Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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Genesis 28:12 He dreamed. Behold, a stairway set upon the earth, and its top reached to heaven. Behold, the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

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Genesis 28:13 >

      12. he dreamed . . . and behold a ladder--Some writers are of opinion that it was not a literal ladder that is meant, as it is impossible to conceive any imagery stranger and more unnatural than that of a ladder, whose base was on earth, while its top reached heaven, without having any thing on which to rest its upper extremity. They suppose that the little heap of stones, on which his head reclined for a pillow, being the miniature model of the object that appeared to his imagination, the latter was a gigantic mountain pile, whose sides, indented in the rock, gave it the appearance of a scaling ladder. There can be no doubt that this use of the original term was common among the early Hebrews; as JOSEPHUS, describing the town of Ptolemais (Acre), says it was bounded by a mountain, which, from its projecting sides, was called "the ladder," and the stairs that led down to the city are, in the original, termed a ladder (Ne 3:15) though they were only a flight of steps cut in the side of the rock. But whether the image presented to the mental eye of Jacob were a common ladder, or such a mountain pile as has been described, the design of this vision was to afford comfort, encouragement, and confidence to the lonely fugitive, both in his present circumstances and as to his future prospects. His thoughts during the day must have been painful--he would be his own self-accuser that he had brought exile and privation upon himself--and above all, that though he had obtained the forgiveness of his father, he had much reason to fear lest God might have forsaken him. Solitude affords time for reflection; and it was now that God began to bring Jacob under a course of religious instruction and training. To dispel his fears and allay the inward tumult of his mind, nothing was better fitted than the vision of the gigantic ladder, which reached from himself to heaven, and on which the angels were continually ascending and descending from God Himself on their benevolent errands (Joh 1:51).

JFB.


Questions Related to this Verse

Where In Scripture Does It Talk About Jacob's Vision Of The Ladder reaching from heaven to earth?

Where in Scripture does it mention Prophecies concerning Jacob and his descendants?

Where in Scripture does it talk about angels?

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Genesis 28 Images and Notes

Brief Summary: Isaac forbids Jacob to marry a Canaanite, Isaac blesses Jacob and his seed with the blessings of Abraham, Esau marries a daughter of Ishmael, Jacob has a vision of a ladder reaching up to heaven with angels ascending and descending, the Lord promises Jacob that his seed will be as the dust of the earth in number, He also promises Jacob that in his seed all the nations of the world will be blessed, Jacob makes a vow to pay tithes to the Lord.

Outline
1 Isaac blesses Jacob and sends him to Padan-aram
6 Esau marries the daughter of Ishmael
10 The vision of Jacob's ladder
18 The stone of Bethel
20 Jacob's vow

Ancient Customs
Ladder
Pillar
Oil
Vow
The Tenth

Map of Abraham's Journey and Paddan-Aram
Map of the Abram's Journey from Ur to Haran through Canaan and to Egypt
The Journey of Abram from Ur to Haran and Paddan Aram

The Old Testament

The Old Testament

Genesis Resources

Creation
Adam and Eve
The Flood
The Tower of Babel
Abraham the First Hebrew
Isaac, Son of Promise
Jacob and the 12 Tribes
Joseph and Egypt