:15 ; Balaam, Numbers 22:22-40 ; and Peter, Acts 12:7 . Second, a vision was given to develop the kingdom of God by revealing the moral and spiritual deficiencies of the people of God in light of God's requirements for maintaining a proper relationship with Him. The vision of prophets such as Isaiah, Amos, Hosea, Micah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and John are representative of this aspect of revelation.

Several Greek and Hebrew terms are translated by the English word vision. In some references, the literal sense of perception with the physical organs of sight is the intended meaning of the word (Job 27:11-12 ; Proverbs 22:29 ). In 2 Samuel 7:17 ; Isaiah 22:1 ,Isaiah 22:1,22:5 ; Joel 3:1 ; and Zechariah 13:4 , the Hebrew word refers to the prophetic function of receiving and delivering the word of God by the prophet.

Vision in varying forms occurs approximately thirty times in the Book of Daniel. The term denotes the mysterious revelation of that which the prophet described as knowledge of the future. In Ezekiel, the words are used literally and metaphorically.

Among the classical prophets (Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Obadiah, etc.) the vision was the primary means of communication between God and the prophet. By this avenue, the prophets interpreted the meaning of immediate events in the history of Israel. “Vision” and “Word of Yahweh” became synonymous in these prophetic writings (see Obadiah 1:1 ). See Prophecy; Revelation; Seer.

James Newell

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Vision'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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