The Presentation of the Unconscious in Three Biblical Narratives

By: Yael Greenberg

Abstract: In this paper, I offer a psychoanalytic reading of the biblical narratives of Joseph, Moses, and Saul that demonstrates the biblical authors’ deep knowledge of the unconscious. In each one of these narratives, the protagonist’s unconscious feelings, resulting from family dynamics, are displaced onto society. This displacement is presented by interweaving a specific noun or verb with the divine and social strands of the narrative. Thus, the protagonist’s unconscious is communicated to the reader while being safeguarded from the awareness of both protagonist and reader.