Genesis 28:13
And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
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28:10-15 Jacob's conduct hitherto, as recorded, was not that of one who simply feared and trusted in God. But now in trouble, obliged to flee, he looked only to God to make him to dwell in safety, and he could lie down and sleep in the open air with his head upon a stone. Any true believer would be willing to take up with Jacob's pillow, provided he might have Jacob's vision. God's time to visit his people with his comforts, is, when they are most destitute of other comforts, and other comforters. Jacob saw a ladder which reached from earth to heaven, the angels going up and coming down, and God himself at the head of it. This represents, 1. The providence of God, by which there is a constant intercourse kept up between heaven and earth. This let Jacob know that he had both a good guide and a good guard. 2. The mediation of Christ. He is this ladder; the foot on earth in his human nature, the top in heaven in his Divine nature. Christ is the Way; all God's favours come to us, and all our services go to him, by Christ, Joh 1:51. By this way, sinners draw near to the throne of grace with acceptance. By faith we perceive this way, and in prayer we approach by it. In answer to prayer we receive all needful blessings of providence and grace. We have no way of getting to heaven but by Christ. And when the soul, by faith, can see these things, then every place will become pleasant, and every prospect joyful. He will never leave us, until his last promise is accomplished in our everlasting happiness. God now spake comfortably to Jacob. He spake from the head of the ladder. All the glad tidings we receive from heaven come through Jesus Christ. The Messiah should come from Jacob. Christ is the great blessing of the world. All that are blessed, are blessed in him, and none of any family are shut out from blessedness in him, but those that shut out themselves. Jacob had to fear danger from his brother Esau; but God promises to keep him. He had a long journey before him; to an unknown country; but, Behold, I am with thee, and God promises to bring him back again to this land. He seemed to be forsaken of all his friends; but God gives him this assurance, I will not leave thee. Whom God loves, he never leaves.Jacob's dream and vow. Setting out on the way to Haran, he was overtaken by night, and slept in the field. He was far from any dwelling, or he did not wish to enter the house of a stranger. He dreams. A ladder or stair is seen reaching from earth to heaven, on which angels ascend and descend. This is a medium of communication between heaven and earth, by which messengers pass to and fro on errands of mercy. Heaven and earth have been separated by sin. But this ladder has re-established the contact. It is therefore a beautiful emblem of what mediates and reconciles John 1:51. It here serves to bring Jacob into communication with God, and teaches him the emphatic lesson that he is accepted through a mediator. "The Lord stood above it," and Jacob, the object of his mercy, beneath. First. He reveals himself to the sleeper as "the Lord" Genesis 2:4, "the God of Abraham thy father, and of Isaac." It is remarkable that Abraham is styled his father, that is, his actual grandfather, and covenant father. Second. He renews the promise of the land, of the seed, and of the blessing in that seed for the whole race of man. Westward, eastward, northward, and southward are they to break forth. This expression points to the world-wide universality of the kingdom of the seed of Abraham, when it shall become the fifth monarchy, that shall subdue all that went before, and endure forever. This transcends the destiny of the natural seed of Abraham. Third. He then promises to Jacob personally to be with him, protect him, and bring him back in safety. This is the third announcement of the seed that blesses to the third in the line of descent Genesis 12:2-3; Genesis 22:18; Genesis 26:4.13. The Lord stood above it, and said—That Jacob might be at no loss to know the purport of the vision, he heard the divine voice; and the announcement of His name, together with a renewal of the covenant, and an assurance of personal protection, produced at once the most solemnizing and inspiriting effect on his mind. No text from Poole on this verse.

And behold, the Lord stood above it,.... Ordering, directing, and overruling all things in Providence, for the glory of his name and the good of his people; and may signify, as the ladder may be a figure of Christ, that Jehovah the Father, is above him, as man and Mediator, and makes himself known in and by him, and delivers out all his blessings and promises through him, both temporal and spiritual, and such as follow:

and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: their covenant God and Father in Christ, who had made promises unto them, and bestowed blessings upon them; and the same was and would continue to be the God of Jacob, which is strongly intimated:

the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; meaning not that small pittance of land only on which his body then lay, and which it covered, but all the land of which it was a part, even the whole land of Canaan; hereby entailing it on him and his seed, and so explaining and confirming the blessing of his father Isaac; and by which it appears, that all that had been done was under a divine direction, and according to the will of God.

And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee {e} will I give it, and to thy seed;

(e) He felt the force of this promise only by faith: for all his life he was a stranger in this land.

13. the Lord stood] Lit. “was set, established, stationed,” LXX ἐπεστήρικτο, Vulg. “innixum.” The appearance of Jehovah is mentioned, but not described.

above it] Better, probably, as R.V. marg., beside him. Both renderings are possible. We should perhaps prefer that of the margin. The preposition is the same as in the account of the appearance of the three men to Abraham, Genesis 18:2 (“Lo, three men stood over against him”). On the other hand, the versions LXX ἐπʼ αὐτῆς, Lat. and Syr. Pesh., render as R.V. text. But the substance of Genesis 28:13-15 is a personal revelation to Jacob. It is distinct from the vision of Genesis 28:12, which, on a great and impressive scale, taught the general lesson of the union between earth and heaven. There is, therefore, reason for preferring the personal allusion, either “beside him,” or “over (i.e. bending over) him.” Jacob is lying down: Jehovah is standing by him. Jacob is made to realize the ever-protecting Presence, at his side, or watching over him.

and said] The blessing of Jacob consists of (1) the Divine personal revelation; (2) the promise of the land (Genesis 28:13); (3) the multiplication of his descendants (Genesis 28:14); (4) the world’s blessing through his seed (Genesis 28:14); (5) the personal promise of Presence and Protection (Genesis 28:15).

thy father] i.e. thy ancestor. Abraham’s name is mentioned as that of the first recipient of the Divine promise.

the land] The renewal of the promise to Abraham, Genesis 13:14-16.

Verse 13. - And, behold, - "the dream-vision is so glorious that the narrator represents it by a threefold הִגֵּה (Lange) - the Lord stood above it, - the change in the Divine name is not to be explained by assigning vers. 13-16 to the Jehovistic editor (Tuch, Bleek) or to a subsequent redactor (Davidson), since without it the Elohistic document would be abrupt, if not incomplete (Kalisch), but by recalling the fact that it is not the general providence of the Deity over his creature man, but the special superintendence of the God of Abraham and of Isaac over his chosen people, that the symbolic ladder was intended to depict (Hengstenberg) - and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: - thus not simply proclaiming his personal name Jehovah, but announcing himself as the Elohim who had solemnly entered into covenant with his ancestors, and who had now come, in virtue of that covenant, to renew to him the promises he had previously given them - the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed - given to Abraham, Genesis 13:15; to Isaac, Genesis 26:3. Genesis 28:13Jacob's Dream at Bethel. - As he was travelling from Beersheba, where Isaac was then staying (Genesis 26:25), to Haran, Jacob came to a place where he was obliged to stop all night, because the sun had set. The words "he hit (lighted) upon the place," indicate the apparently accidental, yet really divinely appointed choice of this place for his night-quarters; and the definite article points it out as having become well known through the revelation of God that ensued. After making a pillow with the stones (מאשׁת, head-place, pillow), he fell asleep and had a dream, in which he saw a ladder resting upon the earth, with the top reaching to heaven; and upon it angels of God going up and down, and Jehovah Himself standing above it. The ladder was a visible symbol of the real and uninterrupted fellowship between God in heaven and His people upon earth. The angels upon it carry up the wants of men to God, and bring down the assistance and protection of God to men. The ladder stood there upon the earth, just where Jacob was lying in solitude, poor, helpless, and forsaken by men. Above in heaven stood Jehovah, and explained in words the symbol which he saw. Proclaiming Himself to Jacob as the God of his fathers, He not only confirmed to him all the promises of the fathers in their fullest extent, but promised him protection on his journey and a safe return to his home (Genesis 28:13-15). But as the fulfilment of this promise to Jacob was still far off, God added the firm assurance, "I will not leave thee till I have done (carried out) what I have told thee."
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