For the right interpretation of the word of God, the chief requisites are, a renewed heart, supremely desirous to learn and do the will of God; the aid of the Holy Spirit, sought and gained; a firm conviction that the word of God should rule the erring season and heart of man; a diligent comparison of its different parts, for the light they throw upon each other; all reliable information as to the history and geography, the customs, laws, and languages, the public, domestic, and inner life of Bible times. Thus to study the Bible for one's self is the privilege and duty of every one.
This word and its cognates are found throughout the Bible with a wide variety in their use. 1. In the earlier stages of the history of mankind dreams were looked upon as manifestations of Divine intervention in human affairs, and it was regarded as of the first importance that their mysterious revelations should be explained for those to whom they were vouchsafed. From the story of Joseph we learn that a special class at the court of the Pharaohs discharged the function of interpreters of dreams (cf. 'magicians' Revised Version margin 'sacred scribes'] and 'wise men,' Ge 41:8), A similar body of wise or learned men is mentioned in the Book of Daniel, for the same object at the court of Babylon (Da 2:2 ff; Da 4:6 f.). The idea that dreams were a means of communication between the Deity and men was also current amongst the Hebrews from a very early date. In the NT we find that dreams occupy the place of direct visions or revelations from God, and no difficulty seems to have been experienced by the recipients as to their precise meaning (Mt 1:20; 2:12-13,19,22).
2. Turning again to the history of Joseph, we find there an incidental remark which leads us to believe that there was an official interpreter, or a body of interpreters, whose work it was to translate foreign languages into the language of the court (cf. 'the interpreter,' Ge 42:23). The qualification to act as interpreter seems to have been required of those who acted as ambassadors at foreign courts (cf. 2Ch 32:31). That prominent politicians and statesmen had this means of international communication at their disposal is seen in the translation by the Persian nobles of their letter from their own language into Aramaic (Ezr 4:7). As the Hebrew tongue ceased to be that of the common people, interpreters were required at the sacred services to translate or explain the Law and the Prophets after the reading of the original (see W. R. Smith, OTJC [Note: TJC The Old Test. in the Jewish Church.] 36, 64n, 154). In the NT, examples are frequent of the interpretation in Greek of a Hebrew or Aramaic phrase (Mt 1:23; 27:46; Mr 5:41; 15:22,34; Joh 1:38,41 f., Ac 4:36; 9:36; 13:8); and in this connexion it is Interesting to recall the extract from the writings of Papias preserved by Eusebius, in which Mark is called 'the interpreter of Peter' (see HE iii. 39)