Jeremiah 29:8

Hebrew Bible

6 Marry and have sons and daughters. Find wives for your sons and allow your daughters to get married so that they too can have sons and daughters. Grow in number; do not dwindle away. 7 Work to see that the city where I sent you as exiles enjoys peace and prosperity. Pray to the Lord for it. For as it prospers you will prosper.’ 8 “For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says, ‘Do not let the prophets among you or those who claim to be able to predict the future by divination deceive you. And do not pay any attention to the dreams that you are encouraging them to dream. 9 They are prophesying lies to you and claiming my authority to do so. But I did not send them. I, the Lord, affirm it!’ 10 “For the Lord says, ‘Only when the seventy years of Babylonian rule are over will I again take up consideration for you. Then I will fulfill my gracious promise to you and restore you to your homeland.

Sirach 34:1

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

1 The senseless have vain and false hopes, and dreams give wings to fools. 2 As one who catches at a shadow and pursues the wind, so is anyone who believes in dreams. 3 What is seen in dreams is but a reflection, the likeness of a face looking at itself. 4 From an unclean thing what can be clean? And from something false what can be true? 5 Divinations and omens and dreams are unreal, and like a woman in labor, the mind has fantasies. 6 Unless they are sent by intervention from the Most High, pay no attention to them.

 Notes and References

"... Sirach 34:1-20 ... Devout wisdom more reliable than dreams This poem has three sections: the futility of dreams (34:1-8); the value of wisdom amid life’s experiences (34:9-13); and the benefit of fear of the Lord (34:14-20). The ancient Greeks often thought dreams carried messages from the gods (Plato, Crito 44a), while Jewish apocalyptic texts told of Enoch’s dream visions (1 Enoch 13:10; 83:3). By contrast, Ben Sira adopts the Deuteronomic suspicion of dreams as leading people away from the one true God (Deuteronomy 13:2-5; Jeremiah 23:25-32). Trusting in dreams is like chasing the wind (Ecclesiastes 5:2). Ben Sira generally links dreams with divinations and omens, which the Torah forbids (Leviticus 19:26; Deuteronomy 18:10-14). However, dreams can be sent by God, as happened to Joseph, Solomon, and Eliphaz (Genesis 37:5-10; 1 Kings 3:5-15; Job 4:12-21). Whereas false dreams have led many astray (Jeremiah 29:8-9), perfect wisdom can be reliably found in the law of Moses ..."

Durken, Daniel The New Collegeville Bible Commentary: In One Volume (p. 1264) Liturgical Press, 2017

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