Jacob’s Ladder


In Genesis 28 we have the famous passage known from children’s Bible stories as “Jacob’s ladder”, though it should be called “the LORD’S ladder” because it is all about Him, not Jacob. And really our understanding of this passage, at least as I imagined it as a child, has been skewed by our western Home Improvement/Home Depot/HGTV understanding. It is not that Jacob saw a ladder as we know it, but he probabaly saw a ziggurat as pictured below. In the ancient Near East, people erected these buildings and believed that gods dwelt on the top. Probably the tower of Babel, as recorded in Genesis 11, was one of these as well. So when Jacob saw the angels ascending and descending, it was probably up and down the steps of one of these ziggurats, and not an actual ladder as is captured in the painting above by the famous artsist Marc Chagall. Jacob realized that he was in the presence of Yahweh, the God of his father and grandfather. What a sight it must have been. And what we see foreshadowed in this event is a picture of Jesus, the Son of God, who became flesh and dwelt among us {John 1:14}.





  1. “The stairway-tower of Jacob’s dream was God’s answer to the tower of Babel. The top of it did reach to heaven, for God was the builder, not man. God alone establishes communication between heaven and earth. True religion does not come from man’s quest, but from God’s intervention.” – Edmund P. Clowney

  2. Very nice. I just skimmed “Preaching Christ from All of Scripture” which has sample sermons on how to preach Christ from the OT. There are also many available sermons online from Dr. Clowney. Just google…Saw the Wiehoffs today! I’ll call ya soon and give you a DEMORTRI update and how it relates to STARBUCKS…

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