International Journal of Transpersonal Studies


This essay is a study in psychoanalytic Midrash: a literary and psychological meditation on the

Biblical story of Jacob. The Hebrew verbal root from which the term Midrash derives means to

investigate or explore. It is a genre of Biblical scholarship used to interpret the Bible in symbolic

and inspirational terms. This essay examines Jacob as he moves from a character dominated by

self-defeating neurosis through his transformation into a spiritual being and exemplar of principled

leadership. Insights from Freudian and Jungian psychologies, mythology, and literary traditions are

used to describe and explain Jacob’s character metamorphosis.