Genesis 28:11

And he came upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
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Caesarius of Arles

AD 542
We do not read of blessed Jacob that he departed with horses or asses or camels, but we read only that he carried a staff in his hand. Thus, indeed, when entreating the Lord he said, “Lord, I am not worthy of all your kindnesses. With only my staff I crossed this Jordan; behold, now I have grown into two camps.” Jacob displayed his staff to take a wife, but Christ bore the wood of the cross to redeem the church. In his sleep Jacob put a stone under his head and saw a ladder extending to heaven, while the Lord leaned upon the ladder. Consider, brothers, how many mysteries there are in this place. Jacob represented a type of the Lord our Savior; the stone that he put under his head no less prefigured Christ the Lord. Listen to the apostle telling why the stone at the head signifies Christ: “The head of man is Christ.” Finally, notice that blessed Jacob anointed the stone. Pay attention to the anointing, and you will recognize Christ: Christ is explained from an anointing, that is, from t...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Head for a pillow. Behold the austerity of the heir of all that country! (Haydock) He departs from home in haste, with his staff only, that Esau might not know. (Worthington)


AD 420
When Jacob was in flight from his brother, in Mesopotamia he came to Luza, and there to rest, Scripture says, he placed a stone under his head. The stone under his head was Christ. Never before had he put a stone under his head; only at the time when he was escaping from his persecutor. When he was in his father’s house, and as long as he was in his father’s house and enjoyed the comforts of the flesh, he had no stone at his head. He departed from his home, poor and alone; he left with only a staff, and immediately that very night he found a stone and placed it at his head. Because he had a pillow of that kind upon which to rest his head, think of the vision he saw. “He dreamed that a ladder was set up on the ground with its top reaching to heaven; angels were ascending and descending on it.” He saw angels descend from heaven to earth and others ascend from earth to heaven. Would you know that the stone at Jacob’s head was Christ, the cornerstone? “The stone which the builders rejected...


AD 420
Consider our ascetic [Jacob]: he was running away from a very cruel man; he was fleeing his brother, and he found help in stone. That stone is Christ. That stone is the support of all those who suffer persecution, but to the unbelieving Jew, it is “a stone of stumbling, and a rock of scandal.” “Jacob saw there a ladder set up on the ground with its top reaching to heaven, and in heaven the Lord leaning upon it. And he saw angels ascending and descending.” Note: he saw angels ascending; he saw Paul ascending; he saw angels descending; Judas, the betrayer, was falling headlong. He saw angels ascending—holy men going from earth to heaven; he saw angels descending—the devil and his whole army cast down from heaven. It is very difficult indeed to ascend from earth into heaven. We fall more easily than we rise. We fall easily; it requires great labor, a great deal of sweat to climb upwards. If I am on the lowest step, how many more are there before I reach heaven? If I am on the second, the ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
When the sun was setting, the text tells us, he slept where the night came upon him: “He took a stone and put it under his head.” See the young fellow’s hardy spirit: He used the stone as a pillow and slept on the ground. Consequently, since he was imbued with common sense and a hardy attitude and was free of all human pretence, he was found worthy of that remarkable vision. Our Lord is like that, you see: When he sees a dutiful soul that makes no account of present realities, he demonstrates his own great care for him.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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