Podcast 5: Abraham

Lecture V + Lecture VI (Spring Semester)

Original Tape of Lecture VI

Sources of Creative Power – Spring Semester

Lecture VI

[Part II: Abraham]



If one looks from the artistic point of view at the stories of Abraham, [Audio file starts here.] they turn out to be another miracle — here the clear process of thinking is described almost throughout in terms of action, not, as in the second story of the creation, in terms of symbols or allegories which make a thing apparently profound but leave us always in the dark, in the obscure. Here a clear line of thought is described in terms of action, of action of personal human behavior. They are not to be taken as symbols; they are, so to speak, the immediate expression of thought itself. This is, so to speak, an artistic trick we will almost not find in all other world literature, merely from the literary point of view, that it is possible to describe the significance of thoughts and to bring out thoughts in their full relation to each other as a consistent system of thought — and all that described in very simple actions of the personal human behavior of one man. Rarely have thought and deed been so close together in any of the thinkers we consider here. Thought and deed, thinking and acting are in full accordance, and we will find with all of them that their deeds are sometimes highly significant for their thoughts and that their thoughts always rule their actions; but that thinking is described merely in the form of action itself happens only in the Abrahamitic stories. So if that was not true, which it most probably was — namely, that it is the record of a man who lived — but if that was


really a story of a writer, then we face the greatest writer of all time merely artistically speaking.

I think we have seen in the last sessions already that those stories that seem at first so easy to comprehend, which are so simple in construction, nevertheless carry a tremendous implication of thoughts, thoughts that carry far into history and we still have to be concerned with them. There is a lake in Germany in the Alps near Berchtesgaden, the Royal Lake; if one looks into that lake one thinks one can grasp the stones that are on the bottom — they seem so near — but nobody can dive that deep. That is about the same as the Abrahamitic stories. The things are of such a genius simplicity that they seem first to be easy, and then we find out how little we know about it and how profound those thoughts really are. We look at Abraham as a religious thinker; that means we make here quite the opposite approach that Kierkegaard makes.

Kierkegaard looked at Job as a religious thinker and at Abraham as the knight of faith. I would say that Job, although he does nothing but suffering, sitting and complaining and apparently thinking, is the knight of faith because he is always in danger of losing the beliefs he inherited. He inherited straight beliefs. Abraham did not do so because he had to create a belief, as far as belief is concerned, in those stories. Job almost losing his belief and being in the process of being reduced to pure faith and sticking to it, is a suf-


ferer and a knight of faith. In my opinion in the strict Kierkegaardian sense we cannot find a trace of a knight of faith in Abraham because Abraham has never fallen out of faith or was never in danger of losing faith. He rejected all beliefs, mythical beliefs and religions of his time; he reduced himself by free thinking, human action, to nothing but faith — but that he had. The fact of the existence of divinity, even of the highest God, he never doubted for one second. He never was ready to accuse God or divinity as Job would be. He did not suffer in that respect; he is not a hero of faith, he is not a knight of faith. He is not a holy man — he is a blessed man, not a holy man — but he is a thinker. He is a religious thinker. He has been reduced to a position of pure faith where nothing counted but the absolute faith of man is something existing which is divine, and by that he found the absolute God.

His was the first, since Zarathustra is later, the first concept of God as the absolute person and, philosophically speaking, as the embodiment of the idea of the absolute. The idea of the absolute was, in a way, discovered by Lao-tze and Buddha, as we have seen. Without the philosophical idea of the absolute man could never have broken the framework of the mythological mind. Coming out of the absolute relations of myth, breaking those relations meant to have a very mighty weapon, namely, the weapon that could


help man to transcend every given relation into which he was by compulsion born and by compulsion held. Only the idea of the absolute could provide that. With the idea of absolute everything in the free creative performance of man became possible, including science. There is no possible pure science if man cannot conceive of abstract space and time; there is no possibility in all mythical thinking of ever getting at a concept of abstract space and time. Time and space are always concrete in mythical thinking and have to be because abstract concepts of time and space now are nothing but a derivate, namely, the derivate that scientific thinking of man made from this philosophic discovery of the idea of the absolute.

The idea of the absolute is common to all the original thinkers we are concerned with here; they conceive of the absolute in different forms. With Homer we will see why suddenly beauty becomes a possibility of an absolute and with it art, as a creative human performance, a consciously creative human performance, becomes possible at all. Here we have to deal with religious absolute. We ask the question: Is it so, according to our time and our conditions, that by having destroyed religions more or less as systems of belief — though then we have fallen for systems of belief that do not even have faith in them, like ideologies — but having destroyed those religions and gained a piece of philosophical insight into the validity of dogmatical belief and concepts, becoming


able to reject them and to proceed in free reason, have we not also incurred the great loss that with all that we might have thrown out something that we call faith and which we are after — namely, the creative capability of man to think in religious terms? Is this a creative capability of its own that man needs, that helps him in the performance of all his other creative capabilities? Might we not, perhaps find that as soon as faith is lost in the sense that it is consciously rejected as a problem of man, as human beings of today frequently do, that at this same moment we see reason already impaired? It could be that this tremendous fall of man that occurred in modern times — namely, when men, after achieving this height of rejecting all dogma, suddenly fell into believing the most ridiculous metaphysical and pseudoscientific assumptions of modern ideologies — is it perhaps because we lost a considerable part of this real reason the very same moment we rejected faith as a human capability and possibility absolutely?

This is one of the problems of our whole course and one of the central problems, this relation between faith and reason, and we want to find out about it. We can get one hint for the solution of this question from Abraham and the Abrahamitic stories, and it is a most valuable hint because if we ask the acid philosophical question: Does every religious belief, even if it is reduced to a nucleus of pure, as pure as possible, faith, impair freedom? We know that most of them


do; we know that mythical religious concepts do not even allow for the idea of freedom of man; we know and can prove that most of the metaphysical religions that came later, namely, the religions of redeeming and salvation, also either make freedom impossible or restrict it. They also require very often and mostly a sacrifice of reason — as we see in such early Christian thinkers as Tertullian and others like him, and then again in Luther. They decided that reason wasn’t worth anything, reason cannot help man, man should not apply reason, reason is deceiving. And in the Middle Ages the Catholic Church taught that man, if he wants to come into faith and to believe has to bring the sacrifice of reason.

This, of course, the philosophical mind of man could never accept; so, if we ask philosophically whether this is really so and go into our research, then we find to our astonishment that there are two exceptions: the one is in a few sayings of Jesus of Nazareth that have almost entered, at least as dogmas, the Christian religion, and the other more obvious one is the faith that is revealed to us in the Abrahamitic stories. We have seen this faith in the one absolute personal transcendent God and in nothing else, accompanied by no belief, by no mystical customs or superstitions whatsoever and by no dogma, that this belief in the one absolute transcendent personal God-Creator is a faith that never impairs freedom nor does it impair reason. Quite the contrary, if we


assume Abraham to be a religious thinker. And we do assume that because the text shows it clearly: »Go out of thy country and go into a country that I will show to you.«1 a new God is coming and Abraham has to reject all the other Gods. That indicates clearly that the process of his thinking was a religious one and not a philosophical one in the first place, so we take him seriously as a religious thinker. Then we must say we have the proof here that very astonishing event has happened once — namely, by straight religious thinking a concept of a possible divinity — we speak philosophically and so say a possible divinity — has been perceived which neither impairs freedom nor reason, but, on the contrary produced freedom and reason. If we take Abraham as a religious thinker from now on according to this concept of the one absolute personal transcendent God in whom he has faith and assume that this is the center of his thinking and his discoveries, we see that from this center on he develops now an absolute clear-cut philosophical system of reasoning this thought out, and it leads him to a possibility of human behavior that creates free men in their full responsibility before God in their own freedom, who use a process of constant reasoning with each other in order to establish justice on earth — that means to do their creative work.

So, if Abraham is a religious thinker and we have to assume that he is, then the proof has been given to us here


that a religious thinker can reach freedom and reason if he drives his thinking so deep and elevates it so high that he comes to the really only possible concept of divinity which could stand any scrutiny of philosophy. Philosophers cannot deny that this God is possible. They can say of all other divinities created by man, ›We can deny that this kind of divinity is possible because we can show that it does not go with the reality of human freedom, reason, and other creative capabilities. We can show, so to speak, behind all of those concepts an ulterior motive — not behind the concept of Abraham.‹ Here a religious thinker acted entirely out of one definite ultimate motive and he built his whole life and thinking on this discovery. So we have proof, more proof than philosophers could hope for, that it is possible that by thinking merely religiously with this thinking in faith which is possible — namely, asking what the highest possible power could be — and discovering, as any philosopher can also discover, the human possibility of transcendence, that by this discovery in the religious realm, the capabilities of reason and the fact of human freedom are at once opened up. No contradiction, but relation. This is the unique fact in all history of religion and in all religious thinking.

This event was repeated once, repeated I can only say in a lesser way by the German mystic thinker, Meister Eckhart, who, born into the Catholic religion and starting in it as a


thinker, philosophical thinker, managed to get rid of one dogma and one belief after the other, becoming very heretical in his German way, not in his Latin right — there he was obeying the Church very much — and finally driving down into pure faith and coming to definitions of pure faith that are very much like the Abrahamitic religious vision. He happened to find that there is no other possible relation of the absolute God to anything in the cosmos except to the human person, that the only communication that can take place is in the mind or the soul of man. With that he reduced himself by thinking to a position of pure faith.

I show that only as a parallel in order to fortify this first original process of consequent religious thinking that Abraham was engaged in. Now let’s check that. If that is true, then it must be equally possible to assume that Abraham was not a religious thinker, that Abraham was a philosophical thinker who started by reasoning out the ultimate questions the philosopher always puts to the world — namely, ›What is the meaning of being? What is value of life? and Who is man?‹ — the three-fold ultimate question of all philosophy. It is true that Abraham was a religious thinker, but we must be able to assume that he was a philosophical thinker and go the other way and then be able to show that if he had gone the philosophical way, he would then have come, transcending reason, if he wanted to transcend reason, exactly to the same concept of this one personal transcendent absolute God to which he came


in the first place as a religious thinker deriving from it all the other positions.

So, we assume that now; we assume Abraham to be a very modern philosopher, namely a philosopher who was able to doubt the existence of divinity at all — that means who rejected faith. He, the father of faith, we assume to be now the first, so to speak, atheist, nihilistic philosophical thinker who would have said, ›Seeing all those beliefs and religions here, I don’t see any value in them and I won’t see any value in religious thinking whatsoever and in the assumption that Gods or divinities exist.‹ Let’s first look, as Socrates later did, as we will see when we come to him, let’s first look into man. Him we know at least best; with him we can talk. Let’s see if we can get at a concept of the meaning of being, the value of life and the answer to the question. Who is man? by merely considering man’s position in being, in the world, in existence.

He would have then been forced to rely on his own experience, and his own experience is clear to us from the text. This man was an outstanding personality who took tremendous risks. He was of the opinion that justice, righteousness, can be established on earth by man, that man is a creative being, he — the other Abraham, this atheistic Abraham we are talking about now — he tried to prove that for himself at the risk of his life. He concluded covenants


and never broke one of them; he came to the conclusion that man to a certain degree is a creative creature, he is something absolutely unique in the world, something that distinguishes him from all other beings — he is to a certain degree creative. That means he can to a certain degree become the master of the future. He is able to say this will happen the day after tomorrow, and it will happen because he will make it happen. He can do that in community with other human beings; he can create a society on this mutual trust. This atheist Abraham has nothing but the possibility of trusting himself that he experiences. He finds out that he can trust himself; he gives a promise and he keeps it, and after he has done that many times, he found out, this atheistic philosopher, that since man has the capability to develop trust in himself, a person, that then he can go on and try others to go in for the same performance, taking more tremendous risks, of course, than he did with himself, but taking those risks and finding out in the story of Abilmelech [of Gera]2 for instance, when he had given in that Abimelech is coming back and seeing there is suddenly a strange quality in this man, namely man can trust this man — Who is that? Who is that man? And here Abraham gets already his answer who man is. Man is a being that is distinguished from all other beings in the cosmos, is not contained in them, can transcend them all, has a possible relation to something absolute. By exercising this relation to the absolute he gets this


idea of the absolute.

As an atheist philosophical thinker, having gotten that and found that he has those strange capabilities — God has promised him nothing, we have the atheistic Abraham — but he has found himself rewarded to a very strange extent. He has won the trust of all the human beings around him; he starts to lead a very happy and creative life; wherever he goes, people are impressed by the tremendous character of this personality. He knows that he is such a personality; he sees it and then finally towards his end this atheistic Abraham, being a very consequent philosopher still working within reason, and by nothing but reason, asks himself the consequential question: ›And I, this creative creature, this wonder of being that every man is, this free being, this reasonable being, this transcendent being with this tremendous creative power, I have not made myself. This all has been given.‹ It is almost as Professor Jaspers, the modern existentialist, would formulate it, who tries to go through nihilism also to faith, and has therefore a little of the same experience that Abraham, if he had been an atheist, would have come to. I am joking now, but the formula is the same. He would have come in straight philosophical performance, if he only kept true to reason — and one thing we know of Abraham: he could keep true to himself, to men, to everything — if he had only kept true to reason, even an atheistic Abraham, and only an atheistic Abraham, would have come


to the conclusion that all he achieved was faith. The fact that he was able to trust himself and to trust others would have led him to the formula: I can only have gotten that if there is one instance, one thing, to which I transcend, one absolute in which I can have absolute trust. And absolute trust is faith because absolute trust no human being can invest in the world — he doesn’t know it enough — neither in anything nor in anybody. Absolute trust can only be given to the absolute, and this absolute then he would have had to conceive, this philosophical thinker, Abraham, as a personal quality because he himself is a person — has personal qualities, let’s say, because men have other qualities too, physical, biological, mental and personal qualities. But going by those central qualities that distinguish man from all other beings he would have found the idea of the human person, and by the little jump only he could have made — the one Kierkegaard requires — the idea of the human person would have become the idea of the one transcendent, absolute, permanent, personal God because this God is the first God of man and this Abraham is the first man of this God of man.

So the consequent humanistic philosophical reasoning could have led him — only adding a transcendental jump to it — to this outstanding and singular and highest concept of divinity as well as his thinking in faith has led him to it. Here we see the first point where faith and reason not only do not contradict each other, but lead to the same


results. We will have the second point of an experience like that in the thinking of Jesus of Nazareth as far as we consider him then as a thinker, also as a religious thinker, but as a thinker and not, of course, as the son of God because otherwise we would not be entitled to talk about him at all. This is the significance of the Abrahamitic story, this point that reason and faith are here so near together that the common result could have been reached both ways — by pure reason as well as by pure faith. We know that it has been reached by pure faith — that means by straight religious thinking, which proves one point, or gives us at least a hint that straight religious thinking, namely, religious inner experience, experience of pure faith, seems to be an original human creative capacity, that it is not true that we as philosophers can reclaim all the truth that is in the different religions by saying, ›Those things have really unconsciously been reached, those results, by a muddled philosophical thinking. There are great truths in them and we will extract those truths now for the sake of philosophy.‹

It seems not to be that easy. There seems to be, at least in this Abrahamitic religion, a grain of a result which we cannot claim for philosophy alone. It seems there is a way to a point of absolute creative human behavior and dignity by merely sincere religious thinking and without the help of philosophical thinking. This is a problem and we


will pursue this problem, but this is clear, is indicated in those stories and we have to keep it in view in order to find a better approach to our main problem which is the relation of freedom, faith and reason — or freedom, faith and truth. We have here a point where faith and reason do not contradict each other but clearly help each other, do not impair each other but clearly enhance each other. That is the outstanding quality of the thinking performance of the religious thinker, Abraham.

Now, the religion itself, the so-called Abrahamitic religion, that means the performance of this faith in the Abrahamitic tribe, has not endured long. The Jews needed another religion, the Mosaic religion, and for good reasons. It is another purpose to approach the concept of the personal God who only communicates with human persons as he clearly does in the Abrahamitic stories, and the concept of a God who communicates with a chosen people. It is another purpose to try to build the fundaments of humanistic human relations in reason and in faith, personal relations, or to try to build a nation. There is no indication of sin in the Abrahamitic stories and that means politically speaking that there is no indication of law. There is no higher force that is imposed on man. It is not necessary yet.

The Abrahamitic stories are pre-political, so to speak, but they have in them perhaps the greatest political dream in their pre-political fashion: that has ever been dreamt


— namely, that the necessary interrelation of persons as given fundamentally in the first story of the creation (the second we disregard here because the whole story of sin and Eve out of Adam’s rib3 has nothing to do with the context of Abrahamitic thinking) in which man has been created by God — »Man and woman made He them«4 — means not only that they are one; it means they are one. Which means no person, no human being, having personal qualities and being a transcendent being, can realize this his being transcendent and become a person without the help of another human being. If he were entirely isolated, even the fact he has a ›you‹ in himself to which he can speak would die, because that ›you‹ in himself he could never identify with another you and so his ›I‹ and his ›you‹ in himself would become finally identical and worthless for the development of tie mind and the heart. This ›you‹ in myself is sustained by the ›I‹ in the other whom I love, to whom I belong, with whom I, philosophically speaking, am in permanent communication. And his ›I‹, this person, depends on myself in order to become himself.

That is indicated in the first story of the creation. According to that Abraham communication. The woman is considered to be equal in the Abrahamitic stories — Sarah at least — a covenant with her; circumcision is a sign of the covenant. It is of course carved into the male and it is also the sign of the circle which two persons close in order to stay with each other. The idea is enlarged to the


covenant of the tribe, other kingdoms, and nations. And the idea of mankind is here, because this God of man of Abraham, who created man as man and woman, making man one so that no racial discrimination can ever occur because all human beings are descendants of man as he has been made — that means with the same essential qualities — with this concept is given the concept of mankind, and of organized humanity. And this is an historical concept. And it also occurs for the first time in any religious thinking in the Abrahamitic thinking. It is the philosophical concept, so to speak, of a possible humanity — namely, mankind becoming united as it has been in its origin.

The way to unite it is the covenant and that is the great dream for this kind of thinking that starts with the highest value of man, saying who man is — namely, the being that can be, the being that can transcend all other being, that can act freely and create justice, now only has to do so by covenants and by keeping them and so in the most peaceful way humanity will finally be a unity. No word of a chosen people, no word of the Jews who have to go an historical way, as from Mosaic times on, being the guardians of God’s revelation until finally all mankind will become Jews and by that be united — which is also a concept of humanity but in quite a different way. They take it over and they change it.

Here it is in the most simple and naive way almost, like an overwhelming dream. Why shouldn’t it be possible.


this thinker asks, that when I am able to trust myself and you are able to trust yourself and we therefore will become able to trust ourselves mutually, why shouldn’t it be possible merely by developing this trust, this capability of faith, which is trust secularized (faith becomes trust by being brought into the world, into reality and practiced; that is the relation of faith and trust in Abraham’s thinking) why shouldn’t it be possible then in the end if we only persist with more and more faith, more and more insight and reason, and more and more trust, to achieve this final aim and really do the work of God? The work of God here, as we have seen, i[s] of the God-Creator who has created the world and, so to speak, was forced by creating man and giving him freedom: to give him, not the possibility of sin, but to give him the possibility of crime — of going away from this his highest capability (of creating and becoming, so to speak) [to be] de-creative, doing the opposite — two ways. We can become a person because we have personal qualities. If we use those personal qualities we will become creative creatures and persons in the end.

The other way, if we deny that, and we can reject it demonically — not the devilish way, not sin, the demonic way — leads us to become not fiends, because we aren’t that lucky, but become monsters who rely only on intelligence. There is no intelligence directed by will in animals


although there is high intelligence in animals but not intelligence directed by will. Willfully directed intelligence in the wrong way is the demonic capability that only man has. It is the capability of crime. This capability he can also develop and then we will become not a personality but a monstrosity. This free creative creature that man is can become the being that ruins the creation and therefore it is in his decision to become the one or the other, to go the one or the other way, and the full responsibility for it rests on every human person. That is the philosophical meaning of the Abrahamitic term of decision.

We have seen that Lao-tze and Buddha talked about the way. Tao is the way. Buddha talks about the way — which means that both had a conception of the absolute. Truth is not known but therefore it is absolute and cannot be known as an absolute to man but therefore it can be pursued. Truth can therefore be done step by step and case by case and this step by step is the way — what Lao-tze called the right way, Buddha’s way of the human mind to the self-salvation of the human mind, the salvation of the self: that means salvation of the personal qualities of every human being. Abraham chose this same way in his manner — only he, like Zarathustra later, formulates it much sharply. He shows much more profoundly how far-reaching the double capabilities of man are. And this dream — I call it a dream because it is pre-political


thinking — this dream that a united humanity could be brought about by fortifying nothing but personal relations in circles of covenants is the expression for his idea that man has gotten the task of the creator-God to bring the higher values of life into the world and that he can do it. This carries with it the negative, namely, that man also (as Zarathustra will later discover and show — we have seen that before because we handled Zarathustra before, but historically he is later) is the creator — if we can call that creator, becoming not free but becoming an arbitrary intellect of demonic powers. It is not that demonic powers have him — they might then have him, too — but he makes them. He makes them by what Zarathustra calls evil deeds. He makes them by acting arbitrarily and not freely — that means acting arbitrarily only for ulterior reasons and becoming the monster of the creation, the shame of the creation, the one that ruins creation by it.

This is the scope of human freedom as seen in the Abrahamitic stories. I will mention only in addition the meaning of the so-called ritual in the Abrahamitic stories. There are three kinds of rites — animal sacrifice, circumcision, and the blessing. Those are the rites practiced in Abrahamitic religion. We have looked into the sacrifice of Isaac5 and have found both in the way of faith, the way of religious thinking, and also in the way of reasonable thinking that here is manifested only the highest God, the God of


man, who logically is, of course, the God that can never accept human sacrifice. That concerns us now is that with this it has to be seen the meaning of the animal sacrifice changes completely. The meaning of the animal sacrifice having been like all other sacrifices to give to the Gods, to divinity, but bound up in mythical thinking with that was what Zarathustra condemned so much, the drinking of blood, mystical rites that make a kind of mystical communication with divinity by getting drunk on blood, a mystical experience that is cut out in Abrahamitic sacrifice. This sacrifice is there. It becomes the sacrifice of a nomadic tribe and is nothing but a sign of remembrance, just as the covenant is nothing else. The fact of circumcision does not mean that we are in any mystical communication with God by this act. It merely means that man should be reminded always that he has concluded a covenant and that he will be held responsible for it and held to it. The animal sacrifice means only that man shall be reminded forever that his God, the highest God, the God-Creator is a God of man and that he never requires a human sacrifice. It has become a sign of remembrance.

The blessing is not a mystical act either. The blessing is originally the choice of God of one man who was really man, who wants to become man, better to say — like Noah or Abraham. He chooses persons, not a people. He chooses Abraham as a person and He finds out He can trust Abraham and He


puts finally as much faith in Abraham as Abraham puts in Him and so they go their way together and the blessing means that it is most probable that God will not have to look around much anymore because among the children raised in this absolute and pure faith there might always be one whom God can choose also as His partner, as He has chosen Abraham — and so the blessing can be given. That explains why the blessing is not given to Esau but to Jacob,6 because this is not the inheritance of a nomadic patriarch, in which case the eldest son automatically gets everything. What he gets here is something more than human, he gets something divine — he gets the possibility to listen to God. If he wants to inherit that then he has to earn it — that means he has by his own life to show first that he cares most for that. And Jacob cared most for that and Esau did not care for it at all, because he was ready to sell the whole inheritance including the divine part7 — but God cannot be rejected or He will reject. So the meaning of this cunning story of Jacob is that it is better that somebody who really cares for truth, justice and transcendence might overdo it a bit by becoming clever about it, he will still be accepted. Because he has shown that he cares for the essentials, he has made himself worthy to inherit. In that sense the whole patriarchal stories are one.

It goes even farther. Joseph does not get the blessing


Judah gets it, the weak one, the so-called sinner.8 He is not a sinner but he is a weak one. Joseph does not get it — Why? Because Joseph has gone away and become entirely a man of the world. To him was given all the brilliance of reason and all the success, but he had not the opportunity nor did he himself show in his life that he cared for nothing so much as to be in the trust of God; but the weak Judah did and he gets the blessing.9

So, every line in patriarchal stories, and especially in the Abrahamitic stories, is consistent. Centered around this highest idea of the absolute God, a consistent system of free and reasonable human behavior is developed almost like a conclusive philosophical system — it is not metaphysical, not closed, but open and consistent throughout.

We do not have more time for Abraham. We spent a lot of time on him and it was necessary because we had here the first pure religious thinker and only from him we can learn what religious thinking might possibly mean and approach the meaning of faith. We will next time go to Homer, which is quite a jump. [Audio file ends here.]

1 Genesis 12:1.

2 Genesis 20-21.

3 Genesis 2:21-22.

4 Genesis 1:27, 5:2.

5 Genesis 22.

6 Genesis 27.

7 Genesis 25:29-34.

8 Genesis 49:8-12.

9 This is not obviously in the Genesis. Maybe Bluecher follows Thomas Mann’s interpretation in his novel Jospeh and His Brothers.