September 2, 2010

The Ladder, the Wrestling and the Prophecy of Jacob the Patriarch

"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!" (Genesis 28:12, 13).

"So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man" (Genesis 32:24, 25).

"I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near. A star shall come out of Jacob and a scepter will rise out of Israel. It shall crush the foreheads of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth. Edom shall be dispossessed." (Numbers 24.17-19)

First icon from The Holy Hesychasterion of John the Evangelist and Theologian in Souroti, Thessaloniki. Second icon from the Holy Convent of the Annunciation in Ormylia.