Parashah: “VaYetze” (and he went out) GENESIS 28:10-32:2
In this parashah study, we see that Jacob is on his way to Haran to find himself a wife (or two). He is tired after a long day's journey, He stops to rest outside of a city called “Luz” (In Spanish “Light”) and scripture says that he settles down for the night and takes “of the stones” (m'avenei) and puts “one” under his head for a pillow. I am sure that he chose a large, flat one, wrapped his tunic around it, and put his head down. Perhaps the stone was still warm from the heat of the day, and he went to sleep and dreamed...
But before we get to the dream, I'd like to note that in all English translations, the number “one” appears which states that he took “one” stone, yet the Hebrew does not give a certain number, the word “m'avenei” is used meaning “of the stones” It could be that he took one “of the stones” or a few “of the stones”. All we know is that he went to sleep and dreamed a strange dream. We all know the story of “Jacob's Ladder” we have read it in Bible storybooks and from the Torah itself. Yet I think that the title is misleading, it wasn't “Jacob's Ladder” at all, it was “God's ladder” Jacob was just a witness to seeing it, and the activity that surrounded it.
The Word says that the ladder was grounded on the earth and the top reached Heaven, and angels went up and down the ladder. Then it says that YHVH stood beside Jacob and spoke saying; “Ani YHVH. Elohei Avraham, Elohei Yitzchak” (I am the LORD, God of Abraham, God of Isaac). The same promise that was given to Abraham and Isaac is now being repeated to Ya'akov.
The land where he is right now will be a possession for him and his seed. The title and deed of the Land of Israel pertain to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. YHVH said it, case closed! The rest of the people who live there are “residents” not owners! YHVH likens the descendants of Jacob to the “dust of the earth” why dust? Dust cannot be counted, ever try to count a “speck of dust?” dust will “last forever” also, lay something out in the desert for 1000 years, a car for example, in 1000 years, the car will be no more, probably not even a trace of it will be left, because the “dust” will have, in a way of speaking, “eaten it”. The dust is also “trodden upon.”
“Am Yisrael” (The people of Israel) will be forever, as our faith in our “Mashiach m'Yisrael” (Messiah from Israel) is an everlasting faith, which will endure forever. Israel has also been “trodden on” stepped on, mistreated, and taken as worthless by maniac leaders, yet when all is gone and vanished, Israel will be forever. Scripture also says that Israel will be spread abroad to the North, South, East, and West. In other words, “All over the world” and we have seen just that today.
We have Jewish people in all nations of the world, integrated among all the nations, taking the Torah with them, and the belief in ONE GOD (Echad). We have three major Jewish peoples, “Sephardim” from Spain, North Africa, and the Middle East. “Ashkenazim” from Germany and East Europe, and “Falashim” from Ethiopia and other African countries. The Torah says, “In thy seed will all the families of the earth be blessed
Who is the Seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Yeshua! He was of the seed of these patriarchs! And we are all blessed by HIM, whose one-time sacrifice for sin saved us all, from eternal separation from YHVH. His name “YESHUAH” is “Salvation” from YAH.
When Jacob awoke from his dream, he stood the “stone” that he placed as a pillow, “upright” and anointed it with oil, calling that place “Beit-El” (House of God). The rabbis of old give meaning to this, some say that the “stones that were together become ONE” some say that Jacob gathered 12 stones, and these 12 stones became ONE, symbolizing the 12 sons of Israel, that became 12 tribes, were “united” as “AM ECHAD” (One People) at Sinai under Moshe after they had left Egypt.
The word “stone” in Hebrew is “AVEN” which is a combination of two-word, AV (father) and BEN (Son) Father and Son as ONE (Echad). The anointing of the “Stone” reminds us of the anointing of YESHUA as Messiah, teacher of Torah, healer, and redeemer. He is the SOLID ROCK.
We see that Jacob put “the stones” or “The stone” under his head as a pillow. In symbolic meaning, one way we can see the word “stone” or “Aven” is the meaning in gematria, “Aven” = 53 in gematria, “Grace through Elohim” (5 +3) = 8 (new Beginning) Jacob is on the road to a “new Beginning” he has left behind Esau and the problem associated with Esau and will have a “new start” but it will not be easy being with Uncle Laban and his school of “hard knocks”.
Yeshua is the “solid Rock” and as we see that the “stone” is under Jacob’s head, it is next to his mind, so, in a way of thinking, our thoughts should be in Yeshua and in things of the Torah.
The ladder itself is symbolic. The sages and rabbis of old liken the ladder to “Moshe climbing up to the top of Sinai to receive the Commandments carved in STONE, and later, went up again for 40 days and nights to receive the whole Torah which he later wrote down. He went UP and YHVH came DOWN, we liken this unto “Yeshua the Living WORD, the living TORAH”. Other rabbis imagine the ladder as having 22 steps, each step being a letter of the Aleph-Bet, the Hebrew Aleph-Beit. Since all letters form words, we look again at Yeshua who is the “living WORD, the living TRUTH. The ladder is the “WAY up, and the WAY down. Yeshua said, “I AM the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, no one comes to the Father but by ME”
The word “ladder” in Hebrew is “SULAM” in gematria, it equals the sum of 136. the words “Tzom” (fasting) “Kol” (voice) and “Mammon” (money) also sum “136”. So how do these words speak of Yeshua? Yeshua “Fasted” for 40 days and 40 nights in the desert, he “voiced” his prayers to His Father in Heaven, and he taught about money, and “Tzedakah” (deeds of kindness) “it is more blessed to give than receive” he taught that we must put money in its proper perspective since the “LOVE” of money is the root of all evil, he taught that one should be “content” with the wages received, (when speaking to the Roman soldier).
How do these words speak of our relationship with Yeshua? We first come to “Salvation” (Yeshuah) through “Prayer” (voice) of repentance (tefillah/ teshuva) and there are times when we must “fast” to get prayers answered, and we fast on Yom Kippur. We “give money” through tithes and offerings to our local church/synagogue to keep it going. But who or what is the ladder really? Is there a correct answer? It is in the Brit HaDashah.