Prophecy – Prophetic Symbols

Understanding the Pictorial Images of God.

You have experienced dreams, visions and had prophecy spoken over you life. Some of it may have been very clear while other elements were full of mystery. The prophetic language of God can take many forms and be expressed in various images. God is now revealing the meaning of His pictorial language so that His people can understand what He is releasing through the prophetic realm. It would take a complete book to fully cover this subject but in this article I want to lay down a few principles and share some examples that will help you.

Let me recommend first that when you have a dream, a prophetic vision or receive a prophetic word tp always write it down. Otherwise, many details can be completely lost within a short time. If you received a prophetic word from a prophet(tess) then ask them to explain what they saw and the sense of what they felt. If it was a vision or dream, I recommend you make descriptive notes. You then can search your Bible for any of the images or pictorial types to see what that image conveyed in the scriptures. There are many electronic Bibles for free on line that include word searches and study helps so these can be very helpful.

It is important to prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to bring understanding to you. He authored the dream so He has the details. He does however, work with details that will make sense to you. He often uses experiences, memories and settings that are unique to you alone. Someone else would not understand them in the same light as you. For instance, seeing a hot stove may bring a sense of warmth, family, comfort and peace to someone. For another person seeing a hot stove in a dream may create feelings of fear or pain because they were badly burnt when they fell against a stove as a child. In these scenarios God may be leading the first person into comfort, sense of security or relationship. In the second example, God may be inviting that person into freedom from childhood fears. So ask Him to identify areas that may reveal a deeper work of restoration within you.

Let me focus on images. There are so many images in the Bible that God used, so reference these in a concordance. See if they relate to what you received. Jesus often used parables which are illustrations that contain a spiritual truth. A lamp represents light and guidance, whereas a net would represent harvest. Acquaint yourself with these through word searches and note the application, if any to your encounter.

When interpreting a dream it is important to look at the emotional, spiritual and circumstantial content within that dream. Was it frightening, peaceful, encouraging or threatening? Did details provide direction or promise of provision? Was the dream detailing issues to pray about? Was the dream a training module in which the Lord put you through a test or equipping session? Ask questions – why this and not that? Some unresolved issues in dreams are unimportant. If there were details you didn’t notice (like color or size etc.) they probably were unimportant.

Let’s look at some dream symbolism examples:

Prophetic Symbolism

Dress style in clothing:

open collar = open, nothing hidden, relaxed, informal plans,

white shirt = formal, rigid, leadership, management,

suit = formal, rigid, business

plaid shirt = casual, not rigid, working on a project.

Likewise: Ladies apparel would generally represent the same in formal to less formal.


1 – unity, God

2 – double blessing or anointing, or two confirmations.

3 – trinity – divine perfection

4 – earth number, 4 seasons, or four directions.

5 – grace

6 – number of man, 666 represents man in league with the world, flesh and devil or an Unholy Trinity.

7 – perfection

8 – resurrection, new beg, # of Jesus

9 – divine # (3 squared), # of Holy Spirit, also judgement, evangelism

10 – world # (10 horns of beast,10 toes on statue)

11 – incomplete, not yet a government, prophetic anointing

12 – governmental perfection/authority

13 – sin #, speaks of rebellion


Horse – power, physical issues that are going to come as in Revelation with the four horses of judgement.

White horse – the Lord’s message (Revelation when He sat on a white horse)

Also the highest form of power that is established by God.

Elephant – great power and strength, nothing stops them, never forgets.

Predators – animals that prey on others represent usually represent inner fears of that animal. They can often indicate an attack of the enemy in the form of that animal. A lion can represent Jesus as the “Lion of Judah” or could represent Satan as a roaring lion seeking or someone to attack. The context of the dream would clearly show which Lion is in a dream.

Snakes- serpents, spiders, scorpions, dragons, vampires etc. All represent agents of the occult.


Vehicles (bikes, boats, aircraft, trains, buses etc.) usually symbolize ministry of some kind, life journey or destiny. The speed is also important because it defines time of getting from departure (as in right now) to the arrival (when God brings the fulfilment).

Subway – underground, unseen, sometimes it may surface for a bit then go down

again, behind the scenes, hidden

Train – a train sometimes represents training (play on words) but most forms of transportation represent ministry.

Air plane – higher spiritual elevation, rising up higher, higher level ministry OR things you are going to do in the Spirit, although rising on an eagle is a more common image for this.

Old car – older form of ministry, could even be old wine skin.

New car – could be faster, slicker (positive or negative,) cutting edge, more efficient and effective.

Truck – used for hauling things to different locations, bringing supplies back & forth.

Ocean liners – large influences over people, ministry with a large influence. The ocean represents people,nations

Other Prophetic Symbols:

Gates of hell – Satan may have access points in your life. Don’t open them.

7 trumpets of

Revelation. – 7 great messages of the Kingdom.

Balls or spheres – Often means completeness, well rounded plans or well thought out.

Walls – can be protection or walls we put up to protect ourselves from perceived

danger (they can close us in or keep out danger.)

Scene Change – Usually means transition in time, place or responsibilities.

Being up in the air – (in the dream or flying) This is the observation position. Could mean You’re not there yet, or just observing. However notice: .

In 2 Kings 5: 25-27 Elisha describes to his servant that he went with him (in the spirit) and saw that he had taken the gifts from Naaman. The Prophet Ezekiel also describes being taken up by the Spirit and being set down in other places, so He could see or make prophetic declarations for the Lord. Ezekiel 37:1, 2 and Ezekiel chapter 40.

Kitchen – Is the place of preparing food, spiritual nourishment being prepared

Cupboard, pantry – storage for things you are about to use.

Other storage places – attic, where you store things not likely to be used again but you want to keep for sentimental value or perhaps they are valuable. Other storage places are not so hard to get to for things you use, but not so often.

Tree – the cross of Jesus, or trees with fruit on them may refer to your attributes.

Prophetic people – When a prophetic person is in a dream with you it’s because you are in a training

time and he/she is a mentor.

Women – often represent churches.

Ocean – sea – people, nations.

Luggage – represents something valuable that you need. If you left it behind there is something back there unfinished that still needs done. If you’ve taken the luggage with you it’s something you’re going to do. Luggage can be very important.

Faceless people – often represent angels who represent someone or some thing. A messenger bringing a word or doing an act. Could also be the Holy Spirit. Or the nameless, faceless – His kids.

Fountains- streams, rivers – Holy Spirit

Clean water- revelatory truth

The Mt. of the Lord – where God rules from. It’s His will being done from this location. The place it radiates from.

Honey- revelation

Forest- confusion

Trees- leadership

Olive tree- anointed ministry

Almond tree – leadership, also Israel

Blooming almond tree – God’s approval (as when Aaron’s rod budded showing God’ approval of his leadership) When the almond tree is blooming in Israel,it is a time of favor that we as His Body can experience.

2nd floor – 2nd heavens

5 fingers – from thumb to little finger represents apostle,prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, in that order.

stirring up – it’s starting to happen now, not sitting but still waiting.

things coming and going – things coming in (the house for example) are coming in (birds flying into a house or packages being delivered to a house are things coming in.) things going out are leaving (such as a person, family, a ministry etc.)

As you see there are many symbols that come into dreams, visions or prophetic trances. The above are just a few examples. There are many other Prophetic Symbols that can be unique to a culture, as well. Wisdom and understanding is one of the attributes of the Holy Spirit so you can ask Him for clarity in the Prophetic Symbols that may appear in your dream, vision or trance. If you need consultation then contact me.