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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,13531353    Gen. xx. 3. 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,13541354    Gen. xli. 5, ff. to whom Joseph said, when he gave the interpretation, that the dream had come from God.13551355    Gen. xli. 25.  Nebuchadnezzar, who worshipped images, and ordered those who worshipped God to be cast into fire, saw a dream13561356    Dan. ii. 31. extending over the whole age of the world.13571357    Lit., of the whole length of the age.  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.’13581358    Dan. iii. 25.  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 pure13591359    We have amended this passage.  The text applies the words “natural or innate and pure” to the mind. in his mind, not worked up through dreams, but granted to the good through intelligence.


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