On Sunday night, inspired by (of all things) the Francis Bacon retrospective at Tate Britain, I watched the film Jacob’s Ladder (Adrian Lyne, 1990) for the first time in ages. I thought to myself, I don’t really know the Biblical story of Jacob and his so-called ladder, other than it’s from Genesis. I didn’t get around to looking it up. The next day, I met with a film director to discuss a particular project of his, which is laced with Biblical references. He started to tell me one of them… You guessed it: the story of Jacob and his ladder to heaven (from Genesis 28:11=19). Strange.
Anyway, here, for those who still don’t know what the reference is, is Wikipedia’s summary:
Jacob left Beersheba, and went toward Haran. He came to the 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. 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! And behold, the Lord stood above it [or “beside him”] 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; 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. 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.” Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place; and I did not know it.” And he was afraid, and said, “This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”
As for Jacob’s Ladder, the Adrian Lyne film… It wasn’t as good as I remembered it.