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 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."
I first talked about Jacob's Ladder after season 3's "Further Instructions," because when Locke goes into the tent and has his Boone-accompanied hallucination, there is a mise-en-scene of Locke in his wheelchair at the base of the escalators that looks a lot like Jacob's Ladder:
In this scene, Locke is at the bottom, like Jacob. We don't see any angels ascending or descending, but in the scenes before it, we'd seen people travelling up and down the escalator in the background. Locke falls out of his wheelchair and ascends the escalator with a lot of effort, and ends up at the top.
Later, in the season 4 episode, "Cabin Fever," we get the image again, after Abaddon has taken Locke from his physio appointment and is wheeling him back to his room. He leaves him at the top of the stairs for a moment, and we get the switched mise-en-scene:
Now Locke is at the top, in the position of God, and the only place to go is down, to the Earth. So it's interesting that years later, Locke's body is being used for Esau's long con, in an effort to kill Jacob. Locke found himself in the position of the biblical Jacob, then the biblical God, and now he's neither. Has he descended to Heaven (or to Hell) after death?
You can comment on the Jacob's Ladder material below, or go check out my fuller post on "The Incident" here.