Jacob's dream: Useful for, and enlightened by, current dream research
The biblical narration of Jacob’s dream is analyzed in the light of current significant issues of dream research, specifically: the usefulness of historical data for the study of dreaming; the continuity theory; the phenomenological relationship between the dream experience and its sources; the relationship between music and dreaming; the latent role of archetypes in the construction of dreams; the significance of dreams for the cognitive study of religions; and the multiple levels of analysis of historically important dreams. Dream-evocative features in the biblical narration are also described, which are given by word-root recurrences and by the use of a “hapax legomenon” to indicate Jacob’s vision. This analysis based on current dream research provides insights into Jacob’s dream. In addition, Jacob’s dream in itself is useful for dream research, because it highlights basic universal aspects of the dreaming experience.