Jacob's Ladder


He dreamed that he saw a ladder standing on the earth, with its top reaching up into heaven; a stairway for the angels of God to go up and come down (Genesis 28:12).

Believe me when I tell you this; you will see heaven opening, and the angels of God going up and coming down upon the Son of Man (John 1:51).

Is Jesus referencing Jacob’s dream, and claiming that He Himself is the Ladder to and from Heaven?

Father Knox thought this quote refers to the Ascension and the Last Judgement, but I immediately thought of the Jacob’s Ladder. What do the Fathers and Doctors think?

Christi pax,



Take a look and see what they think:

Google search for “Jacob’s Ladder” in the Fathers section of newadvent.org

(You can do this search yourself, too. At the Google search prompt, simply type “Jacob ladder site:newadvent.org/fathers”.)


I know Saint Francis of Assisi had a dream, vision, etc in which he saw a ladder to Heaven with Mary standing at the top. I have thought this was the same thing Jacob referred to.


In the Dialogues, St. Catherine of Sienna speaks of what God the Father showed her, i.e. that Jesus is a bridge between heaven and earth and that we can reach God by traveling across that bridge and through the narrow gate. He came down from heaven in order that we may be able to ascend to heaven. When I read it, it reminded me of Jacob’s ladder too.


Yes it would seem so to me. And yes I have for while found that last part very interesting meditation.


Yes Jesus was referencing Jacob’s ladder. I worked on a chronology of Jesus’ life and I placed this event on Saturday Mar 3, 31AD in the Jordon valley. The next day Sunday Jesus and 6 disciples leave for Galilee and the wedding feast at Cana. That evening after they had climbed out of the valley the 5 visible planets formed a straight line evenly spaced from horizon to the center of the sky. The brightest two planets were at exactly the same place but slightly separated in Aries marking the slain lamb. I believe the angels appeared to go up and down this ladder of planets (maybe appearing to be a meteor shower). The 5 planets (wandering stars) are always brighter than any of fixed stars. This sign in he heavens marked the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, even before it was really public. THe heaven opened I believe were the clouds separating, but left a bar of clouds to make the picture appear as a cross beam/a cloud for the ladder to rest on. From the disciples viewpoint the angels ascended and descended the ladder on to Jesus.
Grace and peace,


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