Jacob was the son of Isaac, and the father of the 12 sons who founded
the Twelve Tribes of Israel, according to the Old Testament. He
bought his older brother Esau's birthright with a bowl of savory
stew（“mess of pottage”）. Later, Jacob enforced his claim by pretending
to his blind and aged father that he himself was Esau. Thus, he
obtained from Isaac the words of blessing Isaac had meant for Esau.
Esau was so angry that Jacob fled for his life.
On the way to his uncle Laban, Jacob slept at a place called Bethel,
where he dreamed of a wonderful ladder between heaven and earth.
In the dream, God promised to protect and bless him while he was
away from home. Much encouraged, Jacob went on to Laban's home.
There he fell on love with Laban's daughter, Rachel. But Laban forced
Jacob to marry hid older daughter. Leah, before he could have Rachel
for his wife. After working 20 years for Laban, Jacob left for home.
On the way, Jacob prayed all night until God reassured him that
Esau would spare his life. Esau met him with forgiveness, and they
parted good friends. Jacob spent his last years in Egypt, where
his son Joseph brought him to live.
Esau was the son of Isaac and Rebecca, and twin brother of Jacob
in the Bible. He is a main character in many stories found in Genesis
25-33. The best known are Jacob's cheating him out of his birthright
for a“mess of pottage”（Gen.25：27-34）, and the loss of his blessing
through the plotting of his mother and brother（Gen.27）. Esau was
reconciled to Jacob after the latter's return to Palestine 20 years
Biblical history regards Esau as the founder of the Edomite nation.
Mess of pottage就是“因小失大”、“得不偿失”、“划不来”的意思。
A Jacob's ladder is a ladder made of rope or cable, usually with
wooden rungs. It is dropped over the side of a ship to enable people
to ascend from or descend to small boats alongside. Harbor pilots
usually come aboard via a Jacob's ladder.
The Jacob's ladder gets its name from an incident in the Book of
Genesis（28：12）. The patriarch Jacob falls asleep and the a vision：“And
he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and he top
of it reached to heaven；and behold the angels of God ascending and
descending on it.”
Jacob's ladder has been used in at least two other quite earthly
meanings. A small plant with a flower-and-leaf formation resembling
a ladder bears this name. In England, also what we Americans call“runs”in
hosiery were formerly called Jacob's ladders. Nowadays they are
Jacob's ladder可以登天，所以美国黑社会的thieves' Latin（盗贼的隐语，切口）就把梯子叫Jacob。
植物里头花葱属（polemoniums）中的一种就叫Jacob's ladder，因为它们有ladderlike leaves。
爸 爸 一九七五年十一月一日