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Genesis 28:12 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And he dreamed. And behold, a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And he dreamed, and behold, a ladder set upon the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold, the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to the heavens. And behold, angels of God ascended and descended upon it.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And he dreamed, and lo! a stairway, planted earthwards, with, its top, reaching towards the heavens,—and lo! messengers of God, ascending and descending thereon;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And he dreameth, and lo, a ladder set up on the earth, and its head is touching the heavens; and lo, messengers of God are going up and coming down by it;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And he saw in his sleep a ladder standing upon the earth, and the top thereof touching heaven: the angels also of God ascending and descending by it.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And he dreamed, and beholde, a ladder set vp on the earth, and the top of it reached to heauen: and beholde the Angels of God ascending and descending on it.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— and dreamed, and behold a ladder fixed on the earth, whose top reached to heaven, and the angels of God ascended and descended on it.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of Elohim ascending and descending on it.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And he dreamed, 2492
{2492} Prime
חָלַם
chalam
{khaw-lam'}
A primitive root; properly to bind firmly, that is, (by implication) to be (causatively to make) plump; also (through the figurative sense of dumbness) to dream.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
and behold x2009
(2009) Complement
הִנֵּה
hinneh
{hin-nay'}
Prolonged for H2005; lo!.
a ladder 5551
{5551} Prime
סֻלָּם
cullam
{sool-lawm'}
From H5549; a stair case.
set up 5324
{5324} Prime
נָצַב
natsab
{naw-tsab'}
A primitive root; to station, in various applications (literally or figuratively).
z8716
<8716> Grammar
Stem - Hophal (See H8825)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 113
on the earth, 776
{0776} Prime
אֶרֶץ
'erets
{eh'-rets}
From an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land).
and the top x7218
(7218) Complement
רֹאשׁ
ro'sh
{roshe}
From an unused root apparently meaning to shake; the head (as most easily shaken), whether literally or figuratively (in many applications, of place, time, rank, etc.).
of it y7218
[7218] Standard
רֹאשׁ
ro'sh
{roshe}
From an unused root apparently meaning to shake; the head (as most easily shaken), whether literally or figuratively (in many applications, of place, time, rank, etc.).
reached 5060
{5060} Prime
נגע
naga`
{naw-gah'}
A primitive root; properly to touch, that is, lay the hand upon (for any purpose; euphemistically, to lie with a woman); by implication to reach (figuratively to arrive, acquire); violently, to strike (punish, defeat, destroy, etc.).
z8688
<8688> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 857
to heaven: 8064
{8064} Prime
שָׁמַיִם
shamayim
{shaw-mah'-yim}
The second form being dual of an unused singular; from an unused root meaning to be lofty; the sky (as aloft; the dual perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve).
and behold x2009
(2009) Complement
הִנֵּה
hinneh
{hin-nay'}
Prolonged for H2005; lo!.
the angels 4397
{4397} Prime
מַלְאָךְ
mal'ak
{mal-awk'}
From an unused root meaning to despatch as a deputy; a messenger; specifically of God, that is, an angel (also a prophet, priest or teacher).
of lhm אֱלֹהִים 430
{0430} Prime
אֱלֹהִים
'elohiym
{el-o-heem'}
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
ascending 5927
{5927} Prime
עָלָה
`alah
{aw-law'}
A primitive root; to ascend, intransitively (be high) or active (mount); used in a great variety of senses, primary and secondary, literally and figuratively.
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
and descending 3381
{3381} Prime
יָרַד
yarad
{yaw-rad'}
A primitive root; to descend (literally to go downwards; or conventionally to a lower region, as the shore, a boundary, the enemy, etc.; or figuratively to fall); causatively to bring down (in all the above applications).
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
on it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Genesis 28:12

_ _ 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 (Nehemiah 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 (John 1:51).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Genesis 28:10-15.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Genesis 28:12

Behold a ladder set upon the earth, and the top of it reached heaven, the angels ascending and descending on it, and the Lord stood above it — This might represent The providence of God, by which there is a constant correspondence kept up between heaven and earth. The counsels of heaven are executed on earth, and the affairs of this earth are all known in heaven. Providence doth his work gradually and by steps; angels are employed as ministering spirits to serve all the designs of providence, and the wisdom of God is at the upper end of the ladder, directing all the motions of second causes to his glory. The angels are active spirits, continually ascending and descending; they rest not day nor night. They ascend to give account of what they have done, and to receive orders; and desend to execute the orders they have received. This vision gave seasonable comfort to Jacob, letting him know that he had both a good guide and good guard; that though he was to wander from his father's house, yet he was the care of Providence, and the charge of the holy angels. The mediation of Christ. He is this ladder: the foot on earth in his human nature, the top in heaven in his divine nature; or the former is his humiliation, the latter is his exaltation. All the intercourse between heaven and earth since the fall is by this ladder. Christ is the way: all God's favours come to us, and all our services come to him, by Christ. If God dwell with us, and we with him, it is by Christ: we have no way of getting to heaven but by this ladder; for the kind offices the angels do us, are all owing to Christ, who hath reconciled things on earth and things in heaven, Colossians 1:20.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Genesis 28:12

And he dreamed, and behold a (d) ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

(d) Christ is the ladder by which God and man are joined together, and by whom the angels minister to us: all graces are given to us by him, and we ascend to heaven by him.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
he dreamed:

Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I [am] thy shield, [and] thy exceeding great reward.
Genesis 15:12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.
Genesis 20:3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou [art but] a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she [is] a man's wife.
Genesis 20:6-7 And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her. ... Now therefore restore the man [his] wife; for he [is] a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore [her] not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that [are] thine.
Genesis 37:5-11 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told [it] his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. ... And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
Genesis 40:1-41:57 And it came to pass after these things, [that] the butler of the king of Egypt and [his] baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt. ... And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy [corn]; because that the famine was [so] sore in all lands.
Numbers 12:6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, [I] the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, [and] will speak unto him in a dream.
Job 4:12-21 Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof. ... Doth not their excellency [which is] in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.
Job 33:15-16 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; ... Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,
Daniel 2:1-49 And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him. ... Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel [sat] in the gate of the king.
Daniel 4:1-37 Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. ... Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works [are] truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.
Daniel 7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, [and] told the sum of the matters.
Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
Matthew 2:12-13 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. ... And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
Matthew 2:19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

ladder:

Genesis 32:1-2 And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. ... And when Jacob saw them, he said, This [is] God's host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of [them] whose heart [is] perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
John 1:51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
2 Timothy 4:16-17 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all [men] forsook me: [I pray God] that it may not be laid to their charge. ... Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and [that] all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Gn 15:1, 12; 20:3, 6; 32:1; 37:5; 40:1. Nu 12:6. 2Ch 16:9. Jb 4:12; 33:15. Is 41:10. Dn 2:1; 4:1; 7:1. Mt 1:20; 2:12, 19. Jn 1:51. 2Ti 4:16. He 1:1, 14.

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