Monday, October 17, 2011

Gate of Heaven - Jacob's dream

 בראשׁית ברא אלהים את השׁמים ואת הארץ

Bible begins with these words telling that in the beginning God (elohim in plural) created heavens (shamaim in plural) and earth (aretz).

Since heavens are also creation of God where then is the dwelling of our heavenly Father?

Obviously the heavens up there above our world, the physical reality of clouds and solar system and Milky Way and outer space that we can observe with our telescopes and satellites, is not fully equivalent to the biblical word shamaim, heavens.

Jacob's ladder in Fraumünster

Patriarch Jacob has a dream in which he was in contact with heavens, the ladder so magnificently depicted in the glass window by Mark Chagall in the Fraumünster (Minster of Our Lady) in Zurich.

Jacob’s Dream at Bethel
 10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it stood the LORD, and he said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”  16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”
Genesis 28:10-17 NISV

 ויירא ויאמר מה־נורא המקום הזה אין זה כי אם־בית אלהים וזה שׁער השׁמים
This is none other than the house of God;  (bet Elohim)
this is the gate of heaven (sha'ar hashamaim).

So we conclude that in the same Book of Genesis where God creates heavens and earth "heavens" is a spiritual reality in the temple, holy place, House of God.

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