Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Christ and Jacob's "Ladder"

Benjamin Glaser asked what I thought about Jesus' use of this passage. For those who are unaware, Jesus made a clear allusion to the account of Jacob's dream in his response to Nathanael (John 1:43-51). In this statement Jesus identifies himself as the ladder. The reference probably has no better concise explanation than that found in the comment on Gen 28:12 in the Geneva Bible (this is the 1599 Geneva Bible, recently republished by Tolle Lege Press, not the New Geneva Bible, which became the Reformation Study Bible). That note reads: "Christ is the ladder whereby God and man are joined together, and by whom the angels minister unto us; all graces by him are given unto us, and we by him ascend to heaven."

The ladder (or stairway, or ramp) clearly represents the connection between God and man. The fact that angels ascend and descend on that ladder seems clearly to indicate that it is by means of the ladder that the ministry of the angels to men is enabled. The further fact that Genesis 28 is the account of the establishment of the covenant with Jacob makes the covenantal significance of the ladder quite clear. Thus, the ladder represents Christ, through whom the covenant is mediated to man.


Nicholas T. Batzig said...

Dr. Sahw,

Thanks for this post. I am really glad to see that you are putting things on your blog again. I am looking forward to what you will put up in days to come.

Nicholas T. Batzig said...

Sorry for mispelling you name. Its Shaw--not Sahw.

Benjamin P. Glaser said...

Thanks for this Dr. Shaw. I think I may have to pick up the Geneva Bible.