PostFigurations

Jacob’s Staircase (ascent)

The 1st Step and 10th plague.

The sacrifice of the firstborn. As we said Christ is the first created and only one who contains the Essence of God in the intensity of God. But He becomes man (sin, citizen of Egypt), to escape from the righteousness that Satan demanded of us, to make us fit and to save us.

Passion is the real moment from which we can receive the Holy Spirit, see God again, whoever has his Spirit. The following steps are a consequence of this, which will make the downward direction bounce upward.

It is worth noting (35) that they ask for silver gold and clothing; all representative of the Holy Spirit, though less so, silver (also treasure), perhaps this distinction is for ‘Adam/Eve’ or is it just the 30 coins on the plague side?

Finally, justice is not a pretext, after fulfilling Jesus with it (asking the Egyptians) we receive that Spirit, but also stripping Egypt of it because we’leave’ them without a shield, without their kidnapped victim, us, they can no longer ask for our same fate. After many years of kidnapping (42), the Lord, awake (awake in vigil) in the night (our world), brings us out of Egypt.

To open the sea that symbolizes death (14:21), and then close it over Pharaoh, is to break the chains of our slavery then (Israel) and then (all of humanity). By validating man’s nature in the Passion, the blackmail of Justice to which we were subjected by the devil (Pharaoh) is broken: ‘if you condemn me, you condemn them too, for they too have betrayed’. God made the Hebrew Passover coincide with that of Jesus to make him visible to us from the future. I would not be surprised if from the time they fled until the sea was closed, the same time had passed as from the passion to the resurrection of Christ.

Éxo 12:34 So the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading bowls being bound up in their mantles on their shoulders.  35 The people of Israel had also done as Moses told them, for they had asked of the Egyptians jewelry of silver and of gold, and clothing; 36 and the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they despoiled the Egyptians.
 Éxo 12:41   And at the end of four hundred and thirty years, on that very day, all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.
14:21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.  (22)  And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.  (23)  The Egyptians pursued, and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen (26)  Then the LORD said to Moses, «Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.» 27 So Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its wonted flow when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled into it, and the LORD routed the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.  (28)  The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen and all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not so much as one of them remained.

The 2nd Step

The Pillar of Fire, the pillar of protective clouds. This step is that it cancels out or counteracts the ninth plague in which God made Himself disappear from us. Now the Holy Spirit within us (God Himself) guides us through the darkness of the world symbolized as the pillar of fire, but, moreover, the one who possesses Him lives the sufferings with hope and in a more ‘softened’ way; this is the pillar of clouds. He who has the Holy Spirit within him already has the kingdom of heaven in him; somehow he already sees God.

Exo 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night;

The 3rd Step

Red Sea Passage. This step eliminates the eighth plague in which Satan cried out to righteousness to receive the same fate from us for having been left empty like us. This is what ‘bound’ God, for He could not save us without saving them, and since they were hatred He cannot mingle with them (He cannot receive the Holy Spirit). Opening (21) the Red Sea speaks of opening a way for us among death. We can now pass through it, and close the Red Sea behind us, over the Egyptians, which means that the bond of justice that we had with them is severed. Our destiny is separated from theirs, which was and is death (symbolized by their drowning in the sea).

Éxo 14:20 coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. And there was the cloud and the darkness; and the night passed without one coming near the other all night.  21  Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.  22  And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.  23  The Egyptians pursued, and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.  24  And in the morning watch the LORD in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down upon the host of the Egyptians, and discomfited the host of the Egyptians,  25  clogging their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily; and the Egyptians said, «Let us flee from before Israel; for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians.»  26  Then the LORD said to Moses, «Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.»  27  So Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its wonted flow when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled into it, and the LORD routed the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.  28  The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen and all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not so much as one of them remained.  29  But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.  30  Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the seashore.

The 4th Step

The water is sweetened. This step counteracts the 7th step, the hail step. It symbolizes the Love of God; if the hail symbolized that He Himself rose up ‘angry’ to put order in His ‘ranks’; or rather it shows us the incompatibility of the Holy Spirit with what we became; here it shows us God as He is: Love, for it is not that God changed, but that we changed, but now He does not flee from us, for He did so before. Now it is coming around and soon we will be able to drink it again or contain it in our new container, the man (this is symbolized in the next one). Again he refers to the cross, the wood that makes this possible, that changes everything. In addition, it also refers to some norms or laws, advancing the commandments, which are also a further step.

Éxo 15:22 Then Moses led Israel onward from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur; they went three days in the wilderness and found no water.  23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah.  24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, «What shall we drink?»  25 And he cried to the LORD; and the LORD showed him a tree, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the LORD made for them a statute and an ordinance and there he proved them, 26 saying, «If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give heed to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon you which I put upon the Egyptians; for I am the LORD, your healer.»  27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees; and they encamped there by the water.

The 5th Step

Quails and Mana This step counteracts the 6th plague, the ulcer plague. If we remember, ulcers make us unable to receive the Holy Spirit. The lack of love has’broken’ our soul and we have emptied ourselves. On this step we are once again able to rise from the world, to separate ourselves. This is symbolized by quails; I have already commented that, in various parts of the Bible, birds symbolize the Adams, who have ears for God. As a notation, Num 11:31 specifies that quails come from the sea (symbol of death). But even with ears we needed to be capable of the Spirit. Thus, we are given that flesh symbolizing that our ulcers are healed, but, moreover, on this very step we are given what we lost when we sore: the Holy Spirit, symbolized as that manna that fell from heaven. The one appears in the afternoon (passion) and the other the next day, the Holy Spirit.

In (16:18) I think it is referred to that each one has specific needs of the Spirit or different sizes, but that when we get to heaven, we will all be full in our size; perhaps the one who has taken less, through purgatory will be completed… I don’t know, this is speculating more than anything else.

This Holy Spirit is already available from the first step (the passion) to the end of the world or the arrival to the Promised Land (35) for those who achieve it.

Éxo 16:11 And the LORD said to Moses,  12  «I have heard the murmurings of the people of Israel; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.'»  13  In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning dew lay round about the camp.  14 And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as hoarfrost on the ground.  15 When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, «What is it?» For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, «It is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat.  16 This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Gather of it, every man of you, as much as he can eat; you shall take an omer apiece, according to the number of the persons whom each of you has in his tent.'»  17 And the people of Israel did so; they gathered, some more, some less.  18 But when they measured it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; each gathered according to what he could eat.
Éxo 16:35 And the people of Israel ate the manna forty years, till they came to a habitable land; they ate the manna, till they came to the border of the land of Canaan.
Núm 11:31 And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and it brought quails from the sea, and let them fall beside the camp…

The 6th Step

Moses makes water come out of a stone. This step counteracts the fifth plague, the death of the cattle. As I was saying, these cattle represent the EVAs who are deaf. To make water sprout from the stone represents the same thing. This step has not yet been taken, for the so-called fools in the Bible are still fools. However, it has been prophesied on several occasions. For example:  

Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;

All the people left the desert of Sin in stages’ (1) can refer to the passage of humanity through the world, from generation to generation. Finally, the miracle of the stone takes place at the end of time.

Éxo 17:1 All the congregation of the people of Israel moved on from the wilderness of Sin by stages, according to the commandment of the LORD, and camped at Reph’idim; but there was no water for the people to drink.  2 Therefore the people found fault with Moses, and said, «Give us water to drink.» And Moses said to them, «Why do you find fault with me? Why do you put the LORD to the proof?»  3 But the people thirsted there for water, and the people murmured against Moses, and said, «Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?»  4 So Moses cried to the LORD, «What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.»  5 And the LORD said to Moses, «Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel; and take in your hand the rod with which you struck the Nile, and go.  6 Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, that the people may drink.» And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.  7 And he called the name of the place Massah and Mer’ibah, because of the faultfinding of the children of Israel, and because they put the LORD to the proof by saying, «Is the LORD among us or not?»

The 7th y 8th Step

Battle against Amalek and the council of Jethro. These counteract the 4th and 3rd plagues, in which mosquitoes and flies or horseflies attack the people of Egypt. Curiously, although he distinguished between the two plagues, he did not give the pharaoh the opportunity to repent between them, as he did with the other plagues. According to this, as I said, a distinction is made between the attack of angels and archangels, but it is a single battle. Specifying a ‘fight’ hierarchy.

Here he also speaks of a battle and a hierarchy and it is also a family struggle (descendants of Esau and Jacob).
But Amalek represents the demons on earth (16) and this time we fight against them, but with the help of God (Father and Son – arms on the cross). The opposite of what happened in the parallel plagues.
Jethro’s counsel, right afterward (18:1), invites Moses to delegate to righteous men, so that a hierarchy is established for the development of camp life. This, in addition to telling us that we keep our ‘soul’ sizes here, tells us that we will be tempted by demons that are comparable; God does not burden us with what we cannot. As in the plagues these two steps could have become one.

Éxo 17:8  Then came Am’alek and fought with Israel at Reph’idim.  9 And Moses said to Joshua, «Choose for us men, and go out, fight with Am’alek; tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.»  10 So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Am’alek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.  11 Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Am’alek prevailed.  12  But Moses’ hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat upon it, and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; so his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.  13 And Joshua mowed down Am’alek and his people with the edge of the sword.  14 And the LORD said to Moses, «Write this as a memorial in a book and recite it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Am’alek from under heaven.»  15 And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The LORD is my banner, 16 saying, «A hand upon the banner of the LORD! The LORD will have war with Am’alek from generation to generation.«
Éxo 18:20 and you shall teach them the statutes and the decisions, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do.  21 Moreover choose able men from all the people, such as fear God, men who are trustworthy and who hate a bribe; and place such men over the people as rulers of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.  22 And let them judge the people at all times; every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves; so it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you.  23 If you do this, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.» y podrás resistir, y el pueblo se volverá a casa en paz».

The 9th Step

Israel on Mount Sinai. This step counteracts, only in part, the second plague, in which we come out of the water like frogs, no longer like fish, and move away from God. Now it is God who is approaching us: on Mount Sinai, He says that ‘I have carried you on eagle’s wings (Holy Spirit) and brought you to Me’.

But even so we cannot reach Him as before. We can’t go up Mount Sinai. Now we will have man-made nature forever, and though we may reach heaven in infinite happiness, we will not be what we once were: angels. If the passage of the water (God), fish, to be empty, was symbolized by the frog and its jumps, now God appears on the top of Sinai to which we can not even approach. Even though the Holy Spirit has reached us, we will not reach the lost heavenly nature. Just as the frog spoke to us of the impossibility of dwelling with the Spirit, since they voluntarily go out to die outside the river, this step speaks to us of the recovery of that possibility of cohabitation, but at the same time it informs us, as did the second plague, of our change of nature.  This step is closely related to the next step.


Éxo 19:3 And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him out of the mountain, saying, «Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel:  4  You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.  5 Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples; for all the earth is mine,  6  and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.» Éxo 19:10 And the LORD said to Moses, «Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments,  11  and be ready by the third day; for on the third day the LORD will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.  12 And you shall set bounds for the people round about, saying, ‘Take heed that you do not go up into the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death;

The 10th Step

The 10 Commandments This step reverses the first pest. The water, sign of the Holy Spirit, becomes Blood. We become disconnected from God; this is the first plague, although later he speaks of the consequences (frog, mosquitoes…). That’s why everything starts. We cease to be in God and share his Spirit to become blood (there the symbol of death). The commandments are a ‘structure’ that remakes and reconnects us. Like the sticks and ribbons that scaffold a graft onto a plant, the commandments unite us back to God and why? Because most of them are based on Love and others on fidelity. If the steps were necessary to get there, the commandments are the hitch that holds us to heaven.

But the 10 commandments are given twice. What does this mean? The first time refers to our first lost nature: the heavenly one. That is why he speaks of betrayal of God in Idolatry of the ram (32:1). Again, the Holy Spirit is represented or symbolized by gold, which is ‘mined’ more from women than from men: (women, sons and daughters). This refers to the Eve who covet the apple, the Essence of God or become gods of themselves. In the ‘children’, I see the Adams, for they represent innocence that is carried away by the Eve (by the mothers here). Notice that the first time he gives these 10 commandments, (heavenly nature) they come from God the Father (31:18); not only the written, but also the tablets themselves, but not the second time.

 Thus, the tablet itself is made by Moses (prefiguration of Christ), though not written inside (34:1). After the breaking of the first tablets, he (Moses) personally makes them as copies of the first ones so that God (He says at the beginning -34:1-), will again chisel the commandments. That Christ validates our human nature (symbolized here as the tables without inscription), so that we can shelter the Holy Spirit within us (= that which is written inside us by the finger of God). But, although in 34:1 it says that He (God) will write the words on them, in 34:27 He tells Moses Why? Because Moses is the prefiguration of Christ and He is in God the Father and vice versa. Let’s see, in the verses (6,7) it says: The Lord passed before him proclaiming `Lord, Lord, God…’ But he is not the person of God (father) speaking of Himself, but Christ interceding for us in heaven after the betrayal; he still has no human nature. It shows us what happened before the creation of the world, as a vision that comes from heaven (5); being so, God the Father is not proclaiming Himself but God the Son to the Father. In the next verse on (8), it says: Moses bowed and fell to the ground, this refers to the moment when Christ became man (earth). In the following (9) it says ‘If I have obtained your favor, let my Lord go with us’ referring to the moment when man’s nature validates to receive the Holy Spirit (the moment of passion), He can already come or enter into us. The answer to this is in (11), the covenant by which with your help we will recover the Promised Land (heaven), expelling the Amorites, the Canaanites…
In 34,27 God also speaks of the covenant He makes with ‘Moses’ (prefiguration of Christ) and with Israel. In fact, our new covenant is made in Christ; thanks to him we can reconnect with God, not in vain, but rather name `Moses’ (prefiguration of Christ) rather than Israel, making it a key or angular piece, otherwise why not name only the people? Wasn’t Moses part of the people?

Éxo 20:1 And God spoke all these words, saying, 2  «I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.  3 «You shall have no other gods before me.  4  «You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;  5  you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,  6  but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.  7 «You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.  8  «Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. …
Éxo 31:18 Exo 31:18  And he gave to Moses, when he had made an end of speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, the two tables of the testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
Éxo 32:1 When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron, and said to him, «Up, make us gods, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.»  2 And Aaron said to them, «Take off the rings of gold which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.»  3  So all the people took off the rings of gold which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron.  4  And he received the gold at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, and made a molten calf; and they said, «These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!»

Éxo 34:1 The LORD said to Moses, «Cut two tables of stone like the first; and I will write upon the tables the words that were on the first tables, which you broke.  2 Be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me on the top of the mountain.  3  No man shall come up with you, and let no man be seen throughout all the mountain; let no flocks or herds feed before that mountain.»  4  So Moses cut two tables of stone like the first; and he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand two tables of stone.  5 And the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.  6  The LORD passed before him, and proclaimed, «The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,  7  keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.»
Éxo 34:8 And Moses made haste to bow his head toward the earth, and worshiped.   Éxo 34:9 And he said, «If now I have found favor in thy sight, O Lord, let the Lord, I pray thee, go in the midst of us, although it is a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thy inheritance.»  10 And he said, «Behold, I make a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been wrought in all the earth or in any nation; and all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the LORD; for it is a terrible thing that I will do with you.  11 «Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I will drive out before you the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Per’izzites, the Hivites, and the Jeb’usites.
Éxo 34:27 And the LORD said to Moses, «Write these words; in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.»  28  And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.

The end: The Arrival in Heaven.

It’s already said. We have been saved from our inability to receive God. From the passion we can return to heaven, something that the Holy Spirit helps us to do.
Many of the rules of coexistence, beyond the 10 commandments (many inspired by Love), that God provided to the people of Israel, were to artificially subject what is naturally subject to Love. It is true that others were precisely given so that without love they could live together. To keep a large plastic bag open upside down, holding it with hands, so that it is open in all its volume, it would take many hands and still not be swollen at all; however, with a hair dryer or an air hose blowing from below, it would fill completely and still push us up. This is the Holy Spirit from whom we are disconnected, who from passion can return to us.
Well, Solomon, wise among the wise, found this antagonistic relationship between some of the plagues and some of the events of the Exodus (we see it in the book of Wisdom), but the Lord hid the meaning of this from him. He could not imagine that the plagues described our descent here from heaven itself and that those events initiated at Christ’s Passover described the ladder that led us back there.
All that is said is very clear to anyone who reads this carefully. If I were a Jew I would be proud to have been chosen as my people to introduce the savior of humanity; to have been chosen to draw the history of Salvation and to be able to make it present to us who dwell here below. If I were a Jew I would be the most fervent of Christians, for what will be clear to other nations should be crystal clear to the Jewish people.

About Jacob’s Staircase

In Jacob’s dream, Gen 28:10, Isaac was shown a staircase through which angels went down and up. As I have described, the events of the Exodus from the Passover have a meaning linked to the corresponding plagues. In this way, the plagues in exegesis are revealed as events that happened to us from the time we lived in heaven to the time we reached earth. In fact, until the Passover of Christ, the first event or step upwards without which the following could not have taken place. These steps, moreover, are in strict order and correspond to each of their respective pests.

Thus, as I said, the staircase is made up of a descent like the plagues and a climb like the following events of the Exodus. To think that Isaac was figuratively shown this ladder not only coincides with the message of his dream, but confirms what I believe I have already demonstrated or will demonstrate in this essay. We were indeed angels and went down to earth in another nature for our salvation. Thank God we can return to heaven and the way to do it was described in the Exodus thousands of years ago, as these steps whose base or angular step is the passion of Jesus Christ. The fact that the vision was at Bethel may be significant because it was the first place in Canaan where Abraham put a temple to God. Thus, Bethel could be the fulcrum of the ladder, and the first step, as has been said, the passion of Jesus in Jerusalem. Bethel is the second most named city in the Bible. This city is called the house of God, but also the house of iniquity by the prophet Hosea (here was erected the golden calf, it seems).  The world as we know it is the house of idols, but also the place where we can be filled with the Holy Spirit. As in Jacob’s dream, we observe a similarity between the opposites up/down and God/ Idols.

I invite you to ask yourselves these questions:

Why did the Lord want it to happen this way: with clear steps up and down that correspond? It was enough for Isaac to show him the dream. Was it so important to leave it so exposed for our time? It may be one more evidence for the people of Israel, but in any case, why does the Lord want this to be revealed now? It seems a further sign that the prophesied union of nations and the subsequent ‘quench and release’ are near. Perhaps our Israeli brethren will be the first to recognize the Truth? Will the Muslim brethren follow them by seeing their example and taking this knowledge seriously? Others? Or will it be all at once? I don’t know how the Lord will do it, but He will do it because it is written: not only those who hear in religions but also the deaf will hear.

Gén 28:10 Jacob left Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran.  11 And he came to a certain place, and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep.  12 And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!  13  And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, «I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your descendants;  14  and your descendants shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and by you and your descendants shall all the families of the earth bless themselves.  15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done that of which I have spoken to you.»  16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, «Surely the LORD is in this place; and I did not know