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Dream Interpreters in Exile: Joseph, Daniel, and Sigmund (Solomon)
Bucknell Review (1990)
  • Ken Frieden, Syracuse University
The biblical Joseph and Daniel have much in common with SigmundFreud, for all three experienced the powerlessness of exileand later attained the power they lacked by interpreting dreams. Unableto control historical destiny, exilic Jews have characteristicallyreinterpreted events, texts, and dreams; the interpretive successes ofJoseph, Daniel, and Sigmund at once reflect and defy the Jewish condition.Although Freud made every effort to distance himself from hisancient forerunners, The Interpretation of Dreams indirectly responds tothem.While many adepts at dream interpretation appear in the Bible,in the Talmud, in the Sifer Chassidim, and in other Judaic sources,Joseph, Daniel, and Sigmund have special significance. Joseph is soldinto slavery by his jealous brothers, and yet saves them and theJewishpeople after he gains authority in Egypt. In the Book of Daniel,Nebuchadnf"zzar exiles the Jews to Babylonia, and yet Danielachieves such importance that he can influence both individual livesand Israel's collective future. Finally Sigmund Freud , also known byhis Hebrew name Shlomo (or Solomon), emerges from obscurity tocreate an international movement. Beneath the subtle manipulationof signs and symbols, this triumvirate re veals an underlying relationshipbetween power and interpretation.
  • religion,
  • Old Testament,
  • Sigmund Freud
Publication Date
Publisher Statement

Article from Mapping of the Biblical Terrain: The Bible as Text edited by Vincent L. Tollers and John Maier.

Citation Information
Ken Frieden. "Dream Interpreters in Exile: Joseph, Daniel, and Sigmund (Solomon)" Bucknell Review (1990)
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